The team with the biggest question mark ahead of the 2022 season is the Cleveland Browns. It appeared that Cleveland finally had a franchise quarterback shortly after a grand jury declined to indict Deshaun Watson on sexual assault charges in March. The Browns quickly moved to win the bidding war for Watson, dealing three first-round picks, a third-round pick, and two fourth-round picks to the Houston Texans for Watson and a sixth-round pick. They signed Watson to a five-year, $230 million contract that’s fully guaranteed, and most of the fanbase rejoiced with the signing. However, more allegations have been levied against Watson, and his status for the upcoming season is in doubt.
Cleveland Browns Season Win Total
Over 9.5 Wins -110
Under 9.5 Wins -110
2022 Cleveland Browns Schedule
|WEEK ||MATCHUP |
|1 ||@ Carolina Panthers |
|2 ||Vs. New York Jets |
|3 ||Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers |
|4 ||@ Atlanta Falcons |
|5 ||Vs. Los Angeles Chargers |
|6 ||Vs. New England Patriots |
|7 ||@ Baltimore Ravens |
|8 ||Vs. Cincinnati Bengals |
|9 ||BYE WEEK |
|10 ||@ Miami Dolphins |
|11 ||@ Buffalo Bills |
|12 ||Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers |
|13 ||@ Houston Texans |
|14 ||@ Cincinnati Bengals |
|15 ||Vs. Baltimore Ravens |
|16 ||Vs. New Orleans Saints |
|17 ||@ Washington Commanders |
|18 ||@ Pittsburgh Steelers |
Cleveland Browns Offense
It’s hard to speak with confidence about what to expect from Cleveland’s offense. The Browns sent a lot of draft capital to the Texans in order to land Watson, but no one knows just how many games he will play in 2022. Watson is expected to be suspended for at least four games, and he could be suspended for the whole season after a new report from the New York Times put the allegations against him back in the spotlight.
Watson was suspended for all of 2021 due to those off-field issues. He was one of the best signal callers in the league in 2020 though, leading the league with 4,823 passing yards while also throwing 33 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. If he is on the field, he should be a significant improvement over Baker Mayfield, but the doubts over his status have kept Mayfield on the roster.
Cleveland has one of the best running backs in the league in Nick Chubb. We have seen Chubb average at least 5.0 YPC in each of his first four seasons in the NFL, and he almost led the league in rushing in 2019. Kareem Hunt is an excellent second option and a solid receiver out of the backfield, and D’Ernest Johnson is probably the best third string back in the league.
The Browns traded away Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, but they still have exciting options in the passing game. Amari Cooper was one of the top receivers in the NFC with Dallas, and rookie David Bell showed a lot of athleticism at Purdue.
This offensive line is one of the better units in the league as well. Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. are an excellent tackle tandem, and Joel Bitonio is one of the best guards in the league.
Cleveland Browns Defense
Myles Garrett is one of the favorites to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Garrett was one of the frontrunners for the award through the first half of the 2021 season, and he finished the year with 16 sacks. Jadeveon Clowney is still a solid defensive end and had nine sacks opposite Garrett in 14 games last year, but the middle of the defensive line is a bit iffy.
Cleveland struck gold with linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah last year. He was second on the team in tackles despite playing just 14 games, and his ability to cover tight ends and running backs out of the backfield makes him one of the most valuable linebackers in the league. Sione Takitaki is solid too.
The Browns have spent a lot of draft capital on improving their secondary over the years, but this is still a mediocre unit. LSU teammates Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit have not worked out, and John Johnson III underperformed the contract he just signed with the franchise last March.
The ‘Under’ is probably the play with Cleveland given the uncertainty with Watson. All the pieces are in place for the Browns to be one of the top teams in the AFC, but quarterback continues to haunt the team.
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