The Cleveland Browns haven’t won since Christmas Eve in 2016. Hopes are high that this season will change that, but when will their first win come?
It’s been a long time since the Cleveland Browns tasted victory in the NFL. The past two seasons have been especially rough with them winning just one time and losing 31 in that span. Things feel different this season though.
New general manager John Dorsey has gone out of his way to bring in some new talent and he’s got the players — and fans — buying in. Most of their big additions were to the offensive side of the ball, but it was the defense that rose to the occasion in Preseason Week 3 as they were creating turnovers at a high rate against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
That’s incredibly encouraging, but we know it only matters if they can do this in the regular season. With that being said, we want to answer the question: when will the first win since 2016 happen?
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It was way back in December of 2016 when Robert Griffin III led them to a late-season win to avoid 0-16 that season. They’ve since gone to DeShone Kizer and now Tyrod Taylor at quarterback — with No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield waiting in the wings.
Looking through the schedule for games they could win brings up some interesting matchups. They have two games against the Cincinnati Bengals (Week 12 and 16) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7. The New York Jets are also on the schedule in Week 3, which could see them going against No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold.
That game seems like one they could get a victory in, especially if the defense plays like they did on Thursday Night Football against the Eagles.
However, none of those games feel like they will be the first win for the Browns since that 20-17 Christmas Eve victory over the Chargers. Instead, the prediction here for the first win will be in Week 1 against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers.
While people outside the organization may scoff at this notion, it’s highly possible. The first reason is that running back Le’Veon Bell is in the midst of a hold-out with Pittsburgh. Even if he does return to the field, it’s reasonable to think he will be rusty.
The second reason is offensive coordinator Todd Haley. He was with the Steelers from 2012 through 2017 and has since joined the Browns. While reports suggest the parting was mutual, there’s usually more that goes on behind the scenes that we aren’t privy to. Surely, Haley wants to stick it to his old team.
Lastly, the Steelers will be surprised by the Browns. For years, they’ve beat up on Cleveland and will have that in their minds (we know they look past teams, ask the Jacksonville Jaguars). Expecting it to be an easy contest, the Browns could come out swinging and catch Pittsburgh off balance.
It’s a bold prediction, but it’s a decent bet that win No. 1 since 2016 will come when the Browns and Steelers face off in Cleveland on Sept. 9.