With Brian Hoyer being named the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback, Cleveland has a strong shot to finish the season with more than 6.5 wins. The current odds are Browns OVER 6.5 Wins (-125).
Brian Hoyer has NFL experience and is much more ready and capable to lead the offense then Johnny Manziel. Since joining the league Manziel has shown a lot of immaturity and has struggled to play well and overtake Hoyer on the depth chart.
The Browns were able to see this and despite many fans wanting to see the Johnny Football Era in Cleveland begin immediately, the coaching staff did not give in to the pressure and has realized that Hoyer gives them the best chance to win now. The Browns won all three of Hoyer’s starts last season before losing him to injury.
The quarterback competition and Hoyer knowing that Manziel is waiting in the wings should make Hoyer play at his best at all times.
While the Browns will be without Josh Gordon due to suspension, they still have enough other weapons on offense to make them threat to be dealt with. Jordan Cameron had a breakout year last year and he put up some of his best numbers when Hoyer was behind center. That combination should continue to succeed this season. The Browns added Miles Austin and Nate Burleson to the receiving mix to help with the loss of Gordon. At running back they bring in Ben Tate. Tate has shown his ability to be a powerful runner and if he can stay healthy he will have a huge impact on the Cleveland offense.
The Browns defense was not as bad as they appeared last year. They were in the top 10 in passing and rushing yards allowed last season. They are a young defense and should continue to show improvement from last season.
In addition to a strong defense and good leadership on offense the Browns other big advantage is their strength of schedule. They will have the 6th easiest schedule in the league this season.
They get very winnable home games against Oakland, Tampa Bay and Houston. They also have a road game in Jacksonville that should fall into the win column.
In the division let’s assume a 2-4 record, maybe 3-3 as the AFC North is not that strong. So let’s assume the Browns win the four games they should and take two division games, giving them 6 wins on the year. That gives them 6 games to find another win. Road wins against Carolina and Atlanta don’t seem likely, but they could steal a road win at Tennessee or Buffalo. A home win is not out of the question against a New Orleans team that is or against dome team Indianapolis in December. There should be plenty of opportunities for the Browns to win that seventh game and make the OVER 6.5 a winner!