The expectation for the 2019 Cleveland Browns is to reach the playoffs, and odds-makers believe that the postseason is likely for the Browns.
Even though the Cleveland Browns going 7-8-1 last season after a winless 2017 campaign was viewed as a success, that was not a common thought inside of the Browns’ building.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens made it known that he was not satisfied with their record last season and said that it was not acceptable. He said the only goal they should be aiming for is to win the Lombardi Trophy.
The Browns may be on their way to accomplishing that, at least in the eyes of odds-makers in Las Vegas. In the most recent odds for the NFL playoffs, the Browns had the eighth-best odds in the NFL to reach the playoffs and the fifth-best of teams in the AFC.
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Although the Browns are a much improved team and are expected to have a better record than last season, it is still surprising to see them towards the top of the league in odds to reach the playoffs. The Browns are also viewed as one of the contenders to win the AFC Championship.
Cleveland has the best odds of any AFC North team to reach the playoffs, with the Steelers not far off the Browns at -110. The defending AFC North champions Baltimore Ravens did not receive favorable odds to reach the playoffs at +185. The Bengals had the third-worst odds in the NFL to reach the playoffs at +650.
With an offense built around Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr., there is good reason to think that the Browns have a good chance to reach the playoffs. Mayfield was able to lead an explosive offense last season without Beckham, so Mayfield having a chance to throw to a dynamic game-changer in 2019 should take the offense to the next level.
The defensive side of the ball will be the biggest question mark with a new defensive coordinator and several new starters. However, with as much talent as there is on the defensive side of the ball, they should be a much improved unit from last season if they can put it all together.
If Kitchens is able to make the adjustment to being a head coach and the locker room can manage the high expectations for 2019, then the Browns should be in good position to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002.