The once proud Cleveland Browns organization is in tatters. With a current record of 0-14 and two games remaining against teams they figure to struggle against, it seems a certainty the team will fulfill the ultimate in futility for an entire season. After finishing last season 3-13, which included losses in its last six games, the Browns look intent on going into next season with an active 22-game losing streak and a long path back to even being competitive.
This will be the team’s 13th year in a row that they have failed to make the playoffs. That’s the second longest current streak in the NFL (behind only the Buffalo Bills). Going into next season, they face the distinct possibility of breaking the record for consecutive losses by an NFL team. The current record stands at 26, which was set by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers from its inaugural season in 1976 until towards the end of the 1977 season. This is not the kind of number the Browns want to find its name next to in the record books.
Looking at this year’s stats for a silver lining in another exercise in futility. Four different quarterbacks have recorded starts on the season with USC rookie Cody Kessler leading the way with 1,469 yards passing with 6 TDs and only 2 interceptions. Unfortunately, nagging injuries and inconsistent play landed him on the bench in favor of team retread Josh McCown. On the season, McCown has completed only 54.5% of his passes for 1,100 yards and 6 TDs and 6 interceptions. It might be too early to give up Kessler, who showed some ability to compete earlier in the year, but the rest of the QB corps seems to have more questions than answers.
In the backfield, 3rd year running back Isaiah Crowell has shown some promise while rushing for 708 yards and 5 TDs in 14 games behind an offensive line that has been ravished by injuries. Perhaps with a healthier line, Crowell would have shown more improvement, enough to make him a 1,000-yard rusher. On defense things look even bleaker for a squad that ranks second to last in scoring defense at 29.1 PPG, just in front of the SF 49ers.
In an effort to finally try to turn the organization around, the Browns resisted the temptation to use both the #2 and #8 picks in a thin 2016 draft, opting instead to stockpile draft choices for what figures to be a very strong draft in 2017. Along with the #1 pick over all, they also hold the #1 Pick of the Tennessee Titans who figure to land somewhere between 10-14. With two more picks in the second round, including the #33 pick, this could be the year the Cleveland Browns start accumulating enough talent to become competitive again. While bookmakers figure to keep posting huge odds on the team to win the Super Bowl in the next couple of years, gamblers, who have gain access to the bet365 promo code for a £200 bonus passing on the Browns until they turn the corner.