PFF used its own ratings and grades in addition to available market data.
And the result is good news for Cleveland Browns fans.
PFF Has Browns Going 8-8
The Browns come in at a projected 8.0 wins in the 10,000 simulations.
🚨 IT’S HERE! 🚨
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 7, 2020
This would indicate just a two-game improvement on the disappointing 2019 season.
I doubt many Browns fans would take an 8-win season right now.
But some good news: the Pittsburgh Steelers come in at 7.7 projected wins.
PFF also gives Joe Burrow some credit.
College football’s highest graded passer
2017: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma – 94.5
2018: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma – 93.7
2019: Joe Burrow, LSU – 94.2 pic.twitter.com/CH0n27F4dr
— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 7, 2020
They have the Bengals winning a projected 6.7 games.
The Bengals went 2-14 last year.
PFF Says 8-8 Is Good Enough For The Playoffs In AFC
The silver lining in projecting the Browns with 8 wins is that it would secure the #6 seed in the AFC, according to PFF’s projections.
The projections list the AFC playoff seeds and their projected win totals like this:
1.) Kansas City Chiefs – 11.2 wins
2.) Baltimore Ravens – 10.5 wins
3.) Tennessee Titans – 9.2 wins
4.) Buffalo Bills – 7.9 wins
5.) Indianapolis Colts – 8.2 wins
6.) Cleveland Browns – 8.0 wins
The teams just missing out on the playoffs in this scenario would be the Houston Texans (7.9), New England Patriots (7.7) and Pittsburgh Steelers (7.7).
This means the “middle class” is crowded with potential playoff teams.
The Browns fall squarely into this mix.
Playoff Matchup With Tennessee
The simulation has the Browns traveling to Nashville for a date with the Titans in the first round of the playoffs.
The Browns defense had no answer for Titans QB Marcus Mariota in that matchup.
He threw for 3 touchdowns, including a 75-yarder to Derrick Henry.
This season, the Browns will travel to Tennessee in Week 13 in what could now be a playoff preview.
It will be Cleveland’s first look at the revamped Titans team that advanced to the AFC Championship game last season.
Most rushing yards on plays contacted behind the line of scrimmage in 2019:
Derrick Henry – 374
Nick Chubb – 343
Ezekiel Elliott – 335
Chris Carson – 286
Lamar Jackson – 275 pic.twitter.com/I4gbAE0JiK
— PFF (@PFF) May 11, 2020
Good Thing The Browns Are In The AFC
8-8 would not be good enough for a playoff spot in the NFC.
With better quarterbacks, it’s no surprise the playoff race will be more challenging in that conference.
Pro Football Focus projects 8 teams in the NFC to win more than the Browns 8.0 games.
The #6 seed in the NFC would be Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8.7 wins).
The projections have the Minnesota Vikings (8.4 wins) and Los Angeles Rams (8.2 wins) just missing out on the playoffs.
With Las Vegas setting the Browns over/under win total at 8.5 games and PFF projecting 8.0 wins, it might be time for Browns fans to expect an 8 or 9-win season in 2020.