Earlier last week it looked as though the Cleveland Browns were already looking toward next season.
Guess the Cincinnati Bengals won't make the mistake of looking past their AFC North rivals.
The Browns will turn to Brian Hoyer again under center this Sunday at FirstEnergy Center when they look to deny the Bengals a third victory in a row.
It was a curious week for the Browns to say the least as they prepared for this past Sunday's meeting with the Minnesota Vikings. First, rookie head coach Rob Chudzinski bypassed his then No. 2 quarterback Jason Campbell on the depth chart in favor of Hoyer when starter Brandon Weeden was ruled out with a thumb injury.
Things then took an even crazier turn when Cleveland traded running back Trent Richardson -- the third overall pick of the 2012 draft -- to the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday for a first-round selection in 2014.
But the white flag turned into a victory emblem when the Browns pulled out all the tricks to beat the Vikings 31-27. Hoyer threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns as Cleveland overcame three interceptions by the signal-caller in his second career start.
Cleveland had been held to just 16 points over its first two games of the season -- losses to Miami and Baltimore -- but secured Chudzinski's first win when Hoyer found tight end Jordan Cameron in the back of the end zone from seven yards out with 51 seconds to play.
"We have a really resilient group, and I think we showed that through the week. Everything went right today, and in the end we came out on top. A win is a win, and that is the important thing," said Hoyer.
Cameron caught three touchdown passes -- one from holder/punter Spencer Lanning on a fake field goal -- and wide receiver Josh Gordon returned from his two-game suspension to set career highs with 10 receptions and 146 yards with a TD catch.
"We're never going to quit. The guys in this room aren't that way; I'm not that way," Chudzinski said. "We'll continue to work, we have a game next week against Cincinnati, a divisional game that's an important game."
The Browns begin a three-game homestand against the Bengals, who are coming off their own outrageous 34-30 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Facing one of the top offenses in football, the Bengals jumped out to a 14-0 lead, scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns in a span of 12 seconds thanks in part to a Green Bay muffed kickoff return.
However, Cincinnati turned the ball over four straight times and saw Green Bay explode for 30 straight points to grab control.
The Bengals then showed their own resiliency by rattling off the game's last 20 points, including 13 in the final quarter.
"It was a great win, and (we persevered) through as many negative plays I've seen in my life. At one point, I told (defensive coordinator Mike) Zimmer, 'When it rains, it pours.' We have to learn and take care of the football," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.
"That's one thing about this group -- they're going to work and stay after it. We learned some valuable lessons and survived one today that you don't survive very often."
The Bengals survived thanks to Terence Newman's 58-yard fumble recovery for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:47 to go, but even that play had some odd elements to it.
Green Bay was clinging to a three-point lead with less than five minutes to play and appeared to pick up a first down on 3rd-and-12 at the Cincinnati 29. A successful Bengals challenge pushed the ball back just shy of the marker and the Packers elected to go for the first down.