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2014 Cleveland Browns Odds | Season Preview | NFL Predictions

2014 Browns NFL Handicapping

Latest Reset Gives Browns Legitimate Reason For Optimism

No NFL team has gone through more change than the Cleveland Browns over the past decade. Heading in to year two under owner Jimmy Haslam and with a new head coach in Mike Pettine, there is legitimate reason for optimism.

2014 Cleveland Browns Team Preview/Predictions

  • 2013 Record: 4-12
  • ATS Record: 6-10

2014 Browns Futures

  • Super Bowl Odds: +6000
  • Conference Odds: +2800
  • AFC North Odds: +650
  • 2014 NFL Regular Season Wins: Over 6.5

The Browns return five Pro Bowl players and brought in a talented crop of free agents to surround an impressive rookie class highlighted by quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Manziel will compete with veteran Brian Hoyer to be Cleveland’s sixth different opening day starter in seven years and while the experts have been quick to calm the hype surrounding the franchise, the Browns will be a sleeper to challenge for a playoff spot if they can get some consistent quality play from the quarterback position.

It’s only a matter of time before Manziel gets his shot but whether it’s him or Hoyer under center, they will have to be able to play at a high level for this team to succeed. Josh Gordon led the league with 1,646 receiving yards despite missing two games due to suspension, but he could miss the entire season after failing an offseason drug test.

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Cleveland netted a massive free agent haul at wide receiver with Miles Austin, Earl Bennett, Nate Burleson, and Andrew Hawkins coming on board. They will join Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron to solidify an impressive cast of pass-catching options.

The Browns signed free agent running back Ben Tate and drafted Towson running back Terrance West in the third round to solidify a rushing attack that will need to perform at a high level to keep the pressure off of the quarterback.
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A solid offensive line that features left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack should be able to open running lanes for Tate and West, and keep the pocket clean for either Manziel or Hoyer.

Cleveland also spent money to upgrade a defense that finished in the top-10 overall last year, signing free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Donte Whitner, and then drafting top-rated cornerback Justin Gilbert with their first pick in the draft.

The team picked up nose tackle Phil Taylor’s option in order to make sure he is back clogging the middle, and Dansby will provide a major presence in the middle as hard hitter that can help against the run. Whitner is another big hitter that will have opponents thinking twice about coming across the middle, while Gilbert should immediately start opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden.

The Browns will need more out of outside linebackers Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard, and second-year pro Barkevious Mingo.

If that group can establish a more consistent pass rush under Pettine’s guidance then the Cleveland defense could be even better than it was a year ago when it ranked ninth in the NFL.

After starting over again, it appears as though the Browns are finally read to contend for a playoff spot.

Pettine is a smart coach that understands how to get the most out of his players and he has committed to starting the quarterback that gives Cleveland the best chance to win every week.

Losing Gordon is a major blow on offense but the Browns have a ton of talent throughout their roster and with a little luck they could be a sleeper team to look out for in the AFC this season.

2014 Browns Predictions

  • Place they’ll finish in AFC North: 3rd
  • Place they’ll finish in AFC Conference: 11th
  • Over/Under Wins Prediction: OVER

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