With 13 losses already in the book, there are many who hope the Cleveland Browns can win one of the last three games to avoid joining the Detroit Lions as the only NFL teams to go 0-16.
And as we said the other day, the media and fans alike are already lining up the reasons why the victory could come this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Most of those reasons center around the coaching turmoil with the Bills, as rumors are swirling that Rex Ryan doesn’t have a great deal of security.
The other reason is the quarterback situation there as Tyrod Taylor is a free agent at the end of the season, and will they want to take a look at former Glenville and Ohio State QB Cardele Jones soon.
As for going 0-16, there are many who say they want the win for the players, so they can avoid the spectre of a winless season, but how many players from that Lions team can you name?
The quarterbacks were Dan Orlovsky (0-7), Jon Kitna (0-4), and Daunte Culpepper (0-5). Kevin Smith was the leading rusher, and a guy many believe will wind up in the Hall of Fame, Calvin Johnson, was the leading receiver.
Paris Lenon was the leading tackler and Dewayne Wayne was the leader sacker.
Maybe those names are memorable in the Motor City, but outside of Johnson, who remembers them. And Johnson doesn’t have that stigma attached to him.
The only notoriety those players have is they will probably be interviewed if the Browns head to Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day with a chance to match them.
Really, what is the difference between being 0-16 and let’s say, 2-14? Or 3-13? Those records make you a bad football team. You still aren’t very competitive.
And in this NFL season, there are several teams who can claim the right to be considered putrid. The 49ers have won just one game. Jacksonville is sitting at two wins. The Bears have three victories, one over the 49ers.
The New York Jets are 4-9, and almost all national media people consider that organization to be a mess.
What we are saying here is the Browns have competition to get the first overall pick in next spring’s NFL draft, so going 0-16 guarantees you will get the chance to choose the best player coming into the league.
According to reports, the Browns have a very high grade on Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett, who many feel is the best player in the 2017 draft. So, maybe analytics says the wise choice if you have the first pick, you should take the best player.
Besides, it isn’t like the Browns will be branded the worst team of all time if they go 0-16. Another team has done it. Heck, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost the first 26 games in franchise history in 1976-77 before they finally won.
In 1979, just two years later, they went to the NFC Championship Game.
If in two years, the Browns are in the playoffs, then a winless season would be well worth it, right?
We understand that it is different for the players and Hue Jackson. They are competitors and want to win. We heard the frustration in the voices of Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman this week.
We know they want to win.
But the end game, if the “plan” works, is the Browns are speeding up the process. They have five picks in the first 65 choices next spring.
The Browns knew this year wasn’t going to be pretty and the media and fans should’ve seen that too. If you are going to be bad, why not be real bad?