Was the Raiders Game Fixed? The NCP Answer Your Browns Questions.

The North Coast Posse is a top five Browns twitter follow. @northcoastposse

The season is one quarter of the way in and the Browns sit at 1-2-1. Can this be considered a success?

Punter Supreme: Improvement: yes.  Success: No. Viewing a losing record as success just speaks to how bad the Browns have been.  More than anything, there is hope now. Not just blind faith as in recent seasons. We can see real improvement on both sides of the ball and it is creating some real excitement.  If the Browns win this week against the hated Ravens, I will boof an entire 40 oz. of Bud Light. Dilly Dilly to the B.

Big $: In professional sports, moral victories carry very little weight. Success is measured in wins and losses and the Browns record still reflects a losing culture. True success will come when they can truly start finishing games.

Which loss has been most painful?

Punter Supreme: So far, last week’s Oakland game was hard to swallow.  All the losses hurt, but taking an L after having a very rare two-score lead was difficult to watch.  

Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward are shaping up to be the best first round picks the Browns have had in a long time. How excited should Browns fans be about the future?

Big $: Having the Baker Buzz killed hurt more than the Tyrod losses. However, it may be the dose of common sense us Browns fans needed moving forward.

People drool all over the defense but they don't exactly close games out. How good are they? 

Punter Supreme: The jury is still out on this one.  Only 7 teams give up more yards per game, and only 3 give up more time of possession.  But they are a top-10 defense in terms of 3rd-down conversions allowed, and they average more than 3 takeaways per game.  The defense needs more consistency, but I think that will come as the younger players continue to develop. Even though they gave up 45 points to the lowly Raiders, they get a bit of a pass, because the offense had a few turnovers inside the Browns own 20 yard line that gave the Raiders a short field.

The Browns lost starting CB Terrance Mitchell to a broken his wrist last week, but the team has so much more depth in the secondary this season compared to years past that the unit should be able to fill the void he left.  

Was the Raiders game fixed?

Big $: Do you mean, “Was the game the Browns just played against the franchise that is currently en route to the gambling capital of the universe” fixed? NFL wagering is a billion dollar business and 3 points is thin enough that a call here and there can swing the tide completely. I think it would be naive to think that officials aren’t cognizant of how their actions could move stacks of cash. So in a nutshell, yes I do think there is a reason to believe foul play made an appearance in Oakland.

Looking ahead, what games do the Browns need to win for Hugh to keep his job? 

Punter Supreme: Hue has to win games in the division.  If he goes 0-fer in the AFC North, he is out for sure. If he losses games against other teams at the bottom of their divisions, like Houston and Atlanta, his seat will get hotter.  

Big $. I stated before the season that 2-5 would get Hue fired, and I stand by it, regardless of games won/loss.