Since the Cleveland Browns returned to the NFL league twenty years ago, it seemed to many that they’ve been something of a joke. They’ve had little luck, and some pundits have labelled their offense as…offensive. In fact, up to last year the team hadn’t ranked inside the NFL’s top 20 offensively in the previous five seasons.
However, there was a slight tide change at the end of last year. Baker Mayfield was installed as quarterback, with Nick Chubb in the backfield and Freddie Kitchens as their offensive co-ordinator. This saw them climb to thirteenth in the league.
Could 2019 be the Brown’s Year?
According to various NFL news updates the Browns have now put themselves in a position to field a dynamic offensive in 2019.
However, the team won’t have Hunt for the first half of the season, because he’s serving an eight game suspension, gained after he violated the personal conduct policy of the league. That aside, the Browns are considered to have as much skill-position talent as any team currently in the AFC. They also now have a coach who understands how to develop it.
Within the National Football League there are a lot of different coaches and Kitchens has gone on record to say that the more players trust them and feel it is reciprocated the better the players become and that’s a recipe for success.
Kitchens states that the most important thing to the Brown’s coach Odell Beckham is winning – and this will rub off on the team, so they want to win too. This coupled with the chance that Mayfield could truly develop into one of the NFL’s leading quarterbacks in his second season might mean that the Cleveland Browns suddenly become unstoppable.
On paper, the team now look as tricky to beat as the Kansas City Chiefs or Los Angeles Rams and they were the NFL’s two most difficult offenses from the 2018 season.
Will it be too difficult for them to challenge?
All that apart, it still could be difficult for the team to challenge and become one of the game’s top offensive units. The New Orleans Saints still hold the all time record offensively with 7,474 yards in the unbelievable season of 2011. That works out at roughly 470 yards per game, which is more than forty yards more per game than the Chiefs managed in 2018.
Last year, Kansas City led the NFL in scoring. They piled up a massive 565 points, that’s just over thirty five per game. Statistically speaking there are only the 2007 New England Patriots with 589 and the 2013 Denver Broncos with 606 who have come close to lighting up the scoreboard in a brighter way.
If the Browns can score heavily during this season, then there’s a chance that reaching the all time points record could happen. It’s not impossible…but it’ll be a tall order.
That’s not to say it isn’t achievable. You’d have to go back to 1946 to find the last time the Browns reached a record for points during a season. That year they scored 423 when they were in the All American Football Conference. So far, within the NFL their record is 415 and this was set in 1964, which was the last time the Browns won a championship, too. These targets should, in theory, be well within reach for the squad.
However, the only thing certain is that nothing is guaranteed in the world of NFL. There is always a threat of injury and at the moment, they still have a second year quarterback, a first-time head coach and there are a lot of questions yet to be answered on their offensive line.
One thing we know for sure is that the name Cleveland Browns and the word ‘records’ can actually now be said in the same sentence, with everyone keeping a straight face. It shows just how quickly things can turn around for a team, and for their fans too. It’s going to be a really interesting season to watch and one that’s fascinating to try and work out, too. There’s a long way to go, so watch this space.