Friday, November 20, 2009

What If They Win?

As the Browns prepare for their upcoming game against the almost equally woeful Detroit Lions, there's a nagging fear that's beginning to creep into the back of my mind.

What if they win?

If the Browns beat the Lions, they are looking at a schedule for the remainder of the season that is chocked full of the worst teams that the NFL has to offer. While they will undoubtedly get their heads kicked in by Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and San Diego, the Browns close out the season with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders, and a Jacksonville Jaguars team that is much worse than its record.

The Chiefs and the Raiders are so bad that the Browns have a legitimate shot at both of those games, while the Jags will face the Browns (in Cleveland, in January) after a three week stretch in which they will have played Indianapolis, Miami and New England. So, as horrific as they are, it's just possible that the Browns might win all three of those games. Coupled with a victory against the Lions, that would make the Browns 5-11, which just might be the worst outcome imaginable.

Don't get me wrong -- if the Browns actually do improve, that's terrific. But the scenario that worries me is one in which they squeak out ugly wins against Oakland and the Chiefs in games that make the Buffalo game look like a masterpiece, and then cap that off with a season-ending "upset" against a demoralized Jaguars team that's playing out the string. In other words, without any meaningful improvement, the Browns could end up 5-11, with a .500 record in the second half of the season and a three game winning streak.

Given their bumbling, unprofessional approach to front office personnel issues, I have very little faith that the Browns are going to have an easy time finding the "serious, credible leader" they are looking for to fill the GM spot. If the Browns do struggle in their GM search, then bolstered by the team's second half "improvement," Eric Mangini might just be able to persuade the exasperated, desperate and gullible Randy Lerner that the guy he was looking for was already in the building.

If Mangini can pull this off (and under this scenario, he just might), that means that the man who gave us the 2009 draft will have the final say on who they get with the 11 draft picks the Browns have stockpiled for 2010. If that scenario doesn't scare the crap out of you, then you haven't been watching the same team that I have this season.

1 comment:

Vinny said...

Happily, you were worried about nothing.