We are bang in the middle of the NFL preseason, and this means that all eyeballs are once again on the Cleveland Browns. The Browns had a bit of a dry spell in 2020/21, and this definitely sapped their spirits. Yet, even with some drawbacks to their play, and a few more injuries than expected, they managed to hold their end and really gave their all and at least tried and made it farther in the league. They didn’t do too badly, all things considered.
Last year’s placement is beyond the point now. The Browns are once again going to compete in the NFL, and they are one of the league’s biggest and newest franchises. There are many things that they may still have to improve in their overall play to really pull ahead, but one way or another, Cleveland will be a factor in this NFL season, and that is the long and short of it.
What Lessons Did Cleveland Learn in 2020?
Cleveland ended the AFC North 2020/2021 season with 11 wins and five losses. Not too badly overall, and on par with the second team in the group, the Baltimore Ravens. They were actually one game behind the Pittsburg Steelers in terms of total wins, so they really did do well.
Overall, the team did well, but the Browns suffered many injuries, which hampered some of their play. Coach Kevin Stefanski was happy with the team’s performance last year, but he is similarly looking to improve on this year’s showing in the NFL.
Were there any major lessons learned by the Browns from last season? Well, their losses were mostly chalked up to the somewhat flagging defense. That is not to say that Cleveland didn’t come hard on anyone trying to score against them.
Yet, the defense did falter on occasion, and that was why the Browns couldn’t pull ahead in the overall league placement and remained third in the AFC North by a sliver. This may now be changing as Cleveland is bringing some heavyweights to bolster its defenses and give the enemy’s offense a good run for its money.
Many Changes in the Cleveland Browns Defensive Setup
The team has had the opportunity to really jumble up its setup, and Cleveland is looking at some exciting changes. They had to part ways with edge rusher Olivier Vernon and decided to let go of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
However, there have been additions too, which is the reason why the Browns feel confident in the future of their standing in the AFC North and possibly the NFL. They have added cornerback Troy Hill and safety John Johnson III. There has also been Malik Jackson, who joined the team as a defensive tackle.
The team also made split-second decisions to add cornerback Greedy Williams and safety Grant Delpit who nevertheless had to it out some of the preseason games because of injuries but have been able to recover.
Do these changes make the team one of the best ones to look out for in the upcoming NFL 20/21 season? We honestly believe so. There is nothing to suggest that the Browns have lost any of their expertise. If anything, the changes look refreshing, and while they are not shortlisted as the top five contenders for a Super Bowl title this year, they are surely in the top ten teams that can make it very far and definitely to the playoffs.
However, there is a lot of factors you need to factor in. Cleveland is definitely a strong team, and if you want to be betting on their success, you will probably have to consider them all. Actually, these same factors that will help you determine if the Browns can make it far in their respective sport are what defines the success stories of many of Cleveland’s sports franchises.
The area is known for its excellent sports franchises, including Cleveland FC, the soccer club that has been so popular that it has elicited a strong response from bettors in the state who have been keen to check the best soccer odds 1×2.
Similar to Cleveland FC, the Browns have also been able to generate a strong pull with bettors in the state and see a lot of betting handle placed on whether the team can make it all the way to the Super Bowl or to the playoffs in the very least. The odds definitely seem to back the Browns on playoffs showing this year, and that is understandable.
Making It to the Top Still Requires a Little Luck
The NFL is very challenging when you come to think of it, and that is why the biggest teams hire so many players to play. It’s a sport that is filled with injury, and this means that players will have to stay healthy, which requires a little luck.
That is why the Browns haven’t been trying too hard in the preseason, too, although we have seen their basic strategies and general pace, which demonstrates their ability to remain competitive, focused, and respond to those situations that help advance their overall strategy.
Actually, the Browns may not have been expanding too much effort at all in these opening games, but their performance against the Jaguars appeared quite impressive. They managed to tackle the team 23-13 in the Browns’ opening game for the preseason, giving hope to fans that things can really look up for them.
Of course, there are many other preseason teams that Cleveland will have to overcome before we can see what they are truly capable of. The Falcons and Giants are among their next contenders, which are fairly weaker teams. Cleveland, though will have to stay smart and balance their efforts, even if it means poorer performance in the preseason.
Moving onto the regular season, the Browns will be facing the Chiefs, Texans, and Bears in what will be three games that will very much set the tone for the rest of the season. But why mention luck there?
Luck will play a part insofar as the overall health of the team goes. Stefanski will have to decide when to field weaker players to give the best ones more time to rest and when the risk is justified. However, a bad injury can really put a team on the fence, and that is why most NFL franchises try to develop many different setups that allow them to play well together.
Winning the AFC North? It’s Definitely Happening
Now, there is no way to tell which team will win which division, but in the case of the Cleveland Browns, we have every reason to believe they will come on top of this year’s crucible, at least in the AFC North. The other teams there have had a somewhat downhill experience since 2020/21, and as a reminder, it’s worth saying that Cleveland missed winning the previous event by a single game or two. That means that they are definitely going to look for a win this ear, although they have never actually won the AFC North since the team was created in 2002.
The odds do seem to favor them as favorites at +145, and that is quite understandable. There are many markets to explore if you are a betting fan, too, and the Browns seem well-posed to make a successful entry into the higher echelons of the NFL once again.
Wining the North will definitely give Cleveland a confidence boost that they can challenge any team in the playoffs, but it is there where it gets really tricky. First, the Browns will have to be in a good enough condition to actually challenge the top teams. Then, you have to factor in the fact that the other teams will be the best in the team.
Making it to the Super Bowl would require flawless play that we can only make predictions about once we see how Cleveland starts this season. Whatever the outcome, all the indicators are there that the Browns are really going to be on their best game this time around, and that is precisely what matters here.
Even if the Browns don’t make the Super Bowl champions this year, which is possible they won’t, the team is still showing many positive signs about its play. There has been no low morale or intrigues which normally hobble the games. Players have been very modest in how they outline their own shortcomings and the team’s strengths, and Cleveland seems to be comprised of individuals who want to win.
It’s because of this mindset that we can see the Browns making it very far in this iteration of the NFL. For all the challenges that lie ahead, there is a team that knows how to pull their strengths and focus on their shortcomings so as to provide their fans with a better level of play and overall football. Can Cleveland make it through? As big fans of the franchise, we believe so!
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