The Cleveland Browns have opened the season 4-1 and they sure look like they’re for real. Today’s 32-23 victory over the Colts, where they led from the middle of the second quarter on, was a supremely impressive effort on both sides of the ball.
On defense, the Colts came into the day with the best yardage defense in the NFL. They had held their previous opponents to 236.2 yards per game. The Browns gained 361 yards. Yes, Baker Mayfield threw two interceptions, he only completed 57 percent of his passes, and 6.7 yards per attempt is hardly a banner day. But, the Colts only gave up 29 points in the last three weeks combined. You have to look at the context of who they were playing on defense.
Speaking of defense, I know Philip Rivers looks shot, but the Browns had a hand in making him look like that.
I’ll admit part of my exuberance might be attributable to the fact that I want the Browns to be for real. How much fun would that be? They’re probably not besting the Ravens in the AFC North, but they have all but assured they’ll at least be relevant through Thanksgiving.
NFL seasons have a way of twisting and turning and this one is going to be especially weird. Right now, the Browns being really good is a fun storyline to rally behind.