The Cleveland Browns made a lot of big moves this off-season and despite disappointments over two decades, this year feels different.
Walterfootball’s website has the Cleveland Browns sitting at 14th in their preseason power rankings. While that’s far from an insult, because we’ve seen far worse in Cleveland, it’s also not high enough. Now yes, everyone wants to talk about last season’s expectations. People glom on about how the team was a top-three team to make the SuperBowl according to the odds. That’s not Cleveland’s fault people believed that. No one in Cleveland was navigating that idea. This isn’t the Emmys, where people send in their own work to be judged. Critics and pundits thought that.
Stop punishing the 2020 Browns for 2019’s failures. Last year’s Browns’ team made a lot of mistakes in the offseason that were glaring. Trading away Jabril Peppers and Kevin Zeitler for instance. Trading or cutting three different receivers in a span of a year. Hiring Freddie Kitchens. This team was screwed before the season even started.
The 2020 team is not as flashy and while they made big moves, they made smart moves too. Every time anyone wants to bag on the team for 2020, they always cite 2019. This is almost a completely different team entirely. The offensive line should be much improved and that means Baker Mayfield should look much better in the pocket.
This is obvious stuff, but the thing that grinds some gears are the teams ranked above the Browns. The New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Denver Broncos are all ranked above the Browns and all three have bigger issues than the Browns.
The Cowboys are the Real Housewives of the NFL, just drama 24/7. Then you have the Giants who have a great running back in Saquon Barkley but he’s already dealing with ankles issues and Daniel Jones has a lot of work to do. The Broncos think they have their starting quarterback, but we’ll see.
They also have the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Eagles are a mess and Carson Wentz can’t seemingly finish an entire year without some grotesque injury to deal with. They, at least, have a right to be held up into the top ten of the NFL’s preseason standings.
The Steelers? They have no running game, their defense is far from what it was, and their quarterback is 838 years old. In two years, the Browns are 1-2-1 against Pittsburgh. Which for Steelers fans should be embarrassing. The Browns also filled more of their needs than Pittsburgh did. Sure you still need to play the games and the SuperBowl isn’t handed out in the preseason but that’s just it, these are preseason standings.
It’s all about who looks better in the offseason. The Browns had an A to an A+ offseason. They should easily be in the top ten of any NFL Power Rankings.