The Cleveland Browns have a pretty kind schedule all things considered, but there are a number of new elements that will be factors this year. Beyond the COVID-19 element, which is still being felt as Matt Nagy, the head coach of the Chicago Bears, is forced to miss rookie minicamp due to being exposed to someone who tested positive. Rookie and the top pick for the Detroit Lions Peneii Sewell will miss his after he tested positive.
Additionally, the NFL has announced that they will have full capacity stadiums this year, which means crowd noise. An element that teams haven't really dealt with for an entire season.
How will that energy level impact the Browns as they travel to what is likely to be a packed Arrowhead Stadium opening up against the Kansas City Chiefs? A difficult opponent on its face, it's one more element adding to the game.
On the flip side, the Browns will come home the following week to host the Houston Texans, which I keep calling the Chicago Bears, because I'm an idiot. So much was great about the 2020 season for the Browns, including an 11-5 record and a postseason victory. From players to coaches to fans, there was always this element of... it was so great, BUT fans weren't in the stands.
Nicole and I give our prediction for the season record. We discuss her rivalry with the man related to her by marriage over the Browns and the Denver Broncos, who will play on Thursday night this year? Will Aaron Rodgers be a Bronco?
We disagree on the placement of the bye week, but in a win for me, Nicole, perhaps spurred on by the players acquired in the 2021 NFL Draft, is feeling more confident about the Browns closing out some games this year after she wasn't quite as exuberant on the first episode.