The Dawg Pound in Cleveland has been through a lot in the 21st century, from 18 years of no playoffs to making the AFC divisional playoff in 2021, losing by only five points to eventual AFC champs and Super Bowl LIV champs Kansas City.
With the Cleveland Browns pulling off a slight surprise away win on Monday arvo, many are wondering if they could go all the way to Tampa Bay. And it is very possible.
Now back in May, I wrote an article saying how Cleveland could make it to the playoffs. This time I’m going to write about why or why not they could make Super Bowl LV.
Over the last season, Cleveland’s offence was at first up and down. But, excluding one game in NYC against the Giants, it’s been clicking since their 10-7 win against Houston.
Despite being number seven of the current playoff teams when it comes to scoring, they’ve averaged 30 points per game in their last eight. Kansas City, on the other hand, only averaged 27.5 points. And they only faced two playoff teams: Tampa Bay and New Orleans.
That score may be behind four other teams (including Baltimore and Buffalo) but they did average 396.6 yards in their last eight games. Now that may be less than Kansas City (423.6) and Buffalo (418), but it is still more than Baltimore (384.8).
If they can continue to score freely like they have recently, then they’re a massive chance to make their first-ever Super Bowl.
Cleveland’s defence has also been a bit up and down this whole year. Sometimes they only conceded single-digit points. Sometimes they conceded 30-40 points and were only saved by their offence.
Over the whole season though, they conceded the most points among playoff teams. They also conceded the most yards among those teams. It may be a bit far off from Baltimore and Buffalo, but they’re only .1 yards behind the Chiefs (Browns 358.4, Chiefs 358.3).
In their more recent game against Baltimore (that spectacular 47-42 loss in Week 14) they also conceded fewer yards. But that may not be enough to make the Super Bowl or to get them any further in the playoffs.
However, it’ll all come down to if they can click like they never have before. And with players such as Denzel Ward coming back and a near full-strength side, they may just be able to. For all Cleveland Browns fans and neutral fans going for the Browns, including myself, let’s hope they do.