In the NFL, there are teams who make a habit of winning football games, whole others cannot seem to get out of their own way, no matter what they do. The Cleveland Browns have been in that latter category for as long as anyone can remember, but over the past couple of seasons, they have gone about putting together a team that has people mentioning the Browns and the Super Bowl in the same breath. That would be a rather lofty leap for a team that has been known for losing for so very long, but a trip to the postseason, and a playoff win, last year has Cleveland fans excited for what 2021 might bring. Let’s talk about the Browns offense and how that might take them to the next level so you can start getting ready to bet against their NFL odds.
Cleveland Browns Offense Expert Analysis For the 2021-22 NFL Season
The Browns Offense in 2020
While the Browns finished the regular season with an 11-5 record and a spot in the Wild Card, you can’t really say that the offense set the world on fire. In YPG, the Browns found themselves down in the middle of the pack, averaging 369.6, while averaging just shy of 26 PPG scored, which again was good for a middle of the pack spot. In fairness to their offense, they did not get a lot of help from their D, who surrendered 419 points in the regular season.
You could look at the 221.2 passing yards per game in 2020 and suggest that Baker Mayfield did not really deliver the goods, but his total was there for a couple of reasons, the first of which is that the Browns have arguably one of the best running back tandems in the league. The other reason was that they did not launch the deep ball very often despite Mayfield being one of the most accurate QBs in the league in that department.
You can tell see all you need to know about this offense by looking at the running game, which accounted for 148.4 YPG, 3rd best in the league in 2021. That helped the Browns control the clock and extend plays a lot last season.
The Browns Offensive Outlook in 2021
There are not going to be any wholesale changes to the offense heading into 2021, as the Browns spent most of the offseason shoring things up on the defensive side of the football. They will, though, have Odell Beckham Jr. back from injury, which is good, as they missed his presence in the playoffs.
Cleveland drafted a raw young wide receiver in Anthony Schwartz this offseason, which suggests that they may be more willing to play the vertical game. The rookie is blessed with blazing speed and will draw the attention of opposing defenses, which may just create more room for Beckham, Njoku, and company.
I don’t expect there to be a dip in the running game, as you would certainly expect Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to continue picking up chunks of yardage whenever they carry the football. If the O-Line holds up and they get more out of Austin Hooper at tight end, this offense could hum along quite nicely.
While they may have been middle of the pack last season, I think that the Cleveland Browns offense has a shot at being a top 10 unit in 2021.