Will the Browns make the playoffs?
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – Will the Cleveland Browns have enough offensive firepower to make the playoffs in 2014?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Browns have 9/2 odds to make the playoffs and 2/13 odds to miss the postseason altogether. Their win total for the 2014 regular season has also been set at 6.5 and their odds to win the 2015 Super Bowl are 75/1, which ranks them among the league’s worst in terms of odds to win next year’s title.
The problem facing the Browns this season has been the same issue they’ve faced in years past: Quarterback. They traded up in the first round to select polarizing signal-caller Johnny Manziel, who is currently battling Brian Hoyer for the right to start Week 1. There have been conflicting reports on Manziel’s on-field progress during training camp but consistent reports about his off-field partying. Hoyer is likely to start the opener but how long he holds onto his job is up for debate.
Regardless, the Browns figure to run the ball plenty with dynamic receiver Josh Gordon facing a 16-game suspension. As of this writing Gordon is currently appealing his latest failed drug test and if it’s determined that he didn’t violate the league’s policy on substances, then he won’t face a suspension. (Unless he’s handed a two or four-game ban for his July DUI arrest, which is very much a possibility.)
The good news is that the Browns have a solid 1-2 punch in their backfield in newcomers Ben Tate and Terrance West, as well as a solid offensive line and underrated defense. But without Gordon the passing game will suffer as tight end Jordan Cameron is their only reliable contributor. As previously mentioned, the quarterback position also remains in flux so the playoffs seem like a poor bet in Cleveland again this season.