NFL Betting – Are the Cleveland Browns A Sleeping Giant?

The Patriots. The Saints. What do these two teams have in common? They’ve both fallen victim to the Cleveland Browns, perhaps the most unlikely of teams in the entire NFL (except, say, the Buffalo Bills 🙂 ). As of the date of this blog, the Browns are #3 in the AFC North Divisional Standings, which tends to suggest a rather mediocre team. On the other hand, you can’t argue with the fact that they’ve had some big games and great players step up at crucial moments. Taking out the defending Super Bowl Champs is no laughing matter, and now New England fans aren’t laughing either: the sportsbooks made off like thieves after this weekend’s Browns upset win, and bettors are left wondering what the heck happened to what seemed like an easy win.

Fact is, the Browns go toe-to-toe with their opponents in some key offensive stats. According to the most recent Cleveland Browns Team Stats, they have 45 rushing first downs, compared to only 32 opponent rushing first downs. In terms of total offensive yards, the Browns tally 2448, while opponents have only slightly bettered them with 2771. Also interesting is this stat: the Browns have 226 rushing plays, averaging 4.2 yards per carry, versus opponents with 218 yards and 3.9 yards per carry. These stats are definitely close by most standards, but clearly Cleveland can compete with the best.

There is a good trio of quarterbacks that Browns’ fans need to thank. Seneca Wallace leads the charge with 100 attempts and 63 completions over 693 yards. Next, consider the impact of rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, the highly sought after recruit from Texas. McCoy has 68 attempts and 46 completions over 529 yards. Doing the math, that’s a 2/3 completion ratio, which isn’t half bad considering the guy was playing college ball a year ago. Finally, Jake Delhomme has 66 attempts with 33 completions over 324 yards. While Delhomme’s playing time is much less than that of Wallace and McCoy, you can’t count him out when it comes to figuring players that have positively contributed to the Browns offensive efforts.

Looking at the secondary, it’s clear there are a few key standouts. Scott Fujita leads the Browns with 35 tackles and 15 assists, and a respectable 3.5 sacks. He’s also had 2 fumble recoveries. Next in line is Arbam Elam. He sports 38 combined tackles, just behind Fujita with 32 total tackles and 6 assists. He’s recovered 1 fumble. Also, Ahtyba Rubin nearly matches Elam with 37 combined tackles, with 27 total tackles and 10 assists. He has 1 sack. Although these numbers may not match the league leaders, it’s plain to see that the Browns defensive lineup isn’t half bad.

What does all this mean moving forward? Well, two things: it means the Browns are going to have to improve on their 13th position in the AFC standings, with 3 wins and 5 losses. It also means, however, that the Browns are still within reach of the post season. Whether or not they make it is really up to them.

Good Luck Browns from!