COMMENTARY | It's time for these Dawgs to roll over and play dead.
Heading into what looks like an unwinnable matchup against the New England Patriots in Week 14, the Cleveland Browns are a broken and defeated team. At 4-8, the Browns are likely to notch their sixth straight year with 10 or more losses in 2013. A promising 3-2 start was just fool's gold for playoff-starved Browns fans who thought that their team could turn its fortunes around this season.
Firmly out of the AFC playoff race, Cleveland would be wise at this point to focus on getting the best possible selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. At this moment only six teams have a worse record than the Browns, and there are two other teams tied with Cleveland at 4-8, so a top 10 pick is guaranteed if Cleveland loses out.
A top five pick is by no means out of reach for the Browns, either. At this point, the only team that seems like they have given up on 2013 is the Houston Texans, who are in the midst of a 10-game losing streak. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have each won three of four since starting 0-8, so there's reason to believe that those two teams could eke out a win or two the rest of the way.
The 3-7-1 Minnesota Vikings have an extremely difficult schedule the rest of the way, so it's tough to imagine the Vikings winning another game in 2013. The Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins are both 3-9, but do play each other on December 15, so Cleveland could be able to gain a spot over that game's winner in the draft order. It remains to be seen how tiebreakers will affect the final draft order, but a 4-12 Cleveland team could very well find itself with a pick in the top five.
Based on the fact that Cleveland will likely be starting their fourth different quarterback of 2013 this weekend, and knowing how often the Browns have self-destructed during their current three-game losing streak, right now it is hard to imagine this team winning another game this season anyway.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Cleveland Browns for over 25 years.
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