We’re one day away from the 2017 season opener for the Cleveland Browns.
The anticipation has been building all spring and summer for this team as it continues to take shape of what Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson want to build here.
The Cleveland Browns should be better than the 1-15 debacle of last season, more talent on both offense and defense and the potential franchise quarterback has been added through free agency and the draft.
I’m going to make a game by game prediction with a brief summary of how I see each game play it.
Note: this is how I feel as of now on each game, when I do my week by week game previews and predictions, I may change my opinion and prediction of said game.
Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers
While the Browns shouldn’t fear the once dangerous Pittsburgh defense, I’d expect them to make Kizer feel uncomfortable in his debut. I do expect our defense to make a great effort to stop Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown. However it won’t be enough.
Week 2: Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland’s former franchise is banged up with injuries and while Flacco is “ready”, his back can flare up at any time especially with some big shots from Gregg Williams’ defense. Kizer bounces back and the Browns win
Week 3: Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck’s status is unknown so let’s say he doesn’t play, the Browns well feast on Scott Tolzien and pick up consecutive wins.
Week 4: Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton lost some key offensive lineman to protect him, one of which came to Cleveland. However, he’s got a three headed monster in the backfield to help him out and don’t forget about AJ Green.
Week 5: New York Jets
The Jets are following the Browns model from last season, tanking the season and they brought the quarterback in to lead that tank, former Browns quarterback Josh McCown. Browns defense dominates the Jets and pick up their third win.
Week 6: Houston Texans
In what I think will be a heavy defensive battle could come down to the rookie quarterbacks: DeShone Kizer and Deshaun Watson.
I’m giving the edge to Watson as this game could have a big time feel, and that kid always seemed to show up with the lights on bright
Week 7: Tennessee Titans
I picked the Titans as a playoff team and I believe this game would again come down to quarterback. Kizer can be good but Mariota is already good so I’m giving the Titans the edge
Week 8: Minnesota Vikings
The Browns first trip to England since 1989 will be a successful one as the Dawg Pound travels well to help the Browns get to 4-4.
Week 9: Bye Week
Week 10: Detroit Lions
Browns start off the second half slow as Matthew Stafford and the Lions take them down.
Week 11: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars another team trending down while the Browns continue to trend up and dominate the quarterback-less team.
Week 12: Cincinatti Bengals
Unforunately, Hue Jackson still can’t break the winless streak against his former team.
Week 13: Los Angeles Chargers
The Browns first trip to Los Angeles since 1993 will end in their sixth win of the season.
Week 14: Green Bay Packers
No chance in hell the Browns stop Aaron Rodgers who’ll be marching towards another potential Super Bowl run.
Week 15: Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore gets their revenge from the loss earlier in the season.
Week 16: Chicago Bears
Mitch Trubisky makes Browns fans have doubt on Kizer as he upsets his hometown team
Week 17: Pittsburgh Steelers
Another year, another season ending loss in Pittsburgh
Final Season Prediction: 6-10
I might be giving the Browns too many wins but in all honesty, all I want to see is progress throughout the season. This is a team that has the youngest roster in the NFL, features 17 draft picks over the past two drafts and has had a major turnover since Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson took over in January of 2016.
I want to see Kizer continue to develop as a potential franchise quarterback. Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers as the cornerstones for the future of this defense. Guys like Emmanuel Ogbah, Seth DeValve, Corey Coleman and Carl Nassib continue to take a step in their development as NFL players.
Hue Jackson needs to make Kizer as comfortable and don’t force him to carry the offense. You upgraded the offensive line and you have two, potentially three solid running backs in Crowell, Duke Johnson and Matthew Dayes. Use them to your advantage.
The wide receivers and the tight end groups seem very raw but have room to grow. Hopefully Coleman and David Njoku can live up to their first round status in due time. Veteran Kenny Britt should be a reliable target for Kizer but didn’t look good in the preseason.
If Josh Gordon can somehow make it back on the field if what I heard is true, it’s an added bonus.
And then of course the defense led by Gregg Williams.
Led by the veterans such as Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey and Jason McCourty, they showed what they can do in the preseason allowing just one touchdown in four games.
The front seven is going to be dominant, the defensive line has a ton of depth and even with the absence of Myles Garrett for the first few weeks, they should be able to attack and get the quarterback.
The secondary is a concern but the promising players like Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun as well as McCourty can hold down the cornerback position for now. Peppers and Kindred have proven they can be upgrades at the safety position and bring that physical play Williams loves.
I think this Cleveland Browns team can only go up from this point and continue to lay down the foundation for success and a great culture for the future.