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Cleveland Browns Roundtable Week 7

See how our writers feel about week 7 for our Cleveland Browns

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 18: Myles Garrett #95, Baker Mayfield #6, Larry Ogunjobi #65, and Mack Wilson #51 of the Cleveland Browns link arms on the sidelines prior to their NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 18, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

After a tough week 6, in which the Browns got thoroughly handled by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns travel to Cincinatti to face the Bengals today at 1 p.m. EST. See what our writers thinks about the Browns QB situation, where the Browns have come from, and more!

1) What is your feelings about the QB position for the Browns right now?

Out of the Rafters:

Pessimistic. I don’t think Baker is a franchise QB that we can pay 30+ million dollars a year to annually, and expect to win championships. My current plan would be to ride Baker and his rookie contract. See how much he, Van Pelt, and Stefanski can grow together. Pick up his fifth year option. If, after that, he still isn’t the guy, draft a new guy.


 I don’t think many people can be excited about Baker at this point. In the same breath I don’t think it’s fair to judge him harshly given all he’s had to endure front office/coaching wise. I will still hold my final judgement until after we’ve seen the season play out. But it is very alarming how he is prone to staring down his first read, then bailing out of the pocket (even if it’s still clean) if that first read isn’t open. Bottom line, it’s hard for me to believe the kid that set the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes suddenly doesn’t know how to play quarterback.


My feeling is Baker is trending in the wrong direction. And while this team is 4-2 and on pace for their first playoff birth since 2003, Baker is not helping the team get there. He’s making essentially no impact in the wins and a significant negative impact in the losses. The way he is playing right now is simply not good enough to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. He still has 10 (hopefully 11+) more games to improve, but to this point it’s looking to me like the Browns will need to look at other options this offseason.

2) The Browns have gone through their first “rough” patch of the schedule and went 2-1. Has this changed expectations?

Out of the Rafters:

It shouldn’t. The expectation should be that this team works on growing and improving every week. I want to see Stefanski and the rest of the coaching staff improve as the year progress. I want to see the players become more comfortable in our schemes. My only expectation this year is to see improvement and a foundation for success. However, I think our record projections are a little more optimistic now. Previously, the optimists were saying 9-7. Now, that seems easily attainable for this team.

I apologize for jinxing us and ruining the season by saying that.


I said in the Season Thread that if someone told me before the Dallas game we’d go 2-1 versus Dallas, Indy, and Pittsburgh, I’d have been thrilled. Overall I think it’s a sign of growth because those 50/50 games are usually ones the Browns find ways to lose. The Pittsburgh game was ugly, no way around that. But lets see how the team responds.


Not for me. My expectations have remained the same since the preseason – compete for a playoff spot. Sitting at 4-2 right now, with the easiest strength of schedule remaining in the NFL, has the Browns in a good position to make the playoffs. With Baker and the defense struggling, nothing more could be reasonably expected.

3) The trade deadline is coming up, any one you personally want?

Out of the Rafters:

 I’m only interested if they’re a long-term asset with a low price tag. I’m not aware of anyone fitting that description. But, that’s not an interesting response. So, let’s at least kick the tires on some great players on teams that might be looking to sell and tank. I’d love to get either Marcus Maye or Ashtyn Davis from the Jets. I’d also kick the tires on Keanu Neal and Isaiah Oliver from Atlanta.


I’d be calling the Minnesota Vikings about free safety Anthony Harris. Not only did he finish the 2019 season as PFF’s highest-graded safety (91.1) with a WAR of 0.65, Harris has also led all NFL safeties with a coverage grade of 94.3 (including the playoffs) over the last two seasons. If the Vikings are willing to listen, he’d be my target.


Any competent Linebacker or Safety on a short term deal, with a low asking price, would be great.

4) How are you feeling about the game in Cincinnati?

Out of the Rafters:

Excited. Our offense should look good against their poor defense. It’s always fun watching how that Cincinnati offense progresses. Even in a blowout, looking at the way Zac Taylor fails to tailor a gameplan to Joe Burrow’s strengths is must-watch TV, along with Joe Mixon who is one of the most special talents in the league.


I have no doubt the team will come out ready to play after being embarrassed last week. But a 31-28 type win over the Bengals won’t be good enough. If the Browns win a close game but Burrow outplays Mayfield (which is possible considering our DB situation), nothing has really changed. I am confident the Browns will win, I’m just not sure how much it changes the narrative.


Must-win game. If the Browns are going to make the playoffs, they have to continue winning the games they’re supposed to win. Cincinnati is a team you’re supposed to beat. If people thought the sky was falling after the Steelers game, the season will go off the rails if the Browns lose to the Bengals.

My prediction: The Browns continue to take care of business against lesser teams. Browns win the turnover battle, thus win the game. Browns 34, Bengals 28.

B-B-B-BONUS!: Will the AFC North get 3 teams in the playoffs?

Out of the Rafters:

Yes. Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland are all better than the Colts, who are currently in the 7th spot. I think we’ll maintain our spots, while the Colts fall out and are replaced by the Raiders, Broncos or Dolphins.


 Yes, the Steelers, Ravens, and Browns all make it in.


Yes, everyone but the Bengals makes the playoffs from the AFC North.

Been a Browns fan since birth but unfortunately don't remember much of the good times. Lived through expansion era, the Butch era, Romeo era, Mangini, Holmgren, Sashi, Dorsey and now we begin a new era!

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