The Super Bowl has come and gone and yet again the Cleveland Browns were not in it, so what do they have to do in order to reach Super Bowl LVII next year?
If you are a fan of one of the 31 teams who fail to win the Super Bowl in any given year, you essentially wasted a year of fandom. No, that doesn’t mean you are a bad fan or you don’t know how to be a fan. It’s just the reality of it all. For the Cleveland Browns fanbase, we’ve never even seen this franchise reach the Super Bowl, let alone win it.
So how does a team with so much promise, yet so much turmoil, reach the Super Bowl for the 2022 season?
First and foremost, the play at the quarterback position needs to be vastly improved. If it is indeed Baker Mayfield under center come September, he needs to be a heck of a lot better than he was in 2021. Yes, we all know that he *only* played poorly because of the injuries to his left, non-throwing shoulder. Regardless of what was the cause, he played as poorly as you possibly can and that’s something that will not win many games in the NFL.
Look at this year’s Super Bowl for instance. Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow were the starting quarterbacks and both are lightyears ahead of Mayfield. Stafford is a seasoned veteran who finally made it to the big stage and took advantage.
Burrow, while only in his second season, is already better than Mayfield, regardless of what the Baker Bros have to say. Also, the win-loss, head-to-head means absolutely nothing, so don’t even bring it up.
There’s a possibility that it won’t be Mayfield as the signal-caller in 2022. I know I know, there is no better quarterback for this team or this city than Mayfield because he just gets us. I know we can judge Mayfield *only* on the 14 games he played at an elite level — while ignoring the rest of his four-year career.
However, general manager Andrew Berry is a lot smarter than all of us and will do a complete evaluation of Mayfield’s career and not base any decisions solely on 14 games — as that isn’t even a full season. Berry will also do his due diligence on the quarterback market, whether that be in free agency or exploring different trading scenarios.
It’s not set in stone that Mayfield will be the starting quarterback of the Browns next season. It is also not set in stone how he will recover from his offseason shoulder surgery. Obviously, we all hope he recovers to full strength and is able to get back on the field, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that hope is that he is back for the Browns.
Here’s where I’m at with Mayfield in regards to next season. If he is under center for the Browns, I will root for him and hope he can bounce back, while also being highly critical if he does not improve. If he is not on the roster, I will wish him well and hope he succeeds elsewhere. Let the chips fall where they may.