It’s not like Myles Garrett really had much to lose when he said the Cleveland Browns could win out.
Last week, Garrett proclaimed that his team could still go 10-6. They were 2-6 at the time. But Cleveland did beat the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. On Thursday they face the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game that can be live-streamed on the Yahoo Sports app.
Here’s what Garrett, Cleveland’s star defensive end, said on Nov. 8:
“I don't see why we can't be 10-6,’’ Garrett said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “There's eight more games and that's eight more opportunities. I don't care what the previous record has shown, I don't care what they've said has happened before. You go out there with the right mindset and good amount of want-to, you know what the hell you're doing, you have your fundamentals down, you can go out there and play with anybody. Those three or four plays can go either way and you get those to swing your direction, we can make a run for it.’’
Wouldn’t that be a fun story?
Browns have an easier second-half schedule
Cleveland might not need to win their final eight games to make the playoffs. The AFC is pretty soft. A 9-7 record could get the No. 6 seed. It’s not even crazy to think 8-8 could do it.
Still, Cleveland has to assume it has no more margin for error after an awful start to the season. What might give the Browns their most hope is that the schedule is a lot easier than it was in the first half of the season:
Week 11: vs. Steelers
Week 12: vs. Dolphins
Week 13: at Steelers
Week 14: vs. Bengals
Week 15: at Cardinals
Week 16: vs. Ravens
Week 17: at Bengals
Considering four of the seven remaining games are against the Bengals, Dolphins and Cardinals, there’s at least a ray of hope. However, all of those teams listed above are looking at the 3-6 Browns on their schedule and likely aren’t too intimidated.
Browns need to play better
Easier schedule or not, the Browns need to improve a lot before they make a real run. They beat the Bills, but trailed at home in the fourth quarter and had Buffalo made a late field goal, the game likely would have gone to overtime. Cleveland has a lot of talent but some pretty clear flaws, and a narrow win over the Bills doesn’t fix the latter. There have been too many penalties, turnovers and coaching errors to assume a sudden turnaround.
It’s hard to imagine the Browns keeping much hope alive if they lose at home to the Steelers. Pittsburgh is authoring a pretty cool story, having won four in a row after starting 1-4 despite being without Ben Roethlisberger. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is doing a fine job. They’ll want to keep their own momentum going on Thursday night.
If the Browns can win, it won’t mean they’re back in the playoff race. But it would keep them alive for the time being. And it will also keep Garrett’s 10-6 vision alive as well.
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