We all knew that the Cleveland Browns would face a very difficult schedule this year, making progress difficult to measure by virtue of wins or losses.
Head coach Pat Shurmur may be doing his best to ensure the Browns can’t gain any momentum, but what he can’t control, and what their strength of schedule won’t show, is the momentum of their opponents (or better yet, motivation) when it comes time for them to play the Browns.
This week, the Browns will face the San Diego Chargers, their fourth opponent in a row coming off a loss the previous week.
Overall, five of their eight games have come against a hungry team coming off a loss (and Week One doesn’t count).
Think about how hard that makes it for the undermanned Browns to catch a team napping and steal a win. Virtually everyone they face has a bad taste in their mouth, and the Browns are their Listerine.
Here’s a breakdown of this phenomenon thus far:
- Week Two – The Browns caught the Cincinnati Bengals on the road a week after they were destroyed by Baltimore in their opener, 44-13
- Week Five – The defending Super Bowl champs don’t take the Browns lightly a week after suffering a crucial two-point loss to division rival Philadelphia.
- Week Six – The Browns catch the Bengals coming off a loss again, this time to the Miami Dolphins, but are able to notch their only win of the season.
- Week Seven – Indianapolis is able to defeat the Browns at home a week after getting rolled over by the New York Jets, 35-9.
- Week Eight – The Browns draw yet another team coming off a loss this week in the Chargers, who let a game against the Denver Broncos slip away on national TV, 35-24.
Sometimes it’s not who you play, but when you play ‘em.