Cleveland Browns Streak No. 3: 16-Year winless streak in season-opening games
While the Cleveland Browns have made great strides as a franchise in recent years, especially since naming Kevin Stefanski head coach, there is one streak that still lingers and is a weight on the entire organization. The current winless streak in season-opening games for the organization is at 16 years, and with a tough matchup in Week 1 this year, it could very well continue for at least another year.
The Browns last won a season-opening game in 2004 when they defeated the Baltimore Ravens 20-3. Since that season, it has been one disappointing start after another for a franchise that wants to get this monkey off their back so badly.
In 2018, the Browns came the closest they had since the 2004 season of winning their opening game, with their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers ending in a tie at 21 points each. That tie ended a 17-game losing streak, including an 0-16 season the previous season.
No matter the coach, general manager, or level of competition they play, the Browns just can’t get over the hurdle of winning in Week 1 of an NFL season. This year, however, there’s finally some stability within the organization. Baker Mayfield has the same offensive staff for a second year for the first time in his career, and the team all-around improved due to the stellar drafting and free agent signings of general manager Andrew Berry. That could finally mean good things for the Browns, both physically seen by the fans and mentally by the players.
If there were ever a season that the winless streak in Week 1 games could end, it is 2021. While the opponent is also rebuilt and ready for another Super Bowl run with Patrick Mahomes running the show, the Browns appear ready to take another step forward from their 2020 success.
Step one in that journey starts on Sunday by beating the Kansas City Chiefs and starting a new streak in opening games. This time, however, it will finally be a positive one.