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Walker's Weekend Mailbag: Realism in Cleveland

It was funny reading James Walker's Weekend Mailbag over at ESPN this week. I don't think it was intentional, but while fans from Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore had unrealistic expectations, the questions from Browns fans were the most level-headed.

Jim from Cleveland writes: Why is everyone getting so riled up about Scouts Inc.'s prediction that the Browns will finish with the worst record in the NFL? All of the "experts" also predicted the Indians to finish at the bottom of the AL Central and last time I checked I didn't see them down there. That's why they play the games.

Cameron Christie from Allen, Texas, writes: I find Browns fans that think that the Browns are playoff bound this season humorous. More realistically, can you see them going 7-9, possibly 8-8? They do play the NFC West, along with several weaker AFC teams. Also, the Browns are a team on the rise, and I don't see them regressing. What's your prediction for their record in 2011?

Walker: I agree. It's too early for firm predictions before free agency, when the Browns still have a chance to improve their roster. But even as it currently stands, I don't believe they are the worst team in the NFL. Cameron, I don't see the Browns making the playoffs, either. But this time of year fans of every team should be optimistic. That's one of the great things about the NFL.

The first person dismisses the importance of the rankings, much like we did. I'm not sure if the second person was a Browns fan, but they at least acknowledged the team's potential fortunes this season without going over-the-top.

What do we have in the rest of Walker's mailbag?

There was a Bengals fan predicting a 5-0 start for Cincinnati.

There was a Steelers fan predicting a 19-0 finish, including the Super Bowl.

There was a Ravens fan who predicted a 15-1 regular season finish, with one understandable loss to the San Diego Chargers. That obviously proves that they aren't a homer.

And we're usually called ridiculous if we predict a .500 season.