"The Cleveland Browns have home-field advantage on their side this week."
Unfortunately, since 1999, that statement hasn't actually applied. In this infographic provided by Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week, that is demonstrated by the Browns' 36.67% winning percentage at home, which ranks worst in the NFL in their current stadium. The Browns have been worse on the road with a 27.5% winning percentage.
The data above does not include this season, where the Browns are 1-0 at home and technically perfect in the regular season since the renovations to FirstEnergy Stadium were made this offseason. Does that mean the Browns, and the fans as well, are ready to make Cleveland a hectic place for the opposition to play once again? Last week, the crowd noise played a significant part in Saints QB Drew Brees struggling at the beginning of the game. This week, the Browns' defense has a chance to beat QB Joe Flacco for the second year in a row at home -- they did it last year heading into the bye week as well.
One thing that could prove to be an unpredictable variable this Sunday is the rain that is being forecast for the game. Here is what Browns head coach Mike Pettine said about the possibility of rain:
On the chance of rain on Sunday: "It’s looking like it. The last report I got (indicates) it will rain early. (It will) hopefully blow on through by kickoff, but you never know. We do know there should be a decent amount of wind, but we’ll see. Like we said before, our theory of all-weather could potentially get tested."
On what is more difficult – throwing a wet ball or catching a wet ball: "I just saw (QB Brian) Hoyer almost get his nose broken. I think both are tough. I think it’s something that you have to work on. It’s important for the quarterback; they have to adjust their grip a little bit. It’s something that I’m sure over time here we’re going to have to deal with."
Rain or not, with the buzz from Cleveland's win over the Saints, I think we're going to see a packed house on Sunday. DBN's Joe Ginley has already said that he's going to the game; who else is headed out there?