WZIP’s Browns 2018 Season Predictions

The Cleveland Browns made plenty of moves during their off-season and in the 2018 Draft. With one win in the past 32 games, you pretty much have to. But how will this season be different than the last two, or are they destined to repeat their failures? The WZIP Sports Department has their predictions for how the 2018-2019 Browns season will unfold:

John Alfieri 

Record: 4-12
MVP: Myles Garrett
Between Hardknocks and the the new faces in town, the Cleveland Browns are poised to be a new and improved team with a lot of potential. Free agent additions Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor, and Demarious Randall will be a bright spot in the Browns season campaign. Two big questions I am curious about are; When will we see Baker Mayfield on the field? And Will Hue Jackson be in Cleveland the whole season and possibly next year?
Baker Mayfield, the number one overall pick, impressed a lot of coaches in the preseason. His skill set is very impressive and his winning mentality is something you just can’t teach. The issue with Baker is at times he rushes throws and looks not ready to compete at the NFL level right now. He’s a project. I believe if the Browns are under 3 wins by week 8, we will see Baker under center. Browns fans shouldn’t expect to see him though if Tyrod is leading the Browns to wins.

Hue Jackson is on the hottest seat any coach in the league has ever been on. Many argue he shouldn’t still have his job but obviously the Browns still believe in him. However I feel that if the Browns don’t make the playoffs (obviously a long shot) the Browns will be moving on from Hue. The good news? The Browns have two head coaching candidates on their staff already in Greg Williams and Todd Haley. Don’t be surprised if they are calling the shots next year.

Zach Bush

I’m predicting the Browns to go 6-10. Hue Jackson will be on the hot seat for the entire season, but he’ll make it to the end without getting fired. Tyrod will play fine, but he’ll get a concussion or something and miss a week. Baker will start that game and play well, but Hue will put Tyrod back in the following week. It will be a controversy for the rest of the year. Josh Gordon will play near a full year for the first time since 2013, but his numbers won’t be as good as they were then. Jarvis Landry will have a great first year in Cleveland, and Myles Garrett will have a solid second year.

*Actually, forget what I said about Hue Jackson. I thought about it some more, and I think he will get fired. I see the Browns losing four straight games in November/December, the last of which coming December 9th against Carolina. I think he’ll get fired after losing that game, and either Haley or Williams will take over for the rest of the year.

Savannah Griggs

For the 2018 football season I believe the browns will be 8-8. Tyrod Taylor will be QB1 however, I believe Baker Mayfield will have an outstanding rookie season and he will start at least 2 games in the season more than likely towards the end of the year. This season my breakout players are David Njoku and Carlos Hyde. Hue Jackson will coach the entire season. Finally our MVP will be Myles Garrett.

Isaiah Houde

I am predicting that the Browns will end the season with a 6-10 record. This team is on a path for a better future, but I still do not believe that the culture and the losing ways have ultimately been reversed. Winning six games is a huge increase from winning zero last year, and I believe that the consistency of Tyrod Taylor will take them there. I believe that Tyrod will start the whole season, and Baker Mayfield will learn what it takes to be a quarterback in the NFL. The defense will improve by leaps and bounds in my opinion because of the changing culture, and the talent that is present.

I do not believe that the team will make it to the playoffs this year, but I feel that the Browns will be there soon. They could possibly be a playoff team by next season if they can flip the culture around and bring winning spirits into the organization. Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry will play a huge role in that.

Cami Justice

My heart is telling me the Browns will win six games this year. My brain is telling me it will actually be four. I think Tyrod Taylor should, and will start for most, if not all of the season. A minor injury that could displace him from his starting role for a game or two would be the only scenario in which Baker Mayfield starts over Tyrod. The Browns defense should prove to look as incredible on the field as they look on paper. Myles Garrett will be the Browns MVP this season without a doubt. Offensively, the Browns should do better than they have in a very long time. With talent like Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon, the Browns passing game should be fierce. Their running game could also be explosive so long as everyone lives up to their potential. With  David Njoku, Duke Johnson, and Ohio native Carlos Hyde at Tyrod’s disposal the Browns should have a lot of success running the ball.

As for head coach Hue Jackson, well, I think he better work harder than he ever has in his life if he wants to maintain his position with the Browns. If Jackson loses three to four consecutive games with no wins this season I think he’ll be fired immediately. If he doesn’t win at least 4 games I think he’ll be fired at the end of the season. All eyes are on him right now as he sits in the hot seat. If he pulls off some wins and early on, Hue will stick around.

My heart and my brain tell me two slightly different stories for the Browns but I will follow my heart and say the Browns will be 6-10 at the end of the season and they’ll only go up from there… SUPERBOWLLLLL…SUPER BROWNS!

Justin Miller

Overall record: 5-11

Wins against the Jets, Bengals (x2), Buccaneers, and Broncos

3rd in AFC North
Obviously huge improvements have been made from a win-less team just a year ago. Although expectations are extremely high for this team, I think it is simply unrealistic for a winning percentage close to .500. Baker Mayfield was a good pick, but wasn’t worth first overall. The Browns missed out on Saquan Barkley which will haunt them for the next decade. With Taylor starting week one, I don’t see Mayfield starting until late in the second half of the season once the browns are officially eliminated from playoff contention. Break out player will be M. Garret if you even consider him a breakout. Injury held him back last season but the sky is the limit for him this year. MVP will be Jarvis Landry as he will be key on the offensive side of the ball with multiple receptions per game and being a true possession wide receiver (via Larry Fitz). What will hurt the browns the most is the joke of an offensive line. Even with future HOF Joe Thomas at left tackle, they still struggled to block just about anyone and will be the root cause for Tyrod Taylor and the running game to be consistent. Its an exciting year for the browns, but a true winning culture is not here yet.

 

Kyle Molinelli

I believe this season will shock a lot of people. This team is not the same teams that went win-less last year, or the one who won only one game the year before that. This team is hungry, and they’re going to surprise a lot of people. With talent stocked at WR and a stable quarterback situation, I think they laid the foundation of a winning team, and I think they go 8-8 this year. Tyrod Taylor has a chip on his shoulder, and he will be the leader this team needs, and the mentor Baker Mayfield deserves to be eased in. Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry will have to learn to share how many catches they get since they will be such dangerous weapons for the offense. The only question we really have is how our Offensive line will be, since Joe Thomas has retired. Overall, look out world because the browns are here to shock the system. (Yes I am probably way too hyped for this and my dreams might be crushed.) 

Ryan Ribinskas

I believe the Browns will go 9-6

Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon will be in the top 10 in the NFL for receiving and Baker Mayfield will not start a game. I also believe Denzel ward will win DPOY and Myles Garrett will win DPOY.

Deontae Shahid

I believe the Browns will win 5-6 games this year starting with the 1st game of the season against the Steelers. Barring injury I do not believe Baker will get a start this year. If Tyrod stays healthy, I believe he will be good enough for us this year to keep the starting role for the entirety of the season. Standout players this year have to be Myles Garrett, Jarvis Landry, and Christian Kirksey. Denzel Ward might struggle in the beginning of the season, but his play will pick up as the season progresses.

Browns Offseason Breakdown

Story by Savannah Griggs—-

Giving us more action in the off-season than on the field, the Cleveland Browns have definitely made some power moves in the last week. While we had to say our farewells to Joe Thomas, Danny Shelton and DeShone Kizer. With open arms we welcomed Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Damarious Randall.

While Taylor brings leadership, efficiency and productivity, Landry on the other hand brings competition and passion. In the past two years Landry has had over 100 catches and numbers don’t lie. Landry is the fire power that our offense needs. Last but not least, we move on to Damarious Randall, Green Bay’s most consistent defensive back.

Randall brings tackles, interceptions, deflected passes and youth to the table. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, rumors have surfaced that general manager John Dorsey is reaching contract agreements with Chris Hubbard, and Donald Stephenson who would offset the loss of Joe Thomas. Dorsey has also been able to come to terms with Carlos Hyde to shore up the Browns’ backfield.

Although catching abilities and injuries are a concern when it comes to Hyde, he’s still a great addition to the team. General Manager Dorsey said, “anytime you can have a chance to acquire three good football players right off the bat in the trades, you’ve got to do it.” And that’s exactly what he did, making some additions and subtractions.

The Browns still managed to hold on to all five of Cleveland’s picks in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. The Browns have the No. 1 and No. 4 picks and they have three in the second round. With St. Patty’s Day around the corner, it looks the Browns got lucky this offseason. Sorry fans, it doesn’t look like we’ll be having a losing parade this time around.

Zips Upset Broncos in Sunday Showdown 14-13

By: Benjamin Verbel

The Akron Zips went on the road this week to face the Western Michigan Broncos. The Zips looked to slow down a Broncos offense that had a high scoring 71-68 win against Buffalo last week.

The game was delayed and then rescheduled due to lightning and flooding concerns. The first quarter started off with a Zips drive that lead to a 13 yard touchdown by Thomas Woodson to his Tight End Kobie Booker.
Akron brought more points to the board in the second quarter with a one yard run into the end-zone by Senior back Manny Morgan to cap off their drive. Morgan earned every touch with a 4.4 yard average on the ground.
Western Michigan matched Akron with a run-heavy game plan. They averaged 4.6 yards with five featured players. They totaled at 244 yards on 53 carries.
Bronco’s Josh Grant booted a 49 yard field goal to give them a 14-3 score before the second half.
Western Michigan receiver D’Wayne Eskridge was a big contributor for their offense. By the end of this match up he had a total of 100 all purpose yards and a 50 yard TD from Jon Wassink. At this point WMU was getting involved in the flow of the game and Josh Grant gave his team another three points with a 35 yard field goal.
Akron came out with a win after holding onto the lead they built in the first half. The Zips brought defense that didn’t break to this game with the likes of Defensive back Alvin Davis and Junior Linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III.
Both teams came out of this week with a 4-3 record. The Zips are currently on a 3 game winning streak. Akron will be the away team in a match up against the Toledo Rockets on Saturday, October 21st at 12:00 p.m.

Zips Drop Close One to Troy, 22-17

By: Deontae Shahid

The Akron Zips were on the road this weekend to face off against the Troy Trojans. The Zips came into the game a 15.5-point underdog and were looking to pull off the upset. The Zips covered the spread but were unable to knock off the Trojans losing 22-17.

The Trojans fumbled on their first drive of the game which was recovered by the Zips. Akron turned the turnover into three points and looked to continue to play well in the beginning of the game.

The following drive for the Trojans would result in a touchdown after they picked up a key fourth down conversion that could have kept the pendulum swinging in favor of Akron. Troy would drive down the field again with the help from some Akron pass interference penalties to kick a field goal and put them up 10-3.

Troy would score another touchdown in the first half but miss the point after. Akron had a couple of chances to put more points on the board but would hurt themselves in two separate occasions.

Thomas Woodson threw an interception in the end zone while in Troy’s red zone. On the final drive before halftime, the Zips were in position to score again. After a holding penalty stalled their offense on the Troy seven-yard line, Tom O’Leary would miss a field goal with the time expiring to end the half causing for the Zips to go into halftime down 16-3.

The Zips continued to let red zone opportunities go to waste in the second half of the game. The Zips first possession of the second half resulted in a Woodson fumble after they drove all the way down to the Troy 19-yard line.

Akron would score a touchdown on their next drive after the Zips defense forced a turnover on downs. Woodson hit Kwadarrius Smith for a 29-yard touchdown pass putting the score at 16-10. Woodson and Smith would later connect on a 42-yard pass on a crucial third and long. Warren Ball would find the end zone on a 4-yard run on fourth down to put Akron up 17-16.

Late in the game, Troy would drive all the way from their three-yard line to score a touchdown with a minute and six seconds left to play. Troy failed to convert the two-point conversion giving the Zips a chance to win with a touchdown but sealed the game after a Woodson interception.

Akron was not able to capitalize on penalties by Troy who had 16 penalties for 159 yards in the game. The Zips had 12 penalties of their own for 100 yards continuing their penalty problems on the season.

Ball played well rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown. Woodson completed 20 of 40 passes for 268 yards, with one touchdown and 2 interceptions. Smith caught four receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown in the second half.

The Zips dropped to 1-3 on the season so far. The Zips will start their Mid-American Conference play against the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday, September 30th at 6:00 p.m.

Zips Embarrassed by Cyclones, Fall to Iowa State 41-14

Written by: Peter Palmer, WZIP Sports

The Akron Zips looked to improve their record this week to 2-1 while hosting the Iowa State Cyclones. The sun was beating down for a good day of football, but the weather soon turned cloudy which seemed to be the story for the Zips.

The Zips were held scoreless in the first quarter, being forced to punt their first three possessions and producing only 34 total yards. Meanwhile, Iowa State was quick to attack and took the lead 14-0 behind a 7-yard reception to Allen Lazard and a 1-yard carry by Mike Warren.

The momentum began to shift when Thomas Woodson hit Kwadarrius Smith in stride for a 45-yard touchdown pass halfway through the second quarter. Woodson started to heat up, completing 12-16 for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Unfortunately, a costly fumble led the Cyclones to maintain a 20-14 lead going into the half.

Akron couldn’t continue with its momentum as things started to fall apart in the second half. On the offensive side, Woodson wasn’t able to find a rhythm, threw an interception in the third quarter and didn’t produce any points before he was relieved by Kato Nelson who threw an interception of his own.

All day, Warren Ball wasn’t able to continue his offensive dominance that he showed last week against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. This was true of all the rushers on the day, with Akron only having 38 rushing yards on the day.

The defensive side was a similar story. Aside from the two offensive turnovers giving the Cyclones good field position, Iowa State had an impressive 508 total yards resulting in 41 points on the day. Akron will need to regroup and improve their defensive coverage before next week’s game. The Zips fall to Iowa State 41-14 and become 1-2 on the season.

Next week, Akron will be tested again as they travel to face the Troy Trojans on the road. Kickoff is set for 6 PM on Saturday, September 23rd. This will be the first of two road games before the Zips come back to play in Infocision Stadium.

Offensive MVP: Leading the Zips in yards was Kwadarrius Smith, who was responsible for one of the two Akron touchdowns on the day. Despite only having three receptions, he was able to run for 76 yards on the day.

 

Defensive MVP: Continuing his high level of defense from last week, Ulysees Glibert led the Zips in tackles with 12. For a team that gave up 508 total yards to the Cyclones, Gilbert was able to mildly weather the storm. Hopefully he continues to show up for the Zips throughout the season.

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