The Cleveland Browns have the potential to be one of the league’s best offenses in 2019.
And if they can turn that potential into production, the team may need to make some addition to the franchise’s record books.
The Browns have only surpassed 400 points in a single season five times in franchise history. Ironically, the only time they managed to do it since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978 came in the 2007 season. (For those keeping score at home, the other times were in 1946, 1947, 1964 and 1966 - and in three of those years the Browns won a title.)
Cleveland would need to average 25 points a game this season to break the 400-point mark, which would be just a slight increase from the 23.75 points a game they averaged over the second half of last season.
On the individual side, quarterback Baker Mayfield appears to be a lock to claim a pair of longstanding single-season team records.
Only one quarterback in franchise history has surpassed 4,000 yards in a season - Brian Sipe in his 1980 MVP season - and Mayfield should join Sipe on that list. Mayfield threw for 3,725 yards last season in just 13.5 games, and if he averages 259 yards per game this season he will break Sipe’s record.
Sipe is also the only quarterback in franchise history to throw for 30 touchdowns in a season. Mayfield is coming off a season where he threw a rookie-record 27 touchdown passes, so Sipe’s mark is easily in reach.
Just as Mayfield is the type of quarterback the Browns have not had in decades, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has the opportunity to etch is his name in the franchise records books.
In the four seasons where he has played at least 12 games, Beckham has averaged 91 receptions a season. While he may not see enough targets with the Browns to hit that mark again, he is certainly productive enough to make a run at the franchise record of 89 receptions in a season, currently held by Ozzie Newsome (1984 and 1985) and Kellen Winslow Jr. (2006).
Beckham, who has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards four times in his career, will join an exclusive club if he hits that mark again this season. Only eight different wide receivers have a 1,000-yard season in franchise history, so while Josh Gordon’s team record of 1,646 yards may be out of reach, Beckham has a real chance to surpass Braylon Edwards (1,289 yards in 2007) for the No. 2 spot on the list.
The group of wide receivers who have caught 10 or more touchdowns in a single season is even smaller, as only three have done it in franchise history, led by Edwards’ 17 touchdown receptions in 2007. Beckham may not surpass Edwards, but he should be able to join Gary Collins (four times) and Paul Warfield (two times) as wide receivers with 10 or more touchdown receptions in a season.
The Browns offense is going to be fun to watch in 2019, and the potential is there for it to be one for the record books.