They have a ton of talent, but have they learned how to win yet? I am not so sure. That takes time.
Despite justifiably rampant buzz around this squad, its most, um, impressive trait in August was laser focus on New York Giants.
The biggest concern for the Browns right now: What happens when you take a talent-deficient, unproven offensive line and task it with protecting a swashbuckling young quarterback who hangs in the pocket, keeps his eyes up and always looks for the big play? Yep, there’s potential for disaster, and Cleveland’s biggest assignment this season is to make sure Baker Mayfield isn’t watching games on the sideline in a sling come December. The trade for guard Wyatt Teller tells you GM John Dorsey is keenly aware of this situation. On the flip side, there are no concerns about the Browns tasked with attacking the opposing offensive line this season. Cleveland’s defensive line terrorized Jameis Winston in the Week 3 preseason dress rehearsal, piling up five sacks in a shutout first half. Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon could rival Von Miller and Bradley Chubb for most sacks by a duo in 2019.
The hype around the Browns this offseason has been nearly deafening. Is this team for real?
We might have been talking about the wrong Browns unit all offseason. The offense has some fun stars but it’s the defense that looks dominant, especially up front.
If there’s one team on this list most likely to leave the NFL analysts at Bleacher Report with egg on their faces, it’s the Cleveland Browns. On paper, the Browns look the part of a contender. The team has a talented young quarterback, as much skill-position talent as any in the NFL and a defensive line that could be the stuff of nightmares for opposing quarterbacks.
However, games aren’t played on paper. And when it comes to the playing field, the Browns haven’t had much success of late—of by “of late,” I mean the past two decades. Since rejoining the NFL is 1999, the Browns have won 10 games all of once—in 2007. The Browns made the playoffs the same number of times—and that was all the way back in 2002.
In the immortal words of Dennis Green, it might be a little premature to go crowning anyone’s...backsides. ”It will be good to see the league’s most-hyped team of 2019 finally take the field,” Davenport said. “But even then it may take a few weeks to get a feel for how good these Browns really are. If they beat the teams they should, they’ll head into a Week 3 meeting at home with the Rams at 2-0. And a chance to move even higher up these rankings.”
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.