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Cleveland Browns OMEGAtable: Week 17 PART 1

Browns and Steelers matchup week 17

Welcome to the Week 17 NFL OMEGAtable. This week, in lieu of or usual lineup, we will be bringing readers a 2 part Roundtable discussion on what is the biggest game for the Browns since 2002. With the Browns in a win and in scenario, we will have 8 questions over two articles to talk about most storylines. These questions were submitted on Wednesday, so any COVID related issues may not be fully addressed.

1) The Browns left a present under the tree that most fans didn’t want. How did you take that Jets loss?

Ohio

My reaction to the Jets loss was one of annoyance. That game never should have been played when it was. The hypocrisy and favoritism in the NFL has never been so clear. I firmly believe if the exact same scenario happened with other Franchises, they game would have been postponed at least one day.

Out of the Rafters

I was more distraught by the announcement of all the people that were going to be out due to COVID than the actual loss. It’s really hard to win a game in the NFL with your receivers and offensive line missing. The loss became a possibility, but it still hurt when it actualized. But, hey, we’re Cleveland. We’ve been through worse, and at least it didn’t end our season.

Chris Richani

Not well. The worst part about the situation was the fact that it was completely out of the Browns’ control. And by all accounts the organization has taken the protocols very seriously all year. Just unfortunate.

Super Surge

I was supremely disappointed that they couldn’t pull out that game. But the more I analyze it the more I understand it was the perfect storm of Browns players missing the game and the Jets playing the best they’ve played the last couple of weeks.

2) Do you considering this season a success if the Browns miss the playoffs?

Ohio

If you asked me before the Titans game, I would have said yes. However, after that game, making the playoffs became the bare minimum expectation. To be sitting at 9-3, with two of the remaining games being against the Giants and Jets? You have to get to at least 11 wins. Period. If the Browns miss the playoffs on a two game losing streak to the Jets and Mason Rudolph, this season is a failure. If the Browns have finally turned the corner, they need to win this game and make the playoffs.

Out of the Rafters

I don’t like to call a season a success. The goal isn’t to do something this season. The goal is to build a championship-quality organization. So, instead, I will say that I believe that the evidence presented to us has proven that the hiring of this coaching staff was a success. I trust our organization to build into a championship-level organization, and that’s a success.

Chris Richani

The season would still be a success, but would obviously end in incredibly disappointing fashion. But what matters most from this season remains true: the Browns have found their head coach and have renewed confidence in Baker Mayfield.

Super Surge

I consider this season a success no matter what. We found out Baker can be “The Guy” and found a coach that braved the worst offseason to be a first year coach in NFL history to change culture in Cleveland.

3) COVID is hitting the Browns hard right now. Is it a good excuse for the team’s performance in New York?

Ohio

The Jets game was very winnable, but losing all those guys when they did made things significantly more difficult than they should have been. It’s a valid excuse, while also understanding they still could have won but didn’t play well enough to do so.

Out of the Rafters

Excuse? I don’t know. I guess it depends how you use that term. I will say that, if we didn’t have all those players missing due to COVID, we don’t lose that game. It’s the reason we lost that game. If you think that’s an excuse, that’s up to you.

Chris Richani

It’s not an excuse. It’s a reason and a valid one at that. It is completely unreasonable to expect a team to lose their entire WR corps (and 40% of their OL) and patch together a competent offense in a parking garage the morning of a game. I don’t care if you’re playing the Jets, the Chiefs, or the local YMCA over-60 flag team.

Super Surge

 I hate using the excuse, but you can’t miss a whole position group a day before an NFL game and expect it to go well. However, if not for the turnovers, the Browns win that game.

4) Who is your preferred playoff opponent if the Browns do make it into the playoffs?

Ohio

The Colts. Which, of course, is the least likely opponent for the Browns. But, the Browns controlled the game in their first meeting and that was before the offense really started clicking. And Indy’s offense is mediocre enough that the Browns defense would likely be able to force a couple punts.

Out of the Rafters

As long as it isn’t the refs, I’ll be more than happy.

Chris Richani

It seems the most likely opponents for the Browns would be the Bills or the Steelers. The Bills are a horrendous matchup for the Browns’ defense due to Josh Allen’s mobility in the passing game. I’ll take the Steelers.

Super Surge

First and foremost, ANY playoff opponent means we made it, which is a success. The only team I would like to avoid is Buffalo. They are hot right now and the Browns don’t match up well with them.

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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