For the Cleveland Browns, the bye week definitely came at a later time in the season and some may have argued at the wrong time. With the capable team that we have this year and how many close games we have played, a bye week would have been perfect after their overtime loss to Tampa Bay. They could have fired Hue Jackson then and maybe had a different outcome at Pittsburgh with a regrouped ball club.
However, with the organization already looking towards 2019, it’s important for the team itself to focus on the final six games. Just like what John Dorsey spoke on in the press conference on Wednesday,
“Emphasize the winning, continue to coach your respective players, have players begin to develop and end the season strong. I think that is important. Let’s be competitive in each and every game the next seven weeks.”
And competitive they can be.
Taking a look at the final six opponents for the Browns. Three are against divisional opponents and two are against teams seeking the playoffs. In my opinion, it’s important at this stage to focus on winning in your own division. Two of the three games are against Cincinnati and guess who is back on their coaching staff?
Ex-head coach Hue Jackson.
If that’s not motivation to “wake up feeling dangerous,” I don’t know what is anymore? The Bengals have definitely hit a screeching halt after starting 3-1. The Bengals have lost three of their last four and with running back Joe Mixon injuring his knee, AJ Green questionable to return any time soon and Tyler Boyd as your only true wide receiver left, the door is wide open for the Browns to possibly take both games left against Cincinnati.
The three non-divisional games left are against Houston, Carolina and Denver. Houston has become a serious contender with Deshaun Watson and Carolina is in hunting season for the wild card. If Baker Mayfield can rise to the occasion for both, the Browns can definitely contend in those games and possibly come away with one win, two counting a win in Denver. These final six games are huge confidence builders for Baker Mayfield and the offense and a true showing of what Dorsey needs to go out and improve on in the offseason.
And let’s not forget they’re also auditions for Gregg Williams head coaching job.