For the first time in 18 years, the Cleveland Browns will be heading into Week 2 with a 1-0 record. Now that they’ve ended their nearly two-decade drought of not winning an opener, the Browns will be trying to end another drought Sunday when they play the Jets.
If the Browns can win their home opener against New York, it will mark the first time since 1993 that they’ve opened a season with two consecutive wins. The Browns are the only team in the NFL that hasn’t had at least one 2-0 start over the past 29 years. The last time the Browns shot off to a 2-0 start came so long ago that Bill Belichick was still their coach.
Belichick coached the Browns from 1991 to 1995 and won two openers during his time with the team, which is pretty crazy when you consider they’ve only won two openers (2004, 2022) since he was let go following the 1995 season.
If you were to ask any Browns player what they remember about Cleveland’s last 2-0 start, most of them probably wouldn’t remember anything because they weren’t born yet. Of the 53 players on Cleveland’s active roster, 47 of them weren’t alive for the Browns’ last 2-0 start.
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The Browns are currently 6.5-point favorites over the Jets, which means they’re favored to get to 2-0. Getting off to a 2-0 start is a huge deal in the NFL because a lot of times it ends with a playoff berth. Of the 262 teams that have started 2-0 since 1990, 63% of them (165 teams) ended up making the playoffs. Teams that started 2-0 have also won 20 of the past 32 Super Bowls, a list of teams that includes last year’s Rams.
Of course, if Cleveland has been good at one thing over the years, it’s bucking trends, which means now is the time where we tell you that the Browns were among the 37% of 2-0 teams that didn’t make the playoffs. The Browns actually got off to a 3-0 start in 1993 before crumbling over the final 13 weeks and finishing with a 7-9 record.
Another reason the Browns need to get to 2-0 is because their schedule will be getting much tougher after this week. After facing the Jets, eight of Cleveland’s next nine games will come against the Steelers, Chargers, Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Dolphins, Bills and Buccaneers.