Like almost everyone else, I expected the Browns to be in a different position at this point of the season. I expected the offense to be a consistent scoring machine. I expected the defense to be pretty weak and the secondary to be very weak.
I expected Joshua Cribbs to be in the top echelon of kick returners. I knew that Braylon Edwards would be as good a receiver as the NFL could showcase. Kellen Winslow would lead tight ends in production. The improved Browns would lead the AFC North.
In short, I knew nothing. Still, I take solace in not being alone in my ignorance. Many picked this team to win their division. The networks scheduled Cleveland like they were going to be the most entertaining team out there.
Perhaps the anger I feel at this team comes from them making me feel stupid. It's hard to follow football for so long and come to the realization that you know nothing.
I've been hard on the team I love.
I've spoken against their coach, quarterback, receivers, etc. I've called for the firing of everyone who could be fired. I have to take a deep breath and admit that they're still MY team, regardless of the situation.
As I calmly look at the present situation, I'm forced to accept that it could be a lot worse. After starting 0-3, and looking worse than that record, if possible, they've won three of their last four. They dominated the defending champs and played well enough to win a couple more.
I'd like to believe that they've played themselves back into contention. After all, they're two games behind the hated Steelers and only one game out of the wild card.
I can't lie, though; the schedule forces me to believe that this isn't the year. They would need a good run against playoff caliber teams, and that may be beyond their capabilities.
Still, let's be optimistic. After all, I've been wrong about everything else.