It’s been a long time, but it feels like a significant shift is happening on Lake Erie. The Cleveland Browns have rebooted their roster, showed it off to the world on HBO’s Hard Knocks, and they have the support of an entire beer company awaiting the franchise’s their first win since 2016.
Since the start of 2015, the Browns have an eye-popping record of 4-45-1. For a billion-dollar professional football franchise, that’s embarrassing. If they could have made a few kicks, the Browns could very easily have started the 2018 season at 2-0. Heading into their Thursday Night Football tilt against the New York Jets, the Browns, albeit a small victory, have their first win with the bookies since December 13, 2015.
When the Browns take on rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and the Jets, the team is the favorite to win at home in FirstEnergy Stadium for the first time in almost three years.
The Cleveland Browns, finally, have won the confidence of Las Vegas.
The three-point favorite is a small win, but for a franchise doing everything they can to climb out of the NFL’s cellar, this feels like a huge moment.
Cleveland is known to be the NFL’s lovable loser, but it really feels like for the first time in a long time, they’re actually the NFL’s Cinderella.
Since 1999, the Browns have started 31 different quarterbacks. Seven times, they’ve started three in one season, they’ve started four different ones during the 2008 season, and only once, Tim Couch in 2001, has a quarterback started all 16 games.
Now, turning over the keys to veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor (a.k.a. QB 31), the Browns are primed to get their first win and end the streak.
The defense is playing spectacular football through two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints, two of the league’s premier offense teams. Momentum couldn’t be higher for head coach Hue Jackson this team to actually pull it off.
They’re favored. They’re at home. They’re playing a rookie quarterback on a short week. I mean, what could go wrong?