The Cleveland Browns exceeded everybody's expectations in the 2020 season, going 11-5 and making the playoffs for the first time in 18 long years. Not only did they make the playoffs, but the Browns also dominated their first playoff game against their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even Browns legend Joe Thomas was surprised that the team managed to get that far.
Cleveland came up just short of its goal to take down the defending Super Bowl champions, Kansas City Chiefs, but by no means did that make this season a disappointment. The Browns made major strides in just one season.
They finally have stability at head coach after having 12 different head coaches since 2000. They have a franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield, and a star studded roster that found their identity as a run-heavy offense. This season has been a success.
Thomas spoke out about how the Browns shattered his expectations in 2020 via a column on the team's official website.
Thomas went on to say that he thought the Browns were poised for another 8-8 season. Never has he been so happy to be proven wrong.
With the Steelers and the Ravens looking to be the clear top two teams in the division, Thomas thought that the Browns were going to use this season to adjust to a new playbook and set themselves up for a breakout season next year.
It looks like the Browns were ahead of schedule.
The Browns solved issues that have been looming over the franchise for several years. If anyone knows about this franchise's struggles, it's Joe Thomas.
The Browns finally have a franchise quarterback, offensive weapons, defensive stars, and strong leadership.
All the pieces are there for Cleveland. It's just a matter of staying healthy and putting the pieces together next season.
Beware of the Dawg Pound.