Let’s talk about the Cleveland Browns. I posited in the prior thread earlier today the Browns might be the worst team in the history of professional sports. I feel like that was an incorrect statement, and I need to apologize for it.
The Cleveland Browns are undeniably and unquestionably the singly worst team in the history of professional sports.
It is stunning how bad the Browns are, have been, and almost undoubtedly will continue to be. Here’s a link to the Browns’ franchise history on Pro Football Reference. It’s patently amazing. If you count the Browns 18 full seasons since their rebirth:
-The Browns have one playoff appearance.
-The Browns have two winning seasons.
-The Browns have finished anywhere other than last in their division FOUR times. FOUR. They have finished last 14 out of 18 possible seasons.
-The Browns have had a positive point differential in only those two winning seasons. They have had triple-digit negative point differential eight times.
-The Browns have had 24 first-round draft picks since 1999, and a combined 18 Pro Bowls between them. Ten of those are Joe Thomas, four more are Alex Mack, two are Joe Haden, and the other 21 players combined have TWO combined (one each for Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow II). Those are not necessarily Pro Bowls while playing for the Browns; that’s counting the entire careers of those 24 players.
-Of the Browns five first-round picks between 2012 and 2014, only two of them are in the league. Trent Richardson, Johnny Manziel, and Justin Gilbert are all out of the league, and the two remaining players are Barkevious Mingo and Brandon Weeden. To repeat; Brandon Weeden has had at worst the second-best career of those five players. BRANDON WEEDEN.
-13 different players have led the Browns in rushing for a season, and 12 receiving. The turnover at RB and WR isn’t as crazy as QB, but it isn’t that far behind.
-The almost-playoffs 1999 team ranked 8th in points scored. The 2002 playoff team was 19th. The next-best was 24th. The Cleveland Browns offense has been so execrably bad, they have ranked between 30 and 32 for points scored nine teams. Again, half of the seasons of their existence, they have been one of the three worst scoring teams in the league.
The Browns QB legacy at this point is legendary, but, even if you ignore how bad Browns quarterbacks have been, they’re still the worst team in the history of professional sports. Granted, the QB issues reflect into all of the above, but it’s such a tiny subset of the organizational incompetence that it honestly gets over-emphasized in how bad that team has been.
The Bears are a complete joke. The Vikings are riding Case Keenum as far as he can take them. The Packers are trying to win with zero offensive line and Brett Hundley. The Lions defense has regressed to the mean/utter garbage, and Stafford is injured. We have entered Upside Down, and the NFC North is becoming the AFC South.
Speaking of the Packers, Aaron Rodgers breaking his collarbone, ODB breaking his ankle, and J.J. Watt having his own injury means almost every commercial I’m forced to watch during games features a player probably out for the year. It’s like the Madden curse, but hocking crap I don’t want.
Jacksonville appears to have a legitimately excellent defense and a legitimately existing Blake Bortles.
The 49ers lost their first game by 20. They have lost their next six games by 13. COMBINED. I can’t recall ever seeing that, and it certainly implies the 49ers are far better than their record. Which, to be fair, at 0-7 isn’t notably difficult. I will say that C.J. Beathard looks like he’s going to be the next guy to really continue the great legacy of QBs from the University of Iowa.
There aren’t any great, average, or even marginal QBs from the University of Iowa. The only QBs drafted from Iowa with actual game stats are Ricky Stanzi, Mark Vlasic, Chuck Long, and somebody named Randy Duncan who was the first overall pick in 1959 and played 14 games total.
17-0 is the new 28-3. Have to love the Falcons and their ability to implode like nobody else.
Standard weekly reminder, your two lowest weeks will be dropped. MAKE YOUR WEEKLY GAME PICKS HERE.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills: I am perfectly aware I should probably be picking Buffalo here, but if I’m stupid enough to be a Bucs fan everything else is pretty much already on the table, right? I’d say this would be a big revenge game with Ryan Fitzpatrick potentially playing (depending on Winston’s shoulder) and returning to face his old team, but he’s basically been on half the team’s in the league at this point so there’s not much motivation that can be spread around to that many teams. By the way, did you know Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard? Because he went to Harvard. At Harvard. Incidentally, do you know where Cameron Brate went to school? Also, I'm somewhat tired of hearing the word "Harvard".
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers: No, no, hear me out. I’m picking the Packers. The Saints are remarkably worse on the road on natural turf, and, while the weather isn’t terrible yet, it’s certainly going to be cooler than in the dome. The Saints horrible defense may actually make Hundley feel vaguely terrible, and the Packers actually occasionally have something resembling a defense. In the Superdome, the Saints would win by about 50, but, outdoors in Green Bay? WHAT THE HELL.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins: Taking the Josh McCown-led Jets on the road. I need a drink.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers: Home game for the Broncos. Effectively. There has to be some kind of “OH MY GOD THAT WAS HUMILIATING” bounce-back from that Broncos defense, and the seven people in that soccer stadium are going to get to watch the wrath of Von Miller.
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots: The over-under on “28-3” signs in the audience is currently set on 13,400. Bet the over.
Week 6 Results
Rat Boy: 1-4
Season to Date
Rat Boy: 15-15