Any articles of this ilk are strictly opinion-based and do not necessarily reflect what kind of success or failure a team might have once the season commences. This would also be true for NFL football bettors for season win totals as the team by team improvements have all been baked into the current numbers by the sportsbooks oddmakers.
Instead, we will take at face value what teams improved themselves from last year and assess accordingly.
Cleveland has lost seventeen consecutive football games, you can only go up from there. Every indication is will be a much-improved football team and it starts with having better players. Tyrod Taylor gives the Browns a functional NFL quarterback who has won games with below average players. Baker Mayfield would not have been everyone’s first choice in the draft, but that is who Cleveland wanted and he deserves a look and will give everything he has.
The secondary was completely retooled and will be better. Pass receiver Jarvis Landry knows how to get open and will give his quarterback a safety blanket, especially on third down.
Given the past and the excitement generated with better players, if head coach Hue Jackson doesn’t beat Cleveland’s win total projection of 5, he truly deserves firing this go-round.
Los Angeles Rams
No playoff team better-identified areas that needed upgrading and went into thinking Super Bowl this season. The Rams defense was 12th in points allowed and a bit below average in yards allowed (19th) and added strong pieces for immediate improvement. Though Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh are not known as great teammates and tend towards the selfish side, when placed in a winning environment, they play harder and think more about winning.
Maybe receiver Brandin Cooks was not the right fit in New England, but he was still productive and he should thrive in Los Angeles system, where the long ball is more important like it was in New Orleans. Plus, he’s a much better route-runner than the departed Sammy Watkins.