The Cleveland Browns will not have a winning record in 2022. Knowing what we know now, with two weeks left in the season, it would have taken at least nine, and more likely 10, wins to make the playoffs in the AFC this year. (Does not include the AFC South where the winner could be below .500).
Without a first-round draft pick, the team’s final record doesn’t significantly influence almost anything. Interestingly, winning the last two games could not only help spoil playoff hopes for the Washington Commanders and Pittsburgh Steelers (along with Mike Tomlin’s winning record streak) but could also impact where this season ranks in team history.
In franchise history, this season will not rank very high. Cleveland has had 19 years with double-digit wins and 13 more with nine victories.
2022 isn’t breaking into the top 20 for the franchise.
Since the team’s return in 1999, however, wins have been much more difficult. The 2020 season was the team’s best with 11 victories. 2007 with 10 and 2002 with nine are the only other years where the team has been above .500 in the 24 seasons since the return.
Shockingly, if the Browns win their last two games, the 8-9 record would tie them with last season as the team’s fourth-best since 1999. While that is shocking and sad, even if the team loses out, they will finish tied for the eighth most wins in a season over the last two decades.
Not a lot to celebrate in Cleveland’s recent football history but the fact that a top 5 or 10 season for the new franchise will be considered a massive failure by many shows just how high expectations have come.
It isn’t good enough but, sadly, the 2022 Browns season, whether they win out or not, is a huge success compared to their recent history.