Browns Win Sets Up Next Quarter of Season Nicely

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Sep 21, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Ravens won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns win over the Tennessee Titans was big for a ton of reason. We already covered this morning what it means in relation to the AFC North (hint: Browns are one game out). Now we look forward just a bit to what it could mean for the next quarter of the season.

NFL coaches often breakup an NFL season into four game sections, quarters. The goal is to always have at least a .500 record for each of these quarters. The Browns just finished the first quarter of their season at 2 – 2. It is a start but quickly we turn our attention to the next quarter and what it could mean for the Browns season. We will also take a peak at the rest of the Division and how their schedule lines up.

Even before the season began the Browns 2nd quarter, plus Sunday’s game with the Titans, was seen as an easy stretch. Many believed the Browns would have turned to Johnny Manziel to replace Brian Hoyer coming out of the bye. Instead Hoyer has planted himself on the top of the depth chart and only an injury is likely to knock him off.

The next four opponents for the Browns have a combined record of 4 – 15 with three of those victories belonging to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns face the Steelers this Sunday.

The Steelers have already taken the first match up between the two rivals, in Week 1 of the season. That game, much like the Titans game, was a tale of two halves for both teams. The Steelers were able to make just enough plays to pull out the victory, thwarting a big Browns comeback.

The 30 – 27 final score is interesting as Vegas odds makers count home-field advantage for 3 points. Given that and that score the Browns seem to be on equal playing field with Pittsburgh. A win would match the Browns 3 – 2 record from last season following their Thursday Night win over the Bills, the game Hoyer got hurt in.

Following the Steelers game are three opponents with one win between them. The Bucs have looked much better, taking the Saints to overtime after beating the Steelers but still are unable to get over the hump. The Jaguars also gave the Steelers a tough game but remain winless, even with their rookie QB Blake Bortles giving the team some hope. The Raiders just fired their coach and possibly interview Mike Holmgren for the job. Dumpster Fire.

Needless to say a 3 – 1, 4 – 0 record is entirely possible for the Kardiac Kids. The toughest game seems to be the Steelers, especially their run game against our struggling defense. The home crowd will be loud and the Browns should be able to respond.

Ending the second quarter of the season at 5 – 3 or 6 – 2 would put the Browns on a path to compete for a playoff spot. Even more amazing is that the Browns will be doing all of this without Josh Gordon but will get him back for their 11th game of the season. A huge boon for the offense.

The AFC North could be up for grabs. Next we take a look at the next four games for the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers and what it might mean for the Browns as well. (Click Next or use your right arrow key to navigate to the next page)