Are the Cleveland Browns... Good?
The Cleveland Browns have just won their first playoff game since 1994. Defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in the last game of Super Wildcard Weekend. Coming into the game as 7 point underdogs, the Browns proved the entire nation that they are not the Browns of old.
The Browns were missing Star Guard Joel Bitonio, Star Cornerback Denzel Ward as well as their head coach Kevin Stefanski. There was no doubt after Sunday night’s result that the Cleveland Browns can hang with anyone in the league. Now, they did allow for a late surge from the Steelers to make it a competitive game down the stretch, but 48 points is executing in almost all facets of the game. Without their head coach and play caller, Baker Mayfield went 21/34, 263 yards and 3 passing touchdowns, as well as Chubb and Hunt combining for just under 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Browns knew they had to be effective and efficient in their play calling, and they were able to do exactly that.
The Browns won this game with their defensive play. Pro Bowler Marquise Pouncey helped the Browns out with sending the opening snap over Big Ben’s head to give the Browns a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Other then the fumble, Ben also threw 4 interceptions on the night as well. Their game plan was impressive and definitely could see that it was well thought out, even though the players could not rep it during the week.
Now, the Cleveland Browns are going to travel to Arrow Head Stadium to try and knock off the defending champions, led by Patrick Mahomes. The Browns are coming in as 10 point underdogs, which is not a terrible line for a Monday morning. The browns put up 48 against the Steelers with a solid run defense. Do i think they can replicate the exact production out of their defense for this game against Kansas City? No. No i do not. But i do think they this Cleveland D can possibly hold Kansas City to around 30-38 points. If the Browns are able to keep the Chiefs below 40 points, it is definitely a winnable game. That being said, I’m staying away from the +/- 10 and going straight for the Over. 55.5 points is a high scoring game, but with these two offenses being able to throw the ball as well as run, spells for points to be scored very, very often.
Now the real reason I’m writing this is to spell out the next few years. The Browns are good. They are a competent, competitive team that can play hard nose football for 60 minutes. Kevin Stefanski seems to be the real deal, someone that can hold Baker accountable as well as limiting his possible mistakes. The two headed backfield is easily a top 5 rushing attack, (I personally think top 3 behind Ravens and Titians) and they have explosive wideouts when they’re all healthy. Browns are a contender, I definitely think they’re one or two pieces away from a true run at the title, but JuJu seems to be wrong. The Browns are not the same Browns anymore. Seems like Baker is channeling his inner Lebron, turning Cleveland into Believeland.
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