Browns season is officially right around the corner with the home opener being only 89 days away when the Minnesota Vikings come to town. The Browns are going to need to come out of the gate strong this year if they want to be able to compete in the AFC North and make the playoffs for only the second time since the return of the Browns back in 1999.
The first two games are both winnable games that the Browns need to win both for a morale booster and to keep pace in this tough AFC North Division. When the Vikings and Brett Favre come to town it is going to be crucial for this team to do two things that they haven’t been able to do to much of since 99, win the Season opener at home and stop the run.
Robaire Smith and Corey Williams are both coming back from injuries and should be ready to go once August 1st starts. With Robaire Smith going down in week 2 and Corey Williams not being 100 percent all season that should be a big boost for this team stopping the run.
Kamerion Wimbley for this time in his career is being tried out at different positions on the front seven which hopefully will help him return to his rookie form. Rod Hood adds major depth to the secondary, with Brandon Mcdonald and Eric Wright are both two young cornerbacks entering there third season and are ready to take the next step in becoming an elite cornerback duo in this league.
On the offensive side of the Ball this team has a Quarterback in Brady Quinn who can be a top five quarterback to play on Sundays. If Braylon Edwards has the year that a lot of people are anticipating him to have this year he can be the number one playmaker in the AFC North on the Offensive side of the Ball.
Jamal Lewis had surgery in the offseason to repair an ankle that has taken a lot of beatings of the years but is eager to begin the 09 season and show that he still has a lot in the gas tank. Jerome Harrison will be a nice change of pace back for the Browns who has shown some playmaker ability in his last two seasons for the Browns.
With Brian Robiskie being a possession receiver something the Browns deeply missed in 08, this offense can return to the explosiveness it had in 08. he offensive line has nine players on the Offensive line that could start on many teams in the NFL and could possibly be the deepest O-line in the NFL. As Browns fans know the Offensive line is very important to be successful in this league.
It is very important to keep the quarterback clean and open holes for the running game, and this team has that ability to do that on offense. Josh Cribbs also needs to get back to the Cribbs in 07, when the offense starts at the 40-yard line it makes it a lot easier on the offense to be able to get points on the board with that field position.
The Browns can be successful this year and can make this fall a special one in the Browns are going to need to be more focused on doing the little things in which I think Eric Mangini has made them a better football team in that area. The first month of the season is going to be crucial for the mental aspect of the game. If they can travel to Denver and Baltimore in weeks 2 and 3 and get a victory in two very tough environments this team will be onto something special.
The first month of the season should tell you everything you need to know about the Browns 2009 season. If they can go 3-1 in that first month of season which this team is very capable doing they will set themselves up really nice to make a run at the Playoffs. The second quarter of the season is going to be difficult as well but has winnable games even though three of the four games are on the road with Green Bay being at home.
The second quarter has some intriguing matchups in it. Starting with going to Buffalo a team the Browns have been able to beat the past two years and should be able to compete again this year with. Week six is the week we are waiting for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is just a matter of time before the Browns do beat these guys so this is a very winnable game for this team who knows if they can and will but they can compete with Pittsburgh. It is going to come down to this team making a play when they need too.
The Browns then play to NFC North opponents in the Packers at home and Bears on the road, where they should be able to at least split those games. With the first half of the season a realistic goal for this team is 5-3. If the Browns can get to there goal of 5-3 the last eight games will be a lot of fun at the Stadium. With the Ravens,Lions,Bengals,and Chargers being the third quarter of the schedule.
This part of the Schedule the Browns need to win 3 out 4, which could make them 8-4 going into the last four games of the season and a date with the Steelers at the Stadium on Thursday night, followed by the Chiefs, Raiders, and Jaguars in which the Browns if healthy can win three of these final games of the year that make them 11-5 and AFC North Champions. Browns stadium will be rocking in January this year you can count on that.