2022 Bold Predictions: Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns bold predicts

For a brief moment over the last two seasons under head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry, the Cleveland Browns appeared to be on their way to finding some level of consistent professionalism. The team rocked the world when they “won” the sweepstakes for the services of the embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson, allowing the Baker Mayfield situation to completely blow up in their face. Jarvis Landry’s lack of production on the field caused the team leader to be unceremoniously released to save cap space. Just what to think of the Browns heading into the season is a coinflip, largely hinging on the fate of Watson. That makes predicting this coming season all the more difficult.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Bold Predictions.

Nick Chubb Wins the Rushing Title

Chubb has been one of the premier running backs in the NFL since entering the league in 2018. After breaking the franchise record for rushing yards for a rookie, he followed up with a strong sophomore season. He was in the lead for the rushing crown entering Week 17, only to be eclipsed by Derrick Henry, adding to the woe of Browns fans in 2019. Despite two more Pro Bowl seasons, the rushing title has continued to allude him. Though Cleveland’s running back room is packed, he is still the team’s leader on the ground. This is the season that Chubb brings the rushing crown back to Cleveland for the first time since Leroy Kelly in 1968.

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Donovan Peoples-Jones Leads the Team in Receiving Yards

Affectionately referred to as “DPJ”, Peoples-Jones has surprised Browns fans. Since being selected in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, his impact has been felt. As a rookie, he made stellar plays downfield, including the falling-back touchdown catch against the Cincinnati Bengals that season. In 2021, DPJ nearly doubled his receiving production from his rookie season, leading the team with 597 yards. He finished second on the team with three touchdown catches. Amari Cooper is the new big name on campus, and rookie David Bell has been a sensation in camp. Still, look for Peoples-Jones to once again lead the team in yards through the air. If Watson isn’t under center most of the season, however, his total could likely still fall under 1,000 yards.

Denzel Ward has Five or More Interceptions

As poorly as the Mayfield situation has played out for the Browns, their second pick from the 2018 Draft isn’t going anywhere. A two-time Pro Bowler, Cleveland briefly made Ward the top-paid cornerback in the NFL this offseason. When healthy, he has been sensational, shutting down some of the best talents in the league. One thing he hasn’t been, however, is a key turnover producer. It is a difficult task when teams fear throwing toward him. Cleveland’s defensive front returns the combination of Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. With the development of Greg Newsome II at the other corner, opposing quarterbacks will have limited options. Five interceptions was the fourth-highest total for any player last season. If opponents test him, Ward will hit that mark.

Jacoby Brissett Leads the Browns to the Playoffs

Oddsmakers are anticipating Watson to serve a suspension of eight or more games this season. The safe assumption is that Mayfield won’t be quarterbacking for the Browns any time soon. Therefore, Brissett is the de facto starter. A former Tom Brady backup, Brissett wasn’t given a real chance in Indianapolis as the start for the 2017 and 2019 seasons. The next year, the team went with a proven veteran in Philip Rivers. He saw consistent action early on with the Miami Dolphins for an injured Tua Tagovailoa. He also led the team to consecutive wins in Weeks 9 and 10 to spark a second-half push. Cleveland’s roster should be considered the most talented that Brissett has played with, and with a former Coach of the Year, could help game-manage the Browns to a Wild Card spot.

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