With four games remaining, the Cleveland Browns have their best remaining chance to pick up a win this Sunday against Cincinnati.
The Cleveland Browns would fall to 0-13 with a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but it may also ensure an 0-16 season.
The Bengals enter the contest with a record of 4-7-1, and will be without star wide receiver A.J. Green. The team did just put a beatdown on the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, but it appears the Eagles are leveling out after a hot start.
It was the team’s first victory since October 23 against the Browns, a 31-17 game in which Kevin Hogan led the Browns in both passing and rushing yards. A.J. Green did have 169 yards and a touchdown in the game, so his absence will surely be felt on Sunday.
But all the optimism in the world cannot help the fact the Browns have scored a combined 39 points in the past four games, or the fact opponents have scored at least 24 points in all 12 games this season.
The Browns should improve after having a week off to rest and prepare for this game, which is good news, because this may be the last chance to win in 2016.
Following the Bengals, the Browns play the Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers to finish up the season. The Chargers have the worst record of the three, but that team could easily have four or five more wins if not for late-game collapses. The Bills are 6-6 and have won two of the last three, while the Steelers manhandled the Browns 24-9 a few weeks ago.
While the Bengals have already beaten the Browns once this year, they are the only remaining team the Browns have a legitimate chance of beating.
The absence of Green will help, while the return of Robert Griffin III to the starting spot should help provide some positive change to a unit that has only gotten worse as the year has gone on. One can hope.
Some fans want the team to keep losing to ensure the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft, but this team needs to win at least one game in 2016. For a team with so many lows, 0-16 would be the worst of all.