Harrison: Power Rankings, Week 8
Without Alex Mack anchoring the offensive line, Kyle Shanahan's run-happy attack was held to a season-low 69 yards on the ground. Forced to throw, the Browns were badgered by Jacksonville's pass rush as quarterback Brian Hoyer completed just 16 of his 41 lobs, looking uncomfortable and exposed in a performance that still stings.
"I'm just angry," Hoyer said of the loss on Wednesday, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. "Even my wife says she doesn't even want to be around me. She doesn't want to be around me when we win, too, because I'm so critical.
"She's like, 'You guys won.'" And I'm like, 'I know, but I could have done this better.' Especially after a loss, it just lingers with you until you get a chance to come back out here and do something about it."
Hoyer's 46.3 passer rating -- the lowest of his career by 20 points -- was largely the product of a Jaguars secondary that closed down passing lanes to nullify Cleveland's play-action-heavy air game. Serving as the NFL's most efficient deep passer before the loss, Hoyer saw those big plays dry up once the ground game was eliminated.
Sunday looms large. While calling Hoyer "still firmly our starter," coach Mike Pettine also acknowledged Monday that the team "briefly" discussed turning to rookie Johnny Manziel against the Jaguars. The stage is set for that switch to happen if Cleveland's troubles continue.
The concept of a "must-win" game is thrown around too easily during the long pro season, but the Browns and their quarterback desperately need to drop a convincing hammer at home against the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Anything less is sure to stir Hoyer's many doubters into a frenzy.
The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 8 game, and breaks down the Broncos' win over the Chargers. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.