Cleveland Browns draft pick Greedy Williams guaranteed a Super Bowl run back in April. “I know one thing,” said the rookie corner, “the Browns are going to the Super Bowl this year. That’s a fact.” Call it confidence or cockiness, but the young man might be on to something. The Browns look strong and are in position to make a good run for the Super Bowl, just as Williams predicted.
Last season the Browns went 7-8. But the team reloaded in the offseason. They traded for Odell Beckham Jr., Taywan Taylor, and Eric Kush. Then they signed Pro Bowl running back Kareem Hunt. They also drafted the highly touted Williams. They will join holdovers Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, and of course, Baker Mayfield. In December, veteran Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller heaped praise on Mayfield. The former Super Bowl MVP called the rookie “an elite quarterback in the making” as he rejuvenated a once moribund franchise. This season, Mayfield has more weapons in Beckham Jr., Hunt, and Taylor. It will be up to him to make that leap from good to great. Such a leap would bode well for the Browns, who have nowhere to go but up.
The Browns obviously won’t lack challengers. The defending champions New England Patriots are still championship contenders with both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick back. They are the closest thing to a football dynasty, and they know how to win the games that count. The Kansas City Chiefs, who reached last year’s AFC Championship Game, are also title favorites. They have reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes, along with elite playmakers like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. They also have a revamped and potentially elite defense led by Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu.
Even the Indianapolis Colts are not to be taken lightly. A Super Bowl prediction post by bwin NFL notes how the Colts are considered one of the favorites to reach Miami. However, with Andrew Luck now gone those chances have no doubt taken a hit. But they remain formidable, as the Browns found out in their preseason win over the Colts. Spencer German recapped that game, and pointed out some key takeaways, notably the strong play of Jaelon Strong and Drew Stanton. Granted it was a battle of backups; yet it showed that the Colts won’t be pushovers this season. This means the AFC is likely to be a four-team dogfight between the Browns, Pats, Chiefs, and Colts.
The Browns’ road to Miami won’t be easy. The expectations for this team are high, and rightfully so. They landed arguably the best wideout in the game in Beckham Jr., who will work well with the fearlessly intelligent young quarterback Mayfield. They now have one of the league’s most talented rosters. Now the pressure is on. It is Super Bowl or bust for the Browns?