Calling a QB a "game manager" has a negative connotation.
Few teams have a backup QB they trust to guide them for a significant amount of time. It's not an easy thing to do.
We see at least one team lose their starting QB every year and immediately panic. The speculation about trades and/or free agent signings starts immediately.
The Browns don't have that problem. They have a good one in Jacoby Brissett.
Making the playoffs is a goal for every NFL team.
One cool thing about the NFL playoffs is that its single elimination. That means every team has a real chance of winning it all if they can just get in.
What will it take for the Browns to make it?
It's impossible to say for sure, but last year the Steelers' 9–7–1 record earned them the final spot.
With Deshaun Watson out for the first 11 games, making the playoffs will be tough. I would guess they need to be around .500 when Watson returns to have a realistic chance. That most likely means 5–6 or 6–5.
With a 1–0 start and a game against the Jets coming, that's off to a good start.
Opening the season with a win is always great. But how they won is the biggest reason for optimism.
It wasn't Brissett's best game, but it wasn't terrible either.
- 147 Yards
- 1 TD
- 0 INTs
There is no doubt that Brissett missed a couple of throws that he should have made. But he also made some good ones, and most importantly, he took care of the ball.
If Brissett avoids making significant mistakes, the Browns have a chance at a special season. Here are the three main reasons why.
The Brown's rushing attack is soo good that they don't need to rely on passing to be successful.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are both capable of being feature backs. Having two feature backs is a luxury few teams enjoy.
Both backs looked solid in the first game. Chubb rushed for 141 yards on 22 carries, and Hunt rushed for 46 yards on 11 carries. Hunt also had 4 catches for 24 yards and a TD.
Chubb's 6.4 yards per carry was particularly impressive. It felt like he could break off a big run at any moment, which will be a massive headache for opponents all season.
The defense, as a whole, looked good, but the DL was particularly scary. On paper, Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are a dangerous combination.
In real life, it's even scarier.
Baker Mayfield was under pressure all day long. He was sacked 4 times and had 5 passes tipped at the line.
Nothing can ruin a season as fast as bad special teams play.
The Browns seem to understand this since they picked a kicker in the 4th round. Many eyes rolled when they picked Cade York, but it looks like a genius move in hindsight.
York was 4/4 on Field Goals, including the 58-yard game-winner. He was also a perfect 2/2 on PATs.
If the Browns want to stay afloat until Watson returns, they will need to win some close games. A great kicker will help with that.