Last season was a disaster for the Browns Game. The hope is a change of leadership will lead to more success in 2020.
There were high expectations for the squad in 2019, with Baker Mayfield coming off a strong rookie season while Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and others had the potential to lead an explosive offense. Things didn’t work out, but the tools are still there for a much better showing this season.
Including defensive talent like Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward, there is a lot of upside on this roster.
New head coach Kevin Stefanski will try to get the squad back on track and into the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Cleveland Browns Schedule
Week 1 (Aug. 13-17) – vs Chicago Bears – Time TBD
Week 2 (Aug. 20-24) – vs Green Bay Packers – Time TBD
Week 3 (Aug. 30) – vs Minnesota Vikings – 4:00 p.m./FOX
Week 4 (Sept. 3-4) – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Time TBD
Week 1: Sept. 13 – vs Baltimore Ravens – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 2: Sept. 17 (Thurs.) – vs Cincinnati Bengals – 8:20 p.m./NFLN
Week 3: Sept. 27 – vs Washington Redskins – 1:00 p.m./FOX
Week 4: Oct. 4 – vs Dallas Cowboys – 1:00 p.m./FOX
Week 5: Oct. 11 – vs Indianapolis Colts – 4:25 p.m./CBS
Week 6: Oct. 18 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 7: Oct. 25 – vs Cincinnati Bengals – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 8: Nov. 1 – vs Las Vegas Raiders – 1:00 p.m./FOX
Week 9: Nov. 8 – BYE –
Week 10: Nov. 15 – vs Houston Texans – 1:00 p.m./FOX
Week 11: Nov. 22 – vs Philadelphia Eagles – 1:00 p.m./FOX
Week 12: Nov. 29 – vs Jacksonville Jaguars – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 13: Dec. 6 – vs Tennessee Titans – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 14: Dec. 14 (Mon.) – vs Baltimore Ravens – 8:15 p.m./ESPN
Week 15: Dec. 20 – vs New York Giants – 1:00p.m./CBS
Week 16: Dec. 26 or 27 – vs New York Jets – Time TBD
Week 17: Jan. 3 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers – 1:00 p.m./CBS
The offense finished last season 22nd in the NFL in points scored and total yards, but it is capable of much more than that.
The unit was at its best with a run-first approach, which Stefanski utilized well with the Minnesota Vikings. Adding tackles Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. plus fullback Andy Janovich will also help get the most out of the run game, with Chubb and Hunt having plenty of room to roam.
This should then take a lot of pressure off Mayfield, allowing him to thrive with the weapons around him.
The challenge for this team will be consistency. The Browns had impressive showings in 2019 with wins over the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills, but they also had losses to the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals.
An easier schedule could help in 2020, with the team facing the NFC East rather than the NFC West (0-4 in 2019), but Cleveland will have to play at a high level each week regardless of opponent in order to live up to expectations.
The Browns will make two trips to MetLife Stadium next season with games against the New York Giants and New York Jets. Both could be interesting as Mayfield duels other young quarterbacks trying to establish themselves in Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold.
Still, the most important games for Cleveland will be in the division.
No game will get more attention than the first time the Browns face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6.
Things got rough when these teams battled last year, and there could be more fireworks when Garrett comes back in 2020. The game itself should also be interesting as the two squads fight for standing in the AFC North.
The Steelers could be a tough team to beat next year when Ben Roethlisberger returns, which could make this game a measuring stick for the rest of the year.
Cleveland was also one of two teams to beat the Ravens last season in a shocking 40-25 road win that showcased this squad’s potential. The team will have two more chances to match up with the divisional favorites in 2020, at home in Week 14 and on the road in Week 1.
Record prediction: 9-7