Pro Football Focus has released results of 10,000 simulations of the 2020 NFL season.
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! 🚨
Our 2020 schedule » https://t.co/yYn7DjfxdP#WinItTogether pic.twitter.com/1vPeyHQ58F
— 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).
The AFC is not as strong as recent seasons with Tom Brady departing for the NFC.
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 were blown out by the Titans 43-13 in Week 1 of the disappointing 2019 season.
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.
QB Ryan Tannehill was brought back on a massive $118 million deal and RB Derrick Henry will be paid $10.2 million this season on the franchise tag.
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.
Nick Brown says
I thought they were moving to 14 playoff teams?
Jeremy Garrison says
You’re right Nick. My mistake. Doesn’t change the potential matchup with the Titans but gives the Browns some breathing room if they do go 8-8. Thanks for reading.