Are the Browns... for real?
The Cleveland Browns are currently 9-3 and are sitting pretty at 2nd in the AFC north, and are sitting at 5th in the Playoff race. They are doing this by leaning on their run game, and the defense led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett is playing fantastic football right now. The Browns clinched their first winning season since 2007, and are so close to booking their first playoff berth since 2002. However, this team isn't getting the respect a 9-3 team deserves. Is that justified?
Well, let's take a look at the teams that they have played. They were blown out Week 1 by the Baltimore Ravens. They beat the Bengals but didn't put them away till late in the game. They blew out the Washington Football Team then completed a miraculous comeback vs the Dallas Cowboys. Dominated the Indianapolis Colts from start to finish, then went and got blown out by Pittsburgh Steelers. They followed that up by completing a season sweep of the Bengals, then lost to the Las Vegas Raiders in a game with terrible weather. They put away the Texans in a low scoring game, beat the Philadelphia Eagles, then struggled to put away the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then finally, in a statement game, they dominated the Tennesee Titans in Nashville where they dominated them from start to finish.
What you can see from these games is that they beat the bad teams or the teams that just aren't that good. However, they also get beat by the good teams that they face. This past Titans game however was a massive statement to the NFL. Baker played fantastic, and the whole team looked in sync. Titans were considered to be a good team too. The Browns manhandled them.
The Browns are not getting the attention that they should be getting. A team that has been mostly irrelevant, but only relevant because of how awful they were the last 20 years, is not getting the attention and praise that they deserve. They are quietly winning games. Baker Mayfield has been playing the best football of his career since his rookie season. Nick Chubb is absolutely dominating the league and he has a legitimate claim to being the best running back in the NFL right now. Myles Garrett is playing some fantastic football right now and is wreaking havoc on opposing Quarterbacks. This Browns team has the potential to even win a playoff game if Baker continues his play and starts to keep it up. This bodes well for their future, and this team can be a Superbowl contender within a year. Don't sleep on them.
The Browns are coming.