Wrong Assumptions Were Made About the Cleveland Browns

Wrong Assumptions Were Made About the Cleveland Browns

First we thought they had a legitimate chance at the playoffs. Then we thought they’re as hopeless a team as they were before 2019. Wrong assumptions were made about the Cleveland Browns. In both directions.

Wrong Assumptions Were Made About the Cleveland Browns

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and analysis with the Browns. In fact, it started in the preseason. Coaches left. Coaches entered. Insurmountable talent was acquired. The Browns were “stacked” and “the team to watch”. Fans dared to dream about a playoff run.

They Beat the Dolphins, But…

The Browns lost four in a row. In Week 8, they had a road loss to a Super Bowl team, the Denver Broncos. They had won against them last season, by only one point. And with their ridiculously talented roster, they were tipped to win again this year. They did not. They finally ended their losing streak by securing a hefty 41-24 win against the Miami Dolphins. But even then, the joy was marred by talk about the Dolphins being so bad that the win wasn’t a big deal at all.

Some Say the Browns Are Worse Now

Fans believed in their team when they were 2-6. Were they stupid to do so? Are they smarter now that the team is 5-6? Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com makes a very interesting point. He believes Cleveland is worse now than they were in the previous few weeks. Why? Because they played against Miami without three of their best defensive players, including Myles Garrett. The defense was supposedly the strongest part of their team. So, did the Browns offense merely play well against a weak team?

Is a Four-Game Win Streak Possible?

A win against the Pittsburgh Steelers next week will mean a four-game winning streak. That hasn’t happened since 2009 when the Browns won their last four games. And the only time a winning streak held any significance was in 1994 when it pushed them into the playoffs. When they have had four-game win streaks in five seasons, they didn’t lose four straight in any of those seasons either. But they’ve done that this year.

Sure, They Can Make the Playoffs… But Probably Won’t

The Playoff Predictor says that the Browns have a 50 percent chance of making the playoffs if they beat Pittsburgh and the Cincinnati Bengals to become 7-6. But as Lesmerises says, no team has ever started 2-6 and made the playoffs. So figures aside, that possibility is about as far-fetched as Chomps scoring a touchdown. It was nice to think about though, wasn’t it, Browns fans?

Football Makes Sense, but Not Always

When the Browns went 1-31, following football became a mere formality. We’ve learned that expectations aren’t always exceeded. Predictions mean nothing. Bad teams can win and good teams can lose. Good schedules can impact a team in a good way, but tough schedules will almost always have a negative impact. Turning things around takes a lot. Just because a team suffers for years then has a better season and acquires so much talent, doesn’t mean they’re playoff-bound.  We expected the Browns to have a great season because of that talent, but now we might give up on them because history dictates we should.

We Were Right, But It Turned Wrong So Quickly

Baker Mayfield was meant to save to team. So was Freddie Kitchens. So was Odell Beckham Jr. And Nick Chubb. And Myles Garrett. Mayfield has sophomore struggles interlaced with flashes of the good stuff. But Chubb is on the brink of having the second-best rushing season in Browns history. Beckham is on track to reach 1,129 receiving yards, the fourth-best in Browns history. The team was good, then bad. But wait, they’re good…?

We made some wrong assumptions about this team. We expected a lot. Then there wasn’t a string of wins and we were ready to give up on this team. It was a mistake to think the Browns were going to shoot to greatness so quickly. But it will be a bigger error to think they can’t be great… in time.

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