Through the first quarter of the season, the Browns record was 1-2-1. The Browns were two or three plays away from being 3-1 or even 4-0. !!!
At the minimum, the Browns should be 2-1-1.
Game 1: Pit at Cle ended in a tie. With about 7 min left in the 4th qtr, Pit led 21-7. Browns defense forced turnovers. Browns offense tied it 21-21. Cle placekicker, however, had one or two chances to win the game, but failed. One low kick was blocked that could have won the game for Cle.
Game 2: Cle at New Orleans. Browns lost a heart breaker 21 to 18. Cle placekicker missed two PATs and two field goals. He was released a couple days later when the Browns brought in new kickers for a tryout. It was the second straight game where the defense played well enough for the team to win.
Game 3: Thursday night game. Jets at Cle. QB Tyrod Taylor started all three games. Late in the first half, Jets led 14-0, and the Browns offense looked horrible. Tyrod got injured late in the 2nd qtr. Baker entered the game with under two minutes left in the half. He led Cle on a field goal scoring drive. Halftime score was Jets 14 and Cle 3. In the second half, Baker and the Browns offense performed well. The Browns defense stifled the Jets. Cle won 21 to 17.
Game 4: Cle at Oakland. Another heart braking loss. Oakland won 45 to 42 in overtime. The Browns may have been robbed on a couple bad officiating calls, especially one late in the game. But the refs made bad calls on Oakland too. It was an officiating crew that should be suspended from NFL play for a few games. But the Browns lost because of mediocre to poor special teams play and because of too many dropped passes by the Browns pass catchers (WRs and TE). Cle dropped 7 to 9 passes. Baker did well again, although he made mistakes too, but he kept chucking and fighting. In the 2nd half, Cle led 28 to 14. Then Oak led 34 to 28. Then Cle led 42 to 34. Oak tied the game with a TD and a two-point conversion with 30 seconds left. On Oak's prev drive, Oak turned the ball over on downs around the Cle 10 yard line. The defense held. Cle led 42 to 34 and they had the ball with under 2 min left. Oak had three timeouts. Cle needed one first down. On 3rd and two or three Hyde ran enough for the first down. The refs measured. First down. Game over. But the refs reviewed the play and said that Hyde was a half-foot short. The replay overturned the spot of the ball, made on the field. But many have said that it was NOT indisputable on the replay. Even former officials could not believe that the call was overturned.
My predictions for quarter one:
- Wk 1 - Sept. 9 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 1 p.m. (CBS) - LOSS
- Wk 2 - Sept. 16 at New Orleans Saints 1 p.m. (FOX) - LOSS
- Wk 3 - Thu, Sept. 20 vs. New York Jets 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network) - WIN
- Wk 4 - Sept. 30 at Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m. (FOX) - LOSS
Schedule for quarter two with my April 2018 predictions.
- Wk 5 - Oct. 7 vs. Baltimore Ravens 1 p.m. (CBS) - WIN
- Wk 6 - Oct. 14 vs. Los Angeles Chargers 1 p.m. (CBS) - WIN
- Wk 7 - Oct. 21 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 p.m. (FOX) - WIN
- Wk 8 - Oct. 28 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1 p.m. (CBS) - LOSS
The Ravens are 3-1. They lost to the Bengals who are also 3-1. Pit is 1-2-1.
This Sunday's Ravens game will be tough, of course. Divisional game. It's the second straight road divisional game for Bal who defeated Pit last Sunday night. If Cle entertains any possibility of vying for the divisional crown, then Cle will need to win on Sunday, otherwise Cle will be 2.5 to 3.0 games behind Bal after only 5 games.
With the next four games, I think that Cle will go 2-2 and not 3-1.
Today, Browns training camp begins. This Browns season has received more positive local and national hype than probably any other season this century. Some national sports media people believe that Cle could make the playoffs this year.
A year ago, it was believed that the 2017 Cle defense was going to be improved over the previous seasons, and that was true.
This summer, it's believed that the Browns offense will be much improved compared to any season since 2007 when the Browns last had a winning season. On paper, it seems that Cle's offense will be better at QB, WR, and RB.
On Monday of this week, Cle WR Josh Gordon announced that he would not be at training camp. He's going through something that's related to his past drug problems that have kept him suspended from the NFL for most of the time since 2013. It's mysterious story. Nobody has details. The Browns said that Josh did not fail a drug test. But Cle did not see if he took a drug test. Maybe he knew that he could not pass a drug test, and he choose an alternative route that means not playing football until he's ready to pass drug tests. Nobody knows.
Last weekend, the Browns tried out receivers, which observers thought was strange, but it made sense once the news broke on Monday. Rumors about Josh failing a drug test swirled at least a month ago, but nothing confirmed got reported at that time.
Some believe that Josh will return soon, but if that was true, why did Cle try out receivers last weekend when training camp begins today, and teams start with a ton of players. If this news about Josh occurred between the fourth preseason game and week one of the regular season, after the roster had been trimmed, then I could understand trying out receivers.
But if Josh is expected back before week one of the regular season, then why try out receivers before training camp begins? I'm guessing that the Browns believe that Josh will miss a good chunk of this season.
Once again, Josh was being counted on to produce big stats. The last time Josh was eligible to play week one of the regular season was in 2013.
Anyway, back to the hype of this season. Assuming that the Browns don't get wrecked with injuries, I still think that the Browns will top out at six wins.
Five wins this year would be ho-hum, meets-expectations, the acceptable minimum, I guess.
Fewer than five wins would be a failure, considering the big changes made in the off-season and the hype.
Six wins would be a good year. A fine year. Anything more than six wins would be a surprising bonus to me, but again, some believe that Cle can win nine games.
The division will be tough. Last year, Pit and Bal had winning records, and Cin went 7-9.
The last time that Cle won at least three games within the division was 2007.
In theory, Cle's schedule is surprisingly tough for a winless team. And with the division expected to be tough, I don't see how Cle gets beyond six wins this year. But six wins would be the best since 2014 when Cle started the season 7-4.
Yesterday, coach Jackson and Dorsey participated in a presser that was broadcast on AM 850 WKNR. Man, those two like to hear themselves talk. Bill Belichick could have spoken for both of them and provided the exact same useful info but in a fraction of the time. If Cle is winning, then it will be easier to listen to Jackson and Dorsey. They sound worse than politicians.
At yesterday's presser, Dorsey acknowledged that Cle was having talks about possibly bringing in available WR Dez Bryant who used to play for Dallas. To me, that's proof that Cle does not expect Josh Gordon to return for many weeks, maybe not at all this season.
My April 20 post Cleveland Browns 2018 Schedule
Through 12 games, I show Cle with a 4-8 record, but 5-7 seems possible. Can't predict injuries.
April 30 update:
Apparently, someone in Vegas released a line for the over-under on wins. For Cle, it's 5 1/2. I would take the over. I believe that Cle can win six games this year even with the above schedule. Outside shot of winning seven.
My April 26 post 2018 NFL Draft
This is the start of the Browns 7-9 season this year. No more 3- to 5-year plans. The plan should be getting as successful as possible now. The plan should be outlined in months, not years.
In the 2018 off-season, I think that the Cleveland Browns need to add the following player positions, during free agency and in the first two rounds of the draft.
- two wide receivers - free agency and draft
- running back - draft
- defensive lineman
Will Browns players Crowell (RB) and Gordon (WR) still be on the team? I could see the Browns trading Gordon if other teams show interest, otherwise, Cleveland keeps Josh. Crowell is a free agent. It appears that Josh and Cle will part ways, but Cle has an offensive coordinator now, so who knows.
Cle has a ton of salary cap room to make deals in free agency. And Cle has more than a normal share of draft picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 draft.
During the 2016 NFL season, Jacksonville won 3 games and lost 13. This past year, they made played in the AFC Championship game, losing a close one at New England. I believe that Jacksonville lost that championship game more than New England won. Jacksonville had opportunities to ice the win in the 4th quarter and to come from behind and win it at the end. They blew an opp for at least a field goal at the end of the first half. But if an opponent makes too many mistakes and fails to close out game, which gives New England too many chances, then it's not a surprise that the Patriots come back to win the game.
Anyway, teams can pop-up out of nowhere to make the playoffs, or at least have a decent season, like 8-8 or 9-7.
"Browns Quarterback Tracker: Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles may have played too well to be made available"
In Hoyer’s 2013-2014 tenure with the Browns, he started 16 games and they went 10-6. The Browns benched Hoyer with three games left in the 2014 season. They lost their last three games in 2014 and went 3-13, 1-15 and 0-16 in the next three seasons. That’s a total record of 4-47 without Hoyer.
Here’s every quarterback who has started for the Browns since Hoyer was benched, and the Browns’ record with each quarterback:
Johnny Manziel 2-6
Robert Griffin III 1-4
Josh McCown 1-10
Connor Shaw 0-1
Kevin Hogan 0-1
Austin Davis 0-2
Cody Kessler 0-8
DeShone Kizer 0-15
Perhaps the Browns shouldn’t have benched the only quarterback who has had a winning record for them since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999.
Browns lost their final five games of the 2014 season after starting 7-4. Hoyer QBed two or three of those final five losses. Browns played easier competition in the first half of that year. Their schedule got tougher in the second half, and the Browns tanked.
- Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
- New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
- Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
- Cleveland Browns (via Houston): Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
DB? Mmm. I would prefer defender closer to the line of scrimmage. DE or LB.
Fitzpatrick is the top defensive prospect in this draft.
There's a football game Sunday, in case you'd forgotten. The Patriots and their key figures with Browns and Cleveland ties play former Browns backup quarterback Doug Pederson, who coaches the Eagles. In case you'd forgotten over the course of dozens more quarterback changes, Pederson went 1-7 as the Browns' starter in 2000 after Tim Couch was injured. Pederson got injured, too, late in that season, leaving the Browns to have to play the likes of Spergon Wynn, Kevin Thompson and a game in which various receivers played quarterback.
That's when the “new” Browns were in their second year of existence, on their first owner and their first head coach. That 2000 season was a total disaster — but not 0-16! — and led to the dismissal of Chris Palmer and the hiring of Butch Davis, which became official 17 years ago this week. Time flies when you're on a two-decade search for your quarterback.