Browns could move into unprecedented QB territory in final nine games

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns continue to be associated with records they would rather forget.

The only winless team in the NFL has six players who have attempted passes this season.

One of them is a receiver -- Terrelle Pryor (with five). The other five are "pure" quarterbacks -- Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst and Kevin Hogan.

According to Elias, the Browns are only the third team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to have that many players throw at least five passes in a season. The 1984 and 1987 Bears are the only other teams to do it.

Of course, the Browns have nine games left to add to their total and run away with this "crown."

This week's candidate would be Joe Callahan, who was claimed on waivers on Monday from New Orleans. He is the sixth quarterback on the roster this season.

Determining whether that is a record is difficult. Thus, ESPN Stats and Information combined with Elias to come up with the five-pass minimum designation.

In 1984, the Bears had five quarterbacks throw 47 or more passes: Jim McMahon, Rusty Lisch, Steve Fuller, Bob Avellini and Greg Landry. Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton threw eight passes on halfback options. Payton had a better passer rating than Avellini and Lisch.

Buoyed by its well-known defense, that Bears team still made the playoffs with a 10-6 record -- and went to the NFC Championship Game, losing to the San Francisco 49ers.

Fuller started both playoff games.

In 1987, the Bears had six quarterbacks throw at least 11 passes: McMahon, Mike Tomczak, Mike Hohensee, Sean Payton (the current Saints coach), Steve Bradley and Jim Harbaugh. Of course this was the strike season, which explains the situation.

That Bears team also made the playoffs, going 11-5 and losing in the divisional round to Washington. McMahon played quarterback in the playoff game.

Technically, the Browns have not been eliminated from the playoffs. So there is hope they could be like those Bears teams. Right?

But this week's starter is a mystery.

Kessler is in the NFL concussion protocol and McCown still is trying to come back from a broken left collarbone. It's possible Hogan will be the fourth different starter this season. Hogan played Sunday in Cincinnati and did OK given the circumstances, completing 12 of 24 passes for 100 yards and running for 104 more.

It marked the second time in a non-strike season a team has had six players throw a pass in the first seven games. The last: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976, when they went 0-14.

One other thing: If Hogan starts, he'll be starting QB No. 27 since 1999.