Two wins in a row against two solid football teams. If you don’t think this team is headed in the right direction, then you almost surely are delusional. I know it’s premature, and right now we’re focused on New York, but I can’t help but think of what might transpire in the second half of the season My question to you, Browns fans, is this: What do you see our record being by the end of the year?
Our schedule for the rest of the year is as follows:
· New York
· @ Jacksonville
· @ Miami
· @ Buffalo
· @ Cincinatti
If you ask me, the Browns are peaking at exactly the right time. If we win next week at home against the Jets, we will be holding a three game winning streak heading into the softest part of our schedule, and only one game shy of .500. If we win next week, our schedule is oozing with potential for an extended multi-game winning streak, and possibly a late season run at a division title and/or a playoff spot.
The Jaguars have a 4-4 record, which is very deceiving. Their four wins have come against Buffalo, Dallas, Denver, and Indianapolis. At this point, these four teams have a combined 8-24 record, with Indianapolis contributing over half of those wins. They are 2-2 at home. The way the Browns are playing right now, the Browns have to be the favorite.
The Panthers….what more do we really need to say? Considering how we’ve played against Tom Brady and Drew Brees, going against either Jimmy Clausen or Tony Pike means this should (not taking anything for granted here) be a mark in the win column.
Miami is kind of a dice roll. Like us, every game they’ve played in they have been competitive. They are winless at home (although they got hosed three weeks ago at home against the Steelers) and 4-1 on the road, so we’ve definitely got that going for us. To me, this could go either way, but the way we’ve handled Pro-Bowl QBs, I’m salivating at what we might throw at Chad Henne.
Buffalo has played several good games the last few weeks, but has yet to pull out a W. I’m very wary of having to play a winless team this late in the season, so I hope that Buffalo gets their first one out of the way soon. As long as the Browns don’t overlook this game, this should go down as a Browns victory.
Cincinatti: Carson Palmer doesn’t look good throwing the football, and their solid running game from last year has evaporated. Defensively, we’re the superior team, and there’s a good argument to be made that we’re better offensively as well. They’re playing tonight on MNF at home against the Steelers but as of right now, their home record is 1-2. We’ve beat ‘em once this year, no reason we can’t do it again.
I’m not gonna try to predict the final two games at home against Baltimore and Pittsburgh, but I will say this: The Cleveland Browns are a force to be reckoned with. They play smart, entertaining, and tough hearted football. It’s been a while since we’ve had a late-season game be anything but a spoiler. The optimist in me says that given the above schedule, along with the possibility (however unlikely) that we enter week 16 and 17 on a big winning streak, at home against two division rivals, there is legitimate reason to believe that we could be looking at 9, 10, or, humor me here, 11 wins come the end of the season.
My final prediction is 9-7, and because the AFC is so tough, we miss out on a wildcard spot.