The Cleveland Browns are 2-1 with a pair of lopsided victories but should everyone be buying or seeling this impressive start?
This question is what has been pontificated over at Bleacher Report by Brad Gagnon in his Buying or Selling Each Super Bowl Contender’s Hot Start to 2023 NFL Season article. Some hot starts are easily bought into or dismissed by Gagnon, however, Cleveland’s requires a bit more work apparently.
Gagnon notes that the Browns could very easily be 3-0 if not for a few things that did not go their way last Monday. But the focus on Cleveland is squarely centered on quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson had his best game in a Browns uniform this past Sunday, inspiring hope that he may have regained his form. Although there is some concern this could be brief.
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Maybe the 28-year-old turned a corner in a strong Week 3 performance against the Tennessee Titans, but he and the rest of the team will be tested by the visits of Baltimore and the San Francisco 49ers either side of a bye week.
They could have a lot of trouble in both spots, and a 2-3 start doesn’t give Cleveland anything resembling contender status.
These are very valid points. Cleveland’s was not pretty in the first two games of this season. In fact, it has been that way since Watson took over at quarterback late last season. This is why it is hardly a surprise to see Gagnon come to the conclusion of “Selling but not bailing entirely”.
The Browns have a ton of work to do before they can taken seriously. Yes, the defense has been dominant and the best in all of football. But is that due to the true talent of the unit or playing some of the worst offenses in football?
Offensively, they have to prove that this past week is not a fluke. This will be a difficult task considering they are going to be without Nick Chubb for the rest of the year. Chubb has bailed this team out for years due to being the best back in the league. Cleveland was able to manufacture a rushing attack that featured seven different players carrying the ball Sunday. While impressive, this is not something that anyone can expect on a weekly basis. At some point, the offense will depend on Watson’s arm. And whether or not he can do that still is the question everyone is trying to find the answer to.