I’ve never been of the mentality that a team should purposely try to lose games (often known as “tanking”) in order to improve their draft position. And I wouldn’t want the Browns to walk in to Thursday night’s game against the Ravens and be steamrolled in prime time. At this point, though, I have to say, “we’ve already come this far, with respect to being 0-9, so why stop now?”
Do we even want the Browns to win at this point?
We've seen so many bad teams over the years -- from 2008 to 2013, the club was either at 4 or 5 wins every year. Last year, they had 3 wins. It’s gotten the Browns decent draft position, but we always look back and say, “if only we didn’t win one or two of those pointless games at the end of the season, we could have had this guy or that guy in the draft.”
I’ve often said that teams need to win at least a few games in order to maintain the health of the locker room, but I don’t think that applies to Cleveland so much. This team was gutted in the offseason to the point where very few veteran players are on this roster. There are a lot of young players who won’t be here next year either, because they’ll be replaced with a new (and hopefully better) group of young players.
During the extended stretch of time we have after the Ravens game and before the Steelers game, I’m going to talk about my vision for rebuilding the Browns and how things could be drastically different as early as next season. A lot of that hinges on having the No. 1 overall pick of the draft, though. I think a lot of it also hinges on the San Francisco 49ers finishing with the No. 2 overall pick of the draft, with the Chicago Bears not too far behind them. I’ll get into that more next week.
The 49ers are the Browns’ toughest competition for that No. 1 overall pick right now, as they are the only one-win team in the NFL. That came in Week 1, an oddball 28-0 win over the Rams. Since then, they’ve lost seven straight games by an average of 17.3 points per game. To compare, the Browns have lost by an average of 11.7 points per game. Both are bad, but I think the 49ers are the worst team. If Cleveland gets just one win, I think there’s a good chance that both Cleveland and San Francisco finish at 1-15. The tiebreaker would then come down to strength of schedule, something that would favor the 49ers by a significant margin if the season ended today.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below: assuming the 49ers don’t win another game, do you really even want the Browns to win a game this season? If so, why?