Please allow me to be the first to welcome back the Cleveland Browns to the NFL. No, it’s not 1999 (the year the expansion Browns returned to Cleveland), it is in fact 2019 and the Browns are relevant again. Just three years removed from their 1-15 season and two years after their “perfect season” 0-16, the Browns have managed to put together a roster that is right up there with the most talented in the entire NFL. On both sides of the ball the Browns have a number of dynamic playmakers, highlighted by the offseason acquisitions of Odell Beckham Jr and second year Browns Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb.
Third year pro Miles Garrett is about to put the league on notice that he is one of the premier pass rushers in the game. Off season additions of Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson should free up Garrett to show off his, in my opinion, generational talent. First year head coach Freddie Kitchens will look to build off the success of the second half of last season, that saw the Greg Williams led Browns win 5 of their last 7 to finish the season. During this stretch Baker Mayfield showed, even in that short time frame, that he is a franchise quarterback. Something that the Cleveland Browns haven’t had in close to 30 years.
Cleveland Browns Odds to Take the Division Make Them… The Favorite!
As they tend to do, the oddsmakers have noticed the sudden change in Cleveland and have priced the Browns accordingly. Gone are the days of +24000 on the Browns to win the Super Bowl. The Cleveland Browns odds to win Super Bowl LIV are now sitting at +1800 heading into the season. That has been bet down from +2500 when odds first came out. The Browns are one of the most heavily bet teams this offseason. Most books have a big liability on the Browns winning the Super Bowl along with their now +120 odds to win the AFC North, down from +145 earlier this summer.
The Steelers at +185 are the second pick for the AFC North. Followed by the Ravens at +300 and the Bengals at +1600. Keep in mind the Browns have not won their division since 1989. That’s right, 89! Can a first year head coach and a second year quarterback get it done this year in AFC North? I tend to think the Browns are one year away from winning this division, A wild card is not at all out of the question for the Browns this year but I fell the division will most likely be won by either Pittsburgh or Baltimore, give me the coaching experience.
The Cleveland Browns season win total sits at Over/ Under 9 and that seems to be a very attainable number for a squad with this kind of talent. I do however believe that to be the high end of this teams potential. Despite the huge expectations of this team I believe a .500 season or even a seven win season would not be the end of the world.
This is a young team with a first year coach and they are a franchise that only a year ago where wondering where one win was going to come from. Its hard for me to get a real feel how good this team can be. The potential is through the roof. I just feel the growing pains will be there a little bit this year for the Browns. Leaving them just a bit shy of the lofty expectations that they have coming into the year.
The assemblance of talent on the field for the 2019 Cleveland Browns really is exceptional. Its been 30 years since this franchise has come into a season with this much excitement and legitimate hope for the future. Cleveland Browns fans deserve a winner and there is little doubt that this group should provide that for them.