The NFL season is about to begin and there is nothing like some bold predictions to get things started. The Cleveland Browns are sure to be an interesting team and there is a greater chance that things go wrong rather than right in 2020. The combination of roster turnover, a new coaching staff, limited practice time, and no preseason games will have a negative effect on the roster as a whole. Here are five bold predictions for the Cleveland Browns in 2020.
1. The offense will struggle early
This prediction is almost too easy, of course the offense will struggle early. Cleveland faces Baltimore Week 1 and they are in the process of installing a new offensive system. A new offense combined with facing an elite defensive unit is a recipe for disaster. Add in the unknown status of center JC Tretter and things look bleak.
2. The defense will be a bottom five unit
Deep is not a word used to describe the defense of the Cleveland Browns. There is very little depth at any position and the philosophy of the front office is essentially ignore the linebacker position. Questions in the secondary in regards to health and performance will cause issues in what should be a good defensive line. The problem is that if the defensive backs can’t cover the defensive line play is irrelevant.
3. Baker Mayfield will get benched in favor of Case Keenum
Let’s start at the beginning here. There’s a reason the Browns signed Case Keenum to a three-year deal and it is not related to his future financial security. There are concerns with the performance of Baker Mayfield and whether or not he is truly the answer at the quarterback position. Any success the offense has this season will not be related to the quarterback position, it will be because Nick Chubb is a good running back. Teams will do what they can to make Chubb a non-factor, forcing Mayfield to throw the ball. As we have seen outside of what seems like a fluke run at the end of his rookie season, a high number of pass attempts from Baker Mayfield is the best way for the opponent to come out with a win.
4. Jarvis Landry leads the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns
While Odell Beckham Jr. is the higher profile of the Browns wide receivers, it is Jarvis Landry who will lead the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Landry is someone who is more adaptable and versatile which will allow him to thrive in any offense. Considering the fact that opposing defenses will key in on Beckham to try and take away a target in the passing game, it will set up Landry for success on a routine basis.
5. The Cleveland Browns only win one game against a division opponent
Will the Cleveland Browns defeat the Baltimore Ravens? No. How about the Pittsburgh Steelers? Also no. Their best chance at winning a game against an AFC North opponent is one of their two games against the Cincinnati Bengals. That being said it is probably not their Week 2 matchup which is a quick turnaround after facing Baltimore in Week 1. An offense which needs time to generate chemistry after facing a great Ravens defense will have a tough time finding it on a short week. Cleveland going 1-5 in the division is very much a possibility.