One could argue that the Cleveland Browns‘ bye week came at the perfect time.
With the trade deadline right after their Week 8 contest, there was time to adjust to roster additions and lost players.
But Andrew Berry sat on his expiring contracts and failed to bolster any of the team’s weaknesses.
BROWNS WIN!!! 🥳🤙 pic.twitter.com/nOnolXU7hk
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 1, 2022
And now fans wonder if the momentum from a stellar win over Cincinnati peters out before the next game.
Cleveland has one of the NFL’s most difficult schedules over the final 8 weeks.
And they’ll have to avoid the negative trends that preceded their latest victory if they want to make a playoff push.
Here is how we project the outcome of the Browns’ final 8 games.
Avoiding an AFC East Sweep
Cleveland hits the road for a pair of AFC East contests out of the bye.
With losses to the Jets and Patriots under their belt, it won’t be easy to avoid the sweep.
But in his young head-coaching career, Kevin Stefanski is a perfect 2-0 after an off week.
It never gets old watching Nick Chubb jump over dudes pic.twitter.com/shcARh8GUA
— Michael Killi (@MikeKilli) November 1, 2022
There was a bad weather snoozer against the Raiders, but he also had the team up 24-3 against the Ravens last year.
If the defense and Jacoby Brissett play like last week, a big lead won’t end in a nail-biter as that Baltimore game.
And even with the undefeated Tua Tagovailoa behind center, a win in Miami shouldn’t surprise many folks.
3 Tricky Games Decide Our Fate
Tampa Bay is not the powerhouse we expected, and the Browns want a win in Jacoby Brissett’s last start.
But Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, so penciling in a home win is not the confident bet it could be.
Likewise, the Houston Texans play far tougher at home than away.
Amari is only the second receiver in Browns history to have 3 games of 100+ rec yds and rec TD in a season and the first since 2013 😲@AmariCooper9 | #Browns pic.twitter.com/rkDDW3sLrC
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 1, 2022
And emotions could play as big a role for their team as it will for Deshaun Watson in his first game back.
Stefanski and the Browns appear to have the Bengals’ number, and they round out 3 important games rolling into December.
Cleveland could be back at .500 and dueling with the Bengals for playoff position, and a sweep of these 3 games is possible.
Traps Line Up In Final Weeks
If Cleveland finds itself at 7-6 by Week 14, it could be a home favorite versus the Ravens.
And this is the biggest game left on the schedule, bolstered by a Deshaun Watson without rust and a home crowd.
With just one more division game on tap, this will go a long way in deciding the AFC North or a wild card chance.
This Myles Garrett spin move is unblockable 😳
(🎥: @FTBeard7) pic.twitter.com/zGias4GSkE
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 1, 2022
But Cleveland has to be careful not to look past the final 3 weeks as they face 3 truly unpredictable opponents.
New Orleans and Washington have mixed some good games in between clunkers.
And Pittsburgh won’t have a reason to rest anybody in Week 17, either.
Final Verdict: Browns Roll
Anyone watching the 2022 NFL season won’t be surprised by anything between 0-8 and 8-0 from here on out.
But looking at games the team should win, and throwing in a few they could, has us optimistic.
Miami and the second Baltimore game would be key victories over playoff-caliber opponents.
The #Browns did so many of the little things well against the Bengals last night that’s it’s almost scary.
Who is this team, and where the did usual 2022 Cleveland Browns go???
Talk about immediate improvement. pic.twitter.com/4K1zVJDepy
— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) November 1, 2022
Houston will be big underdogs, but rust on Watson and emotions from ex-teammates could derail expectations.
We still think Cleveland pulls that game out, along with the Tampa, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Washington, and Pittsburgh games.
And a split with Baltimore and Miami leaves the Cleveland Browns with a 10-7 record and a home wild card.
An honest and probable observation; thank you Pat.
Concerned Browns Fan says
I am involved in the chat group on Sports for CLE, and at the beginning of the season, my call for wins/loss was also 10-7. If Jacoby would have gotten the proper support from the D and Special Teams, 10-7 would have been a safe bet, with the possibility of being 12-5!
That being said. Do you see the Browns bring back Pfifer as the Special Teams coordinator? He has been an horrific hire, and the only thing that seems to be keeping him employed with our Browns, is loyalty from K.S…
I know a majority of the fans would like to see Joe Woods fired, but if the D continues to play well, as they have the last two games. it is my guess that the man gets one more year. Loosing Anthony Walker hurt the D more than anyone could have imagined. We have the youngest team in the league, and A.B will make roster moves, that should remove the team, from having the worst D-Line in the NFL.
Pat Opperman says
Wassup CBF! Yeah- I think Woods has a better chance to return in 2023 than Preifer. I think the special teams coordinator was given a warning shot across the bow when they fired his top assistant after last season. I don’t see how they justify bringing Mike back for a fourth.
It won’t surprise me either way on Woods. He has some stats that sound good, But I think he needs to finish really strong this season as the defense gets healthier.
you ignored the Bills haha
I predict 8-9 tops
I’m thinking 7-10. A lifetime of following the Browns keeps me in the “worst case scenario” mindset.