Claybon: Browns' Success "Uplifting"

Cleveland could finish with a winning record for the first time since 2007

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
December 17, 2018 - 9:24 am

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The Cleveland Browns won again this past weekend, beating the Broncos in Denver, 17-16, as Baker Mayfield finished 18-of-31 for 188 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. 

The Browns (6-7-1) have now won four of five and have a chance – a chance – to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2007.

A relevant Cleveland is kind of nice for the NFL, isn’t it?

“It’s very good because you have a forgotten part of the division that was just irrelevant,” NFL Network host Patrick Claybon said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “We see The Miracle in Miami. The Dolphins knock off the Patriots. The Patriots have won that division – we’re coming up on (16) times since 2001. Things are always better when there’s competition – and the North has been good. We saw a resurgent Bengals team a few years ago. There was the big Flacco run. It just makes everything better when there’s no team that’s just an afterthought, that’s just written off. The Browns were that for so long.”

The Browns went 4-44 from 2015-17. They have finished with a winning record just twice since returning to Cleveland in 1999.

Cleveland hosts Cincinnati (6-8) this Sunday and closes the regular season at Baltimore (8-6) on Dec. 30. The Browns beat the Ravens, 12-9, in overtime in Week 5 and beat the Bengals, 35-20, in Week 12.

“It’s uplifting – not just for the people of Cleveland, but everybody,” Claybon said. “When there’s more interesting football on, that’s better for all of us – and the Browns are watchable now that they’re trying to win. They’re using all of the draft capital that has presented them with an opportunity to showcase this product. I’m thankful for that. I wish it didn’t take so long, but I’m glad to see it.”

Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick, has given the Browns an edge they desperately needed. He has completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 3,065 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

“Baker’s a good quarterback,” Claybon said. “I’m also glad that this height requirement seems to be going away in terms of drafting a quarterback. It was never worth anything anyway.”