The Cleveland Browns showed signs of improvements last year, but still they finished with a 7-9 mark on the season. They are not expect to do much more this year as their Win Total set at 6.5 (U -135). Vegas odds have the Browns listed at +1500 to win the AFC North, +5000 to win the AFC Title and +10000 to win the Superbowl. A preview of the Browns along with their 2015 Schedule are below.
Last year the Browns offense ranked 27th in scoring, at 18.7 ppg, while also ranking 23rd in total yards (324.6 ypg), 20th in passing (216.6 ypg) and 17th in rushing (108.0 ypg). The Cleveland offense did start out well last year, but then the injuries hit to the OL and this offense was never the same the rest of the year. This year they get the three OL back that were lot for the year, including Akex Mack, who just may be the best center in the league. Having this OL back intact is huge for this team, but still they need a QB to step up to really make the offense go. It looks as if Manziel will get the call this year, but will he be ready after spending part of the offseason in Rehab? We shall see. Still he does have a lot of work to do to be an NFL QB and should he falter then Josh McCown will step in for him. Overall this is not a solid duo at QB. The WR corp will be missing Josh Gordon for the whole season, but they did go get Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe in free agency, who both have have multiple 1000 yard receiving years in their career, Thew will team with Andrew Hawkins, who led the tam in receptions last year, to form a solid set of WRs. The Running game is in good hands with Terrence West and Isaiah Crowell as both emerged as a solid dual threat last year. The Browns took Duke Johnson in the third round for some depth. This offense should top last year's numbers.
Defensively the Browns ranked 9th in points allowed (21.1 ppg), 23rd in yards allowed (366.1 ypg), 8th vs the pass (224.5 ypg) and 32nd vs the run (141.6 ypg). The defense last year was very good vs the pass, but they struggled vs the run and used one of their first 2 draft picks to take massive nose tackle Danny Shelton, who should step in right away. A little later they got Nate Orchard and then traded up to grab Xavier Cooper. This is mostly a revamped DL, with Phil Taylor the only holdover from last year and I feel it will be a vastly improved DL. The LB Corps looks to be solid this year as they have back Paul Kruger, who had 22 sacks last year and Karlos Dansby, who had 93 tackles last year and was in the top 10 as far as inside backers in the league. Craig Robertson and Chris Kirksey rounds out what looks like a very good LB Corps. The secondary last year was one of the best in the league and they will be so again. They did lose Buster Skrine, but signed Tramon Williams to take his place. Justin Gilbert Struggled as a rookie last year, but Joe Haden, Donte Whitmer and Tashaun Gibson all had great seasons to pick up the slack. Gibson was lost in week 12, but he will be back this year. This is a talented and deep secondary. Overall this defense should be better than last year's edition.
Last year the Browns had their most wins since 2007 and it would have been interesting to see how many they wins they would have notched had their OL not been decimated by injuries and had they got at least average play from the QB spot. The Browns let Brian Hoyer go, which indicates that they are putting all their eggs in their basket on Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown. Maybe in college that would have been a good duo, but not in the pros and it has me feeling that the Browns will again struggle to score. Of course Manziel could shock everyone and have a very solid year, but I'm not banking on it. At Least not this year as he is still a work i progress and McCown behind him is not the answer. The Running game is solid, the WR Corps has been upgraded and the OL is very strong, but still this team will struggle to score again. The defense has been upgraded along the line, while the LB corps is very solid and the secondary is one of the best in the league. This defense is better than last year’s team that ranked 9th in points allowed. Can the Browns score enough points to get to at least .500 this year. I don't think so. This will be a team that will be involved in many low scoring games this year, while notching at most 6 wins. They are on the right track though.
Info Gathered From Scout.com & Athlon Sports
2015 Cleveland Browns Schedule
Sept. 13 at New York Jets, 1
Sept. 20 Tennessee Titans, 1
Sept. 27 Oakland Raiders, 1
Oct. 4 at San Diego Chargers, 4:05
Oct. 11 at Baltimore Ravens, 1
Oct. 18 Denver Broncos, 1
Oct. 25 at St. Louis Rams, 1
Nov. 1 Arizona Cardinals, 1
Nov. 5 at Cincinnati Bengals (Thu), 8:25
Nov. 15 at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1
Nov. 22 BYE
Nov. 30 Baltimore Ravens (Mon), 8:30
Dec. 6 Cincinnati Bengals, 1
Dec. 13 San Francisco 49ers, 1
Dec. 20 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05
Dec. 27 at Kansas City Chiefs, 1
Jan. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1
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College Football Betting Pick: Utah vs Michigan
Jim Harbaugh is worth six points to Michigan according to the recently released Golden Nugget NCAA Football odds, but pro bettors Steve Fezzik and Scott Spreitzer think fans are expecting way too much way too soon for the new Wolverines head coach. In this 9/3/2015 match up, the guys think the Utes are on the way up, recruiting top Pac-12 talent, while Harbaugh and company will be struggling to find their stride this early in the season.