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2022 Opponent Review: Cleveland Browns

2022 Opponent Review: Cleveland Browns

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp approaches and the season begins informally, the team’s 2022 schedule is scrutinizing their opponents. Next is Cleveland Browns. The Cleveland Browns will be an opponent of the Buccaneers when they return from Bye-bye in the 11th week. The 12th Week Buccanes-Browns Contest at FirstEnergy Stadium will begin at 1pm EST and will be broadcast by FOX.

After the team broke through the 17-season playoff drought in 2020, expectations for the Browns 2021 season were very high, after which the playoffs excited fans and beat the archival Pittsburgh 48-37. Baker Mayfield, the third-year quarterback, the first pick of the 2018 draft, defeated the Steelers and threw three touchdown passes after finishing the regular season with tears.

Instead, the 2021 campaign was disappointed in Cleveland, ending without repeated playoff berths, and Browns and Mayfield headed for divorce. The Browns still ended in the league’s fifth-best defense, and the running game behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt’s powerful duo remained one of the league’s best, but the overtaking attack was a crater. Mayfield was fired 43 times in 14 games. The beating led to a left (non-throwing) shoulder injury, and Mayfield’s second-half numbers could have helped him do much worse than he did in the first six weeks of the season.

Browns pulled the Kansas City Chiefs in the first week, almost eliminating the turmoil before Travis Kelce’s touchdown beat the home team 33-27. Cleveland dropped another road thriller after winning three straight wins in Houston, Chicago and Minnesota. This is a 47-42 shootout between Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers. In the next nine weeks, Browns alternated between winning and losing. The most notable decision was that Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and Chub ran two more times, defeating the Super Bowl-bound Bengals 41-16 in the ninth week. The game came just days after Browns allowed wide receiver Odell Beckham his requested release. Beckham eventually signed to the Rams and won the Super Bowl.

After leaving their 13th week goodbye and cutting out the smashed Ravens team at 24-22, the Browns were 7-6, at the height of the playoff race. In fact, they are associated with Cincinnati, with only one game behind the Ravens at the time. However, due to aggressive sputtering, Browns lost to Las Vegas, Green Bay and Pittsburgh three times in a row and dropped out of the fight. The 18th week victory over Cincinnati was too few and too late.

Mayfield finished with a TD-INT ratio of 17-13 and a passer rating of 83.1, and his substitutions (Case Keenum and Nick Mullens) while he was on the sidelines didn’t work very well. Chub ran 1,259 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry, while Browns received only one wide outcatch of 40 or more passes at Jarvis Laundry, 52 yards at 570 yards. .. Cleveland’s strong defense was led by Myles Garrett with a 16.0 sack and Denzel Ward with three intercepts, one returning 99 yards for a touchdown.

The Browns are one of the boldest moves to date and certainly one of the most scrutinized, with Deshaun Watson and the sixth round pick in late March. Watson could be suspended from the NFL, perhaps soon this season, perhaps for quite some time, due to dozens of allegations from massage therapists for sexual misconduct and the resulting legal proceedings. Faced with sex. Browns will also sign a one-year contract with Jacoby Briss and will probably rely on him as his first quarterback if Watson isn’t available.

Browns dealt with their thin receiving corps in another deal, not just the draft topic. As Dallas was looking for a rescue for the cap, Cleveland was able to rob Amari Cooper for a fifth round choice and a sixth round exchange. Cooper has received an average of 1,056 yards and touched down seven times over the last three seasons with the Cowboys. He should join Donovan Peoples Jones as a starting member, as does David Bell, the third round rookie at Purdue University.

Browns also gave Jakeem Grant, who was trading from Miami to Chicago in the middle of the 2021, a three-year contract, but he probably doesn’t mark much as a receiver. Rather, Grant, who is about to stop the appearance of his first Pro Bowl, adds juice to the return game. The Browns special team will also prepare a new set of kickers after signing former packers panther Corey Boyorquez and drafted LSU kicker Cade York in the fourth round.

This wasn’t a new addition, but Cleveland was able to avoid the loss of Jadebeon Crowney, the second-best sack producer, when he signed a one-year deal with him in late May. I did. Croney claimed to have declined a more favorable offer elsewhere to return to the Browns. Cleveland has also made some new additions to the defensive front, working on Turban Brian and signing a one-year deal with Stephen Weatherly to end Isaac Rochelle. Of the three, Brian is most likely to start and see a fair amount of play time. The frontline mix also includes the third round pick Alex Wright, the end of Alabama-Birmingham. Mississippi’s fellow third-round pick Martin Emerson could form a formidable cornerback trio with Ward and Greg Newsom in the first round of 2021.

The deal with Watson marked Mayfield’s almost certain departure and took a little longer than expected, but Browns finally traded the previous starter to Carolina earlier this month. Browns won the 5th round pick in the 2024 draft, which could be improved to the 4th round based on play time.

Cleveland gave the former Falcons tight-end Austin Hooper a four-year deal in 2020, but cut him in the middle of the deal this spring after two overwhelming campaigns. Browns also released a wide-out Jarvis Laundry, which was subsequently signed by the Saints. Rashard Higgins, a fellow wide receiver, has signed as an unlimited free agent in Carolina. He can continue to work with Mayfield here. Former Buccaneers cornerback MJ Stewart started three games in Cleveland in 2021, playing about 40% of the defensive snaps and signing with Houston.

Browns plans to open a new center in 2022 after choosing to release the longtime starter JC Tretter in March. Trettors have started everything in Cleveland except one of the 81 possible games over five seasons. He had no contracts with other teams as of mid-July.

Tight-end David Nyok isn’t new to Cleveland, but he has a brilliant new contract extension after getting a franchise tag that shows that he will be at the center of Browns’ overtaking attack. The Browns quarterback room has been completely transformed. Former Steeler Josh Dobbs, who signed a one-year contract in the off-season, is in third place, so there may be a man in front. Drew Pezging, formerly the team’s tight-end coach, has been reassigned to quarterback. Previously, attack coordinator Alex Van Pelt was the de facto quarterback coach.

Oh, and some people believe that Browns will take advantage of the NFL’s new rules for alternative helmets and wear white headgear at some point in 2022.

Who will be the center in 2022?

Browns has made a large investment in Watson in terms of both draft assets and guaranteed salaries, but it’s still unclear if he will start for them when the season begins in September of this year. The NFL and NFLPA held a three-day hearing in front of Judge Sue L. Robinson two weeks ago. This could ultimately lead to a judge’s decision on the possibility of Watson’s suspension. The appeal process may continue, depending on what the judgment is.what teeth What is clear is that as of mid-July, Browns does not yet know if Watson will be able to play in the first week.

As mentioned earlier, breathback is a fallback option. He arrives in Cleveland a season after backing up Tua Tagovailoa in Miami. Bresset started five games for the Dolphins, winning two of them and summarizing the 78.1 passer rating. He also spent time in New England and Indianapolis, starting a total of 37 games with a record of 14-23.

Can Browns win with a combination of dominant rush attack and league-leading defense, regardless of quarterback conditions?

Buccaneers fans of the Tony Dungy era may like this 2022 Browns team. Dungee and his staff assembled one of the best NFL defenses ever in the late 1990s. He relied on the group and the backfield tandems of Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott to win. Cleveland can take a similar approach.

The Browns have created one of the NFL’s most aggressive lines, especially if they find a good alternative to the Trettors in the Pivot. Former Titan Jack Conklin and Pick Jedrick Wills in the first round of 2020 form a strong tackle pair, and all-pro left guard Joel Vitonio has an underrated running mate to the right of Wyatt Teller. increase. Browns has the NFL as Chub and Hunt split the time and keep each other fresh, and the 2021 surprise Darnest Johnson is ready to intervene if either of these two isn’t available. You should be able to follow up on the 2021 campaign that led the yard. Per carry.

Meanwhile, Garrett seems destined for the 20-bag season at some point in his career, with Crowney launching 9.0 bags in just 14 games last year. Ward quietly became one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks, and Newsome launched a very promising rookie campaign. Weak linebacker Jeremiah Owus Coramore is a second-year breakout candidate, and safety John Johnson is strong in the back end. The Browns are 5th in the allowed yards last season and 13th in points and could be even better in 2022.

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