Season of great expectations: Year 22 (Part 2)
When we last met, I had predicted the Browns would boldly go where few Browns teams had gone before: a winning record after 8 games – albeit by the slimmest of margins.
The question becomes: will it continue? One can only hope so after the horrid post-season playoff showing by the Tribe against the Yankees, so let's focus on anything with a potentially happy conclusion, shall we?
Continuing with my picks from the previous issue ...
9.) Sunday, Nov. 15 vs. Houston: The Texans are not as good as they used to be, but probably not as bad as their record would suggest. The Browns had two weeks to think about their loss to the Raiders, and that creates some competitive fire in the Browns' locker room. They come out and play their best game of the season, beating the Texans, 30-10. At 5-3-1, Jimmy Haslam floats the idea of erecting a statue of himself. Dee accidentally fractures her hip when she doubles over in laughter.
10.) Sunday, Nov. 22 vs. Eagles: Philly shouldn't be as bad as they seem, so it could be a potential "trap" game. I can't see the Browns losing this one; then again, I couldn't see the Indians' pitching staff giving up 22 runs in 2 games, either, so what do I know? Browns win in spite of me, 33-24. Browns, incredibly enough, stand at 6-3-1. Jimmy wants to let the fans into FirstEnergy, because "they deserve it." Dee wants Jimmy committed, because "he deserves it."
11.) Sunday, Nov. 29 @ Jacksonville: This is the 3rd consecutive week the Browns play an inferior opponent. Can they win three consecutive games against teams they should beat? Logic says yes. History says absolutely not. What the hey; chalk up a 3rd consecutive victory, 33-21.
12.) Sunday, Dec. 6 @ Tennessee: Uh-oh, it's December, and the Browns somehow always manage to lower the bar when the temperature drops. It probably has something to do with the fact that their season is over before Halloween most years. Let's add another uh-oh because the Browns play the Titans, who save their best for the Browns. Even though the game is in Tennessee, the Browns look like they have frostbite anyway and get smoked, 38-21. Thinking there's a connection, Jimmy bans cold cuts from all postgame meals. Thinking there's a connection, Dee bans Jimmy from watching cartoons on Saturday mornings. Browns still sitting pretty at 7-4-1.
13.) Monday, Dec. 14 vs. Ravens: It's Monday night and it's the Browns vs. the team that totally stomped them in the season opener. The Browns feel like bad dudes, having won three of their last four and all. Unfortunately, the only thing "bad" that carries over to the game is the team's performance, and the Ravens kick the Browns' behinds once again, 38-22, and Browns slip to 7-5-1. Playoff chances, now not as secure as they were a couple of weeks earlier, drive Jimmy to pursue a motivational speaker for the team. Dee informs Jimmy that the Bose Wave SoundTouch IV isn't quite the motivation the team needs.
14.) Sunday, Dec. 20 @ NY Giants: After the Monday night beatdown, the Browns need a lift. Fortunately for them, they get exactly that in the form of one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Giants, on their way to a Cleveland-like 3-13 record, are hapless hosts, and the Browns clean up 41-17. After the game, Jimmy wishes out loud, "If only the Browns could play New York again..."
15.) Sunday, Dec. 27 @ NY Jets: In what Jimmy perceives as a Christmas "miracle," the Browns indeed play New York again, only this time it's the Jets. In spite of the fact that the uniforms and logos are different, Jimmy remains convinced he now possesses Nostradamus-like powers, especially when the Browns beat the Jets by the same score they beat the Giants, 41-17. Jimmy toys with the idea of selling the team and joining the circus. Dee encourages him to do so. Now, at 9-5-1, the Browns can clinch a playoff birth with a victory the last week of the season.
16.) Sunday, Jan. 3 vs. Steelers: It's a new year, but does it matter? In the biggest game the Browns have played in years, the Browns edge their rival 16-13 for their first playoff birth since Butch Davis coached them in 2002. The 10-5-1 record earns the Browns a game against the New England Patriots.
We'll save that prediction for when the time comes...
Enjoy the ride, folks!
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!