Cleveland Browns fans usually have high expectations for the team every single season.
Predictions of 8-8 or even the playoffs likely left the mouths of some fans during the 1-15 and 0-16 seasons.
Things appear to be different now with Kevin Stefanski as head coach and a seemingly competent group running the front office.
The top advantage the group has is all the talent on the roster that still managed to win six games with terrible coaching in 2019.
Winning six games is not a major accomplishment, but that win total is not an easy one for the Browns since returning in 1999.
The Browns have only won at least six games in seven seasons since coming back.
— Noah Hiles (@Noah_Hiles95) May 7, 2020
So what is an acceptable win total in 2020 given all the talent on the team?
A Basic Expectation
There is no reason why every NFL team can’t fight for an 8-8 record every season.
Browns fans have just been beaten down with all the losing.
The team rallied to go 7-8-1 in 2018 after a 2-6-1 start.
There was also a minimum of three games that year the Browns should have won that they either lost or tied.
2019 was another year with plenty of those “swing” games.
Week 3 against the Los Angeles Rams was a blown opportunity, as was Week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks, and even Week 9 in Denver.
Odell Becham Jr. is not happy and he's letting Freddie Kitchens know about it. pic.twitter.com/Ovy7YmWhNI
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 22, 2019
And does anyone remember losing to the 2-14 Cincinnati Bengals to finish the season?
Simply playing competent football doesn’t just make 8-8 a reality, but rather a basic expectation.
All The Talent
The 8-8 expectation is for every team.
The Browns have the likes of Myles Garrett, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Denzel Ward, Kareem Hunt, and the list goes on.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) June 26, 2020
Baker Mayfield is one of the top keys to success, but do remember that Mitchell Trubisky led the Chicago Bears to the postseason in 2018.
All the talent around Mayfield should up the expectation to a bare minimum of 9-7.
Some fans will attempt to go through the schedule and predict a record that way.
That is a next-to-impossible task given the unique circumstances potentially surrounding the 2020 season and the fact the Browns haven’t exactly followed a normal path in the past.
One of last year’s six wins came against a dominant Baltimore Ravens team, while a loss came against the Bengals.
Not exactly sticking to logical expectations.
The glaring issue last season was terrible coaching by Freddie Kitchens.
Games were horribly mismanaged and the team looked like it gave up in the final three weeks when there was still some hope for a playoff berth.
At some point, the Browns are going to have to turn things around.
The team probably should win at least 10 games with all the talent on the roster.
However, this is the Browns we are talking about.
Just finishing with a winning record of 9-7 would be a major cause for celebration.
The last winning record came in 2007.
Would you be upset with a 9-7 record in 2020?