According to the over/under wins list put out by the odds makers in Vegas, the Browns are going to win 7 games but the Bengals are going to win only 6. These numbers look off to me.
The Browns are going to have a new QB, offensive and defensive system, key players on both sides of the ball. They traded their best receiver away and are shopping their only other starting pass catcher on EBAY without a minimum. And their other starting WR is suspended indefinitely by the Commissioner. They also have a new younger version of what they hope is Bill Belichick II in New England and not Bill Belichick I, the guy that they fired in Cleveland.
The Bengals have a quality experienced QB, the same O and D systems, and a coach that reportedly the players love to play for but is on the hot seat unless they win. My gut tells me that the Bengals are a lot closer to winning 7 or 8 games than the Browns are.
WR Braylon Edwards will have a lot of company when he runs patterns because he is the only deep threat the Browns have. Rookie WR Mohamed Massaquoi has speed but questionable hands. There should be real race to see who drops more passes. After Massaquoi drops more than his share, look for OSU rookie Brian Robiskie or vet Mike Furrey to get into the starting lineup. UFA Robert Royal figures to start at TE by default. He may be the only TE healthy enough to play.
The current depth chart shows turnstile UFA John St. Clair starting at RT. He has gotten QB broken everyplace he has played. Just like last year, the Browns may need 4 or 5 QBs this season if he starts.
The D line still lacks any help for pro bowl NT Shaun Rogers to stop the run. In the AFC North, if you can’t stop the run, you will be on the field a L O N G time. The linebacking corps is anything but settled. It will be a week to week game of who did you sack recently? The backfield looks less strong than it did last year as SS Jones was allowed to leave. Look for ex Jet SS Abram Elam to start. The corner opposite Eric Wright is up for grabs. Don’t look for any great improvement there. Without much of a pass rush, whoever plays will have to cover the opposition long enough to establish voting rights in Ohio on every play.
The best chances for a Browns win will be against Detroit, Kansas City, and Oakland. The rest of their games will be toss ups or worse. For entertainment purposes only BET THE UNDER.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .