Just how good are the Cleveland Browns?
Last week, they lost to the Los Angeles Chargers to end a three game winning streak. A Browns run that began after a narrow opening day setback to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Now, with five weeks in the books, we have a lot better idea of just how good the Chiefs are … not as good as seemingly everyone thinks. So, does that detract from the Browns competitive, but nevertheless opening day loss, to the Chiefs?
A win would have been a much better credential to consider the Browns a top team.
Three wins that followed that loss, gained against the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, does not yet warrant elevating the Browns to elite status. A quality win against the Chargers on the road last week would serve as an alert that the Browns have arrived.
They lost at SoFi Stadium, but they did it in spectacular fashion. The Browns and Chargers put on an offensive show with lead change after lead change in the fourth quarter before the home standing Chargers landed on top, 47-42.
How good are the Browns?
They’ve lost to the two best teams they played, albeit on the road, but they have missed twice when facing good teams. This week, they play the only undefeated team in the National Football League, the 5-0 Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals won a second straight division game last Sunday, downing the San Francisco 49ers, 17-10. The previous week, the Cardinals may have beat the best team in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams. These two huge wins followed three straight victories to open the season over the Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Do we need any more proof of just how good this Cardinals team is?
The Cardinals have climbed to the pinnacle of the league, and the Browns are coming off a loss and returning home with questions on just how good they are.
How good do I think the Browns are?
I’ve watched this team draft early based on two, one and no win seasons. In the process, they couldn’t help but pick up some quality football players. Suspect coaching kept the Browns losing even while the talent available should have been winning more games.
Last year, they added Kevin Stefanski, a coach with the skills to take the Browns to the next level, perhaps even win it all. The 39-year old Stefanski spent 14 seasons as an assistant with the Minnesota Vikings. During his tenure in Minnesota, he was hired by three different head coaches to be on their staff. That says a lot about Stefanski, and it is all good.
So, how good are the Browns?
This side of that good; all the best yet to come. This Sunday, they meet a Cardinals team that has already been to the mountaintop and does not have the same edge following five straight victories as the Browns do, coming home off a road loss.
Why do you think the only undefeated team in the league is an underdog this week?
It’s not because they are going to win.
Qoxhi Picks: Cleveland Browns (-3) over Arizona Cardinals