One of the most bizarre things in 2020 is the Cleveland Browns enter their bye week with a 5-3 record.
The Browns would make the playoffs as the AFC’s seventh seed if the regular season ended headed into Week 9.
ESPN’s FPI shows the Browns have a 53.4% chance of making the playoffs, which would end the NFL’s longest active playoff drought.
Here is a statistical break down of the Browns through the first half of the 2020 regular season:
Second-easiest remaining schedule
Only the Raiders have an easier second-half schedule than the Browns.
On the road, the Browns are set to play the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6), the New York Giants (1-6) and New York Jets (0-8).
The Browns have home games against the Houston Texans (1-6) and the Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1).
Baker Mayfield under pressure
Many people have noticed how much Mayfield struggles under pressure, but he’s pretty effective when he’s not.
ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert dug into the stats.
Mayfield has a 67.4 QBR on plays where he is not hit or under pressure, which ranks 10th in the NFL
During the same span, Mayfield has a 67.4% completion rate and has thrown 13 of his 15 touchdown passes.
Mayfield has not been hit or put under pressure on 185 dropbacks out of 223 so far this season.
However, when Mayfield is pressured or hit, he has posted a 55.7 QBR, which ranks 25th in the NFL.
On those dropbacks, Mayfield has completed 41.3% of his passes for two touchdowns with three interceptions.
General manager Andrew Berry must continue to evaluate whether it is worth it for the Browns to pick up Mayfield’s fifth-year team option on his rookie deal.
Mayfield’s fifth-year option in 2022 would be worth between $25 million and $26 million.
Pro Football Focus ranks Mayfield has the 27th-best quarterback with a 67.5 grade.
49.63% run percentage
The Browns run the ball at the fourth-highest frequency in the NFL behind the Baltimore Ravens (51.82%), New England Patriots (50.11%) and Minnesota Vikings (49.63%).
It comes as no surprise considering first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski ran the ball at the third-highest frequency a year ago as the Vikings offensive coordinator.
The Browns rank second (150 rushing yards per game) behind the Ravens (156.38 yards per game) in total rushing yards.
However, the Browns have averaged just 95.5 rushing yards in their past four games compared to an average of 200-plus in their first four games, when Nick Chubb and Wyatt Teller were healthy.
Despite averaging 5 yards per carry, the Browns rank 22nd in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 29:11 per game.
It’s clear the Browns look to establish Chubb (when healthy), Kareem Hunt and company in the backfield.
Since acquiring Hunt in 2019, the Browns have a 7-1 record in games where he scores a touchdown.
Myles Garrett has 9 sacks
Garrett continues to build his candidacy to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Headed into Week 9, Garrett and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald lead the NFL with nine sacks each.
Garrett has forced offenses to lose a league-leading 74 yards on his sacks too.
He is also tied for eighth in the NFL with 9 TFLs.
Garrett is not expected to miss any time after a knee injury limited his playing time in the Week 8 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
1.8 takeaways per game
The Browns rank seventh in the NFL in team takeaways per game.
Certainly, the Browns have been a “bend but don’t break defense” so far this season.
The Browns defense has allowed an average of 264.6 yards per game, which is fourth-most in the NFL.
More importantly, they rank eighth in the league in turnover margin, winning the turnover battle on an average of +0.5 per game.
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