It’s December 9, 2018 and the Cleveland Browns are still alive in the playoff hunt with three weeks to go in the regular season.
After Sunday’s 26-20 victory over the Carolina Panthers, the Browns improved to 5-7-1 on the season and stayed mathematically alive in not only the wild card race, but also the AFC North division race with Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
It’s a long shot but the fan base is enjoying every moment of this because it’s giving them hope and excitement for what lies ahead in the future of this organization.
Looking back six weeks ago at this time, the Browns were 2-5-1 and were crushed by Pittsburgh. The next day, the team fired the head coach and offensive coordinator and elevated the defensive coordinator to head coach and the running backs coach to offensive coordinator, a job he never had any experience with.
Six weeks later, the Browns are 3-2 in that span and Gregg Williams and Freddie Kitchens have completely revitalized the organization coupled with the fact they have their rookie quarterback playing at an almost elite level that has the team and fan base buzzing with energy that hasn’t been seen in this area since the Bernie Kosar era of the late 1980s.
Credit also goes to general manager John Dorsey for the moves he made within his first four months on the job to shake up the roster to bring in veteran leaders like Jarvis Landry and Damarious Randall, draft picks like Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Denzel Ward and Genard Avery to taking chances on former first-round busts like Greg Robinson and Breshad Perriman to have Cleveland still playing competitive football in December when they’re usually playing for draft position and gearing up for personnel changes.
A lot has to happen over the final three weeks for the Browns to make their first postseason since 2002 but regardless of the finish, it’s been one hell of a ride for this 2018 season.
As a Browns fan, it’s thrilling to be talking about being in the playoff hunt at this point in the season because the majority of my fandom, I’ve had to talk about tanking for a better draft position or what head coaching candidate I’d like or what quarterback I want the team to draft whether it was in the first, third or seventh round.
While we still have to talk about the coaching candidates still for at least the next six weeks, it’s not the main objective right now.
Cleveland Browns football is fun to watch and talk about whether it’s writing about it on here or discussing it on the 1085 Gridiron Podcast with my friend Anthony Joki (shameless plug but really go check out the show!).
Myself and other Browns fans’ Sundays have been miserable for nearly the last 20 years but now, there’s a sense of excitement and anticipation for each Sunday knowing that for nearly three hours, it’s not being wasted watching a bad team play bad football.
It’s about knowing the Browns are must-see television for this season and hopefully for the next ten to fifteen years because of Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett and the rest of the team.
Cleveland football is fun again. So sit back and enjoy the ride Browns fans, because it’s going to be a fun one for quite sometime.