If you even remotely follow the NFL, you know that Cleveland has been the laughing stock of the league for close to a decade. They have not been above .500 since 2007, where they went 10-6 but still did not make the playoffs, finishing second in their division. With that being said, they have yet to see a playoff game since 2002, and have NOT won a playoff game since the 1994 Wildcard round. I must say, Browns fans are some of the most dedicated fans I have ever seen, to continue to be passionate about a sports organization when year after year they end the season in pure disappointment.
However, it appears those days may be coming to an end. Since the moment they drafted Tim Couch in the 1999 draft, the Browns have had 30 different starting quarterbacks...THIRTY! Whether it's 1, 2, 3, or even 4 different starters in the same season, we lose track of who they even have on their roster. But, after drafting former Heisman winner Baker Mayfield #1 overall in the 2018 draft, there is a chance that the Cleveland QB debacle will be put to an end.
Baker Mayfield made his debut on Thursday Night Football against the New York Jets during week 3, where he had to come in for an injured Tyrod Taylor. He led an epic comeback for the Browns' first win of the season. From then on, he became Cleveland's starting quarterback, with 5 starting wins under his belt so far this season. While this did spark a hopeful new era of a Browns' quarterback, Baker was not the only key addition that this team has benefited on.
Along with Baker Mayfield, the Browns selected CB Denzel Ward with the #4 overall pick in the draft. Many NFL fans were very surprised with this pick, thinking that the Browns would end up selecting Bradley Chubb to pair up with Myles Garrett on the D-line. However, Denzel Ward proved himself from the moment he stepped on the field, securing 2 interceptions in his career debut week 1 against Big Ben and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ward was recently selected as a member of the AFC pro bowl team, something that is typically rare for a rookie to accomplish. In the 2nd round, Cleveland secured RB Nick Chubb, who has stepped up his game in the absence of Carlos Hyde. Down in the 4th round, they drafted WR Antonio Callaway, who was definitely one of the steals in the draft. Callaway was a 1st round caliber player who dropped significantly due to his offseason drug offenses. While he has not been statistically great this season, he has definitely been improving week by week. Cleveland was also a heavy participant during the offseason, trading for players such as Damarious Randall, Tyrod Taylor, and a ton of future draft picks. The top headliner would obviously be WR Jarvis Landry, who immediately took position as Cleveland's #1 WR on the depth chart.
I am writing this article following a Week 15 win against the Denver Broncos, placing them at 6-7-1 on the season. They have won 4 of their last 5 games, thanks to the firing of Hue Jackson and hiring of interim head coach Gregg Williams. There are a ton of things that need to happen during these final 2 weeks for the Browns to make the playoffs, including having 2 teams tie next week. While their odds of being in the postseason are extremely rare, they still have the opportunity to break .500 and have their first winning record since 2007. I anticipate a bright future for this football team, and along with that, a much needed happy ending for all those Browns fans that have been so patient these last few decades. #DawgPound