5. Finding their identity
One of the biggest obstacles the Browns faced in 2019 was figuring out who they were. Every game seemed to be another odd show as the helplessly trudged along without a plan.
They would at times look to establish the run, which made a lot of sense considering Nick Chubb was playing out of his mind. He finished second in the NFL with 1,494 yards which put him ahead of Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliot but right behind Derrick Henry who needed a monster Week 17 to pass Chubb.
He would have won the title too, had it not been for their inability to stick with what was working. Freddie Kitchens was too quick to abandon the run and he wasn’t trying to get any kind of rhythm in the passing game either.
Despite having a struggling offensive line, Kitchens would drop Baker Mayfield back and dial-up long pass plays which resulted in Mayfield throwing under duress often while also forcing a lot of passes.
In 2020, they have to come into games with a better plan, which includes figuring out who they are. New head coach Kevin Stefanski had no problem doing this in Minnesota as he featured a great running attack led by Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison which allowed Kirk Cousins to pick his spots in the passing game.
The result was the No. 8 scoring offense in the NFL according to Pro Football Reference and a trip to the postseason. Cleveland could expect similar success, as long as they prove they can find their identity in 2020.