Last Sunday, Kevin Hogan entered his first NFL game after Cody Kessler went out with a concussion. The Stanford product immediately made his presence known on the ground. Early in the second half, Hogan made one of the most impressive runs of the season where he ran for a 28 yard touchdown with multiple cutbacks. He made defenders miss, and he looked like his former Stanford self. After running for 104 yards, Kevin Hogan reminded me of last year’s game versus Washington State when he ran for 112 yards. In his first NFL game, Kevin Hogan utilized his creativity, his arm, and his legs.
Kevin Hogan out here breaking ankles. #CLEvsCIN https://t.co/VZrFcBWzJx— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 23, 2016
Hogan has never been a quarterback who puts up dazzling numbers, but instead, he plays like a fighter. When the pocket collapses, Hogan decides to tuck the ball in, to get physical with opposing defenders, and to show his best effort getting a first down. When no receivers are open, very rarely does Hogan throw into double coverage; rather, he uses his legs to gain positive yardage. Multiple instances, Hogan had to scramble, which helped account for his 104 rushing yards.Throwing the ball, however, seemed difficult for Hogan in his first game. At times, his feet didn’t get set, and he only completed 12 of 24 passes for 100 yards while throwing two interceptions. Given that it was his first NFL game, Hogan should be expected to be shaky. Lastly, Hogan definitely should not be blamed for the Browns’ loss. Yet to get their first win, the Browns’ defense allowed 559 yards of total offense. Hogan and the Browns’ offense could not possibly have kept up with the Bengals last Sunday because of poor play on defense.
Hogan was a fifth round pick. He probably never expected to play this year, but he was ready when called upon. Meanwhile, first overall pick and Stanford rival Jared Goff is yet to see NFL playing time. During the offseason, Goff lost the quarterback battle to Case Keenum, who has had his fair share of ups and downs this year. Is Goff ready? Does he not know the Rams’ system? Maybe. After Keenum threw four interceptions in Sunday’s loss, according to ESPN Coach Jeff Fisher said, “I’m staying with Case.” Fisher then further said, “Jared's going to play when we feel Jared's ready.” Seems to me that Goff just isn’t NFL ready.
Stanford must’ve prepared Hogan well for the pros. Hogan successfully ran a complicated pro style offense at Stanford, and his football knowledge has translated into the NFL. After being waived by the Chiefs, the Browns added Hogan after training camp. With no training camp, Hogan had to learn the Browns offense during practices in the three weeks that he’d been with the team. Hogan had to show his knowledge on the actual field very quickly. That’s a tough task, but not too difficult for Hogan and his Stanford background. Hogan said following the Browns’ loss,
Am I saying Kevin Hogan is better than Jared Goff? No. Goff was the number one pick, and he’s very talented. But who is more NFL ready? Right now it seems like Hogan. Hogan stepped up last Sunday and showed he can compete in the big league. While Goff is yet to step foot on an NFL field, Kevin Hogan will once again be ready to play and could potentially start this Sunday as Cody Kessler remains under concussion protocol. With Hogan under center, could the Browns get their first win versus the Jets? I’d love to find out.
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