Does Odell Beckham change the AFC North
The Browns were the laughing stock for the last several seasons, especially from 2015-2017, where they only won 4 games total, before their 7 wins in 2018. This year, even after their lackluster start thus far – seem poised to be on the hyped train in the AFC North, by many. I never thought I would see the day, after having 7+ Wins in a season only 2 times since 2003, not counting 2018.
The OBJ move made the Browns the talk of the football world this off-season – the Giants weren’t winning with him, even with his 88 YPG. The Browns are hoping they found a winner.
Questions are still there – Beckham has known to be a problem, at times – will he destroy Baker’s team?
Is Odell a team player?
Will the Browns regret this move after a season?
All these things we should be asking – and only time will tell.
But, if we are going to be honest, Eli didn’t utilize Beckham for what he could have done with him. The Giants were wasting OBJ’s skills – Eli Manning is an aging, soft armed QB, who at times, chucked the ball in his direction, with desperation – and I feel Beckham made Eli far more than Eli making Beckham better. Just a few years ago, Derek Carr was thought of as the next big thing for the NFL – now, Baker Mayfield is looked at as the next big thing after his 64% completion rate and 27 TD passing season in 2018 and they got him a great new toy. The Browns gave up a 1st & 3rd for OBJ, for Mayfield to have an top 5 weapon at WR – with this, they are looked at by many as the team in the AFC North.
The Browns needed something big and the Giants needed picks to start the much needed rebuild, so this worked out for both teams. As we know, teams that look great on paper don’t always translate to success on the field. Look at the 2015 Detroit Lions coming off an 11-5 season in 2014 and the thoughts of a team on the rise, or the “Dream Team” 2011 Philadelphia Eagles – both flopped. The other concern I have with the Browns, is they could run into issues with Beckham and his temper tantrums, Odell seems to be happy as long as he gets the ball – that has to be put on the backburner here. There are a lot of skilled players who need the ball. Beckham
is your typical diva WR – which can be a bit tough to swallow at times – but there is no discussion that his on field ability isn’t incredible. 5400+ YDs, 390 receptions, and 44 TDs over the previous 5 seasons certainly confirms that.
Cleveland is looking stacked across the board, between defense and offense. Mayfield, Landry, OBJ, and David Njoku – they have a ton of promise this year. They looked awful vs the Titans – giving up 43 and turning the ball over as Mayfield didn’t look very sharp – but I think a lot of the problems they had – were based on the expectations that have been tossed onto their shoulders. Nick Chubb is a really good RB too – a new face of the North might be built for the next 5 years, the Browns, could be running the AFC for years to come. We all know, regardless of what we want to pretend, QB is the position on the field – it is the engine that drives the train, and is the most important position on the field. 24 year old, Baker Mayfield has changed the attitude of Cleveland and their city. Baker needs to make sure he keeps OBJ on the same page as the team, as a whole, he brought heart and hope in 2018 – he has been unimpressive so far this year with his timing and throwing 3 picks – and he needs to get himself in check if they want to get the train rolling.
Cleveland could still be the favorite – with no Leveon or AB in Pittsburgh, and no pressure behind Lamar Jackson, to keep him motivated to better himself, if he fails. Beckham has a better QB in Baker than what NY had – so it’s honestly a big upgrade for Beckham – with the moves they made this offseason – the Browns may have become the team to beat in the AFC North.
The Browns now have 2 of the best handed WRs in the league along with a talented TE – with a deadly deep threat in OBJ and smooth route running WR Landry, they now have the skills to be most dangerous duo in the NFL. The Browns made some noise with the offseason. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham are probably some of the most sure handed WRs in the league, as both players have made numerous big time catches during their 5 years in the NFL – Jarvis and Odell were amazing together at LSU back in 2011- 2013, with 280 receptions 4,149 YDs, and 27 TDs combined between them. It will be fun to see how they do teamed up in Cleveland.