Baker Mayfield Says Browns Players Expect to End 17-Year Playoff Drought in 2019

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2019

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dontrell Hilliard during the first half in an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

A slow start hasn't done anything to diminish the expectations that the Cleveland Browns have set for themselves in 2019. 

In an interview with NBC Sports' Mike Tirico (h/t ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio), Baker Mayfield said the Browns expect to make the playoffs this season for the first time since 2002:

"That's what the guys in this locker room expect. And I don't think we can wrap our minds around what it would mean for this town until it actually happens. And so I think that benefit of being a little naive about it, it's taking it one week at a time. Knowing where we want to go, what our expectations are and what we have to do get there. But then don't look up until it's there. And don't look up 'til you're done and to see what you've created and that culture that we would have at that point and the energy that the fans would have."

Thanks to Mayfield's breakout rookie campaign and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. in the offseason, expectations were sky-high for the Browns at the start of this season. 

The Browns were generating more bets than any other AFC team to win the Super Bowl. Only the Chicago Bears ranked higher than them in the NFL

That's a lot of pressure for a franchise that is just two years removed from going 0-16, but it's understandable because of how they finished 2018 with five wins in their final seven games. 

Cleveland didn't storm out of the gate in 2019 with a 43-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. It got back on track with a 23-3 win over the New York Jets in Week 2. 

The Baltimore Ravens have looked like the class of the AFC North to this point, but the Browns have the talent on both sides of the ball to be a major factor in the playoff race. 

Considering how long Cleveland has been waiting for a reason to root for the Browns, just having a chance to compete for a postseason spot is a huge step in the right direction for the franchise. 

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