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The Browns are 4-2.
Here are the seasons since 1999 in which the Browns were, at any point, 4-2: 2001
Once! They've done it one fucking time. They beat the Ravens (for the first time in franchise history), as Brian Billick kicked a field goal on first down…
Yet, somehow, following last weeks admittedly shitty loss to the Steelers, you'd think the Browns season was over based on the mood around the Browns…
Everything is doom and gloom. Some of it is just words being reported, but the avalanche of takes was quite funny last week. Even fucking Hue Jackson… HUE!!!! JACKSON!!!!… was talking about the Browns last week…
For as bad as the Browns looked in Pittsburgh, there are a few points that need to be made:
1) They're fucking 4-2
2) Nick Chubb is still returning in a few weeks
3) They have a bye in two weeks
4) They were without their best offensive lineman vs. Pittsburgh
5) They were without two safeties vs. Pittsburgh
Would the injuries have made a difference enough for the Browns to walk out of Pittsburgh as winners? I doubt it, but the focus on only the negative with the Browns as they stand at 4-2 is hilarious to me. I am as negative as they get when it comes to my sports teams, but good fucking lord, can we relax a little with the Browns?
Can we not be picky about whether or not the Playoffs can be viewed as a measure of success!?
They haven't had a winning season since 2007. They haven't made the playoffs since 2002. Maybe let's watch the season play out a little bit, eh?
Now, if they lose today to the Bengals? Well…
That would be quite shitty!
The Browns beat the Bengals with relative ease in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football, despite what the score says. They look for the Battle of Ohio sweep today and could use a confidence boost in Cincinnati, much like they got two years ago in the Hue Jackson Game…
That was the start of an exciting run for the Browns that brought (failed) promise. Try and kick the tires on some momentum again today in Cincinnati, maybe?
NOTE: The lines may have changed since this graphic was made…
I once again split my picks last week as the total didn't hit (nice job, Browns). This week I think the total is the easy play. As our Dave says weekly on the Pro Football Show and Advisors, the Browns beat up on bad teams. Baker should bounce back today, or, in the least, Kareem Hunt will go to work. You can also count on the Browns giving up a few scores to Joe Burrow, despite his offensive line.
Give me the Browns and the over!
NOTE II: This is Big Cat's Mortal Lock of the Week
PICKS: Browns -3.5, OVER 50.5
SEASON RECORD: 7-5 (ATS: 4-2, O/U: 3-3)
OUT: Jacob Phillps, Austin Hooper, Nick Chubb, Wyatt Teller
QUESTIONABLE: Karl Joseph
The injury report looks better but is still troublesome for the Browns.
It's hard to overstate the absence of Wyatt Teller…
Against the Colts and Steelers, it was a major issue.
But the Bengals are one of the worst in the NFL when it comes to pressure, so the loss of Teller may not be as bad as it was the previous two weeks. But, again, amidst all the trashing of the Browns, not enough people are talking about how bad the Teller injury has been for the Cleveland run game and pass protection.
The Browns should also be returning both Karl Jospeh and Ronnie Harrison Jr., as the safeties recover following missed time against the Steelers. It's a defense that has forced turnovers and shown some life here and there, but no unit will be good when they're as depleted as the Browns have been.
Lastly, Austin Hooper being down with appendicitis (always something new for the Browns) paves the way for David Njoku, who asked for a trade again…
…to show his worth behind rookie Harrison Bryant (who has been excellent).
NOTE: Joe Mixon and William Jackson III are out for the Bengals, while Shawn Williams and John Ross III (also asked for a trade) are questionable. Also, despite leaking rotations on social media and airing issues publicly, Carlos Dunlap is active for the Bengals.
This offense is really good. <<< I said this last week.
This offense is actually two things:
1) In need of a bounce-back
Let's start with Baker Mayfield, who had a fucking nightmare of a game against the Steelers, starting with getting pummeled in his injured ribs…
Baker was bad, and he won't blame his ribs, but you know he was feeling that all day. That one hit took a bad game and made it worse. It also isn't clear that Baker will be firing on all cylinders today, but Kevin Stefanski did make it sound as though he might be improving…
Even factoring in his injury, Baker's two back-breaking interceptions last week were horrendous…
The room for error to make plays and throws like this against the Steelers is zero…
…luckily for Baker, against a defense that is the exact opposite of the Steelers in terms of pressure, he has some wiggle room today. He has to bounce back. We saw him look great against the Colts in the first half a few weeks back, but since then, he has been back to his old ways. Last week was brutal in terms of pressure, but today he can't be scrambling out of clean pockets. Trust the line, Baker.
No bullshit today.
Another injury issue? No, not Nick Chubb. Nope, not Wyatt Teller. Nah, not Austin Hooper. Jarvis Landry.
I will stand up for this guy no matter what. He is a gamer and a stud out on the field, and Landry playing through broken ribs is all you need to know about it. Had he not told people, I am not sure we'd have ever even known about the injury being that bad.
The bottom line is this, the Browns have to torch the Bengals today. Everyone sucked last week. Even after establishing a huge lead, the Bengals defense crumbled against the Colts last week in a crushing loss. Cincinnati has a knack for giving up big plays…
…and we have seen the Browns break plenty of them.
Baker needs to calm down, trust his line, and be efficient. The line needs to bounce back and let Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson work. That is a recipe that should give the Browns enough points to move to 5-2 today.
Where to begin.
NOTE: Ronnie Harrison Jr. may start in place of Karl Joseph if the former Raider can't play
The entire defense was just not great last week. But because of the offense keeping the defense on the field all day, and the injuries, they got cut a fair amount of slack. But, don't get me wrong, they were bad…
I mean, Andrew Sendejo makes my fucking head explode.
Luckily (a word I used for Baker), the Browns defense is going up against an offensive line that might be the worst in the NFL.
They showed a little life against the Colts, but it was all for nothing, and the Browns need to make sure that's the case again today. In their Week 2 matchup, Myles Garrett was a machine against the Bengals…
The game today all starts with Myles Garrett. He has to set the tone and make Joe Burrow's life hell.
In September, Burrow threw the ball 61 times against the Browns.
Joe Mixon is out today.
He might throw it 81 times.
GET TO THE FUCKING QUARTERBACK.
It's Myles Garrett.
A big game from Garrett and the mood with the Browns will be much different.
Check out my movie website…
They'll give up points, but I expect a Baker bounce-back, much like we saw in Week 2 against Cincinnati. If he does that, then what the defense does may not even matter.
PREDICTION: Browns defeat Bengals, 38-20