The Bizarre Beginning to the Browns’ Season

Since the 2008 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns have won at least seven games only twice. This season, however, is supposed to be different. For the first time in recent history the Browns appear to have an above-average quarterback. The swaggering, Heisman Trophy-winning, former number one overall pick, best air-drummer in the NFL Baker Mayfield is leading a team with unusually high expectations for themselves. The Browns’ Front Office was very busy this offseason creating a roster with plenty of talent to improve on last year’s 7-8-1 record.

Odell Beckham Jr., the New York Giants star and a consensus top-five receiver in the league, and Kareem Hunt, a Pro-Bowl running back dropped from the Kansas City Chiefs amidst assault allegations, were just some of the additions to the roster. Many people around the NFL believe that the Browns not only have a chance to win the AFC, but perhaps even a Super Bowl.

Week one, however, was a rude awakening for the Browns, who lost to the perennially mediocre Tennessee Titans by 30 points. The loss at home to the Titans would be the beginning of a bizarre week for the Browns organization.

After the loss to Tennessee, the NFL informed Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. that the $190,000 Richard Mille watch that he had worn during the game was illegal according to the NFL’s policy on “hard objects.” This announcement prompted a tweet from Beckham stating “If ain’t one thing…. it’s another…” Yet, in recent days the controversy surrounding Beckham has shifted from his dispute with the NFL to his comments regarding the New York Jets, the Brown’s Week Two opponent. Beckham told the media that Greg Williams, the defensive coordinator for the Jets, is known for teaching his players “cheap shots” and “dirty hits.”

Williams has publicly rebuked Beckham’s claims, but his past is against him. Williams was suspended for a year for his role in what is called “Bountygate” where defenders on the New Orleans Saints were paid for injuring players on opposing teams. Beckham Jr.’s first few weeks as a Brown may cause some fans to wonder if the drama that has followed Beckham Jr. his whole career will continue in Cleveland. 

The Browns were the marquee matchup in week two of the NFL season. They traveled to East Rutherford, New Jersey to take on the New York Jets in a Monday night primetime game. The Browns looked much improved in the second week of the season and trounced the Jets 23-3. The Jets, however, were without their starting quarterback Sam Darnold, and have a recent history of being one of the worst teams in the NFL. So, since it is the Jets, it is difficult to use this win as a measuring stick for the Browns. 

It was an interesting night for Odell Beckham Jr. The Cleveland Wideout had a spectacular night on the field. He averaged over 25 yards per catch, scored a touchdown on an 89 yard catch and run, and made another spectacular one-handed catch to add to his already long highlight real of catches. As usual, however, Beckham Jr. was making headlines off the field. He appears to have doubled down in his defiance of the NFL and their policy on “hard objects.”

Beckham Jr. played the game against the Jets wearing another Richard Mille watch, but this time it was reportedly a $2.02 Million RM 56-02 Tourbillon Sapphire instead of the $190,000 timepiece he wore last week.  It appears the trend here is that the more expensive the watch Beckham Jr. wears, the better his performance is, seeing as he had 90 more receiving yards in week two than in week one.

If this trend continues, then according to my calculations, for every extra $203,330 that Beckham Jr. spends on the watch he wears in week three he will have 10 more receiving yards than he did in week two. By this standard, Odell Beckham Jr. has the potential to break the record for most receiving yards in a single-game if he wears a watch that is worth $5,578,275. If there is indeed a  correlation between watch price and productivity, Beckham Jr. would certainly be the player to notice it, and nobody should be surprised if he plays week three in a Jacob & Co Billionaire watch.

Next week will provide Browns fans with an idea of how the rest of the season will progress. The Browns host the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are one of the most complete teams in the NFL and are widely considered to be Super Bowl contenders. A loss to the Rams next week would suggest that maybe this Browns team is only good enough to beat teams in the bottom half of the NFL.

If the Browns want to win, Baker Mayfield must play better than he has played so far this season. He has finished every game this year with a passer-rating at least ten points less than his 2017-2018 season average, and the Browns will not be an elite team without elite quarterback play. In conclusion, when looking at the Cleveland Browns this year, it will likely be very difficult to ignore the hype and the horology. If you are a fan of the Cleveland Browns, all that is left to do is to sit back and hope that Baker Mayfield can lead Cleveland to the Promised Land.

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