Given the major improvements the Browns have made over the last year, it's easy to get over excited about their chances in 2011.
Mostly, though, it seems as though no one can quite make up their mind about how the Browns will fare this season. We hear everything from a repeat 5-11 season to a possible Super Bowl appearance. Realistically, the answer is somewhere in the middle, and neither of those extremes is all that likely.
But whereabouts in the middle, exactly? Is this a 7-9 team that still has a lot of work to do before contending, or is this a 10-6 team that, with a little luck, might just make off with the AFC North (or at least a wild card spot)?
As much as I wish it weren't true, I don't think the odds of the Browns winning the division are all that great this year. They probably still need one more season to get what looks like the right ingredients cooked together into the perfect finished product.
But for the first time in years, there is an outside chance the Browns could contend in 2011. Here are six reasons why the AFC North crown isn't totally out of reach for our beloved Browns this season.