We now definitively know that Deshaun Watson is suspended for the first 11 games of the 2022 season. For the path to the suspension, check out this article.
The 11-game suspension leaves this season in a considerable amount of flux. Predicting wins and losses in the NFL is incredibly challenging. Mix in a suspensions, injuries, potential trades, or an Odell Beckham Jr. meltdown (see 2021 season), and it makes this feel almost impossible. Almost.
Let’s Have Some Fun!
Ok so here we go. I did try this a few weeks ago, but that was well before the news of Watson’s 11-game suspension. It’s time to try it again.
Ready to have some fun?! Let’s play the schedule game!!
The Schedule Game
The schedule game involves going through each game and predicting a Browns win or a loss. The final part is a running tally of predicted wins and losses.
As such, it would probably make sense to look at the schedule below provided the Cleveland Browns marketing team.
It’s worth noting that according to Sharp Football Analysis, the Browns have the 8th easiest schedule this season. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make me feel much better.
Game by Game
Let’s look at each game individually. For each matchup, I’ll share a brief thought and my win-loss prediction.
- Browns at Panthers – Baker is the Panthers quarterback. Jacoby Brissett is the Browns quarterback. I can’t imagine Myles Garrett allowing Baker to win this one. Browns win. 1-0.
- Jets at Browns – this just feels like a win. Browns win. 2-0.
- Steelers at Browns – in the last 20 Browns-Steelers matchups, the Browns have won 4 times. 4. They tied once too. I think the Browns lose this one. Browns loss. 2-1.
- Browns at Falcons – no more Matt Ryan? Yeah I think the Brownies could nip this one. Browns win. 3-1.
- Chargers at Browns – if this game was later in the year, Browns might win. It’s not later in the year. Browns loss. 3-2.
- Patriots at Browns – Browns got embarrassed in this game in 2021. I think a little revenge could happen. Browns win. 4-2.
- Browns at Ravens – No Deshaun, no way to win in Baltimore. Browns loss. 4-3.
- Bengals at Browns – Browns beat the Bengals twice last year. They will get one of the 2 games this year too, but not this one. Browns loss. 4-4.
- Browns at Dolphins – this feels like a last minute Cade York 44-yard game winner. Browns win. 5-4.
- Browns at Bills – Nope. Browns loss. 5-5.
- Buccaneers at Browns – I could see Tom Brady potentially being injured or the late-November weather being an equalizer. But I think Browns fans will be very ready to see Deshaun Watson as he serves the final game in his suspension. Browns loss. 5-6.
- Browns at Texans – Watson’s first game back is against his former team and in Houston?! What?! This game could be nuts. I think the Browns get this one since the Texans simply ain’t that good. Browns win. 6-6.
- Browns at Bengals – I said the Browns would win of these ones. Browns win. 7-6.
- Ravens at Browns – for the Browns to succeed, they will need some serious Deshaun magic. If they win this game, it would be the Browns fairy tale story. Playoffs are on the line and somehow the Browns win. 8-6.
- Saints at Browns – Browns fever has gripped Cleveland. They are riding the wave. If this game was in New Orleans, the Browns wouldn’t pull it off. Luckily, it’s in Cleveland. Browns win. 9-6.
- Browns at Commanders – this feels like a delightful trap game after beating New Orleans. But Nick Chubb puts the team on his back and brings Cleveland to the brink of the playoffs. Browns win. 10-6.
- Browns at Steelers – everyone needs to start praying that the Steelers are out of the playoff chase by this point. That is our only hope or maybe they are resting players for their playoff run. I want to predict a win, I really do, but I can’t. Browns loss. 10-7.
There you have it 10-7. It seems kind of crazy for the Browns to win that many games due to Watson’s suspension, but there you go. Maybe I am wearing brown and orange tinted glasses.
Thoughts? 10 wins. Too much? Too little? I couldn’t quite handle getting into the whole playoff predictions, this was taxing enough. Share your thoughts and give me your Butch Davis sponsored ‘gut feeling’ on the Browns record this year.