It’s always great to win, but the Cleveland Browns cost themselves a few things by winning their final game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Cleveland Browns came out Sunday afternoon and put together a very nice performance. Case Keenum was one mistake away from this game not even being competitive. The fumble returned for a touchdown at the end of the second quarter was one of the few mistakes the Browns made today.
With the win, Cleveland finished the season at 8-9 and will now enter full offseason mode after being eliminated from the playoffs last week. General manager Andrew Berry certainly has a good amount of work ahead of him before the start of the 2022 season.
Some folks are wondering, what does a win do for the organization today?
It’s a valid question, and the correct answer is that a win in the final week of the season just starts 2022 on a positive note. I don’t care it was vs. second-teamers from Cincinnati, the Browns got a win, finished 3-3 in the division, and swept the Bengals in 2021.
However, there are certainly some negatives that come from winning. With a loss, the Browns would have been picking at No. 11 vs. No 13. Honestly, not a huge difference, but a top wide receiver certainly could go in the span.
The other big thing that happens from a win, you now get a third-place schedule vs. a last place. That means in the AFC you’ll now face the Dolphins, Texans, and Raiders next season instead of the Jets, Jaguars, and Broncos. Might not make a huge difference, but the Jets and Jags are certainly two of the worst teams in the league, and I don’t see that changing.
Not only do the Browns lose the last place schedule, the Ravens who were decimated with injuries this year will now have a cupcake schedule in 2022 and make them early favorites to win the division. The Bengals have Joe Burrow but will have to face the Bills, Titans, and Chiefs in 2022.
Nothing is ever easy in the NFL, but it feels like the AFC is at parody more than ever, and the team will have to sharpen their pencil to make another playoff run as they did in 2020.