Unlike Cavs, good isn’t good enough for Browns in 2022

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The Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated from the NBA’s play-in tournament Friday night. While not all fans of the Cleveland Browns also follow the Cavaliers, there is significant overlap. For those that don’t follow the NBA, a quick picture of the Cavs this season:

Before the Season

  • Haven’t made the playoffs without LeBron James in a long, long time

  • Have had some high draft picks but none in the top three, the sweet spot in the NBA draft generally, until this season

  • Drafted Evan Mobley, a tall lanky forward/center, on a team that already signed center Jarrett Allen to a big contract

  • Were predicted by NBA.com to win 30 games

The Season

  • Darius Garland and Allen were All-Stars

  • Mobley could win rookie of the year

  • Lost key starter Collin Sexton early and key backup Ricky Rubio in the middle of the season

  • Used a starting lineup of three 7-footers, very unique to the NBA

  • Won 44 games and made the play-in tournament

For the Cavaliers, this season was very successful. They showed that they are a good team, they were fun to watch and very scrappy.

In a lot of ways, this year’s Cavs resemble the 2020 Browns team that made the playoffs.

Going into the 2022 season, being good will not be good enough for Cleveland’s football team. Instead, the Browns have already made strides, including that 2020 playoff run, and have made moves that require playing great for them to pay off.

The addition of QB Deshaun Watson, which will lead to the departure of the quarterback, Baker Mayfield, that led them to the playoffs, will be discussed for a long time. Trading draft picks, and maybe more importantly cap space, for WR Amari Cooper was the other big move so far this year.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, the AFC is a rugged place to play right now. The Browns, and their fans, can’t accept just playing competitive and winning some games. The team doesn’t get the benefit of low expectations nor do they have a championship sitting on the shelf from within the last decade.

While the Cavs season was enjoyable for them being just good, that won’t be enough for Cleveland’s NFL franchise. Expectations are different but they come from the 2020 experience and the talented roster in place. Anything less than playing great will be seen as a failure in 2022 for the Browns.