With the start of the season rapidly approaching I'm getting curious how many wins we can expect this season. I have heard guesstimates thrown around from anything between 0-16 to 11-5, but all of these didn't take into account the fact that teams will have little time to prepare for the start of the season due to the lockout. With the lockout lasting so long most experts are projecting rough times for Cleveland since there has been many offensive and front office changes along with almost a completely new defense. What I have not seen in reports is a comparison between the Browns preparedness and our weekly opponents.Week 1: Bengals at Home
The Browns aren't the only team facing changes this off-season, the Bengals will not have Palmer under center leaving the most important position in the hands of a rookie QB who hasn't had much time to prepare with his team. Even if the lockout didn't change anything I would put my money on Colt just for the fact that he had 8 games of experience last year. I would also argue that the trio of Camp Colts this off-season have prepared our team beyond the expectations of most teams giving them an even bigger edge on the Bengals in game 1. If we lose game 1 I'll be shocked and I'll know that I'm being too optimistic about the season.
Week 2: Colts Away
With one game under their belts and confidence building after a win the Browns might be a better match for the Colts than expected. In this game the first quarter will be the most important. If McCoy can establish his confidence in the first quarter I think we will have a chance. I don't think the lockout has slowed down the Colts offense at all. Our defense claims to be ready and with a test drive against the Bangles they will be. In the end this game could go either way. Facing Manning makes this an easy game to lose but, by this point our offense should be falling into rhythm and our defense will be relying on our promising DB's to limit the yards through the air.
Week 3: Dolphins at Home
This is another team that has an unsettled QB situation which gives our offense the advantage. The fact that this is a home game helps as well. I think we can win this game if we're on top of the turnover ratio.
Week 4: Titans at Home
You guessed it, another QB controversy, but this time it comes with a change in the front office as well. However by this point in the season (almost 2 months in) the Titans could be established and looking for wins. I have no doubt in our ability to win in Cleveland but as of right now there is not a clear picture of what team we will be facing when we play the Titans. I have to favor the Browns because they seem to have more pieces right now.
Week 5: Bye
By this point we we have an opportunity to rest up and re-evaluate where we're standing. I think in the games prior to the bye week are leaning in our favor. The lockout will probably slow down 3 of the 4 teams we face (due to "QB":http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820e3da4/article/qb-dilemmas-questions-and-solutions-for-nine-teams uncertainty ), and with the productive leadership of McCoy this off-season I think the Browns will surprise a lot of people when we take the field. It is only until after the bye week when teams will catch up and know that the Browns are a team they have to work hard to beat that they will step up and give us a run for the money.
... who knows I could just be a die hard Browns fan...
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