I’ll hit you with the working theory first, and then back it up with facts: The Cleveland Browns are so bad, the franchise is poised to have its worst season in franchise history, and that means 1-15 or – gasp! – 0-16.
After watching the season opener, I thought this could be the outcome with or without RG3, but now that he’s gone – maybe for the year – it is a serious threat
1) Of the 13 games Sunday, only one – Browns 10, Eagles 29 – was determined by double digits.
2) The Browns had the lowest win total per Las Vegas (5) … and lost their opener to a team that was near the bottom (Eagles, 6.5).
3) Cleveland’s sad defense let a rookie from North Dakota State – a guy who was going to be inactive for most of the season just to weeks ago – look like Joe Montana in his 1st career start.
4) The Browns have incentive to tank – they’re clearly one of the worst teams in the league – and they get the Eagles pick, too. The Browns have a significant dearth of talent, and it’s because they’ve botched recent early draft picks: 2012, Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden (1st round) are gone; 2013, Barkevious Mingo (1st round) gone; 2014 Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert are gone. That’s 0-5 on 1st round picks. The Browns have the worst roster in the NFL.
5) I know Josh McCown had a strong game last year vs the Ravens (457 yards, overtime win), but in this week’s rematch, the Browns face a healthy Baltimore team coming off a performance in which they held the Bills under 150 yards of total offense. Also, Josh McCown is 37 years old. If he goes down? The journeyman won’t last the entire season, and his backup is Cody Kessler. A rookie from USC who will be in way over his head.
0-16 is a very real possibility for the Browns, and remember, Week 5: They’re the first team to see Tom Brady off his suspension.