Original Publish date: Oct. 21, 2019
A new season of football is six weeks in, and the Cleveland Browns are back to their old ways. Despite high expectations that were highlighted by the offseason acquisition of All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns sit at a disappointing 2-4 and second in the AFC North, two games back of their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. Second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield has struggled mightily, throwing 11 interceptions through the first six games. The offense has failed to meet expectations as well, sitting dead middle in the pack of the 32 NFL teams in total offense with 2,107 total offensive yards. The defense has shown flashes of greatness, led by Myles Garrett, who is tied for the league lead in sacks with nine. But overall, the team has underperformed, including being embarrassed two weeks ago on Monday Night Football at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, who dismantled the Browns on their way to a 31-3 blowout victory on national television.
The inconsistent play and early 2-4 record have many Browns fans hitting the “panic button.”
What do Tri-C students think of the Browns record and performance thus far? Are they hitting the “panic button?” To get to the bottom of this, I asked a few students at Western Campus about their feelings towards the Browns early season struggles and are they themselves hitting the “panic button?”
“I don’t really follow football or the Browns in general, but it does not surprise me that they are back losing again,” said student Makena Wilson. “It’s unfortunate to see because I have lots of friends who are fans, and I know how much they invest into the team. This city deserves a winning football team, so I hope they can string things together!”
First-year student Brady Hamilton has a little more of an analytical approach to the Browns early season struggles so far. Although a Miami Dolphins fan, Hamilton keeps a close eye on his hometown Cleveland. “As a Clevelander and a fan of the NFL, I have been paying very close attention to the Browns and their performance this season,” said Hamilton. “I would not hit the “panic button” yet. I think you must wait and see how they look in their back to back road games against the Patriots and Broncos after they come off their bye week this week. They have too much talent to write them off just yet.”
Although the present state of the team and their 2-4 record appears grim, Hamilton and Wilson are remaining optimistic. “You never know what can happen,” said Wilson. “The season is still young and with a little bit of luck, they can turn things around just like that. Cleveland is called “Believeland” for a reason!” Brady Hamilton agrees with his fellow peer’s assessment. “If they fix their problems, I don’t see why they can’t make a run towards the playoffs. It definitely helps that their schedule eases up in the second half of the season.”
Hamilton does provide a very valid point when examining the Browns schedule after the game against the Broncos on November 3. The teams the Browns will face after their matchup against the Broncos hold a combined 13-31-1 record through Week 6 of the NFL season.
As for both Hamilton and Wilson, they kept it brief when asked if they believe the Browns can “right the ship” and make the postseason.
“I don’t like to make predictions,” said Wilson cautiously. “I will cheer them on, and the rest will unfold how it is intended to.”
“I say they improve, but don’t make the playoffs,” said Hamilton. “The only reason they won’t make it for me is because of the rookie head coach, Freddie Kitchens. If it wasn’t for the inexperience at coaching, I’d say this team makes the playoffs.”
Will Hamilton’s prediction eventually become true? We shall see. Well students and Browns fans, there is only one thing left to do: buckle your seat belts, crack open your favorite beverage, turn on the television on Sunday’s, and watch the rest of the Cleveland Brown’s season unfold.”