Browns Bye Week: A Look Forward at the Schedule

Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on the sideline during the fourth quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won the game 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

We covered the Browns schedule so far, now we look ahead to the Browns remaining schedule as they look to stay in the playoff hunt in the ever mediocre AFC.

Opponents

The Browns face the Bengals this week and end the year with the Steelers. In between the Browns face the Jaguars, Jets, Steelers, Patriots, and Bears.  Here is a break down of their opponents, with records as well as ranking in yardage, from ESPN.com

Wins Losses O Pass Yards O Rush Yards D Pass Yards D Rush Yards
Cincinatti Bengals 6 4 7 17 7 8
Pittsburgh Steelers 3 6 11 27 4 29
Jacksonville Jaguars 1 8 22 31 13 32
New England Patriots 7 2 18 8 12 30
Chicago Bears 5 4 8 14 22 31
New York Jets 5 4 26 9 23 1
Pittsburgh Steelers 3 6 11 27 4 29
Total 30 34  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Average 4.29 4.86 14.71 19.00 12.14 22.86

So the Browns face some tough opponents including the division leading Bengals and Patriots. They also get a home game against the struggling Jaguars and 2 games against the Steelers, though their 3-6 record shouldn’t give any Browns fans hope of simple easy games, they never are against the Steelers. All and all, thanks to the Jags and Steelers the Browns remaining opponents have a losing record.

From a yardage perspective the Browns face below average rushing offenses and defenses with slightly above average passing offenses and a top 12 average defense, though that is skewed by the Steelers 4th overall passing defense twice. If the Browns are ever to get their running game going this is the stretch, outside of the games with the Jets and Bengals, the Browns face the 4 worst rushing defenses in the league.

Lets break it the schedule down a little farther

Home Games

The Browns have 3 home games remaining (Jags, Steelers and Bears). This should be the 3 games the Browns expect to win to at least get to 7 wins on the season. The Bears are a solid team but if the Browns are to “upset” one of the teams on their schedule, at home is the place to do it. Below is the road record for these 3 teams:

Wins Losses
Pittsburgh Steelers 1 4
Jacksonville Jaguars 1 4
Chicago Bears 2 2
Total 4 10
Average 1.33 3.33

Away Games

The Browns have 4 remaining away games (Bengals, Patriots, Jets and Steelers) which are significantly tougher. If the Browns can pull off the above home game wins and 1 road win, most likely in Pittsburgh, then a .500 record is in order. A upset in  an away game could be enough to pull off a playoff spot, but it could be tough looking at the 4 teams home records:

Wins Losses
Cincinatti Bengals 4 0
New England Patriots 5 0
New York Jets 4 1
Pittsburgh Steelers 2 2
Total 15 3
Average 3.75 0.75

Takeaways

The Browns have 2 should win games (Jags and Steelers at home), 3 could wins (Bears, Jets and Steelers on the road) and 2 not likely to wins (Bengals and Patriots). Any combination of 5 wins from this bunch, starting with an upset of the Bengals, who they have already beaten once, could mean big things for this season that seemed lost a few times (The Trade, Hoyer’s injury). Its nice to think about at the bye week for a team that is often playing for draft positioning, which still could be possible.

Topics: AFC North, Cleveland Browns

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