The punching bag for the league and the punchline for fans; enough is enough. The Browns finally have a reason to be optimistic to slowly ascend from the NFL sewer. DeShone Kizer showed promise in the preseason. Myles Garrett was the closest thing to a lock for the No. 1 pick this century. And their offensive line can compete with the best. Nothing comes easy in Cleveland and you’ll see why in the Browns 2017 season simulation.
Week 1 (9/10) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant make up the four B’s powerhouse. The strongest offense on paper will duke it out against rookie Kizer, Corey Coleman, Kenny Britt and Isaiah Crowell. Advantage Pittsburgh. The only thing slowing down Pittsburgh is Big Ben’s age and Le’Veon’s rust.
Result: Loss 13-28 (0-1)
Week 2 (9/17) @ Baltimore Ravens
Whispers and murmurs are growing about the Baltimore defense. We know it’s good, but there is talk that this unit can have the best defense in 2017. That will prove to be too much on the road no matter how much Joe Flacco tries to make it a close game.
Result: Loss 9-16 (0-2)
Week 3 (9/24) @ Indianapolis Colts
No sign of Andrew Luck at Lucas Oil Stadium. He has yet to practice and could miss the first month of the season. Leaving Scott Tolzien, or more likely Jacoby Brissett, to start. Cleveland should feast on the inexperienced quarterbacks. Kizer’s mobility and patience will slowly pick apart the defense giving them their first win.
Result: Win 24-17 (1-2)
Week 4 (10/1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
These two clubs are battling out for third place in their division. Despite the onslaught of talent the Bengals hold on their roster, their offensive line and quarterback will continue to hold them back. This is the only team the Browns can beat in their division and they’ll split with Cincy. Home team wins in this series.
Result: Win 27-24 (2-2)
Week 5 (10/8) vs. New York Jets
Could the Browns win three in a row and have a winning record? It’s more of a testament to their schedule than the talent of the team but still impressive for Cleveland. It’s extremely hard to bet on the Jets and this is the perfect game for Cleveland to climb the ladder and be one step ahead of tanking ball clubs.
Result: Win 24-12 (3-2)
Week 6 (10/15) @ Houston Texans
A battle of rookie quarterbacks could be among us but the advantage goes to Watson. One of the best defensive units in football with a strong arsenal of weapons on the other side of the ball, this game will end the Browns win streak. Watson vs. Kizer should make for great TV though.
Result: Loss 17-31 (3-3)
Week 7 (10/22) vs. Tennessee Titans
The Titans became America sweethearts and Super Bowl sleeper picks as this team is finally putting the pieces together. Marcus Mariota is exciting. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry are potent. Their offensive line is an immovable object. And their defense continues to improve. There is too much swagger and momentum to stop the teal blue train.
Result: Loss 16-34 (3-4)
Week 8 (10/29) vs. Minnesota Vikings
Carson Wentz led the Eagles to hand the Vikings their first loss last season, slowly starting their downward spiral. But Wentz did not have a banner day. 16-for-28 for just 138 yards with one touchdown and two picks. His poor passer rating of 52.4 should mirror Kizer’s performance. Vikings beat a rookie quarterback second time around, no matter how much chaos Garrett ensues on their weak offensive line.
Result: Loss 10-20 (3-5)
Week 9 Bye
Week 10 (11/12) @ Detroit Lions
Duke Johnson and Ameer Abdullah will trade blows as two up-and-coming receiving backs but the Lions are too clutch. No matter what lead Kizer can muster heading into the fourth, expect a massive swing in the other direction leaving the Browns low on morale with four straight losses.
Result: Loss 13-24 (3-6)
Week 11 (11/19) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
This game feels like a great opportunity for the Browns. The story writes itself. Blake Bortles is handed another opportunity to steer Jacksonville toward a winning season only to lose the Cleveland Browns. This loss would act as the symbolic final nail in the coffin. But it won’t happen. Despite Bortles’ performance, their defense is really picking up steam this year and Leanord Fournette will run the ball down their throats.
Result: Loss 10-26 (3-7)
Week 12 (11/26) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Browns stole a game from their Ohio counterpart earlier in the year. Now as they travel to Paul Brown’s other stadium and face their arch rival, the Bengals will have the last laugh.
Result: Loss 24-30 (3-8)
Week 13 (12/3) @ Los Angeles Chargers
There will be growing pains for this ball club to be playing in a smoggy soccer stadium instead of playing under the sun in the Plymouth of the West. By December, this Chargers team will be in a groove and are pushing for a wild card spot. The Browns will be at their mercy during their late season run.
Result: Loss 23-34 (3-9)
Week 14 (12/10) vs. Green Bay Packers
Trap game anyone? Take the Browns and the points as they could make the game close but it’s too much to bet against Rodgers to lose in Cleveland.
Result: Loss 17-21 (3-10)
Week 15 (12/17) vs. Baltimore Ravens
At home against a team that is famous for getting beat up late in the year. How many season altering injuries will the Ravens have in 2017? It depends on the number but the Browns will sneak away with a win to give them two from their divisional opponents.
Result: Win 19-10 (4-10)
Week 16 (12/24) @ Chicago Bears
Mitchell Trubisky might have the starting job in the last month of the year which would result in the second rookie roundup battle for Kizer. Kizer will have the upper hand in this one after losing to Watson as the Browns stump both Jordan Howard and rookie back Tarik Cohen.
Result: Win 31-24 (5-10)
Week 17 (12/31) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers will tumble into January football but will their starters play in their regular season finale? That makes the difference but betting that the Four B’s do make an appearance, call it a win for Pittsburgh.
Result: Loss 21-27 (5-11)