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Preseason Power Rankings No. 22: Cleveland Browns

Johnny Manziel, Brian Hoyer AP

There are many reasons to want the NFL regular season to just get going already.

One is how the Browns’ roster looks on paper.

Top to bottom, the Browns have a very interesting depth chart, an enviable foundation of both young and experienced talent. While the Browns were just 4-12 a season ago, they have one of the NFL’s best tackles (Joe Thomas), centers (Alex Mack) and cornerbacks (Joe Haden).

However, the Browns (again) don’t have a clear-cut starting quarterback, with veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel set to battle it out. They are also in danger of losing wide receiver Josh Gordon to yet another NFL suspension. The Browns also must adjust to their third head coach (Mike Pettine) in three seasons.

There is also the matter of the Browns’ divisional competition. The Ravens have reloaded. The Steelers still have Ben Roethlisberger, who has won far more than he has lost against Cleveland over the years. The Bengals are going for four straight playoff berths. (Four straight!)

Yes, NFL turnarounds can happen. But they need a jumping-off point. So here we are with Cleveland. Do the Browns now have the might to stand in and fight in this tough division? Or will they wilt again like so many other recent seasons?

Strengths.

The Browns have a deep and skilled defense. Only the Seahawks and Bengals allowed fewer yards per opponent play a season ago. Moreover, Cleveland was strong against the run and the pass, ranking in the top 10 in yards surrendered per rush and pass. Pettine has worked with talented, stout defenses with the Ravens, Jets and Bills, and it would be a surprise if the Browns didn’t field an above-average “D” this season.

The line is one of the strengths of the Browns’ offense. Thomas and Mack are Pro Bowlers, and the additions of second-round pick Joel Bitonio and ex-Seahawk Paul McQuistan strengthens Cleveland’s hand even further. Bitonio could get the call at left guard, and McQuistan can play tackle or guard.

Finally, in Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron, the Browns have a pair of Pro Bowl targets whom they have drafted and developed.

Weaknesses.

If Gordon is banned for an extended stretch, the Browns’ passing game will be put to the test, as opponents will be able to focus upon Cameron. While the Browns did add receivers Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin and Nate Burleson in free agency, there is no replacing Gordon’s field-stretching and coverage-dictating skill.

The uncertainty at quarterback also must be considered a weakness for the time being. Hoyer has just four career regular season starts, and he comes off an October ACL tear. Manziel is gifted, but it’s unclear how long it will take him to adjust to the NFL game.

The Browns don’t have many major concerns on defense, but they do lack a star pass rusher, with no player exceeding 5.5 sacks a season ago. Collectively, the Browns appear able to generate enough pressure, but it would be nice if a real difference-maker emerged here.

Changes.

Goodness, where do we start? Well, let’s go back to the final day of the 2013 regular season, when the club surprisingly fired coach Rod Chudzinski. After hiring Pettine, the club later parted ways with CEO Joe Banner and G.M. Mike Lombardi, promoting Ray Farmer to G.M.

The changes didn’t stop there. The Browns released inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, a good player for some bad Cleveland teams. They would replace Jackson with Karlos Dansby, who had a monster season for Arizona in 2013 (122 tackles, 19 passes defended, 6.5 sacks). The Browns would also make a big change at safety, signing Donte Whitner to replace T.J. Ward, who signed with Denver. An Ohio native, Whitner is solid vs. the run and pass.

On offense, the Browns added some much needed help at running back, signing Ben Tate in free agency and drafting Terrance West in the third round. The club also changed offensive coordinators, hiring Kyle Shanahan. He’s the fourth offensive coordinator the club has had in the last five seasons.

On defense, former Bills assistant Jim O’Neil takes over for Ray Horton as defensive coordinator, but Pettine’s influence on this side of the ball will be strong.

Camp battles.

All eyes will be on yet another quarterback competition. As a first-round pick, Manziel figures to have his chances to win the job, but Hoyer can’t be discounted, especially if the rookie is at all shaky in the preseason. The Browns’ most spirited play a season ago came with Hoyer in the lineup.

Guard, outside linebacker and cornerback are other positions worth monitoring, but only because the Browns have well-regarded prospects at each spot. Bitonio is one to watch at guard. If Barkevious Mingo can take a step forward, the Browns will be that much stronger at outside linebacker. At cornerback, first-round pick Justin Gilbert figures to be tested by clubs leery of going after Haden.

Prospects.

The Browns’ schedule is a Fluffernutter sandwich on cardboard bread. If Cleveland can handle the tough edges of the campaign, there’s a chance to gobble up ground in the middle.

The Browns begin their season at nemesis Pittsburgh, then host top-class New Orleans and stout Baltimore before the Week Four bye to end September. However, October and November could be more favorable for Cleveland. Though the Browns play five road games in this stretch, three are against the Jaguars, Titans and Bills. The Browns also have home contests against the Raiders, Buccaneers and Texans. If Cleveland is ready to take a step forward, it will make the most of these two months before closing out the season with home games against tough Cincinnati and Indianapolis and road matchups at Carolina and Baltimore.

In the end, the Browns’ season rides on their offense. Only five other clubs scored fewer points per game in 2013. If Hoyer or Manziel seizes the job with skilled play, the Browns could be in the postseason race much longer than in past seasons.

In so many other campaigns, the Browns have marched out overmatched lineups and have tried to grit and grind out wins. This is a different club, one with the skill to be one of the AFC’s surprise teams, a real feel-good story. But there are hurdles, too.

But at some point, it would be nice if the Browns cleared them, you know?

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82 Responses to “Preseason Power Rankings No. 22: Cleveland Browns”
  1. billswillnevermove says: Jul 12, 2014 9:36 AM

    Strengths: None
    Weaknesses: Many

    This team sould of been ranked no higher than 30th. Maybe only two teams worse are the Vikings or Jags, but that’s it. These rankings are a joke. Browns have a decent defense, but that offense may be the worse in the NFL within the past 5 years. They don’t have a RB and they don’t have one WR who would start on another team in the NFL (minus Gordon, but he is suspended).

  2. jabbathegriffin says: Jul 12, 2014 9:41 AM

    Here comes the everythings…

  3. dixonorifice says: Jul 12, 2014 9:43 AM

    better than the redskins

  4. bridgeh20mvp says: Jul 12, 2014 9:45 AM

    Lol Vikings as being bad? You Peolple are silly…. Vikings will win division and be a playoff team this year. Browns Should be much improved as well

  5. 1wildfan1 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:48 AM

    I don’t understand a couple things. 1) PFT won’t post any of my comments. 2) why so much Vikings hate? They were 5-10-1 last year, better than Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Jax, Oakland, STL, Tampa, and Buffalo. We lost one over the hill fading DT, one elite DE, and a terrible coaching staff. We still have the best RB in football, got a serviceable QB and drafted what was considered the most pro-ready QB in the draft, got a pro-bowl TE and WR, got much better D depth despite the losses, have one of the most shrewd OCs and QB developers in the NFL, one of the best D minds in the NFL for our head coach. Are we super bowl bound? Of course not. But the team seems to have gotten much stronger. Maybe not even playoff bound yet, but heading the right direction. Just don’t get why people hate on them so much.

  6. edzo82270 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:48 AM

    Call me old fashioned, but it would be good for the league for Cleveland to be relevant again. Same for Washington, Oakland, Miami, and Chicago. I remember a lot of good football in the 70′s and 80′s and once upon a time Cleveland was a top 10 team. I’m not a fan and I’m not from Ohio, but mediocrity for decades gets tired and I’m sure I don’t need to tell that to a Browns fan.

  7. bullcharger says: Jul 12, 2014 9:49 AM

    The Browns can’t be ahead of the Bills and Miami. It makes no sense.

  8. joerevs300 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:51 AM

    Too bad there isn’t a LeBron James who can come home to the Cleveland Browns and bring them a World Championship.

    With Josh Gordon I could actually start to make an argument they’d be in the playoff conversation into December, but without his threat, who exactly is scoring points on offense?

    Sorry…it’s still a 3 team race. But perhaps next year the Browns will turn the AFC North into an NFC East level of attrition.

  9. thepftpoethasneverkissedagirl says: Jul 12, 2014 9:53 AM

    vikings…..worst team in the NFL.

  10. raiderrob21 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:54 AM

    Joke of a list boys you all should be ashamed.

  11. zappa69 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:55 AM

    Why is it good for the NFL to have certain teams win? Unless your the commish and your purposely allowing certain teams to win?

    PS. Your Old!

  12. niles6590 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:55 AM

    Oh “billswillnevermove”…it’s hard to take your comment seriously when you’re wrong. At this moment, Gordon is not suspended…his hearing is at the end of the month.

  13. honkeyt says: Jul 12, 2014 9:55 AM

    The Cowboys, Raiders and Redskins are miles better than the Browns. Are these rankings like an early April Fools joke?

  14. thefiesty1 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:56 AM

    FINALLY! Only 10 spots too high.

  15. marc68 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:00 AM

    I would bet anything the Vikings Don’t win 6 games, let alone the division.

  16. billswillnevermove says: Jul 12, 2014 10:00 AM

    1wildfan1 says:Jul 12, 2014 9:48 AM

    I don’t understand a couple things. 1) PFT won’t post any of my comments. 2) why so much Vikings hate? They were 5-10-1 last year, better than Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Jax, Oakland, STL, Tampa, and Buffalo. We lost one over the hill fading DT, one elite DE, and a terrible coaching staff. We still have the best RB in football, got a serviceable QB and drafted what was considered the most pro-ready QB in the draft, got a pro-bowl TE and WR, got much better D depth despite the losses, have one of the most shrewd OCs and QB developers in the NFL, one of the best D minds in the NFL for our head coach. Are we super bowl bound? Of course not. But the team seems to have gotten much stronger. Maybe not even playoff bound yet, but heading the right direction. Just don’t get why people hate on them so much.
    ________________________________
    Maybe they don’t post your comments because your facts are all wrong. If the Vikings were 5-10-1 last year and the Bills were 6-10, how does that ranking beat the Bills? Last time I went to school 6-10 was better than 5-10-1. And just to show you how wrong you were, the Rams were 7-9…last time I went to school, that was better than 5-10-1 too.

  17. tommiepickles says: Jul 12, 2014 10:07 AM

    Its funny how the brown conducted a 100, 000 $ study to find out who the best qb is and it turned out to be bridgewater but jimmy haslem took a homeless mans advice and drafted johnny cocaine.

  18. largent80100 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:08 AM

    Browns roster is talented, but they have no WR unless Gordon and the NFL settle an agreement for him to play.

    Manziel is a very unorthodox QB, people compare him to Tebow (media) and Wilson (height) but he reminds me more of Vick (run ability and recklessness) and Romo (ability to keep the plays alive).

    If the NFL offenses were boring like in the early 00s where every QB was forced to be a pocket passer, I would say that Manziel would bust without a doubt, now they can maximize his strenghts, but he must collaborate and be more humble.

    But I’m going to bet they’ll win 5 games, it’s hard to be high on a mismanaged team that has two winning seasons, one playoff game and a sub .350 record since 99.

  19. grogansheroes says: Jul 12, 2014 10:15 AM

    I thought the Browns would be better last year, but they had an awful coach/management team. I think they have a lot of talent, but not at the two most important positions, coach and QB. It’s why they lose a lot of close games. And I for one, am not a believer in Johnny football. Hoyer is a better QB, and that is not saying much. When was the last QB the Browns drafted, that was better than average? Kosar? Not a Browns fan, but hope they do well this year.

  20. straydogg7571 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:16 AM

    With a gutted front office, a pending suspension of Gordon & a QB fresh off the boat (showboat), I would rank the 2014 Browns firmly at 29!
    Preseason rankings are a guessing game, but come on!?!
    I think Manzel will be an amazing QB, I just don’t think it’ll be this year, but he will start…book it!

  21. tommiepickles says: Jul 12, 2014 10:16 AM

    Billswillnevermove says:

    Maybe they don’t post your comments because your facts are all wrong. If the Vikings were 5-10-1 last year and the Bills were 6-10, how does that ranking beat the Bills? Last time I went to school 6-10 was better than 5-10-1. And just to show you how wrong you were, the Rams were 7-9…last time I went to school, that was better than 5-10-1 too.

    there is more to power rankings than just ranking teams based on the previous year’s record. Pft is giving its preseason power rankings based on a teams offseason and not just the 2014 draft order.

  22. bloomer006999999 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:19 AM

    Bridgewater will haunt this team for the next 15 years.

    SKOL*

  23. footballguy5 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:20 AM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Dolphins destroy the Browns in week 1 last year?

  24. billswillnevermove says: Jul 12, 2014 10:22 AM

    tommiepickles says:Jul 12, 2014 10:16 AM

    Billswillnevermove says:

    Maybe they don’t post your comments because your facts are all wrong. If the Vikings were 5-10-1 last year and the Bills were 6-10, how does that ranking beat the Bills? Last time I went to school 6-10 was better than 5-10-1. And just to show you how wrong you were, the Rams were 7-9…last time I went to school, that was better than 5-10-1 too.

    there is more to power rankings than just ranking teams based on the previous year’s record. Pft is giving its preseason power rankings based on a teams offseason and not just the 2014 draft order.
    ________________________________
    That post had nothing to do with power rankings…..it had to do with this guys facts are all wrong. And they are.

  25. orthomarine says: Jul 12, 2014 10:23 AM

    Dumpster Fire

  26. bloomer006999999 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:25 AM

    Bridgewater … on the field, and head in the books.
    Manziel ……….. In Jail.

  27. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 12, 2014 10:30 AM

    22 is way too high for a team that had lost 10 or more games in 10 out of last 11 games and really isn’t any better than last year when they went 4-12. I had them going 4-12 with Gordon. This team will go 2-14 in 2014. No WRs, Tate is good IF he stays healthy. All defenses have to do is shut down Cameron and load 7-8 in the box.

    Defense is not bad but they will never shut down teams in crunch time or on 3rd down, and isn’t strong enough to overcome a horrible offense.

    They should beat the Raiders only because it’s at home and the Texans because Ryan Fitzpatrick is their QB and hot head, big ego Bill O’Brien as HC

  28. voiceofreasonsays says: Jul 12, 2014 10:30 AM

    32. Browns
    31. Vikings
    30. Jaguars

  29. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 12, 2014 10:32 AM

    Lost 10 of 11 games in 10 out of last 11 years I meant

  30. tommiepickles says: Jul 12, 2014 10:35 AM

    Billswillnevermove says:

    Maybe they don’t post your comments because your facts are all wrong. If the Vikings were 5-10-1 last year and the Bills were 6-10, how does that ranking beat the Bills? Last time I went to school 6-10 was better than 5-10-1. And just to show you how wrong you were, the Rams were 7-9…last time I went to school, that was better than 5-10-1 too.

    There is more to power rankings than just ranking teams based on the previous year’s record. Pft is giving its preseason power rankings based on a teams offseason and not just the 2014 draft order.

    Billswillnevermove says
    That post had nothing to do with power rankings…..it had to do with this guys facts are all wrong. And they are.

    he was just posting his opinion on the preseason power rankings, didnt rly see any incorrect facts.

  31. tommiepickles says: Jul 12, 2014 10:37 AM

    Brownsmakemecrazy says:

    22 is way too high for a team that had lost 10 or more games in 10 out of last 11 games and……

    Uh what?

  32. nflfan1326 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:39 AM

    to 1wildfan1:
    If a team went 5-10-1, you want to lose more than 3 players from that team. Having 19 of 22 starters returning from a 5-10-1 team will provide some of the same results for the Vikings.

  33. bigb75 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:55 AM

    Vikings in the playoffs now that’s funny !!!! Why are you even talking about the Vikings ? This is about the Browns

  34. timmyp716 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:56 AM

    tommiepickles

    I think billswillnevermove ment these wrong facts:

    1wildfan1 says: Jul 12, 2014 9:48 AM

    I don’t understand a couple things. 1) PFT won’t post any of my comments. 2) why so much Vikings hate? They were 5-10-1 last year, better than Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Jax, Oakland, STL, Tampa, and Buffalo.

  35. bloomer006999999 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:58 AM

    voiceofreasonsays says:
    Jul 12, 2014 10:30 AM
    32. Browns
    31. Vikings
    30. Jaguars

    ~~~~~~~~

    Correction-

    32. Browns
    31. Packers (Sharron Out) Con-cussed
    30. Bears (Cry-Baby Out) Con-cussed
    29. Seahawks Harvin Out) Migraines
    28. Saints (Brees Out) Con- cussed
    27. Patriots (Brady Out) Con-cussed
    26. Falcons (Matty Icy) Con-cussed
    25. Redskins (RG3) Wheelchair
    24 Rams (Bradford Out) Cracked Ribs

    ~~~~

    7. Minnesota Vikings ( Defense )

  36. patriots123456 says: Jul 12, 2014 10:59 AM

    Last year I believe PFT ranked the Jets last..

    Many of us chimed in and claimed they were not the worst team, even though they had their problems. I think they finished 8 & 8.

    Anyway, just about everyone here thinks the Browns are ranked TOO HIGH!

    But rankings are just someone’s opinion, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

    Let the games begin, that is when the true rankings will appear.

  37. tjacks7 says: Jul 12, 2014 11:00 AM

    marc68 says:

    I would bet anything the Vikings Don’t win 6 games, let alone the division.

    What kind of car ya got?

  38. verykindguy says: Jul 12, 2014 11:01 AM

    The Browns are actually a solid team other than the obvious hole at wide receiver, they might surprise some people. I don’t think they are playoff potential yet but they are definitely in better position than they have been this past decade. Maybe if they brought Lebron in at wideout haha but seriously they need help at wideout for hoyer/manziel.

  39. drakescounsellor says: Jul 12, 2014 11:07 AM

    Why do yall hate Manziel so much? what has this man personally done to you? did he take your daughters or something? everyone wants to include a johnny hate in your comment, dang let him live bruh, its so low calling him names just cause you dont like him, that really is hating, grow up and move past hating a 21 year old dude

  40. howiehandles says: Jul 12, 2014 11:08 AM

    The Browns are building a nice little team over there, especially on the defensive side, but I just can’t see them scoring enough to be better than 500. Plus their division is solid. Give them a couple of years, and I’d expect them back in the playoffs.

  41. mousietongue says: Jul 12, 2014 11:10 AM

    The Browns’ schedule is a Fluffernutter sandwich on cardboard bread.

    What the hell does that mean?????

  42. tommiepickles says: Jul 12, 2014 11:26 AM

    Timmyp716 says:

    tommiepickles

    I think billswillnevermove ment these wrong facts

    1wildfan1 says
    I don’t understand a couple things. 1) PFT won’t post any of my comments. 2) why so much Vikings hate? They were 5-10-1 last year, better than Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Jax, Oakland, STL, Tampa, and Buffalo

    At 5-10-1 the vikings had a better record than the teams listed above, so therefore they were better in 2013 than those teams. Still searching for those inaccurate facts.

  43. ziplock10 says: Jul 12, 2014 11:28 AM

    Strengths???? AYKM?????????

  44. ajgreenhof says: Jul 12, 2014 11:52 AM

    Once Geno and Burfict get a hold of the Browns there will be pieces of Manziel all over the field.

  45. craigkintexas says: Jul 12, 2014 12:14 PM

    Depends whether Haslam goes nuts and appoints himself Head Coach and GM.

  46. krypticdoes says: Jul 12, 2014 12:16 PM

    Everyone here keep sleeping on the browns. It will make it all the more better when they actually win a few more games this year.

  47. timmyp716 says: Jul 12, 2014 12:19 PM

    tommiepickles says: Jul 12, 2014 11:26 AM

    At 5-10-1 the vikings had a better record than the teams listed above, so therefore they were better in 2013 than those teams. Still searching for those inaccurate facts.

    Except the Bills were 6-10 and St Louis was 7-9 which means in real life these teams were better.

    Accurate Fact

  48. joker65 says: Jul 12, 2014 12:19 PM

    Bills fans talking trash? The team that hasn’t smelled the playoffs in 14 years? Thats laughable. Typical Bills fan, always with the “we’re going to make some noise this year.” Until reality sets in about 3 weeks into the season. Bills fans shouldn’t be knocking any other team until they make the playoffs.

  49. timmyp716 says: Jul 12, 2014 12:28 PM

    joker65 says: Jul 12, 2014 12:19 PM

    Bills fans talking trash? The team that hasn’t smelled the playoffs in 14 years? Thats laughable. Typical Bills fan, always with the “we’re going to make some noise this year.”

    Except I never said that and I wasn’t talking trash.

  50. packerbackernj says: Jul 12, 2014 12:28 PM

    @1wildfan1 It’s because these comments have been polluted with trolls and idiots. Logicalvoicesays ,aka Hulkhogansays, started a downward vortex of stupidity a long time ago. Before him, it was a couple of steeler fans constantly repeating “we have six rings.” Now, the little kids that seen what logicalvoicesays did, and straight up copied him, but for their own team. Sure the Vikings will be better this year then last year, but instead of having facts and conversation it’s become nothing more then “u sux” then “i know u r but what am i.” Years ago, we use to be able to have a somewhat intellectual conversation about football and rivalries through these comments. Those days are long dead.

  51. ubepunkedagain says: Jul 12, 2014 12:42 PM

    Didn’t the Browns beat both the Bills and Vikings last year? What’s the problem? They play in a way tougher division than either of those teams.

  52. bullcharger says: Jul 12, 2014 1:00 PM

    The Browns don’t have a good chance to get beyond 6 wins.
    Against their own division they might get 2 wins max (that is generous).
    Against the AFC South they might get 2 wins.
    Against the raiders and Bills they may split. 1 win.
    Against the NFC South they can’t beat the Saints or the Panthers but may split with Tampa and Atl. 1 win.

    That is 6 total and not the 22nd best team.

    If they had Gordon and no QB controversy I would say 8 or 9. But they don’t.

  53. bullcharger says: Jul 12, 2014 1:02 PM

    ubepunkedagain says:
    Jul 12, 2014 12:42 PM
    Didn’t the Browns beat both the Bills and Vikings last year? What’s the problem? They play in a way tougher division than either of those teams.

    ————-

    They had Gordon. He was almost unstoppable last year.

  54. mrfrostyj says: Jul 12, 2014 1:04 PM

    on average the 22nd ranked team at the end of the regular season has a 7-9 record.

    This means PFT is predicting the Browns will have 3 more wins than they did in 2013.

    Why is it people have issues with this again? Seems a lot more believable than the Browns adding all these free agents and draft picks to their large group of 2013 pro bowlers and getting worse somehow?

  55. ubepunkedagain says: Jul 12, 2014 1:13 PM

    ubepunkedagain says:
    Jul 12, 2014 12:42 PM
    Didn’t the Browns beat both the Bills and Vikings last year? What’s the problem? They play in a way tougher division than either of those teams.

    ————-

    They had Gordon. He was almost unstoppable last year.
    ———————-

    They also had Weeden and Willis McGahee

  56. mrfrostyj says: Jul 12, 2014 1:27 PM

    bullcharger says: Jul 12, 2014 1:02 PM

    ubepunkedagain says:
    Jul 12, 2014 12:42 PM
    Didn’t the Browns beat both the Bills and Vikings last year? What’s the problem? They play in a way tougher division than either of those teams.

    ————-

    They had Gordon. He was almost unstoppable last year.

    0

    0

    Report comment
    ————————————————–

    Don’t believe the ESPN “experts” who have made Josh Gordon out to be the second coming of Jerry Rice. He had 3 or 4 REALLY good games but wasn’t consistent in any of the Browns wins. Jordan Cameron is the more reliable “pass catcher” on that team and had 3 touchdowns by himself vs the Vikings.

    If you’re a fantasy football owner Jordan Cameron is going to be the best tight end in the NFL in 2014. Brian Hoyer to Jordan Cameron is a lot bigger of a threat then the now legendary (to ESPN) tandem of Jason Campbell to Josh Gordon and has way more wins.

  57. youpeopleareallthesame says: Jul 12, 2014 1:32 PM

    1wildfan1 says:
    Jul 12, 2014 9:48 AM
    I don’t understand a couple things. 1) PFT won’t post any of my comments. 2) why so much Vikings hate? They were 5-10-1 last year, better than Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Jax, Oakland, STL, Tampa, and Buffalo. We lost one over the hill fading DT, one elite DE, and a terrible coaching staff. We still have the best RB in football, got a serviceable QB and drafted what was considered the most pro-ready QB in the draft, got a pro-bowl TE and WR, got much better D depth despite the losses, have one of the most shrewd OCs and QB developers in the NFL, one of the best D minds in the NFL for our head coach. Are we super bowl bound? Of course not. But the team seems to have gotten much stronger. Maybe not even playoff bound yet, but heading the right direction. Just don’t get why PEOPLE hate on them so much.

    ——————————————————–

    People hate the Vikings so much because of a very small but very vocal minority of fans who like trolling the crap out of nearly every single article on this site. It’s not really as much about disliking the Vikings as much as disliking those particular fans.

    To be fair I have seen plenty of legitimate non-troll Vikings fans, but that tiny group makes them all look bad. Every fanbase has that group; the Vikings just seem to have a slightly larger and slightly more vocal group of trolls.

  58. ralphwilsonisrich says: Jul 12, 2014 1:41 PM

    New HC and no QB 22nd please!

  59. walter0247 says: Jul 12, 2014 1:44 PM

    Redskins vs. Browns

    The Redskins have better:
    QB
    RB
    FB
    WR (by a long shot)
    LOLB
    MLB
    ROLB
    RE

    Browns have better:
    LT (Trent and Joe are arguably 1 & 2)
    CB
    S

    yep, reaaal interesting on paper.

  60. walter0247 says: Jul 12, 2014 1:47 PM

    Should have added to my ^comment, but all other positions are tied.

  61. tommiepickles says: Jul 12, 2014 1:49 PM

    timmyp716 says

    tommiepickles says

    at 5-10-1 the vikings had a better record than the teams listed above, so therefore they were better in 2013 than those teams. Still searching for those inaccurate facts.

    Except the Bills were 6-10 and St Louis was 7-9 which means in real life these teams were better.

    Accurate Fact

    Im an idiot I didnt notice STLin there and for some reason I keep thinking the bills finished worse than the vikes last year, I think its cuz they drafted watkins at 4 but keep forgetting they traded up to do so, my bad.

  62. stonedolphin89 says: Jul 12, 2014 1:57 PM

    Look chief…

    You can love a Browns underdog all you want. But the fact is you have Mr. Nobody taking the snap from Alex Mack under center. You have him handing off to Mr. Nobody for 2 yards and a cloud of dust. You have him dropping back and throwing to Mr. Nobody for 3rd and short or incomplete. And the only Mr. Somebody you have is about to lose his entire 2014 season to suspension. So putting them @22 is laughable.

    I get it, to a point. Joe Thomas (in my opinion) is the best Left Tackle in the NFL by a wide margin. Alex Mack is no slouch either. Joe Hayden is a top 5 CB and the Browns D is a solid overall unit. That doesn’t change the fact that their offense isn’t going to score a damn point all year.

  63. vincentbojackson says: Jul 12, 2014 2:02 PM

    Gordon WAS their offense last year. He’s gone, replaced by second tier guys and injury prone vets.

    Also got worse at safety, have a QB mess on their hands, and an owner facing a possible prison sentence.

    Other than that, a model franchise.

  64. teambolt5000 says: Jul 12, 2014 2:25 PM

    “Bridgewater … on the field, and head in the books.
    Manziel ……….. In Jail.”
    —————————————————
    Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, Manziel just happens to be smarter than Bridgewater? Or perhaps he’s able to retain information better than Bridgewater? Some people just have the ability to study something one time and that’s all they need. It could be your guy is a slow learner. Nothing wrong with that, it just means that while your guy is hitting the books, Manziel can be enjoying life.

    Not a fan of either team, but I think both or either of these players can be very good or not good at all.

  65. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 12, 2014 2:38 PM

    Browns should be 32. They have lost 10 or more games in 10 of the last 11 seasons.

    They are worse this year without Gordon. Cameron is their only pass catching threat which makes him easy to defend, defenses will put 7-8 in the box. Defense is ok but not good enough to hold teams to under 10 points a game because their offense isn’t scoring more than 10 points a game.

    They will be 0-3 heading into the bye week with @ Pitt, and home vs NO & BAL

  66. nflpoker says: Jul 12, 2014 2:49 PM

    22nd that can’t be right. Someone just told me that they were ranked 33rd.

  67. wwwmattcom says: Jul 12, 2014 3:00 PM

    New head coach. QB controversy. No Josh Gordon. Downgraded from TJ to Whitener. 22?
    Really?
    The defense might be tight. The offense is a mess.
    This has 4-5 with s written all over it.

    Good thing Lebron returned.

  68. oldcracker says: Jul 12, 2014 3:06 PM

    Much to do about nothing but one team’s (PFT) educated guess at predicting the future.

    Im a life-long Browns fan (60+ yrs) and have learned to keep my hopes high and my expectations a little lower.

    I think with the new “run-first” offense of Shanahan, the loss of Gordon will be minimal. I believe our stable of “second-level” WR’s will be adequate. The Shanahan “zone blocking” scheme should be very beneficial to our very good RB’s. There is little, if any, question about the defense. My question is how much time will they be on the field.

    The only concern/doubt I have is with the new (once again) coaching regime. Everyone knows Pettine was not the first or second or whatever choice but, rather what was left after Banner & Dumbardi poisoned the well so badly. Now, it could turn out to be a real blessing for the Browns, much like Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh. But, the Browns fans must remember that the Steelers took their lumps with him, too. ONE win in his first year?

    Browns fans must keep the faith and have some patience as Pettine learns HOW to be a Head Coach. I don’t expect much out of the first 5 wks, and argue that is why they should start Hoyer. Let Manziel develope along with Pettine.

    I can see a 6-10 season, maybe 7-9 with a little luck. If Pettine developes, Playoffs in 2015. If not, “reset” once again.

  69. ubepunkedagain says: Jul 12, 2014 4:01 PM

    I do find it funny that a lot of the comments talk about how bad the Browns offense will be and that they won’t be able to score 10 points. So I had to go look up total offense rankings from last year. They ranked 17th with Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell and Hoyer with Willis McGahee at RB, Greg Little and Davone Bess as options that are no longer there and Gordon only played 14 games.

    Teams ranked lower 18-32
    Seattle
    Buff
    Pitt
    KC
    Tenn
    Oak
    SF
    Jets
    Panthers
    Dolphins
    Giants
    Ravens
    Rams
    Jaguars
    Tampa

  70. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 12, 2014 4:17 PM

    Ubepunkedagain: you missed something incredibly important above they won’t have their player that scored their most TDs. All their WRS won’t score as many TDs as Gordon did himself.

  71. marvin216 says: Jul 12, 2014 4:22 PM

    Still cant understand why they passed up on Sammy Watkins, knowing full well that Josh Gordon was a junkie and faced suspension!
    Browns have now passed up on two very good WRs in Watkins and Julio Jones.
    The lineup of WRs that are the roster are not enough. Teams are going to crowd the box and make them pass to WRs that cant get seperation.

  72. ralphwilsonisrich says: Jul 12, 2014 4:35 PM

    Still 4th in that division

  73. civilwarfish says: Jul 12, 2014 6:15 PM

    Rag on the Browns all you want. I guarantee they as a team could care less what you think, and neither can I. I think its amusing.

    I dont expect playoffs this year. I want a solid 8-8 year to show me progress. Hoyer and Manziel are unproven, but both have strong potenital to do well. No guarantees, but Hoyer showed us last year that he has that “IT” factor playing for his hometown team at least to this point, and Johnny surely has something, we just dont know what yet.

    No disputing how bad they have been in recent years. We dont need to rehash the old glory days of ten championships or of making the championship game ten straight years…that is, I agree, history and a fine history it is. Bernie Kosar and the Cardiac Kids got them close to glory in the 80′s but that too is ancient history…and of those many rings the stoolers have and their fans loudly proclaim, how many in the past ten years? without looking one, maybe two?

    this year is this year. They are good enough to split with each member of the division if they play well. Thats three wins. Saints…stars gonna align to figure that one, give that to NO for sure. Titans, Jaguars, Raiders, Buccaneers, texans, Falcons and Bills are all winnable…or losable. if they get half of them that goves then 6-7 wins on the year. if they get more than half 8=8 is doable, Colts and Carolina are tough to think of as wins.

    8-8 is a reasonable target and for these dawgs would be a successful season

  74. jibberator says: Jul 12, 2014 6:19 PM

    It wasn’t long ago that the NFC west was the laughing stock of the league, now their 3rd place team was better than many playoff teams…. it takes time but rebuilding can be done!

  75. 1wildfan1 says: Jul 12, 2014 8:05 PM

    packerbackernj, you are so right. I have Packer fan family all over WI, and can have intelligent conversation with them. Of course we disagree on our teams of choice, but at least when we actually sit down and discuss facts and team direction, we usually agree on what are good and bad moves for both teams.

    As for my incorrect facts, yes, I misstated records. I incorrectly went off draft order instead of records, forgetting that STL had WASHs round 1 pick, so sub WAS for STL. Bills not sure why they drafted ahead of us. But the FACT is that the Vikings were only about the 7th worst team in the NFL last year, improved quite a bit (IMHO), are ranked at what, 29 or 30, and the majority of people here are ragging on them saying its too high. yet the Browns lost their best or second best player, got a BIG question mark at QB, and people think they should be SB bound? Just don’t get it

  76. excessivedrinking says: Jul 12, 2014 9:04 PM

    Yet another double digit loss season on the horizon. Pitiful, just like the fans.

  77. winstonjed44 says: Jul 13, 2014 11:34 AM

    Browns have some good pieces, their defense is strong, but their receiving group is poor combined with the fact that they might play a rookie QB. AFC North has 3 teams with a legitimate at the playoffs, hard to see the Browns finishing above any of those other teams.

  78. tiger2471 says: Jul 13, 2014 7:08 PM

    dixonorifice says: Jul 12, 2014 9:43 AM

    better than the redskins
    _____________________________

    And that is the joke! You lose Josh Gordon and have a bunch of other WRs that didn’t put up good numbers in 2013, yet the Skins have 2 legit pro bowlers in DJAX and Garcon and you don’t have a legit staring QB and we have RG3 yet the Browns are better because they have better linemen. Not to mention the RB, the Skins have a legit pro bowler and who do the Browns have? These rankings are terrible!

  79. thebiblestudent says: Jul 13, 2014 7:16 PM

    Manziel is Jeff George 2.0. Good arm, way too much ego. He’ll bust and bust hard.

  80. realmenwearstripes says: Jul 13, 2014 10:15 PM

    The Browns should be lower for at least this one reason: They have to play 6 total games against Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. If they somehow manage to come out 3-3, that’s a plus for them.

  81. hakunamatata024 says: Jul 14, 2014 7:43 PM

    Ya I don’t get all the hate for the Vikings either. We did go 5-10-1 but five of those loses/tie were in the final minutes of the game. If our D would have been able to hold up we could have easily been 10-6. Like someone said before me I don’t think were Super Bowl contenders right now or anything but I think the future for us looks very bright especially with this new Awesome coaching staff we have as well as Drafting Bridgewater who was once considered to be tops and only behind Andrew Luck. Lastly the fact that were getting a new stadium which we’ve seen in the past can rejuvenate a fan base and team. I’m very glad we got Teddy and that you guys got Manziel and I think both will become.

  82. hakunamatata024 says: Jul 14, 2014 7:47 PM

    As for the troll comment I’ve seen may trolls from every team. In this article some people in here were talking bad about the Vikes so of course Vikes fans are gonna talk back just like any team would. That doesn’t make anyone a troll it just makes them a fan. I’ve rarely seen Viking fans just jump on a teams article and just start talking smack for no reason usually someone mentions them first. While with other teams I’ve seem them just jump in for no reason.

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