This Summer and Fall has been extraordinarily special for Cleveland fans. The Cavaliers defeated the Warriors in the NBA Championship after falling into a 3-1 hole, as well as the Indians reaching the World Series and almost beating the Cubs. But, with all this success, there still is failure. Enter the Browns.
The Browns have lost 21 straight games (preseason included), and it has been over a year since this crumbling organization has won a game. Sitting at 0-14, the Browns could become the second team ever to go 0-16 (the Lions went 0-16 in 2008).
Despite all of this losing and disappointment for the Browns, there still is some success in their locker room. Joe Thomas holds the longest active streak of consecutive snaps played with roughly 9,800. In this veteran’s 10 year career, he has seen six head coaches and 18 starting quarterbacks in Cleveland. Thomas is one of the best left guards in the NFL, reaching the pro bowl nine times, but still has not been lucky enough to enjoy success.
Their remaining schedule consists of the Chargers on Saturday and the Steelers in week 17, so the Browns best chance of winning a game is this week. But still, there is little chance that they will succeed. According to FiveThirtyEight’s predictions on 12/22/16, Cleveland has a 31% chance of beating San Diego, while just having a dismal 7% possibility of upsetting the Steelers. So, with less than a 50% chance of winning a game, I predict that Cleveland will lose their final two games, extending their winless streak into the offseason.
When you look closer into the San Diego Charger’s 5-9 season, it is not as bad as it may seem. Only two of their nine losses have been more than a touchdown difference. Philip Rivers will most likely have another 4,000+ passing yard season, and Melvin Gordon has been a very good rookie running back. The major components to the Charger’s rough season have been Keenan Allen’s season-ending injury in week 1, as well as a poor defense.
When it comes down to it, the team that will play more relaxed will win because both teams have enormous amounts of pressure on them: San Diego does not want to be “that team” who loses to Cleveland, and obviously the Browns do not want to go winless. But, even with this pressure on San Diego, the Browns’ offense will not be able to exploit the holes in the Charger’s defense, while San Diego will have no problem doing that to Cleveland.
Though the Browns may seem to have guaranteed the first overall draft pick, it is not the case this year. The 49ers are on Cleveland’s tail for the worst team in the NFL with 13 losses, so the Browns have to lose out in order to secure the top prospect in the 2017 NFL draft.
Watch my commentary on this article here: Will The Cleveland Browns Go 0-16, Winless?