The Cleveland Browns competed a lot better than advertised in 2012, and with a new offensive system and their young players hopefully improving, they could easily be in for a shot at a wild card playoff spot in 2013.
Some may deem it a reach, but the Browns were highly competitive in the majority of their games last year, and they did so with a trio of rookies (Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon) manning the starting quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions.
If those three can come together and mature as hoped, they could blossom in new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s vertical scheme. Add young tight end Jordan Cameron to the mix, and suddenly the once bottom-feeding Browns are shaping up to be an explosive, talented bunch.
Only time will tell if what is on paper translates to more wins and a chance at the playoffs, but the mere thought of it is breeding optimism in Cleveland. But before we get too carried away, let’s take a look at the price for Cleveland Browns tickets for games within the AFC North, at home and on the road. After all, as much as the Browns have improved, their progress won’t mean a whole lot if they can’t steal some big wins within their own division:
- (9/29) vs. Cincinnati Bengals | Avg: $114 | Get-in: $21
Despite Cleveland’s talent and hopeful rise, Browns fans are still paying just $116 on average to check out their home games. Considering how loyal and passionate this fan base is, that’s a mega steal. Here they get the Bengals at home in an “Ohio duel” that should be regarded as winnable. It comes in at 2% cheaper than Cleveland’s home game average, too.
- (11/3) vs. Baltimore Ravens | Avg: $111 | Get-in: $17
Browns fans can’t be sure how or why a matchup at home with the defending champs is cheaper than a home game against the Bengals, but it’s doubtful we hear any complaints. The Ravens are a tad under-manned due to key losses across the board, but the ticket price of just $111 with a ridiculous get-in price of just $17 (4% below season average) is borderline insane.
- (11/24) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers | Avg: $158 | Get-in: $31
Cleveland’s last AFC North home game for 2013 comes in late November against the Steelers, who they actually beat at home in 2012. This one is a bit more storied than the other AFC North battles, so it’s understandably more expensive at $158 on average. But considering this is actually Cleveland’s most expensive home game of the year (35% above home average), it’s still quite a deal.
- (9/15) @ Baltimore Ravens | Avg: $251 | Get-in: $110
Cleveland’s first meeting with Baltimore is pricey because it’s in the defending champs’ backyard. The Browns played the Ravens tight both times last year, but they’re hoping they can at least squeeze out one win in 2013. It won’t be easy early in the year on the road in Baltimore’s first home game of the season.
- (11/17) @ Cincinnati Bengals | Avg: $118 | Get-in: $29
Meeting number two with the Bengals is just $4 more on the road, and is still a crazy deal for Browns/Bengals fans. The two sides split their games last year, so an improved Cleveland team has a good chance at taking either (or both) meetings this year.
- (12/29) @ Pittsburgh Steelers | Avg: $216 | Get-in: $81
Cleveland may not be a lock for the playoffs this year, but whether or not they can sneak it may come down to this season finale clash with Pittsburgh. Big Ben and co. will host Brandon Weeden and the Browns in Cleveland’s first meaningful season closer in quite some time. Considering the weight this one could potentially carry, it’s a deal at just $216 on average.