There was a time when the Cleveland Browns were a dominant force in the National Football League (NFL), but that was about fifty years ago. In more recent times, particularly over the past fifteen years, the team from Ohio has been a consistent bottom-dweller in the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) that also features the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Ravens.
That is certainly true in the current 2015-2016 Season. Cleveland has been average offensively and terrible when it plays defense. In fact, this club has been unable to settle on a quarterback it trusts enough to start every game. As such, it has found it difficult to reach the end zone in many of the contests it has played.
But it is defense that has been the most serious problem for this squad. Cleveland ranks thirtieth in the thirty-two team league in total defense, allowing a whopping four hundred yards per game to opponents. Included in that “terrible total” is a number that should have the Defensive Coordinator worried about job security because the Browns allow opposing offenses to average more than six yards per play.
When one thinks about that, it becomes immediately obvious that squads which line up against Cleveland’s defense probably find it relatively easy to convert third downs so that they can retain possession of the football and keep drives alive, drives that frequently end with a touchdown.
The fact that the Browns are also a squad that allows foes to rack up two hundred sixty-five passing yards and an almost unbelievable one hundred thirty-five rushing yards per game and it is painfully easy to see and to understand why Cleveland has lost nine of eleven games played this year.
There is little hope for the Browns and their loyal fans that games can be won in the last part of the season. The Browns are literally defenseless and the players are probably demoralized, as well.The Browns are without pro bowl corner Joe Haden which really handicaps the team. Players that have performed well will very likely to continue to play at a high level so that they can assure themselves a roster spot next year.
There is also the matter of professional pride and the chance that a well-played game and an upset win may derail an opponent that is fighting for a playoff spot. The Cleveland Browns, if they can settle on a quarterback and bring in quality reinforcements to help out the defense can become competitive and a playoff team as early as next year. Potential starting quarterbacks could be Johnny Manziel, Josh McCown, Austin Davis, or possibly drafting one out of this year’s NFL Draft.
The truth about the National Football League (NFL) is now and has always been that it doesn’t have to take years to rebuild and put a quality team on the field.
The Browns already have ”some pieces in place.” If the team’s general manager can sign a couple of quality free agents and draft well for the defense, this losing squad can become a winner.
The fans in Cleveland would love to see that happen.
Courtesy of Pro32.ap.org