2. Cleveland Browns (4-3)
The Cleveland Browns let one get away on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. In a game that started disastrously for the Browns, the team battled back and made it their kind of game. Down 14 to nothing their offense came to life, by relying heavily on their screen game, and drove right down the field to get on the board and stop the bleeding.
From that point until late in the fourth quarter, Cleveland battled back and gave the Seahawks everything they could handle. The Browns managed to pull ahead of Seattle by three points in the third quarter. However, the Browns failed to pull away and secure the victory as the team faltered on both sides of the ball when the game was on the line.
But Sunday’s loss was not a plane hitting the mountain moment. It was a tough loss to team that plays in an immensely difficult place for visiting teams to play in. Don't forget that this was a game the Browns weren't favored to win coming into it.
It's the way the NFL game goes. Last week, Cleveland managed to pull out a game that they probably didn't deserve to win. This week, they managed to give a game away that should have won. Overall, they finished their mini-road trip going 1-1.
While many are scrambling to find a scapegoat for how the game got away from Cleveland, many are missing the big picture. The Browns are 4-3 and have just finished the toughest stretch of their regular season schedule. They have a winning record despite having bad quarterback play for the vast majority of those seven games.
Everything is still right in front of this team. Their ceiling is still tied to Deshaun Watson getting healthy and performing at a reasonably high level. Do they need that level of quarterback play to defeat the Arizona Cardinals in week nine to get to 5-3? Probably not. Should also be pointed out, that of all the AFC North teams that are 4-3, the Browns are the only team with a positive point differential.