…And That Concludes Our Comeback Show

You may think the title refers to the final drive against the Ravens. On the contrary, it’s more of a recap of the 2018 season in its entirety. From the Thursday night game when Baker made his NFL debut and shot down the Jets, to finishing the season, ironically enough, with an interception. And while there’s no questioning the spotlight is and has been on Baker Mayfield, there are a lot of other things going on with the Cleveland Browns’ spectacular turn-around.

We’ve got a running back who had 1,000 yards in his grasp, the first Browns running back to do so in eight years. Unfortunately, Chubb lost yardage against the Ravens tonight, which brought him to just a fraction below the four-figure mark. I can’t wait to see what the Dawg Pound hero does in a full season come 2019.

Speaking of heroes, there’s hometown hero Denzel Ward who just happens to be going to the Pro Bowl in his first try out of the gate. Here’s hoping the kid stays healthier next season. Quarterbacks learned awfully quick not to throw to his side of the field. With Ward on the turf regularly, it certainly decreases the opposing QB’s options where to throw effectively.

Of course, I’m not going to exit this article without the mention of Baker one more time. He just broke the record for TD’s thrown in a rookie season. Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson previously held the achievement with 26. What should knock your socks off is the fact that both of those guys did it starting all 16 games of their rookie years. Baker started 13. Yes, Mr. Dorsey, unlike the lead villain’s grail selection in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, you did not choose poorly.

So what happens next? For starters, we know the Browns pick 17th in the draft. I was hoping for a higher pick, but I was also hoping for one hell of a bounce-back season. As the old saying goes, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”  I preferred the latter and the latter is what we got.

That is where the relevance of this article’s title comes into play. People speculated endlessly prior to game one of 2018. What’s a good victory count after not winning a single game last year? Four wins? Six? 10? Well, we got seven. Not bad considering we were forced to ride the Hue train for part of this journey and endured the horrendous officiating that infested games throughout the year.

As for what comes next, coaching decisions will have to be made. The draft will be here in four months and your guess for what position we’ll take in the first round is as good as mine. Then there is the annual task of who gets re-signed and who gets let go or traded. These are all decisions I’ll let our GM toil over. For now, I’ll just take a moment and look back at 2018 with a smile. After all, even with our loss today, we still kept the Steelers out of the playoffs. Well done, Brownies. Well done.

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