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5 Predictions for the 2018 NFL Season 1

Posted on September 08, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have a huge season in 2018.

Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have a huge season in 2018.

It is finally that time again, can you say “Are You Ready for some football?”

The 2018 NFL season should be an interesting one as the Philadelphia Eagles are the defending champions, the New England Patriots may finally be coming back to earth and the Cleveland Browns seem likely not to go 0-16 again.

For anyone looking to make a killing at 10 Bet Football below are five predictions for the 2018 season.

Buy Ezekiel Elliott and Sell Le’Veon Bell

Last year Le’Veon Bell was one of the best players in the NFL and Ezekiel Elliott suffered through a rough sophomore year that included a six game suspension.

After a full training camp, watch for Elliott to be focused on returning to the elite running back status he displayed during his first NFL campaign in 2016.

Conversely, Bell sat out training camp for the second straight year and after returning before the first game last year, he is not playing in the 2018 opener and could be out for a while.

Given that the prime performance years for running backs is historically short-lived, Bell is determined to get a large guaranteed payday while still at his highest level.

Last year he touched the ball more than 400 times, which is usually one of the major reasons that running backs don’t last. Knowing that the Steelers are not going to use him wisely once he joins the team, Bell and his representatives have decided that they need to take control by sitting for what appears to be multiple games.

So, my prediction for 2018 is that Elliott will be an All-Pro while Bell will not have a special season, but will likely position himself for a pretty good payday in 2019.

Watch Out For the Browns

I am tempted to predict that the Cleveland Browns will win more games than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, but that might be just a little too bold.

What does seem likely is that the 2018 Cleveland Browns will win more games than has been won in Cleveland over the last two seasons. Granted, they just need two wins to exceed that total, but I do believe the Browns have elevated their talent level and will be competitive this season.

Heck, even though they were the second team in NFL history to go 0-16 last year, head coach Hue Jackson had them playing hard almost every week. They just lacked enough talent to make enough great plays to win games. Read the rest of this entry →

Step Aside, Cleveland, These Teams are the Biggest Losers in History 0

Posted on December 09, 2017 by Rik Snuiverink
Steve Spurrier was the original starting quarterback when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their stretch of 26 consecutive defeats.

Steve Spurrier was the original starting quarterback when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their stretch of 26 consecutive defeats.

For the 0-12 Browns, it is all something of a case of deja-vu. This time last year, they were in exactly the same position, and it was only a Christmas Eve win that saved them from a 0-16 season. That makes 28 losses in the last 29 regular season games for the Browns. It’s bad, but that single win against the Chargers last year means Cleveland can’t even make a success of losing, and just miss out on the top losing streaks shortlist.

Streaking to failure – or gambling on spectacular success

There is something almost magical about the streak. Sportsbook fans and casino goers know that it can make gamblers overnight millionaires or bring them to ruin, whether they are putting it all on black 22 at casino-websites.co.uk or trying to hold their nerve in a complex sports betting accumulator.

For sports fans, however, when all else is lost, there is what becomes an almost morbid interest in just how bad your team can become. It is a feeling that Cleveland fans know only too well. Here are some of the biggest losing streaks in sporting history.

NFL: 26 games

Not to rub it in, but had Cleveland lost to San Diego last year, they would have shot straight to the top of the list. As it is, the biggest losing streak stands at 26, and is a record held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Worse, it came in 1976, when the regular season was only 14 games long and the Bucs were the new kids in town. It took the franchise almost two entire seasons to manage its first victory, a 33-14 win over The Saints in the penultimate game of the1977 season at Tampa Stadium. Read the rest of this entry →

‘Favorite’ is Not the Cleveland Browns’ Favorite Word 0

Posted on October 03, 2017 by Andrew Scott
DeShone Kizer has shown glimpses of potential greatness, but has also struggled at times during his first season in Cleveland.

DeShone Kizer has shown glimpses of potential greatness, but has also struggled at times during his first season in Cleveland.

The Cleveland Browns are, according to BetNow sportsbook, favored to defeat their current opponent for the second straight week, this time a one-point favorite to beat the New York Jets. Don’t tell the Browns this, though. The mantle of favoritism is one the Browns are so unaccustomed to, that it almost seems, like the Shirt of Nessus, to burn them alive, like it did Heracles. Let’s take for instance their Week 3 matchup with the Colts in Indianapolis; Cleveland was also a one-point favorite then, but not only lost 31-28 but obviously failed to cover the spread as well.

Things went, at least for a while, back to usual for the Browns, as they were deemed three-point home underdogs to the then-equally winless – though improving – Cincinnati Bengals, who then proceeded to score the most and allow the fewest point in their season thus far, as well as pick up their first win, 31-7. The phrase “the team to beat” gets, you know, thrown around a lot, but it’s usually in reference to teams that are actually good. The Browns have truly become the team to beat, but only, mind you, in the sense that whenever a winless team like the Colts or Bengals needs a quick pick-me-up, they can rely on Hue Jackson and his boys.

And speaking of the devil, Hue doesn’t “my record any more than you do or anybody does,” as he said, per ESPN, following the loss to Cincy. The Browns are, at 2-29, in a three-way tie for the worst record in NFL history over a 31-game period, of which Hue is responsible for a dismal 1-19. “It is horrible,” said Jackson. “And I will be the first to tell you that.” Hue being the first of anything? Not very likely. As a matter of fact, John McKay had a worse first 20 games, going 0-26 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976-77. But back to the business at hand, the Browns’ against-the-spread record isn’t all that great either. Cleveland is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in October and 6-22-1 ATS in their last 29 games overall. Read the rest of this entry →

The Cleveland Browns Have Finally Reached a Point Where They Can’t Get Worse 0

Posted on December 24, 2016 by Tony Samboras
Even former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III has been unable to help the Cleveland Browns win in 2016.

Even former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III has been unable to help the Cleveland Browns win in 2016.

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. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy 80th Birthday Jim Brown 2

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Happy 80th Birthday Jim Brown!

Happy 80th Birthday Jim Brown!

Though it has been 50 years since he last carried a football in the NFL and most of his records have long been broken, Jim Brown still stands among the greatest ever to play professional football and is arguably still at the top of that list. We wish this legend and American treasurer a happy 80th birthday!

When he retired following the 1965 season at the age of 29, Brown held the NFL record with 12,312 career rushing yards. Though his mark was first passed by Walter Payton in 1984 and has since been eclipsed by seven other players, Brown remains the only player in NFL history to average more than 100 yards rushing per game (104).

Brown was the epitome of a player retiring at the peak of his greatness. In his final NFL season, Brown rushed for 1,544 yards and 17 touchdowns as the Cleveland Browns reached the NFL Championship Game.

In the 1963 NFL season, Brown rushed for 1,863 yards, which was the NFL single season record at the time. The following season, he gained 1,446 yards rushing and then had 114 yards to lead the Browns to what remains the last NFL Championship for Cleveland.

During his nine NFL seasons, Brown led the NFL in rushing an amazing eight times. At the time of his retirement, Brown’s career rushing total was nearly 2,600 more than second place Joe Perry. He also scored a then record 106 career touchdowns.

In the ensuing 50 years since he last wore an NFL uniform, Brown has spent time as an actor, but most importantly he has been a vocal leader in civil rights and supporting inner city youth. It is amazing to think that not only was Brown a great football player, but he was also one of the best college lacrosse players of his era. He was recently prominently involved when Hampton University, a predominantly African American school in Virginia, recently started a varsity lacrosse program.

It is interesting that arguably the greatest player in NFL history shares a birthday with the greatest player in NBA history, Michael Jordan. In fact, when ESPN ranked the top athletes of the 20th Century, Jordan was first and Brown fourth. Read the rest of this entry →

Broncos Outlast Cowboys, Patriots and Seahawks Fall From Perfection: Week 5 NFL Headlines 1

Posted on October 08, 2013 by Andy Larmand

As we took off into the second quarter of the season (for most teams), the fascinating phenomena kept rolling in. Included in this week’s list is something that hasn’t happened to the New England offense in seven years, a first for any quarterback since the merger, the continuation of home dominance for one NFC North team, a record-tying day for one tight end and an offensive outburst in Dallas. Here are your Week 5 NFL headlines.

Travis Benjamin had a career night in the return game for the red-hot Browns.

Travis Benjamin had a career night in the return game for the red-hot Browns.

The Browns scored their first rushing touchdown of the season (and it wasn’t Trent Richardson) in their fifth game and stayed perfect when starting quarterback Brian Hoyer as they beat the Bills, 37-24, on Thursday night. They did, however, lose Hoyer for the season with a partially torn ACL suffered early in the game. Cleveland punt returner, Travis Benjamin, tied a franchise record with 166 punt return yards in the win for the first-place Browns. Their 37 points were the most they have scored in a game since putting up 41 back in 2009. Since Week 3, they are averaging 28.3 points per game after averaging eight points per game in the first two weeks.

The Patriots fell from the ranks of the unbeaten and the Bengals improved to 6-22 against the AFC East since 1998 as New England managed only six points in the 13-6 loss. The six points were the fewest for the high-powered New England offense since being shut out on Dec. 10, 2006, 21-0, in Week 14 against Miami. The Bengals’ 5-22 record had been the third-worst against one division in that span. Andy Dalton’s first-quarter interception in the red zone was the first red-zone pick of his career. Tom Brady fell two short of the all-time record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass as he failed to record one in game No. 53. The Pats had won 63 straight games when allowing 13 points or less with their last such loss coming in 2001. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Billy Kilmer: Hard-Nosed Quarterback
      September 2, 2018 | 7:32 pm
      Kilmer

      Billy Kilmer

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month began his NFL career as an athletic running quarterback, but he endured a near fatal car accident to completely change his game during a career that spanned nearly two decades.

      Anyone who is familiar with former NFL quarterback Billy Kilmer probably remembers him as the portly, un-athletic, but very tough quarterback for the Washington Redskins in the 1970s. However, during his first two NFL seasons, Kilmer was primarily used as a running quarterback and running back for the San Francisco 49ers.

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