Will the Cleveland Browns finally end their playoff drought?
Last season, many thought that it would be the years that the Cleveland Browns finally bounced back and it would begin an era of the team not being one of the biggest laughing stocks of the NFL. While last year was a big step in the right direction for the team, they fell short of their team goals and expectations they had for themselves and the fans had for them going into the year.
However, this year is a new year and the Browns are looking better than ever. According to Bleacher Report’s most recent power rankings, the Browns are ranked 17th overall but are ranked as the 7th team in the AFC. The AFC teams ranked in front of them are the Kansas City Cheifs, the Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills, and the Tennessee Titans.
Going by those rankings, it means the Cleveland Browns are set up to fill the final wildcard spot in the playoffs. With the AFC North being arguably the best division in the entire NFL this season, it will be very difficult for the Browns to make the playoffs this season.
However, with the team having one year of playing together under their belts in comparison to last season when some of the team’s most important players were in their first season with the Browns. Along with this, they were playing under what could have been one of the worst coaches the Browns have had in years in a system that did not utilize some of the Browns’ most important and skilled players on the team.
With an established coach in Kevin Stefanski who has shown that he can get the most out of his players with the Minnesota Vikings, it appears that the offense could live up to expectations this season.
In 2017, Stefanski took over as the quarterback coach for the Vikings and under his mentorship, Case Keenum threw for 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Stefanski also has a background in positionally coaching running backs and tight ends.
This should excite Browns fans as they have the best running back core in the league along with a tight end rotation of Austin Hooper and David Njoku. Also, after seeing what Stefanski was capable of doing with Keenum, this could be a career year for Baker.
The Browns should easily have the offense to get the job done to make the playoffs and finally end the drought. However, the defense could be cause for some concern.
As of now, the Browns have a huge hole at the linebacking position after the losses of Joe Schobert and Chrisitan Kirksey. Along with this, Greedy Williams suffered a shoulder injury in training camp that possibly could be serious and cause him to miss time in a season where every game will count.
Hopefully, for Brown’s fans, the team will finally live up to the expectations that they have and will be able to reach the playoffs before the streak reaches an astronomical 18 years.