Cleveland Browns: Sunday’s game in Indianapolis is a must-win

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns cannot afford to fall to 0-3 to begin the season, especially against an Indianapolis Colts team without Andrew Luck.

The Cleveland Browns are in a familiar position.

It may only be Week 3, but any semblance of a competitive season is on the line before we can even reach October.

The Browns started 0-2 for the second straight year, and fans may be getting worried that another major losing season is on the way. That is why the team must pick up a win this Sunday.

Losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens wasn’t too surprising, but the Browns have three winnable games in a row on the schedule. First is this Sunday in Indianapolis, where the Browns take on the 0-2 Colts who remain without Andrew Luck.

The Browns then return home to take on the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets, who both currently sport 0-2 records.

The problem is the Browns are also 0-2, meaning Colts, Bengals and Jets fans are likely expecting their own team to beat the Browns in what is a winnable game. But it doesn’t matter what others think, the Browns just need to win.

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An 0-2 start is bad enough, but going 0-3 would essentially end any hopes of a competitive season. Fans may not be expecting much this year, but it would not help a locker room that is filled with players with that 1-15 season still on their minds.

Once the losing starts, it is hard to stop.

This 0-3 start would be even worse considering that would mean the Browns couldn’t beat Jacoby Brissett and the Colts, who are arguably the worst team in the NFL without Luck in at quarterback.

The Browns do have the benefit of having gone undefeated in the preseason, giving this young team at least a taste of what victory feels like, even if it was just an exhibition. So there is less of a dark cloud over this team in 2017 compared to last year.

I hate to keep bringing up the 2016 season, but that will be a common comparison until this team picks up a victory.

Next: Discussing the Week 2 loss in the DPD Podcast

A must-win game against a bad team in Week 3 is not exactly a good sign for a team, but Browns fans are used to it by now. If the Browns can win, they have a chance to reel off a few in a row with the weak upcoming schedule. This may be wishful thinking, but it being so early in the year still allows for that optimism.