Cleveland Browns: Will They Win the AFC North?

The Cleveland Browns continue to make headlines in the offseason and it is only OTAs. Newly acquired wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was absent from workouts, but he has recently shown up to workouts. It is going to take time for him and quarterback Baker Mayfield to get going with new Head Coach Freddie Kitchens.

One of the reasons why Kitchens took over as head coach because he was a wizard as the offensive coordinator with Baker Mayfield. Especially after taking over during the middle of the season after the Browns fired Todd Haley and Hue Jackson. Mayfield ignites the crowd and he could become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. This is also one of the reasons why Cleveland finished with a 7-8-1 record after finishing 0-16 the year before.

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Running back Kareem Hunt will be suspended for the first eight games of the season, but he will give the offense an immediate boost when he returns. Nick Chubb will be the featured running back in the backfield and he had a solid rookie year last year with 996 rushing yards on 192 carries and eight touchdowns. Chubb also caught 20 passes for 140 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and David Njoku will also be some other solid weapons for Baker Mayfield to throw to. The biggest question on this offense will be the offensive line. If it gels together, look out.

On the defensive side of the ball defensive end, Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward are the leaders on this defense and they forced a bunch of turnovers last season.

Cornerback Greedy Williams is a rookie and he could be another shutdown corner in the secondary along with Ward.

The linebackers will play a huge role on this defense as well. As far as the schedule is concerned, it is not easy, but it is very doable. The Los Angeles Rams at home and the New England Patriots on the road is by far Cleveland’s two toughest games this season. They will most likely sweep the Cincinnati Bengals and beat the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers at least once.

I think the Browns should be the favorites to win the AFC North this season. Pittsburgh is in disarray, Baltimore could be bad if quarterback Lamar Jackson doesn’t produce, and Cincinnati is a dysfunctional right now, but having a new coach could help them out.

I think Cleveland will finish with a 10-6 record. They have not been to the playoffs since 2002. The last time they won the division was in 1994. This is also a make it or break it year for them.

How do you think the Cleveland Browns will finish? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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