By Rixon Lane
The two-man race for the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback job became, at least for one night, a three-man competition.
Connor Shaw, the winningest quarterback in South Carolina football history, ran the Cleveland Brown offense against the Washington Redskins for exactly six minutes and 28 seconds. In that time span, an offense that accounted for 159 yards through the first 50 minutes of the game totaled 127 yards.
In two drives, Shaw completed eight passes in nine attempts for 123 yards and an improbable, "Hail Mary" touchdown to pull Cleveland within a point of the tie. Brian Hoyer, the returning starter, has completed eight passes for 108 yards in two preseason games. Shaw also ran for nine yards on the night, the most of any quarterback to take the field not named Robert Griffin III.
For those who missed it, here's how Shaw's night went.
DRIVE ONE (Tied 17-17, 9:46 remaining, ball on Cleveland's 28)
Play 1: 15-yard completion
Play 2: Handoff
Play 3: Scramble for three yards
Play 4: 22-yard completion to move the chains on 3rd down.
Plays 5 & 6: Handoffs
Play 7: Completed screen pass for -4 yards.
MISSED 54-YARD FIELD GOAL
DRIVE TWO (Trailing 24-17, 1:54 remaining, ball on Cleveland's 9)
Play 1: Five-yard completion
Play 2: Scramble for six yards
Play 3: Nine-yard completion
Play 4: Seven-yard completion
Play 5: Dropped pass
Play 6: 24-yard completion
Play 7: Sacked for -5 yards
Play 8: 45-yard touchdown pass.
Overthrow on two-point conversion
Shaw also did not flip off the opposing team, which ESPN cameras spotted first-round pick Johnny Manziel doing after a Cleveland drive stalled.
Ultimately, Shaw will not be named Cleveland's starting quarterback. His two drives came against Washington's backups and the Browns have too much money invested in Manziel and too much experience with Hoyer running the offense. However, for a guy who is hoping to make an NFL roster, Shaw now has two drives highlighting his skill set for every team in the league to see.
But after his performance on Monday night, the Browns might be hesitant to let Shaw wind up on another team's payroll.