QB Cody Kessler - Free Agent

6-1, 216Born: 5-11-1993College: USCDrafted: Round 3, pick 2016

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Game Recaps

2018 Week 7 vs HOU (21 / 30 / 156 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)

Kessler entered the game on the second drive of the 3rd quarter. He was featured with very short passes for most of the game. His ball notably lacks velocity throwing to the outside quadrants. He led a touchdown drive on his second drive of the game, a drive that featured just one called run. He protected the ball and threw quick underneath passes, and did a surprisingly good job handling pressure. His touchdown throw came from the six yardline. The Jaguars ran a quick pass/catch and throw concept from shotgun. Kessler did a good job moving off his spot when the initial look wasn't open, scrambled around, and eventually found TJ Yeldon in the endzone. It was a great redzone play and situational awareness to move off his spot when the quick read wasn't there, buy time, and make a play. He took sacks on the next two drives. On one, Clowney came as an inside blitzer and straight up beat his man. The next came on the first play of the drive. On the second, Whitney Mercilus beat the left tackle off the edge for a stripsack (recovered by Jax). A holding penalty on the next drive set them at 2nd and 20. Kessler converted after 3 short passes. The drive later ended on an interception, however, Kessler threw an underneath ball slightly off Yeldon's frame (not accurate, but not a difficult catch either) and Mathieu intercepted it off the tip drill.

2018 Week 13 vs IND (18 / 24 / 150 / 0 / 0 pass, 5 / 28 / 0 rush)

Let's be clear that Cody Kessler is not good and not the answer. However, his day is about what you'd hope for in a win and something Bortles hasn't been able to provide in months. He didn't turn the ball over and he made a few key third down conversions. The offensive line is in shambles, but he mostly didn't panic or sack himself. He used his legs effectively. 6 points is a subpar performance for an NFL offense, but it was enough to win this game. He didn't actively lose the game for them, which is what they had been getting from the quarterback position for the last two months. His third down conversion to Dede Westbrook is an example of a difficult but makeable play that they simply haven't gotten out of the quarterback position since September.

2018 Week 14 vs TEN (25 / 43 / 240 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 17 / 0 rush)

Kessler made some good throws on the move, placed the deep ball well, and wasn't the reason the Jaguars got blown out, but he can't keep them in games like this one. Donte Moncrief failed to get two deep balls he had a good chance to bring in, but Dede Westbrook made a top skill toe tap to account for the only touchdown. Kessler showed some running ability but was also overwhelmed by blitzes more than once, and fumbled on one sack. He also missed Tommy Bohanon for a touchdown at the goal line in a turning point early in the game and wasn't able to keep momentum going in the passing game. In short, he looked like a competent backup quarterback, but nothing more. He'll only be a desperation play in Weeks 15 and 16.

2018 Week 15 vs WAS (9 / 17 / 57 / 0 / 1 pass, 6 / 68 / 0 rush)

To nobody's surprise, Kessler does not look like a starting caliber NFL quarterback, especially with the surrounding cast Jacksonville is trotting out. He attempted only three passes over 10 yards on the day, none of them being completed. He's capable of making some plays with his legs, but that's about the only positive of note. On the flipside, he doesn't allow plays to develop at all and either auto-checksdown or feels phantom pressure and runs.

2018 Week 16 vs MIA (12 / 17 / 106 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)

Cody Kessler started the game for the Jaguars. The Jaguars did score a touchdown on their opening drive (a short Fournette run), which was bailed out by a roughing the passer penalty. After some extremely poor play, he existed the game in the second quarter and replaced by Bortles. Kessler was cleared to come back in, but remained on the bench for performance reasons.

2017 Week 7 vs TEN (10 / 19 / 121 / 0 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

Kessler entered the game for the benched DeShone Kizer with 9:32 remaining in the third quarter. He showed nice touch on his passes and was mostly accurate with the football. His first completion was a pretty one to tight end David Njoku on a deep pass down the middle. He later hooked up with Njoku again early in the fourth quarter, hitting him for a 27-yard gain. He killed that drive, however, by overthrowing an open Kenny Britt down the left sideline. Kessler's interception came on a deep target to David Njoku during the fourth quarter. It was a poor pass as he badly overthrew Njoku down the seam.

2017 Week 10 vs DET (1 / 3 / 5 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Kessler took over for DeShone Kizer at the end of the third quarter and led the team for just over two offensive possessions. The Browns went three-and-out in both of his drives with Kessler taking three sacks and completing just one of three passes. If nothing else, the marked difference between Kessler and Kizer's play on Sunday showed that it is Kizer who should be starting for the team.

2016 Week 3 vs MIA (21 / 33 / 244 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)

It appeared it was going to be a long game for the rookie following Cleveland's first drive. The first three plays of Kessler's career went: delay of game penalty, fumbled snap (recovered by Kessler), and a strip sack which was recovered by Miami. Fortunately for the Browns, Kessler bounced back and showed excellent poise from that point on. As has been an ongoing issue for Cleveland, he didn't receive great protection, but the rookie was smart with the football and threw out of bounds several times when there wasn't a play there. He generally stuck to short and intermediate throws, hitting several receivers on slants and checking down to Duke Johnson several times. He did target Terrelle Pryor in the end zone in the second quarter and made a decent throw, but Pryor was well-covered by Byron Maxwell. Credit goes to Maxwell for an excellent pass breakup of what would have likely been a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Kessler was hit hard on Miami's 11-yard line and fumbled the ball. The play was nullified by an offside penalty, but Kessler left the game briefly to be checked for a concussion. He returned shortly after and later said his right arm was dinged on the play.

2016 Week 4 vs WAS (28 / 40 / 223 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)

Kessler turned in a second straight solid start for the Browns, playing the part of game manager and making a few excellent throws when needed. He mostly stuck to short and intermediate passes, but he did take a few deep shots downfield. None connected, but this bodes well for his playmakers like Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman, when he returns. Kessler showed good mobility on his first pass of the game, rolling right before hitting Andrew Hawkins for a short completion. In the second quarter, Kessler fired a bullet to Terrelle Pryor on third-and-11 for a first down. Kessler's only touchdown pass was another fantastic throw as he hit a double-covered Terrelle Pryor on the right side of the end zone. Kessler and Pryor almost hooked up for a deep pass in the second quarter, but cornerback Josh Norman, knowing he was beat, held Pryor for a pass interference penalty. Kessler later took a deep shot to Ricardo Louis down the right sideline, but just barely overthrew the rookie receiver. Kessler's interception came in the fourth quarter on his own 10-yard line. He targeted Pryor on a slant, but Josh Norman jumped in front of the route to make the pick.

2016 Week 5 vs NE (5 / 8 / 62 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)

Kessler looked good in his only quarter of work. The rookie showed good poise in the pocket in this game, often making quick decisions and zipping throws to open receivers. He threw his only touchdown on the team's second drive of the game. He hit a wide-open Andrew Hawkins for an 11-yard score. Kessler was knocked out of the game on the team's third drive. He had an unblocked Dont'a Hightower in the backfield as soon as the ball was snapped. Kessler tried to pass to Duke Johnson, but the pass was incomplete and resulted in a lateral fumble out of the end zone for a safety. Kessler went down hard on his right side and did not return to the game, although he was spotted on the sidelines at one point throwing the ball. It was reported that Kessler has right rib and chest injuries.

2016 Week 6 vs TEN (26 / 41 / 336 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)

Kessler took a beating against the Titans. He was sacked six time and knocked down 11 more times, including several hard hits that came right after he released the ball. He got up slowly a few times, but stayed in the game. He took a few more deep shots than has been customary for him this year, picking up a long pass interference penalty for Duke Johnson on one and a few times throwing too close to the sideline for his receivers to make the play. He was almost intercepted in the second quarter when he stared down Gary Barnidge on a pass attempt, allowing Jason McCourty to step in front of the route. It was a typical rookie mistake where he locked in on Barnidge the entire time before throwing him the ball. He was lucky he wasn't picked on the play. Kessler showed good mobility on several passes, rolling away from trouble and completing several attempts on the run. One of those plays was a perfect touch pass to Ricardo Louis, which he lofted over the defense after rolling right to escape a defender. He targeted Terrelle Pryor twice in the end zone in the second quarter. The first attempt was underthrown and the pass was broken up by Perrish Cox. He made up for it by throwing a perfect pass to Pryor in double coverage at the back on the end zone for his first touchdown of the game. Later in the fourth quarter, Kessler found Pryor again for a second touchdown, this one on a short slant from the five yard line. All in all, it was an encouraging performance from Kessler, especially considering the hits he was taking and the lack of a running game from the Browns.

2016 Week 7 vs CIN (9 / 11 / 82 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / -2 / 0 rush)

It was a short afternoon for Kessler for the second time in three games. The rookie took a couple of huge hits in the game, one coming in the first quarter after a pass to Duke Johnson. He was knocked from the game in the second quarter after throwing a shovel pass to Gary Barnidge in the red zone. He was hit right after the ball left his hands and appeared to bang his helmet off of a defender's on his way to the ground. He was found to have a concussion and did not return to the game.

2016 Week 9 vs DAL (19 / 27 / 203 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 11 / 0 rush)

Kessler played well for the Browns, but he was limited to just three second half possessions as the Cowboys offense dominated the ball in the second half of the game. Kessler showed great touch on a pass to Isaiah Crowell during the first drive on a play where the Browns lined up in an odd formation. There were only three linemen lined up in front of Kessler with Crowell to the left of that trio. It appeared Dallas was unsure how to cover the play, which led to an easy completion for Kessler. Kessler almost connected with Andrew Hawkins for a touchdown throw on his first drive. He did a great job avoiding pressure before rolling left and throwing on the run to Hawkins in the end zone. The ball was just a little too low for Hawkins to bring in. Later in the first quarter, Kessler took a deep shot to Corey Coleman near the end zone, but he just overthrew the rookie receiver. In the second quarter, Kessler targeted Terrelle Pryor on the left side of the end zone, but he threw the ball too close to the sideline and Pryor was unable to make the catch. Kesslers best possession came on the final drive of the first half. He threw some excellent passes while taking some big hits from the Dallas defense. He capped off the drive with a touchdown in which he rolled right and hit Pryor for a 12-yard score. The Browns only had three drives in the second half of the game, running just 14 plays. Kessler injured his leg in the game and was taken for X-rays after it ended. It appears there's nothing wrong with the rookie and he's expected to be ready for this week's Thursday night game against the Ravens.

2016 Week 10 vs BAL (11 / 18 / 91 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)

Kessler's numbers at the end of his just over two quarters of football look passable, but they masked the fact that he is still not comfortable throwing the ball deep downfield. Head coach Hue Jackson said in the week leading up to this game that he wanted to see more of that. When it didn't happen, Jackson benched Kessler after the first drive of the third quarter. Kessler made his best pass of the day on his touchdown toss to Seth DeValve down the middle of the field. Kessler threw a perfect ball for the 25-yard score. Kessler did make a few decent throws on the run after getting flushed from the pocket, but generally, this was a performance to forget from the Browns' offense. Baltimore's fierce pass rush had a lot to do with Cleveland's offensive struggles as the Ravens were getting a lot of pressure on whoever was behind center for the Browns.

2016 Week 11 vs PIT (7 / 14 / 128 / 0 / 1 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)

essler did not play well, although extremely windy conditions and poor pass blocking did not help matters. His first completion was a great one as he moved around the pocket to buy time before hitting Terrelle Pryor for a 36-yard gain. That drive ended when Kessler attempted a deep shot to Corey Coleman but the pass was underthrown and the ball was intercepted by Pittsburgh. The wind likely played a role in knocking that pass down. Unfortunately for Kessler things continued to go downhill from there. He held onto the ball too long twice on the team's second possession, resulting in sacks on both plays. He took a hard hit and stayed on the grass following one of the sacks. It looked like he was favoring his shoulder when he got up, but he stayed in the game. In the third quarter, Kessler took another deep end zone shot to Coleman, but Coleman was well-covered and the pass was just slightly too close to the sideline. Kessler was knocked out of the game at the end of the third quarter when he took a late hit from Lawrence Timmons. Kessler was diagnosed with a concussion and did not return.

2016 Week 16 vs SD (2 / 3 / 11 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Kessler came into the game in the fourth quarter after Robert Griffin III sustained a concussion. Kessler was only called upon to pass three times as the Browns were dialing up mostly runs in attempts to ice the clock and hold on to a three-point lead. Kessler's first pass was a very catchable one to Corey Coleman that was dropped. He bounced back to make a clutch throw to Coleman to convert a third down and extend a drive. Kessler has a chance at starting the last game of the season if Griffin is not cleared in time.