Colin Cowherd gave his assessment of the Cleveland Browns 2021 schedule released on Wednesday.
🚨🚨 IT’S HERE! ⏲️ NO MORE WAITING! The 2021 Schedule is HERE! https://t.co/GVBJTjk9q4 >> View Now and and tune in to "Schedule Release '21" on NFL Network at 8 p.m. for a full breakdown. pic.twitter.com/4hLjlsEpuA
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Though Cowherd sometimes has radical opinions about Browns and Baker-related topics, he actually makes sense with his assessment of the schedule.
Before we talk about his/over prediction, here are his overall observations about the Browns schedule.
1. Week 1 Against The Chiefs Is A Bad Matchup
Cowherd believes Andy Reid is hard to beat after bye weeks and the offseason.
Add to that he lost the Super Bowl in February and the Chiefs have improved their offensive line in the offseason, and according to Cowherd, the Browns are in trouble in Arrowhead.
2. Weeks 2 Through 5 Favor The Browns
Colin Cowherd doesn’t believe in the notion of strength of schedule when it uses last year’s teams’ winning percentages.
As he points out, the coaches, coordinators, and players change so what he looks at are organizations in chaos, rookie or uncertain quarterback situations, and rookie coaches.
Opponents during his stretch are the Texans, Bears, Vikings, and Chargers.
This stretch favors the Browns.
3. Raiders and Steelers Are Later In The Season
Cowherd gives the Browns an advantage because the Raiders lack depth and tend to lose steam later in the season.
The Browns play the Raiders in Week 15, the week before Christmas.
He also thinks the Browns have the edge with the Steelers game in Week 17 citing Ben Roethlisberger’s age and overall conditioning which now needs to withstand 17 regular season games.
4. The Two Ravens Games
Many have scratched their heads wondering why the Browns have the Ravens in Week 12, a bye in Week 13, and the Ravens again in Week 14.
Colin Cowherd says the Browns getting a bye week between those Ravens games is a plus.
He compares the Ravens schedule where they play the Browns, Steelers, and Browns during that stretch and believes the Browns will be fresher after the bye then the Ravens will be in Week 14.
All of that analysis leads Colin Cowherd to taking the over on the over/under Browns winning 9.5 games.
He has previously said the Browns should have a great season given the offseason free agents and draft picks the Browns have added.
Cowherd predicts that injuries and Baker Mayfield are what could hold the team back.
“There’s only two things keeping this Cleveland Browns team from getting to a Super Bowl. (One) injuries, which absolutely nobody can predict, and the quarterback. I can think of about eight, nine, ten quarterbacks that if you gave these edge rushers to (they’d win a title)… This a championship team and only two things can stop them — Baker or injuries. And so far, both are hard to predict.”
This is why we play the games because nobody knows what will happen on any given Sunday, but Cowherd does raise some valid points about the strength of schedule calculation and some of the Browns games on the schedule.