We are more than two months into the 2017 fiscal year for the National Football League. It’s safe to say we have seen plenty of player movement via free agency and trades. And in late April, a total of 253 players were selected in the NFL draft. So as teams stare at mini-camps, OTAs and more, we figured it was a good time to have some fun looking (and learning) at the significant numbers – both in regards to the past and the present – for each of the 32 franchises. You can play catch-up by clicking here. Next up are the Cleveland Browns.
Once upon a time 11 games into the 2014 season, the Cleveland Browns were in the thick of the AFC North divisional race. Really! The much-maligned franchise owned a 7-4 record and were making a big for its first playoff appearance since 2002. But when it was all said and done, the team dropped its final five contests and finished 7-9. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens all went onto the postseason that year. To say it’s been pretty lean times as of late would be a gross understatement. Since that 7-4 start, the club owns a pathetic 4-33 record.
In 2016, only the San Francisco 49ers allowed more total yards and more rushing yards than the Browns. The team’s 31st ranking against the run followed a year in which the club finished 30th in the league in the same category. While there’s been a lot made of the franchise’s revolving door at quarterback (26 different starters dating back to 1999), the defense has been just as big of a problem. Why it’s no wonder that the team used the first two of three first-round draft choices this year on defensive end Myles Garrett and safety Jabrill Peppers.
This past season, the Cleveland Browns started three different quarterbacks (Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and rookie Cody Kessler) and played three other men (Charlie Whitehurst, Terrelle Pryor and Kevin Hogan). The results were 15 touchdown passes, 14 interceptions and six lost fumbles. But talk about a bad omen? The six signal-callers were sacked a combined 66 times. Hence why when the team did dip into free agency this offseason, the signings included center J.C. Tretter and guard T.J. Lang.