Cleveland Browns: Booger McFarland, bikinis and some ugly statistics

DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 15: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns looks to the sidelines for a play while playing the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 15, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 15: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns looks to the sidelines for a play while playing the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 15, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The 2018 Cleveland Browns have statistics that makes them look like a great team, but there are statistics that will show there is still work to be done.

An analyst on Monday Night Football said something thought provoking.

NFL color commentator and guy ingenious enough to invent a heated, movable man cave with multiple-screens and a Lazy-Boy with cup holders for his sideline reporting job, Booger McFarland, said something that could easily be applied to the Browns.

"“Stats are like a bikini, they show some things, but not all things.”More from Dawg Pound DailyHow the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should notIs Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target"

That’s actually brilliant, Booger. Basically a simpler version of Aaron Levenstein’s quote:

"“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”"

Either way, it’s a smart take on manipulable numbers.

When only the shapely part of a statistical truth is revealed, it’s easy to forget that there might be a saggy underbelly of ugliness hidden away.

For example, if you put a ‘bikini’ on Baker Mayfield’s second-half stats against the Houston Texans in Week 13, you’d see that Mayfield threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions.

Mmm, hot.

But take off that sexy bikini, buddy boy, and you see the ugly truth – that those were 354 flabby yards that probably happened because the Texans defense was playing loose, just protecting the 23-0 lead they had at the half, comfortably ahead the entire game.

[descending slide-whistle: beeeeoooop]

All those passing yards but just two scores and still a loss? Maybe the bikini made them look sexier than they actually were.

When the Cleveland media throws a bikini on certain stats, it makes the Browns seem a lot better than they are, which does nobody any good.

It makes Gregg Williams seem better at the defensive coordinator job than current results would indicate.

It makes the Browns seem like immediate playoff contenders. That’s called fooling yourself, something Super Bowl winners never do.

Lots of sexy stats get thrown at Browns fans, but take the bikinis off them and you’re left with the sometimes embarrassingly ugly, shave-bumpy truth.

Here’s a look at some attractive Browns’ numbers, mostly defensive, with the bikini on, and then buck naked under the lights in order to reveal every ugly statistical wrinkle of truth there might be.

Not trying to be a toad – just trying to help level out some of those premature Browns playoff expectations circulating the internet these days.


Bikini On: The Browns lead the league in tackles with 981.

Buck Naked: Browns opponents run the ball an average of 126 yards per game, only eight teams allow more.

Ugly Truth: The Browns defense is ranked 24th against the run.


Bikini On: Pro-Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward has three interceptions, strong safety Damarious Randall has four and the team has 17 total, third most in the NFL.

Buck Naked: Cleveland allows opponents to throw for an average of 275 yards per game, only two teams allow more.

Ugly Truth: The Browns’ passing defense is ranked 30th in the league.


Bikini On: Browns defense is second in the league in takeaways with 30 of them, averaging 2.1 per game.

Buck Naked: The Browns have had difficulty turning their takeaways into scores and wins all season.

Ugly Truth: Extreme example, in the two games against Pittsburgh, the Browns had 8 takeaways that turned into just three points and a 0-1-1 record.


Bikini On: Pro-Bowl defensive end Myles Garrett has 12.5 sacks, tied for sixth most in the league.

Buck Naked: The Browns only have 32 total sacks as a team.

Ugly Truth: In a league of 32 teams, Cleveland is 25th in sacks.

Baker Mayfield

Bikini On: Mayfield, a first-year NFL quarterback, has thrown for 3,065 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions despite a change of head coach and offensive coordinator.

Buck Naked: Right now, Mayfield has a total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 50.2, ranked 25th out of 32 of his peers.

Ugly Truth: As exciting as his potential seems to be, Mayfield is having a typical rookie season.

The point being…

…the 2018 Browns are a work in progress, the year-three result of a five-year plan.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Browns fans, or get overly disappointed that Baker couldn’t bring Cleveland to the promised land his first year out.

Next. Browns, Nick Saban linked by Colin Cowherd. dark

In fact, take the bikini off this Browns season and it still looks pretty dang sexy:

Bikini On: The Browns and their first franchise quarterback since Bernie Kosar could legitimately win out against the Bengals and the Ravens.

Buck Naked: Baker’s Browns could end the 2018 season with a winning record of 8-7-1 after going 1-31 the prior two seasons.

Beautiful Truth: After another draft, free agency, and training camp, Baker’s Browns will be in position to make a legitimate playoff run.

Bikini or not, it doesn’t get more beautiful than that.