Tuesday, August 2, 2016

CLEVELAND BROWNS - 2016 Season Preview

CLEVELAND BROWNS                                                                             
2015 Record:  3-13-0

Head Coach:  Hue Jackson

New Faces for 2016 - QB Robert Griffin III, S Rahim Moore, LB Justin Tuggle, LB DeMario Davis

OFFENSE:  The Browns will look to Robert Griffin III to resurrect his career in this his fifth season in the league. Griffin hasn't been the same since a devastating knee injury in the 2012 playoffs, his rookie year. He didn't play at all last season with the Washington Redskins.
Providing backup for now will be veteran Josh McCown, who passed for 2,109 yards with 12 touchdowns and just fours picks a year ago in Cleveland. Rookie draft pick Cody Kessler (USC) is another insurance policy entering training camp.
Isaiah Crowell (706 yards, 3.8 ypc with four TD) is the main running back while Duke Johnson (379 yards, 3.6 ypc) will spell him. Johnson is very adept as a receiver out of the backfield, evidenced by his 61 catches last season for 554 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Tight end Gary Barnidge was the team's leading receiver last year, with 79 receptions for 1,043 yards and nine scores. The wideouts look to be Brian Hartline (46, 523, two TD), top draft pick Corey Coleman (Baylor) along with fellow rookie Ricardo Louis (Auburn) and possibly Josh Gordon, once he completes his league mandated suspension. Another option could be Terrelle Pryor.

DEFENSE:  The Browns employ the 3-4 set and have Danny Shelton at nose tackle while Desmond Bryant (six QB sacks) and rookie Emmanuel Ogbah (Oklahoma State) will play the ends. Jamie Meder, John Hughes III and Xavier Cooper, along with top draft pick Carl Nassib (Penn State) provide depth.
The linebackers are Paul Kruger and Nate Orchard on the outside. The inside backers include Christian Kirksey and DeMario Davis. Backing up will be Barkevious Mingo, Joe Schobert (rookie from Wisconsin), Tank Carder, Justin Tuggle and Armonty Bryant, who registered 5 1/2 sacks last season.
The secondary features corners Joe Haden and Tramon Williams along with safeties Rahim Moore and Ibraheim Campbell.

OUTLOOK:  The team had a terrible season in 2015 and finally cut ties with QB Johnny Manziel and will look to RG3 to get his "mojo" back as the starting quarterback. Whether that happens or not is crucial to the Browns hopes to get out of the AFC North basement.
New Head Coach Hue Jackson is chomping at the bit to get things going in the right direction for the Browns, who have had just two winning seasons since re-entering the NFL back in 1999.
The offense must improve after ranking 30th in the NFL last season, scoring just 17.4 points per game. The running game was 22nd, averaging just over 95 yards per game so Crowell and Johnson will be depended upon to bring those numbers upward.
The defense must show improvement as well after finishing near the bottom of the league in scoring defense. The Browns gave up 27 points per game a year ago while ranking 27th overall (379 yards allowed) while also finishing 30th against the run (128 yards allowed per game) and 22nd against the pass, giving up 251 yards per game.
Doubling their win total of 2015 would be a vast improvement for the team, but don't count on that happening this season unless everything goes perfect from start to finish.

Fearless forecast -  2-14 this year

Week 1 - at Philadelphia
Week 2 - vs. Baltimore
Week 3 - at Miami
Week 4 - at Washington
Week 5 - vs. New England
Week 6 - at Tennessee
Week 7 - at Cincinnati
Week 8 - vs. NY Jets
Week 9 - vs. Dallas
Week 10 - at Baltimore
Week 11 - vs. Pittsburgh
Week 12 - vs. NY Giants
Week 13- BYE
Week 14- vs. Cincinnati
Week 15 - at Buffalo
Week 16- vs. San Diego
Week 17 - at Pittsburgh

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