For the first time in a long time, the Cleveland Browns are entering a regular season in which there are actually high expectations. There are even those who believe that they are a Super Bowl contender, even though it’s been over a decade since they last posted a non-losing record in 2007.
All the talk has more than gotten to the point where people are just tired of hearing about it. And that includes the Browns themselves. With the regular season now just around the corner, they are very much ready to get the actual football started. “I’d play them in the parking lot”, Baker Mayfield said, via the team’s website.
Mayfield is the focal point of this new Browns team, the first-overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was the backup behind Tyrod Taylor for the first two games, during which Cleveland drew even with the Pittsburgh Steelers and then lost the following week. Taylor was injured in Week Three, and Mayfield came in with a deficit to author a comeback, the team’s first win since Week 16 in 2017.
He went on to set a new NFL record for the most touchdowns thrown by a rookie, and he has been mentioned in the MVP conversation for 2019, but it’s also been the additions of players such as Odell Beckham, Jr., Sheldon Richardson, and Olivier Vernon, as well as Greedy Williams at cornerback, their top draft choice in the second round.
Even the skeptics have had a difficult time to at least deny the talent on the roster, regardless of whether or not they believe the Browns will actually put it all together and win the division, or even advance in the postseason. But all the talking is about to stop.
“T here’s been a lot of talk, and I mean, I’m tired of hearing the talk”, said safety Damarious Randall. “I’m ready to play football, period. The fact that it’s finally here, I’m definitely stoked, happy about it and I hope the fans are ready to go because we’re just as excited as they are”.
The Browns did finish last season going 5-2 in their final seven games, although none of the teams that they beat during that span had a winning record. The only team that they beat last season, going 7-9-1, who finished with a winning record was the Baltimore Ravens while Joe Flacco was still at quarterback. They went 4-5 with Flacco in 2018.
So needless to say, Cleveland has to step its game up in 2019 and show that they can score some wins against a higher quality of opponent, because they have a tougher schedule this year, highlighted by the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Los Angeles Rams.