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Way too early Cleveland Browns season schedule predictions: Part 2

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DBN writers have the Browns going into the second half as winners. Will that continue?

NFL: DEC 23 Bengals at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The writers here at DBN are certainly positive about the Browns’ 2020 season. Here are the current predictions as far as their forecasting the first half of the year:

DBN writers predicted win-loss record at mid-season:

Matt Wood: 8-0-0
Rufio: 6-2-0
Barry Shuck: 5-3-0
Thomas Moore: 5-3-0

Check out Part 1 of the series here.

The second half of Cleveland’s schedule is going to make or break their year as the Browns will face four clubs that made the playoffs last season. These final eight games are going to be a tough road.

What do the DBN writers feel will happen? Will Cleveland make the playoffs? Is the second half of their schedule a deal breaker? Will the Browns win the division? Or will they falter once again?


Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Week 10: November 15 - Houston Texans @ Browns

Thomas Moore:

The Houston Texans have been a vexing match-up for the Browns over the years, as Cleveland has not defeated the Texans since 2007, and the past five meetings have not been particularly close as the Browns have lost by an average of 15.2 points. Quarterback Deshaun Watson relives his college days by once again beating an Ohio team for a record of 5-4-0. Texans

Matt Wood:

The top notch quarterback once again comes out of QB Baker Mayfield in this top shelf match-up. The Browns tide the running game early as the game is tied at half. But in the second half Baker catches fire as WR Odell Beckham, Jr. scores his 10th TD of the season on his way to his fifth 100-yard game. Browns defense puts QB Deshaun Watson in his back six times as Texans head coach Bill O’Brien tries to trade for another offensive tackle after the game. Browns

Rufio:

The Texans are really good and what they do is a tough match-up for our running game. Add in a maturing QB Deshaun Watson and DE J.J. Watt and their experience as a team and we just fall short in this one. Texans

Barry Shuck:

I think Houston is a very good team despite losing their ace receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Browns struggle with running quarterbacks and the Texans have one of the best. Should be a close game and should go down to the final possession. Texans


Week 11: November 22 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Browns

Matt Wood:

With QB Carson Wentz nowhere to be found (actually he is found on IR again) it is a battle between the former Oklahoma Sooner signal callers. No fireworks in this one as the Browns only need 19 pass attempts to bludgeon the Eagles into submission. Browns

Rufio:

QB Carson Wentz is hurt by this point in the season, and I think that defensive front has been underrated for years but DE Brandon Graham can’t do it forever up there. QB Jalen Hurts proves to be useful as a 2nd round pick, but the Browns pull away in the second half. Browns

Barry Shuck:

Another playoff team taking on Cleveland. I like the Eagles’ rushing defense behind DE Brandon Graham, ranked third last year which has gotten better with free agent DT Javon Hargrave plus they drafted LB Davion Taylor, a key run stuffer. The Browns will have to rely on the passing attack, which Philadelphia is adept to getting to the quarterback. So far, a 5-5-0 start. Eagles

Thomas Moore:

For just the second time since “missing out” drafting quarterback Carson Wentz, the Browns face the Philadelphia Eagles. Fun fact: entering his fifth year in the league, Wentz has as many playoff wins as Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Browns remind anyone who still doesn’t get it that they are just fine without Wentz and get back on the winning side of the scoreboard. Browns


Week 12: November 29 - Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Rufio:

I think the Jaguars are set up perfectly this year...to completely tank and draft QB Justin Fields or QB Trevor Lawrence. Their QB is likable enough that fans won’t be chanting for the backup, and they don’t seem to be that good of a team around him. The Browns win another game with a run-heavy second half. Browns

Barry Shuck:

What used to be a very stiff run defense now can’t stop their own grandmas. The Browns will have a big day with their tandem of running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Plus, half of the Jaguars’ defense is in quarantine due to the virus and can’t play so former Brown Joe Schobert has to make all tackles. Browns

Thomas Moore:

The Jacksonville Jaguars are another team that has given the Browns issues over the years. Cleveland has dropped three in a row to the Jaguars and have lost on their past two trips to Jacksonville. Outside of a fluke playoff run in 2017, the Jaguars have been sharing space with the Browns in the league basement for that past decade. Times have changed for the Browns, however, and Cleveland walks out of TIAA Bank Field with a win. Browns

Matt Wood:

Browns looking ahead? Yup. Jaguars’ quarterback Gardner Minshew lights up the Browns in the first half again sending sports talk show host Colin Cowherd to Twitter. But the Browns wake up, force three second half turnovers including two INT’s from CB Greedy Williams as the offense flips the switch in the second half. Browns


Tennessee Titans v Cleveland Browns

Week 13: December 6 - Browns @ Tennessee Titans

Barry Shuck:

Newly acquired OT Jack Conklin has circled this game and is happy he doesn’t have to tackle RB Derrick Henry. The Titans are a grind-it-out type offense and can wear you down. Sure tackling defense ranked third in totals tackles. Finally got the quarterback position solved with QB Ryan Tannehill and Henry tied up for years. Leading up to the game the storyline will be a clash of two behemoths in running backs Nick Chubb vs. Derrick Henry. On paper, the Titans look very good and will be favored. The Browns defensive line is up to the task of stopping Henry, but our linebackers are suspect. Titans

Thomas Moore:

The Browns open the month of December with a road game against the Tennessee Titans, who embarrassed the Browns in the season opener of 2019. It would be nice to see the Browns get revenge for that game, but until they show they can consistently stop the run, facing a team with a running back like Derrick Henry is not a good thing. Browns drop the game, but everything is about to turn. Titans

Matt Wood:

The RB Nick Chubb revenge game. After losing the rushing title to RB Derrick Henry on the final game of 2019, Chubb reminds the former Heisman winner who the best RB is. Chubb goes for 215, most of it coming in the second half. Browns

Rufio:

I like this matchup for us on paper, but the Titans have a great coach and playoff experience. I don’t really believe in QB Ryan Tannehill, I don’t really like what they did in the draft, and I think the Titans are due to regress. But I’ve picked only three Browns losses at this point, which frankly seems insane. We drop a game to the Titans because “any given Sunday.” Titans


Week 14: December 14 (Monday) - Ravens @ Browns

Thomas Moore:

Cleveland makes its return to Monday Night Football with a home game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns were not ready for prime-time in 2019, but the times have changed and Cleveland picks up a decisive win against the Ravens to stay in the playoff chase. Browns

Matt Wood:

ESPN spends the entire week calling it the game of the year and it was a good one. The Browns again take the fight to the Ravens, picking up two early turnovers on QB Lamar Jackson who is returning from his “Madden Curse” injury. But the ground game and the TE Austin Hooper’s two TD performance pushes the Browns to the win and locks up the AFC North crown. Browns

Rufio:

I really want to pick the Browns here but I just can’t. The Ravens’ off-season moves were great, and QB Lamar Jackson is the fastest man on earth. Still, the Browns have found a way to beat the Ravens each of the past two years, including blowing them out in Baltimore last year. We should have an upgrade at head coach, on the offensive line, and we should have a healthy receiving corps...you know what? Screw it - Browns win. Browns

Barry Shuck:

It will take more than one season for Cleveland to measure up to the Ravens for division supremacy. This game will be a closer loss than in Week 1, but the Browns’ defense just can’t stop the machine of Baltimore. Not this year. Ravens


Week 15: December 20 - Browns at New York Football Giants

Matt Wood:

The RB Nick Chubb revenge tour makes another stop this time beating the supposed “top RB” in his draft. Chubb scores twice but OBJ has the dagger taking a screen pass 85 yards to put a nail in this one early in the third quarter. Odell is leading the NFL in yards and TDs at this point. Browns

Rufio:

The Browns lose a hangover game here and some of our starters are out due to injury. I can’t explain this one, but wild things happen in the NFL and this is one of them. Giants

Barry Shuck:

RB Nick Chubb shows why he is one of the league’s best backs and runs roughshod over the porous Giants defense while he says hello with a stiff-arm to former Browns’ safety Jabrill Peppers. OBJ will have his best game as a Brown in order to show his former team the mistake they made in trading him. New York’s offensive line is two quality guys and then old guys still making a paycheck. Stefanski will try not to run up the score. Browns

Thomas Moore:

The Browns head to New Jersey to take on the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The storylines will be off the charts for this game as it marks wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s first game against the Giants, and the first meeting between quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and New York’s Daniel Jones, who Mayfield “disrespected” (not really) in a 2019 GQ interview. WR Odell Beckham, Jr. has a big day and Mayfield proves his point as the Browns win and suddenly have a record of 9-5-0. Browns


Cleveland Browns v New York Jets Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Week 16: TBD - Browns @ New York Jets

Rufio:

This is one where the Browns take care of business. QB Baker Mafield lights up the scoreboard and stuffs the stat sheet in a big win. Browns

Barry Shuck:

Browns remain on east coast to a poor Jets squad. In the second half, expect to see why the club signed QB Case Keenum as the backup as he lights it up. The talk is whether wide receivers OBJ and Jarvis Landry can both make the Pro Bowl in the same season. No contest. Browns

Thomas Moore:

In a return engagement, the Browns are right back at MetLife Stadium to face the New York Jets for the sixth consecutive season. QB Baker Mayfield runs his career record to 3-0 against the Jets, setting up the Browns for a season finale that will be off the charts. Browns

Matt Wood:

The game is flexed to PrimeTime as the Browns are chasing perfection and the Jets are but a gnat on the windshield to this train. QB Baker Mayfield does whatever he wants as CB Jamal Adams asks for WR Odell Beckham, Jr. to “come get him” this off-season. ESPN still has an article wondering if this means the Browns are going to trade Odell. Browns

Week 17: January 3 - Steelers @ Browns

Barry Shuck:

The Steelers will regress as the season rolls along, and all that is at stake here is pride within a division foe in an attempt to not get swept. Expect a lopsided game and a look ahead to the Wild Card playoff opponent. Browns

Thomas Moore:

With a playoff berth on the line, the Browns welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to FirstEnergy Stadium since November 14, 2019. Before a national audience after NBC flexes the game to PrimeTime, defensive end Myles Garrett takes out his revenge on the Steelers as Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph cowers on the sidelines in fear that he may actually have to enter the game. Before a raucous crowd, the Browns win to earn their first playoff appearance since 2002. Browns

Matt Wood:

The Browns are out for blood. After a week of questioning of whether or not the Browns would sit their starters against the 0-15 Steelers, they decide to go for the kill. Browns starters CRUSH the Steelers including DE Myles Garrett again getting four sacks on his way to breaking the NFL record for sacks in a season. Browns

Rufio:

The Steelers are bad now, and we beat them again to complete our first winning season since former QB Derek Anderson was throwing to WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow Jr. Browns


DBN writers predicted win-loss record at season’s end:

Matt Wood: 16-0-0
Rufio: 11-5-0
Barry Shuck: 9-7-0
Thomas Moore: 11-5-0

The Browns don’t make it look easy getting into the playoffs according to all four DBN writers listed, but finally break the “Wasteland Years” streak and find something which before had only been the speak of lore among the locals called “the post-season.”

How do you feel these DBN writers fared? Is Matt Wood off his medications again? Will Cleveland indeed make the playoffs? Is Barry Shuck too much a party foul with a barely winning season? Are the projected win-loss records in line, or too inundated with optimism? Did Rufio copy off of Thomas Moore’s paper with suspiciously identical 11-5-0 records? If the Browns are indeed a playoff club, as a division winner or via a Wild Card bid? Let us know what you think.

Poll

How many wins will the Browns have this season?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Undefeated
    (17 votes)
  • 4%
    12 to 14
    (40 votes)
  • 47%
    10 to 11
    (400 votes)
  • 33%
    9-7-0
    (284 votes)
  • 7%
    8-8-0
    (65 votes)
  • 4%
    7 or fewer thus keeping "The Wasteland Years" streak afloat
    (40 votes)
846 votes total Vote Now