After many years of dysfunction and toxicity, the Cleveland Browns franchise is finally heading in the right direction.
In 2020, the Browns ended a nearly two-decade playoff drought.
Cleveland fans can expect more success in 2021 as the Browns have had one of the better offseason’s.
After going 11-5 in 2020, should fans buy or sell stock that the Browns will finish with 11+ wins this upcoming season?
Answer: BUY! BUY! BUY!
Last year, rookie head coach Kevin Stefanski shifted the culture in Cleveland.
Not only did he win the 2020 AP NFL Coach Of The Year Award, more importantly, he put the Cleveland Browns back on the map.
A large reason for that profound success was primarily due to the fact that he put QB Baker Mayfield in the best position to excel.
Baker was able to limit his turnovers and become more efficient in Cleveland’s offensive system.
Baker Mayfield made a HUGE leap in 2020!
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) March 31, 2021
The Cleveland Browns 2021 opponents are as follows:
Home: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, Bears, Broncos, Lions, Raiders, Texans
Away: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, Chargers, Chiefs, Packers, Patriots, Vikings
With a 17th regular-season game being added, the Cleveland Browns will also host the Arizona Cardinals.
The #Browns will host the Cardinals for the 17th regular season game, approved today. In addition, the NFL reduced the preseason schedule from 4 to 3 games. With Cleveland receiving an extra home game during the regular season, they'll only have one home preseason game this year.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) March 30, 2021
With that, I have the Cleveland Browns finishing the 2021 regular season with a record of 12-5.
Here is how I got to that calculation.
Last year alone, the Cleveland Browns went 3-3 in divisional play.
They swept the Bengals, split with the Steelers and got swept by the Ravens.
In the 2021 season, I expect the Browns to sweep the Bengals and Steelers, and split with the Ravens.
Towards the end of the 2021 season, Cleveland showed they could go toe-to-toe with nearly anybody in the league.
That puts them at 5-1 in divisional play.
This year, Cleveland will face the NFC North.
I have them going 3-1 against the North, with wins coming against Detroit, Chicago and Green Bay.
Detroit is a mess and Chicago can’t seem to figure out their quarterback issues and I think Cleveland’s ground game will cause havoc for Green Bay.
That puts them at 8-2.
The AFC division they face this year will be the West.
I have Cleveland going 2-2 against that division, beating the Raiders and Broncos.
That puts them at 10-4 with three remaining games against Houston, New England, and Arizona, in which I have Cleveland winning two of those — Houston and Arizona — having them finish with a record of 12-5.
Cleveland Browns Offseason Moves
Last year, Cleveland’s offensive line solidified themselves as one of the best in the league.
Their struggles were primarily on the defensive side of the ball.
The Browns revamped their defensive line most notably by signing former Atlanta Falcon, Takk McKinley.
Browns are signing Takk McKinley, per source. One year deal that could reach more than $4M.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) March 16, 2021
Perhaps, one of the more underrated signings throughout free agency was the signing of John Johnson.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) March 15, 2021
The Browns also expect both Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit to return to the secondary after sustaining injuries last season.
With improvements on the defensive side of the ball and the offense showing promise, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to many if Cleveland wins 11+ games.