Sadly, the Cleveland Browns will head into their Week 9 bye week on a loss.
Although, it’s not all bad since Cleveland is still in the playoff picture.
The Browns are currently 5-3 heading into their bye week, which is something that hasn’t been said in quite some time.
Cleveland somehow has five wins despite losing both Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham Jr. to injury.
Browns’ WR Odell Beckham Jr texted @JosinaAnderson that he tore his ACL and his season is over.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 26, 2020
The Browns are still in playoff contention halfway through the season, which feels abnormal.
This team should feel good about their record despite taking a tough 16-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 8.
Cleveland has put themselves in good position, but finishing strong is the key.
The good news is, head coach Kevin Stefanski hinted that Chubb could return to the field after the bye week.
INJURY UPDATE: @Browns HC Kevin Stefanski now says RB Nick Chubb (knee) has the possibility to return after their Week 9 Bye pic.twitter.com/mM8wyeiGVe
— The Fantasy Source 🏈 (@FantasySource_) October 26, 2020
The Browns could obviously use the boost on offense, especially after scoring six points versus the Raiders.
Chubb is one of the best running backs in the league, so his return would be huge for this offense.
Losing OBJ means the Browns might lean on the ground game more during the second half of the year.
Before getting injured, Chubb posted two 100-yard performances through his first four games of the season.
Chubb’s health status is going to be a big factor in how the Browns play during the second half.
What’s On The Horizon?
Luckily for Cleveland, the second part of their schedule is filled with quite a few winnable games.
Right out of their bye week they get the Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, and Jacksonville Jaguars in three straight weeks.
Two of those teams have one win on the year and the Eagles have been derailed by injuries this season..
Thursday Injury Report pic.twitter.com/Gd79YDZqCl
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 29, 2020
The Browns must capitalize and win those games, but the schedule does get a little tougher after that.
They will face the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens to begin the month of December.
It’s important for Cleveland to get those three wins out of the bye week in case they have trouble versus these teams.
After that, Cleveland closes out the season with matchups against the New York Giants and New York Jets in two of the final three weeks.
At this point, both the Giants and Jets are in a battle to see who can lose more in order to get that No. 1 overall pick.
Getting that pick would likely mean they’d land prized Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Trevor Lawrence led the way for the @ClemsonFB offense! 🏈#ALLIN | @Trevorlawrencee pic.twitter.com/TpwD9c7ZJy
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) October 24, 2020
Those two matchups should be the easiest of the Browns remaining schedule.
However, they will finish off the season with a tough battle against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That could potentially be a big divisional game, but they’ll see how both teams play in the second half.
The Browns are possibly looking at worst a 9-7 record to finish the 2020 season.
However, there’s a good chance that Cleveland will be able to finish with at least 10 wins.
In theory, that should be enough to make the playoffs, but you never know.
Cleveland certainly has a favorable second-half schedule, which is good for a team that has looked shaky at times in the first half.
Hopefully, the Browns can work out their issues during their bye week and come out strong in Week 10.
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