The Browns finished the 2018 campaign with a 7-8-1 record, their best since 2007. Despite missing the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season, hopes are incredibly high in Cleveland due to the recent additions of Odell Beckham, Jr. and Kareem Hunt.
With the influx of hype, many people have begun to circle back and criticize the Browns. Here is a look at the criticism.
#1: The Browns will miss the playoffs for the 17th consecutive season.
The Browns are favored by Vegas to win the AFC North this season. With Baltimore and Pittsburgh losing key players, the door has opened for the Browns to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. While it seemed to be a lock in April, many people have moved the Steelers and/or Ravens back into consideration. It is not a foregone conclusion that the Browns will make the playoffs, but they can certainly not be ruled out like they have been able to for the last 16 seasons.
#2: Baker Mayfield is too loud.
Ever since college, Mayfield has been one of the louder players of his class. In the NFL, Mayfield has made a variety of soundbites, such as that time he “woke up feeling dangerous” and his jabs at analyst Colin Cowherd. While Mayfield is loud off the field, he generally backs it up with very good play on the field. While he could be considered loud, he is still a good player when he’s on the field.
Verdict: It doesn’t affect his play.
#3: The Browns are overhyped.
With the addition of Beckham in the off-season, the Browns flew up on many people’s radars as a Super Bowl contender in 2019. As of now, the Browns are not a Super Bowl contender. They do not have the defense to win multiple games in the playoffs and progress to the Super Bowl. While their offense will be dynamic, it has yet to prove that it is anything more than life dominant on paper offense. While this could change during the season, the Browns are currently not a real contender and, therefore, they are overhyped.
The Browns enter the 2019 season full of hope. After their best season in almost two decades, the Browns are in a situation in which they could win the AFC North and host a playoff game for the first time since the original iteration of the Cleveland Browns. While Baker Mayfield must reduce his turnovers in 2019, he looks to be a very strong quarterback moving forward. Accompanying Mayfield in the backfield is running back Nick Chubb, who had a very strong 2018 season despite coming on late. The Browns also added Kareem hunt in the off-season who will come back after an eight-game suspension. The rest of the offense features Beckham and Jarvis Landry, college teammates who should be a dynamic duo.
The Browns are certainly not a lock to make the playoffs, but there is a good reason for the city of Cleveland to have high hopes on the Browns.
Verdict: 10 wins, no playoffs