Cleveland Browns, AFC North 1st place, say it aloud!

After Week 4 of the 2019 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns are finally in first place of the AFC North. At least for now. Browns fans should take advantage of this while they can and say it out loud.

With the first quarter of the 100th NFL season already in the books, the Cleveland Browns are in first place of the AFC North.

How cool is that sentence, Browns fans?

Read it to yourself. Or say it aloud. Maybe Dawg-whisper it shamelessly near Steelers or Ravens or Bengals fans as you quietly fist-pound your orange and brown (and hopefully shirtless) chest with some long-time-coming pride.

Whatever, you deserve it, Browns fans. It’s been a while.

The Cleveland Browns are in first place of the AFC North.

By Dorsey, the multiple joys of that sentence (especially given that it’s finally true again) are indescribable…but let me give it a shot.

Here’s the resulting Joy-Breakdown of this post-Week 4/pre-Week 5 moment as I see it.

Joy #1 – Against all odds, the banged-up Browns surged to the top of their division by beating up on the healthy Baltimore Ravens in Week 4 the way they should have against the wounded New York Jets in Week 2 and closed the deal for the win like they could have in Week 3 against the Los Angeles Rams. What a great sign for a talented team that’s looked a bit lost since they folded to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1.

Joy #2Baker Mayfield’s receivers, led by Jarvis Landry, and his tight ends caught (and held onto) his quicker-thrown passes and Ricky Seals-Jones even pulled a “Chief” move and scored a huge touchdown. Finally, the Browns’ offense looked dangerous (whew) like we thought they’d be. Like they are.

Joy #3 – Freddy Kitchens’ offensive attack finally included a respectable offensive line and at last centered around running back Nick Chubb, who showed that he is indeed worth giving the ball to. Often. With his ability to hard-hit his way to the secondary (and beyond), other Browns’ playmakers should begin to find more openings on the field.

Joy #4 – Special teams converted every field goal kick and covered the Hammer’s huge punts, something that no Browns fan with any kind of memory will ever take for granted. (Two words: Zane Gonzalez, no offense. Literally.)

Joy #5 – The defense shut down the Ravens’ (until then) highly effective and touted RPO ground attack and took away Lamar’s balls (2 interceptions), punished him for daring to take snaps (4 sacks) and neutralized “Hollywood” Brown to just four catches (0 TDs). Coordinator Steve Wilks has turned Cleveland’s 30th ranked defense into the NFL’s 13th best (and rising) unit after just four weeks of playing.

Bonus Joy #1Odell Beckham Jr., arguably one of the best receivers in the league, fought double and sometimes triple coverage all game and came down with just 2 catches, opening huge running and passing lanes for everybody else. Total unselfishness. Soon OBJ’ll get his share of receptions as defenses are forced to game plan against too many of the Browns’ offensive factors.

Bonus Joy #2 – The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals have become irrelevant in the AFC North. Mmmm. Not sure how long that will last but it sure is a pure bonus joy to be able to say that out loud right now.

Bonus Joy #3 – For the next week (at least), long-suffering Cleveland Browns fans get to carry this temporary AFC North 1st Place badge of honor around with them and it feels so good. Quiet those AFC North Facebook fan pages this week, for now.

In closing, let’s not forget that until at least next Monday night:

The Cleveland Browns are in first place of the AFC North.

Say it out loud for fun, for pride, (for revenge!) or keep it to yourself if you’re so inclined but either way, Browns fans, it’s absolutely true.

Now imagine the pure joy of still saying that after Week 17.