Despite no Deshaun Watson, Browns set up for winning record

Browns, Jacoby Brissett. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Browns, Jacoby Brissett. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

Without Deshaun Watson, how will the Browns do through the first 11 games?

For the first time in what seems like forever, heading into a new season, there’s not a ton of buzz surrounding the Cleveland Browns, as they aren’t attracting much national media coverage or hype at all.

Obviously, Deshaun Watson has been the center of attention for the team since the day they acquired him, but in terms of expectations for the season, there don’t seem to be any from people outside of the organization.

If I’m the Browns, I’m extremely happy. Being surrounded by talk and big names the past few years with little to no accomplishments to show for it, it has to be refreshing going into a new season where only the guys in the locker room know what they expect out of each other each and every Sunday.

Despite being without their new franchise quarterback for 11 games to start the season, I think people will be pleasantly surprised with Jacoby Brissett, as he’s a proven leader that is able to get the job done when his name is called.

So, how many wins can the Browns snag in the absence of Watson?

First four games: 3-1

At Carolina, vs New York Jets, vs Pittsburgh, at Atlanta is how the first four games of the season shake out for the Browns.

If Cleveland wants to have any shot at making it to the playoffs this season, going 3-1 in their first four seems like a must to me at this point. Their schedule gets pretty tough for a good portion of the season, so they have to make sure they win the games they are “supposed to”.

Second set of four games: 2-2

This is where things get pretty tough for Cleveland, making things a bit more complicated. The next four opponents are as follows; vs Chargers, vs Patriots, at Ravens, vs Bengals.

I understand that the NFL is a quarterbacks league, trust me. The Browns also understand that, explaining why the went out and gave Watson $230 million guaranteed.

Even with Brissett, this team is ready to win now. They have so much young talent and so many guys locked up contract wise for years to come, so their window is now.

Personally, I’m sick of seeing the “another wasted year” narrative when it comes to this season. Brissett doesn’t turn the ball over much, and that’s all they need while they wait for Watson to arrive.

Take the 49ers for example. Jimmy Garoppolo is a little better than Brissett, but overall they are similar in the fact they they both aren’t anything crazy or flashy. They both are capable of making throws they need to at any given time, and they jus’t don’t turn the ball over.

Thinking about that and realizing that the 49ers were one game away from the Super Bowl last season may change the way you think a bit.

Look at last season. If Baker Mayfield doesn’t throw four interceptions on Christmas in Green Bay, Cleveland wins that game. If they have a competent quarterback capable of moving the ball down the field, they win the Ravens game, one where Lamar Jackson turned the ball over four times. The Browns went 2-0 against the Super Bowl Bengals last season with Mayfield and Case Keenum.

Even though this set of games seems brutal, they can manage to find two wins out of them, putting them at 5-3 going into the last three.

Last three: 1-2

At Miami, at Buffalo and vs Tampa Bay are the final three games without Watson.

To the naked eye, these might look like three automatic losses for a team waiting to get their franchise quarterback back on the field. However, they can manage to take one of these before he arrives.

Miami is probably the most likely out of the three teams, but anything can happen. Again, it is the NFL, and while you need great QB play, not making mistakes and doing your job always gives you a chance to win games in this league.

Anything can happen, as we all know. The Browns haven’t won their season opener since 2004. The time for them to change that is now, and

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September 11th can’t arrive soon enough.