The fourth team to feature on our NFL Team Report is the Cleveland Browns American Football team.
This past season the Cleveland Browns finished the regular season with a record of 7-8-1 in what was seen as a positive year for the franchise.
The Browns opened training camp as the featured team on the HBO series Hard Knocks. There was a buzz about the training camp and a huge media presence ready to document the 2018 Browns.
They finished the season 3rd in the AFC North behind the playoff bound Baltimore Ravens and divisional winners Pittsburg Steelers, just narrowly missing out on a play-off spot.
Defeating the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. It would be the last game of the regular season where their playoff hopes would be decided.
A 26-24 defeated booked the Ravens a spot in the playoffs and sent the Browns home who will count themselves unlucky.
The Browns held the first overall pick in the NFL draft as well as the third pick. It was expected the organisation would pick a Quarterback and had the opportunity to pick the best player on the board.
The talk was that the Browns wanted Oaklahoma QB Baker Mayfield first overall, who lit up the college scene and had a swagger this re-vamped organisation needed.
There were issues surrounding Baker’s character and party lifestyle in his college days and some questioned would this be the right move?
Despite his past this didn’t stop the QB from being selected first who went on to set the NFL alight! Baker threw for 27 touchdowns and had 3,725 passing yards in his rookie season and showed his ability to lead an NFL franchise.
There was a time when the Browns had a reputation for being the worst team in the NFL and seen as a disaster of an organisation. Constantly having the worst record in the league and showing no signs of improvement.
Every season the hapless Browns would pick a rookie QB coming out of college and hope that they would turn the entire teams fortunes around. That’s unfortunately not how you go about building a successful, winning team.
The Browns continued their poor season form year in year out. So comical a fan made this jersey showing all the failed QBs they have had in the past:
In the 2017 draft the organisation selected defensive player Myles Garrett first overall out of Texas A&M college, who would go on to win the ‘Defensive rookie of the year’ award and make the Pro Bowl in his very first season!
Adding talent such as receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr (or OBJ known by the fans) who both played in college at LSU together is a frightening duo.
Also at QB Baker Mayfield’s disposal is Running Back Nick Chubb who was selected in the same 2018 draft class as Mayfield.
The Browns have all the tools to become a power-house this year but the question is can all these big stars jell together?
Under former Offensive Coordinator turned Head Coach Freddie Kitchens this team should be putting up huge numbers this season and really kick on from their 7-8-1 finish last year, that seen them narrowly miss out on the playoffs.
Many have the Browns the favorites to win the AFC North ahead of the Pittsburg Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Browns will have an improved record building on last year but I see them finishing second behind the experienced Steelers.
To check out the latest NFL Team Report on the Kansas City Chiefs click here.
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