The 2016 season for the Cleveland Browns has been a complete and total disaster. Aside from finding out that Terrelle Pryor is actually capable of being a force at his new position, and the upside of rookie WR Corey Coleman, not much has gone right for this team. Now, as they head into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, the numbers say that this will be the Browns’ best chance to get a win all season. It actually may be their only chance realistically.
According to ESPN’s Pat McManamon and ESPN Stats & Information, the Browns have a 39.3 percent chance to win in Week 8 against the Jets. Here’s how the rest of their numbers breakdown:
- Week 9 vs. Dallas Cowboys: 30.4 percent
- Week 10 at Baltimore Ravens: 21.7 percent
- Week 11 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 30.1 percent
- Week 12 vs. New York Giants 32.5 percent
- Week 14 vs. Cincinnati Bengals 35.7 percent
- Week 15 at Buffalo Bills 12.1 percent
- Week 16 vs. San Diego Chargers 32.7 percent
- Week 17 at Pittsburgh Steelers 13.9 percent
While are likely in their best spot to win their first game of the season, it’s obvious that fans and the front office may start to sweat a little if they can’t pull off the win against the Jets on Sunday. For the players, though, they don’t seem focused on who they’re playing and what the schedule looks like.
“I know it’s easy, because I’m a fan of other sports,” Josh McCown said. “It’s human nature to sit and look at a schedule and say, ‘Oh, maybe that one. Oh, this is going to be tough.'”
McCown, who’s coming back from a broken collarbone, is hoping to be the man who can lead the Browns to that first victory. Offensive lineman Joe Thomas echoed a similar sentiment to McCown’s, speaking about the fact that even the winless Browns have given teams plenty of trouble to this point in the season.
“I don’t know if we really look too much at records just because the NFL has so much parity,” Thomas said. “Even the Browns at 0-and-7 have given a lot of teams really good games so far.”
NFL players may not look at the schedule or the statistics when it comes to figuring out when they’ll get their first win, but analysts and fans do. After playing the Jets this week, one could argue that their next-best chance is against the Ravens in Week 10, who have lost four-straight games. The numbers don’t say that, but the fact that the team is reeling a bit and actually just lost to the Jets is pretty important.
Unfortunately, playing on the road in the NFL is a tough beast, and the Browns draw the Ravens away from home. After the Ravens, it’s hard to argue that any game is a good matchup, especially with the likelihood that Ben Roethlisberger will be back for the two games against them this season. Browns fans may want to keep their fingers crossed that it happens this week because the rumblings of a 0-16 season are beginning to pick up some steam.