by Alex Poletti
After a breakout season from quarterback Baker Mayfield last year and a blockbuster trade for the league’s most dynamic wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason, the Cleveland Browns looked primed to compete for a Lombardi trophy entering week one of NFL play. Reality hit pretty quickly as they were handed a 43-13 loss at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. However, Browns fans can’t complain, as the 30-point loss was their closest in several years.
“Would it have been nice to win a game? Sure,” Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens says. “But on the bright side, we only lost by 30, so it’s win in its own way.”
The Browns have been the punching bag of the league for several years, accruing a 1-31 record in 2016 and 2017. Last year, the team stepped up their game, but still couldn’t capture a postseason berth.
“It was nice to see a team put up 43 points in a game,” Browns quarterback and Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up Baker Mayfield says. “I wish that we could’ve been the team to put up those numbers, but you take what you can get at this point.”
Despite greatly improving as a team, Cleveland was no match for the mediocre Tennessee Titans, who can barely get through a playoff game unscathed. The game was followed by considerable smack talk from Titans tight end Delanie Walker.
“He said we were who they thought we’d be,” Kitchens says. “He said that despite all the hype, we’d still have to play football. I mean, I was really hoping we wouldn’t have to, but I guess rules are rules.”
The Browns game wasn’t without its shining moments; Beckham Jr.’s $250,000 watch had some nice sheen from the stadium lights.
“It’s true, I wore a pretty expensive watch on the field today,” the former New York Giant admits. “The Browns are paying me a lot of money, and I wanted to show the city of Cleveland that their money is going towards something worthwhile.”
Despite the success of losing by only a considerable margin, the Browns hope that this is just the beginning of a promising season to come.
“We may have started off the season by losing 30, but we still have more to give to our fans,” Mayfield says. “By the end of the season, we hope to be blowing leads in the fourth quarter, or maybe even losing by a field goal in overtime. The sky’s the limit.”