The Cleveland Browns have an absolutely stacked roster which is making them early favorites. NFL Spin Zone even thinks they will win Super Bowl 56.
For the first time in a very long time, the Cleveland Browns are getting a lot of hype as potential contenders. And it feels as though there should be legitimate hope this time as well.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski has established the right culture which led to their 11-5 campaign a season ago, as well as their first playoff win since the 1990s. As good as he’s been, an argument could be made that general manager Andrew Berry has been an even more integral piece since he’s filled the cupboard with talent.
That includes him re-loading a defense that really needed it. His work there gives them all the pieces to win it all according to Cody Williams of NFL Spin Zone who made 56 predictions ahead of Week 1, including his No. 1 prediction which was the Browns hoisting the Lombardi Trophy following Super Bowl 56.
"“I’m a believer in Baker Mayfield, in the offensive line, in the weapons, in Kevin Stefanski and in the rebuilt defense that is the best it’s been in a long, long time. This team has all the pieces and, as Mayfield finally takes the next step, that will put the Browns over the hump and earn them the Lombardi Trophy.” — Williams, Spin Zone"
This wasn’t his only prediction related to the Browns either. Earlier in his piece, Williams said that he can see Odell Beckham, Jr. rounding back into form and racking up some impressive numbers. His prediction for OBJ was a healthy 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Of course, if Beckham is playing that well, it would go a long way toward helping Cleveland get deep in the playoffs — and perhaps to their first-ever Super Bowl.
But as Williams pointed out, it’s the defense and the fact that Baker Mayfield has taken the next step that really matters. No. 6 was lights out down the stretch in 2020 and his command in the Stefanski offense is just one of the many reasons to believe this is not false hope.
As for the defense, they have all the tools to be a disruptive force. And as we saw in 2020, the Browns don’t need them to be the 1985 Chicago Bears. They just need them to be able to make enough stops to allow Mayfield to get it done on the other side.
They did that more times than not with a rough defense, so one led by Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and John Johnson should be just fine. And that could be enough to get them as far as they want to go.