Temper Expectations for 2021 Cleveland Browns

Temper Expectations for 2021 Cleveland Browns

Drew Thirion
3 years ago
3 min read
Tampering Expectations for 2021 Cleveland Browns

The Browns are unequivocally the best team in Cleveland.

There aren’t too many holes on this roster. Myles Garrett is a defensive player of the year candidate, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are the best 1-2 punch in football, and we finally have depth in every position on the field.

But there are still flaws on this roster, and I think fans are brushing over these weaknesses. The bar for this team should be to at least make the playoffs, and maybe go on a little run after that. I don’t think it should be “Super Bowl or bust” because I believe we will be setting ourselves up for failure. 

Here are a few things that might bring our ridiculously high expectations down to Earth.


The Browns finished the 2020 regular season with the second-lowest strength of schedule in the NFL. Their third-place AFC schedule was relatively easy, and they were lucky enough to be matched up with the NFC East for interleague play.

Now I don’t want to hate on the Browns for beating Pittsburgh in the playoffs, but we still have to be honest with ourselves about the situation. Yes, we did have personnel missing, but fans seem to forget that so did the Steelers. Their top-of-the-league defense was completely battered coming into the Wild Card round and was not the same team we saw in Pittsburgh on Week 6. Not only that but is beating a Ben Roethlisberger who could barely throw the ball past the first down markers some crazy impressive feat? I’m just not sure.

This year, that won’t be the case. Minus the Lions, every team in the NFC North is going to come to battle. There aren’t many easy wins on the schedule besides the Texans and Lions (hopefully), so we’re going to have to battle every week in order to make the playoffs.

Selective Memory

When you ask a Browns fan what happened in the Kansas City game, they are going to talk about the missed helmet-to-helmet call that completely changed the game. With that being said, we were still getting dominated at that point.

The offense struggled to move the ball all game, and turnovers killed us throughout. And despite our phenomenal o-line, Baker was under pressure from start to finish and seemed to struggle. That leads into my final problem and that’s Baker Mayfield.

Biggest Question Mark

On paper, the newly revamped defense looks great, but it could fail with injuries or other unforeseen circumstances. I feel the same way about Baker.

From the second quarter on in the Week 7 matchup against Cincinnati, Baker looked borderline elite. He finished out the year very strong and now fans have anointed him as our savior. 

I’m just not willing to do that yet.

He hasn’t faced too many staunch defenses since his revitalization, but I want to see him look confident against a fully healthy Pittsburgh, Denver, Kansas City, or Chicago early in the season. If he’s able to succeed in those games, then I might come fully around on Baker.

I’d love to see the Browns win a Super Bowl this year, but we need to slow this hype train down. Before we crown ourselves kings of the NFL, let’s go out and prove it on the field. 

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