This season, The Associated Press has come up with ‘AP32,’ weekly rankings of all the teams in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns are ranked, not surprisingly, at the bottom heading into Sunday’s opener against visiting Philadelphia.
The Browns have not given their loyal home fans much to cheer for since 1999, other than the 2007 season when home wins included an overtime win against Seattle and a 51-45 win over Cincinnati, but, of course, they still managed to miss the playoffs when they lost to the then-lowly Bengals on the road.
Both team President Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert seemed surprised when told how many rookies and first-year players made the final 53, which makes me wonder exactly how attuned they are — and what kind of product we can expect Sunday.
The Eagles, of course, are being touted as one of the league’s best, and head coach Andy Reid knows this is it for him in Philly if he can’t get his team deep into the playoffs.
Believe it or not, I’m excited for Sunday. RB Trent Richardson looks like he’s good to go, QB Brandon Weeden has shown a live arm — if not much pocket presence — and the Browns have upgraded their WR corps. The defense, though, has been hurt by injuries and suspensions.
With new owner Jimmy Haslam set to take over in October, Pat Shurmur probably knows this is it for him, too. But instead of the playoffs, the Browns should set their sights on being competitive. That might not be enough to save Shurmur, Holmgren and/or Heckert, but at least they can break into the 20s in the AP32.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?
Category: Cleveland Browns