Top 5 single game performances by a Cleveland Browns quarterback since 1999
Final score: Cleveland 51, Cincinnati 43
After a season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers to start the season, the 2007 Cleveland Browns were already facing a “must win” game with their division rival. The 2007 Bengals had a high-powered offense with Carson Palmer throwing to weapons like Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Palmer would have a sensational game, completing 33-of-50 passes for 401 yards and six touchdowns for a 113.4 quarterback rating.
The Browns, however, had weapons of their own with rookie, first-round draft choice Braylon Edwards and the oft-injured but healthy (for now) Kellen Winslow Jr. The quarterback for the Browns was Derek Anderson who would make this game a virtuoso performance. On this sunny Sunday, Anderson threw the ball 33 times, completing 20 for 328 yards and 5 touchdowns.
For Anderson, one of the best parts of this stat line was that he only threw one interception. His quarterback rating was an eye-popping 121.0. Most importantly, the Browns outdueled the Bengals in a 51-45 shootout. This was the beginning of a season that would see the Browns finish at 10-6 and yet miss the playoffs.
As depressing as that was, this game stands out as a highlight. Unfortunately, the Browns and Anderson couldn’t bottle this formula for success, and Anderson would lose his starting job the following year and the quarterback carousel would continue.