Long gone are the days in which the Browns were the NFL’s laughing stock. Especially after last season’s performance it’s time to start really getting behind the Browns and the hype they’re bringing into the upcoming NFL season. NFL Odds experts have Cleveland very high up in their predictions list and it’s easy to understand why. HC Kevin Stefanski worked wonders last season with a team that was dealt with injury blows here and there. From losing key players like Odell Beckham Jr. and having Myles Garrett who played at 50% of his strength last season, yeah, 50%, now imagine Garrett playing at 100%, the Browns still put on a show week in and week out.
Last season they came very, very close from doing what no one thought was possible, which was taking Kansas City out of the playoffs, at Arrowhead. Will this season be different? Let’s let Baker and the boys do their thing, for now here’s our outlook of what to expect for the season.
Health Will Be Key To Offensive Success Here
If you do a read through of who’s who in the Cleveland Browns roster you will see that Cleveland has some fire power that any other team would desire, when healthy of course. The main goal the Browns have to set their minds on for this upcoming season is being able to keep their players healthy and as far away as possible from injury scares. That in the AFC North will be quite a challenge, but let’s stay optimistic here.
Let’s start with Baker Mayfield, a quarterback who many had pitted to be a one trick pony but that has taken Cleveland and showed them that a winning culture is something achievable. Mayfield is electric when on the field, bringing his old Oklahoma championship winning attitude to the fray and injecting everyone with it along the way. If he keeps playing like he did once he picked up his game last season and with an offensive line giving him the room and time to work, expect magic.
The Browns can brag about having one of the most complete WR cores in the AFC, especially now that they’ll be getting Odell Beckham Jr. completely recovered after his season ending injury from 2020. Having Beckham Jr as WR1 with Jarvis Landry at WR2 and Tee Higgins at WR3, Mayfield should be fine in that department. If all fails, rookie Anthony Schwartz will surely cause some good splashes coming off the bench. On the running side of the ball, there’s not really much to say, except for, find a better RB duo in the league than Nick Chubb and Kareen Hunt. Go ahead, we can wait.
Defense? Let Myles Garrett Dominate and Everything Will Fall Into Place
It was dumbfounding to understand that according to Myles Garrett last year he only played at 50% of his true powers. The man at 50% could run through a wall with ease, now imagine this year playing at 100%. The man will easily make the ground shake in every snap. That’s the key that the Browns need to live by in 2021 on the defensive side of the ball. The Browns defense with some big names like Jadeveon Clowney, Takkarist McKinley and Anthony Walker need to feed off Garrett’s leadership to succeed, it’s as simple as that.
The addition of rookie CB Greg Newsome II and former Rams John Johnson III will surely put a fire under DB’s Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams both coming back from injuries. In all honesty, if the Browns defense and secondary can play at an average level, they’ll do just fine, thanks to the offense. Now, if the Browns step up and become a wrecking crew of a defensive unit, plus dominant offensive performances then the Browns will be rocking and rolling all through the AFC North and other divisions.
So, Is It Safe To Ride The Hype Wave?
This season Cleveland should come into it with revenge in their minds and a winning attitude locked in from the get go. They got the players to do so and the coach in Kenvin Stefanski. The fans will be coming back so why not give them the full and updated “Browns don’t stink anymore” show by making it to the playoffs. A rematch against KC is in the schedule, but another one in the postseason which could include a win would be much better.
NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter
Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.