Five Predictions for the Cleveland Browns 2017 Season
In a cruel twist of nature, the Cleveland Browns finished 4th in the AFC, just behind their northern neighbor, and to be quite honest, the win–loss record for the Browns last year was a complete disaster, or an embarrassment if you will. If you don’t believe us, go take a look. 1–15. Yes, that happened. Out of 16 games in the 2016 season, the Browns managed to win one of them. Now it all comes down to a very simple question: if you were playing on the Cleveland Browns, would you be proud to put it on your resume in a subsequent job search? Okay, we’re not going to speculate on your answer of that, but what we will say is that like many other people, we’re waiting patiently for the Cleveland Browns to not only become a good football team, but a team that the city of Cleveland can be proud of.
Week 1 could prove to be interesting as Cody Kessler is slated to be the team’s starting quarterback. He was drafted in the third round of 2016, but we really hope that he has something good up his sleeve, otherwise the Browns are still going to be sitting at the bottom of the AFC north, wondering why they never seem to gain any traction. Still, they did sign Kevin Zeitler, JC Tretter, and Kenny Britt, so they might manage to turn the tide a bit. Keep in mind that we said ‘might’. We all want to see the Browns be more competitive in the upcoming season, rather than that complete steamroll that we saw last season, but we have to be realistic: they’re still going to have a low win total.
Cleveland Browns Toughest Game: Week 14 – Green Bay Packers
Well, they’re going to be up against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14, and in particular, quarterback Aaron Rodgers who has somehow managed to succeed at every single thing he’s done in his life. We’re not sure how the Browns are going to fare against him, but if last season is any indication…
Make it or Break it Game: Week 16 – Chicago Bears
In this assessment, we’re also going to count the New York Jets, which they’ll be facing down in Week 5, and the bottom line, is that neither of these are great teams. Neither one of them has a particularly outstanding roster, but they seem to be on equal footing with the Browns, so this game will not only show who is the better of the two, but will also set a precedent for the rest of the season. Think of it as a measuring stick that will tell us how bad the team is. If the Browns can take out either one of them, it’s going to prove that they’re on their way to becoming a better team. Good news for the Browns: after last season’s disaster, nearly ANY win is a step up.
2–14 Record for 2017
Jonathan Jones from Sports Illustrated firmly believes that the Browns will find themselves at 2–14 in the 2017 season, which is one better than what they did in 2016. We should also note that he sees the Bears and 40ers finishing 2–14, which means the week 16 game could actually decide the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2018. Jones had this to say about Cleveland in the upcoming season:
“There’s cause for some optimism in Cleveland, but you have to know this season won’t bear much fruit in terms of wins. The Browns strengthened their offensive line and continued to add to their receiving corps even after years of mistakes at that position. They didn’t screw up the top pick and got versatile Jabrill Peppers. I appreciate Cleveland not forcing the issue at QB, but I have a bad feeling Brock Osweiler will be the starter come Week 1.”
Watch out for the Rookie
Justis Mosqueda from Bleacher Report took a look at the new rookie, Larry Ogunjobi who recently made the cut as a defensive lineman. A quote taken from Mosqueda states:
“Quietly though, they might have also added their starting three–technique in Charlotte‘s Larry Ogunjobi in the third round of the draft. Danny Shelton, a former first–round pick, has the nose tackle job locked in right now, but the only competition that Ogunjobi has to beat out for a shot as an undertackle is Gabe Wright and Xavier Cooper, two mid–draft selections from a previous staff that haven‘t hit, and Caleb Brantley, a sixth–round pick who is accused of battery and may get released before training camp.”
Predicting the Starting Lineup
Bleacher Report’s Gary Devenport has a pretty hefty prediction for the 2017 starting lineup on every AFC team, and right now, it looks like this for the Browns:
- Myles Garrett – Defensive End
- David Njoku – Tight End
- Jabrill Peppers – Safety
Some of the starters include Brock Osweiler as QB, WR Rashard Higginst as No. 3, and a few other noteworthy names taking up valuable real estate on the field. So, as the season kicks off, are we going to see any major changes in the Brown’s win–loss record? The numbers don’t look great, but they still have time to surprise us.