Browns Shaking Up QB Depth Chart Ahead of Wild Card Game

The Cleveland Browns are changing up their quarterback depth chart as they head into the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Jeff Driskel (12) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam
Cleveland Browns quarterback Jeff Driskel (12) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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The Cleveland Browns have their biggest game of the year approaching on Saturday. Head coach Kevin Stefanski will look to lead his group to their second postseason win of his tenure against the plucky Houston Texans.

Thankfully Stefanski doesn't need to make any big decisions at starting quarterback this week with Joe flacco fully entrenched in that role. However, the Browns' HC is changing things up behind Flacco on the depth chart for the playoffs.

Browns News: Jeff Driskel Named Backup Quarterback

Cleveland offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt revealed to reporters on Wednesday that Jeff Driskel is now the official backup quarterback. That now puts him ahead of P.J. Walker, who previously served in that role.

This move is quite a surprise. Driskel only signed with the Browns prior to Week 18 as depth with Flacco held out of that contest to preserve him for the playoffs. The journeyman didn't particularly dazzle starting in place of Flacco during the regular-season finale, recording a meager 13 completions, 166 yards and 2 interceptions in a blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Driskel did notch 2 touchdown passes, but both were in the fourth quarter with the game already out of hand.

Throwing Driskel into the mix like this so suddenly could absolutely backfire. While Walker hasn't been spectacular, he's at least spent the majority of the 2023 with the team learning their system. He even game-managed Cleveland to a win in Week 6 over the San Francisco 49ers, including a couple big plays late to make up for his two earlier INTs.

It's tough to blame the Browns too much considering they've been forced to go through several backups during the year because of injuries, but this decision is a head-scratcher. Going with the known quantity who understands the scheme seems like a much better fallback should Flacco go down than the guy who just came onboard.

Hopefully Stefanski never has to put his backup plan into place, otherwise the results could be disastrous.

With Flacco at the helm, however, the Browns are 2.5-point road favorites over the Texans in a game with a 44.5-point over/under. The Browns are 4-1 with Flacco under center, out-scoring their opponents by an average of 4.2 points per game across those five contests.

Even if the Browns did have to go with Driskel (and got, presumably, slaughtered), you'd still cash in $150 for backing them on FanDuel Sportsbook. New users just need to deposit $10 or more and bet $5 on the Browns to unlock a guaranteed $150 bonus, which pays out in full whether your bet wins or loses. Sign up now to claim your offer before it expires!

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