Our AFC North Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 projection sees the Browns as being competitive. This Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 acknowledges that this team could be a candidate for first or maybe second place and a wildcard. Freddie Kitchens is in his first season with the Bengals and his first year as a NFL head coach. In fact, Kitchens has precious little experience as an OC, less than a season. Veteran coordinators will back him up, including Todd Monken on offense, Steve Wilks on defense, and Mike Priefer on special teams. This is an excellent group. They should help the talent on this team excel.
Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 – Team
Over the last five seasons, the Cleveland Browns have not had a winning record. In fact, this team has not put up a winning record since 2008. This could be a watershed year for this franchise. The offense could finally start generating points. However, even if that does happen, the Browns have to push their defense and special teams to do much better. Our Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 notes that on D, this team has some solid players. Consistency will be key.
Cleveland – Offense
In 2018, the Cleveland offense was a bit better than mediocre, and, at times, they were downright exciting. They averaged 22.4 PPG (20th) and were 14th in passing yards (250.4 YPG) and in rushing (118.3 YPG). The team was 13th in total yards (368.8 YPG). Their third-down conversion rate of 35% ranked 27th, while they were 14th in sacks allowed at 38.
When Baker Mayfield (486 ATT, 310 COMP, 3725 YDs, 27 TDs, 14 INTS) stepped on the field last year partway through the season, the Browns suddenly became contenders. Three of the team’s top five receivers are ready to start, plus the Browns added Odell Beckham Jr. (77 REC, 1052 YDs, 13.7 AVG, 6 TDs) to the receiving unit. This is one of the best and deepest receiving units in the league. RN Nick Chubb (192 ATT, 996 YDs, 5.2 AVG, 8 TDs) will contend for the 1000-plus yard-mark this season. Speedster Dontrell Hillard will get some carries. Troubled RB Kareem Hunt, who was cut by the Chiefs last season due to evidence of abusive behavior, is now suspended by the Browns. The O-line showed a lot of progress last season and should be a solid force this year.
Browns – Defense
The defense gave up 393.0 in total YPG (30th). They were 25th versus the pass and 28th against the run. The Browns allowed opponents 24.5 YPG and tied for 22nd in sacks with 37. Our Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 finds two bright spots for this team on defense. They tied for fifth in interceptions with 17 and tied for eighth in turnovers at +7.
The defensive line is the best part of this defense. Myles Garrett (13.5 SCKs) and Larry Ogunjobi (5.5 SCKs) were first and second in sacks. Vernon Oliver (7 SCKs) comes to the team via a trade with the Giants. He’ll make this line even more intimidating than it was last season. The Browns went to the draft to deepen what was a thin LB group. Look for Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki to see action. The secondary includes corner Denzel Ward (3 INTs). Ward, a rookie last season, made the Pro Bowl. Demarious Randall (4 INTs) is solid at safety. Morgan Burnett, formerly with Green Bay and Pittsburgh and a nine-year vet, will try to replace Jabrill Peppers.
Just about every major member of the special teams unit is new. Our Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 observes that rookie Austin Siebert (Oklahoma) takes over for Greg Joseph, who struggled on kicking PATs last season. Scotsman Jamie Gillan (Arkansas–Pine Bluff), another rookie, takes over the punting duties. Second-year man Dontrell Hilliard takes over runback duties. Long snapper Charley Hughlett returns for a fifth NFL season.
Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 – Prediction
Our Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 finds that this Cleveland Browns team will be highly competitive. They will be so competitive, that we think they will win the AFC North. They’re loaded on offense and have a fine D. It will be interesting to see how they perform against the LA Rams, New England Patriots, and, of course, division rivals Pittsburgh.
- Quarterbacks – 8.4
- Running Backs – 7.4
- Receivers – 9.4
- Offensive Linemen – 7.9
- Defensive Linemen – 8.3
- Linebackers – 6.6
- Secondary – 7.7
- Special Teams – 6.4
- Coaching – 7.0
AFC North Cleveland Browns Preview 2019 – Projection
Cleveland Browns First in AFC North