After an 11-5 season in 2020, the Cleveland Browns are now unlikely to even make the playoffs in 2021. Here are four reasons for the regression.
The Cleveland Browns lost another heartbreaker on Monday night to the Las Vegas Raiders, and now they are set to travel to Green Bay on Christmas Day to take on the 11-3 Packers. After winning 11 out of 16 games in 2020, it seems like a real long shot for the 7-7 Browns to get to nine total wins in 2021 with an extra game.
The good news, the Browns are within a game of first place in the division. The bad news, they find themselves in last place. However, they hold the tiebreaker over the Bengals, can pass the Steelers with a head-to-head win in two weeks, and Ravens’ remaining games are vs. the Bengals, Rams, and Steelers.
All very difficult games. I don’t want to be the guy that says the seasons over and it’s time to move on, but it’s nearly that time after the last-second loss to the Raiders. If the Browns win out, they certainly have a good shot, but at 7-7 do we really think that is plausible?
Here are four reasons the Cleveland Browns have regressed since last year.
Cleveland Browns regression: Reason No. 4 – Injuries and COVID19
There’s no doubt in my mind a fully healthy roster on Monday night takes care of business. The Browns had more than 20 positive COVID19 tests last week, and truly only got three of those players back. Between the offense and defense, the Browns were down eight starters which are tough to overcome.
On top of that, Baker Mayfield has been dinged up for most of the year, and guys like Denzel Ward, Anthony Walker, Jacob Phillips, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Jack Conklin, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and Troy Hill have all missed time because of injuries. That’s a heck of a list, and I’m sure I missed some.
Injuries are a part of the game, but it feels like Cleveland has been absolutely devastated. The good news, it feels like the whole team has already had COVID19, so they at least got that out of the way all in one week.