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Interesting Argument for the Browns Making the 2012 Playoffs

Are the Cleveland Browns good enough to go to the playoffs?

With a revamped defense, a new look offense, and a rejuvenated fan base, it may not be out of the question. Mike Hoag of Bleacher Report makes the remark that the Browns have a potentially similar situation to that of last year’s AFC Breakout team, the Cincinnati Bengals:

Can Brandon Weeden drastically improve the potency of the aerial attack? Will he make those around him better with his leadership and strong downfield delivery?

Weeden is the key. Everything is riding on the 28-year old rookie.

Is it playoffs or bust for the Cleveland Browns in 2012?

A season ago, the Cincinnati Bengals rode a stout defense, a rookie quarterback and a rookie No. 1 wide receiver to the playoffs.

Why is it so crazy to think the Browns can’t do the same this year?

It’s not crazy.

I guess I had never really thought of it that way. The Bengals had a huge year from rookies A.J. Green and Andy Dalton, where Green was expected to be really good but Dalton wasn’t even assured to be the starter going into the year. It looked like the Bengals would potentially be one of the worst teams in the entire NFL before they pulled it together and started winning some ball games.

The Browns have a rookie quarterback in Brandon Weeden, who was arguably much better in his last two years of college football than Dalton with equally as big of wins. I do not think Greg Little is as good or talented as A.J. Green, obviously, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a similar impact.

One thing the Browns have that the Bengals don’t or didn’t is a running back like Trent Richardson. Richardson could come in and realistically be one of the top 10 backs in the NFL in 2012 as a rookie. He is that good.

Where the Browns need to improve is their overall defensive play. They play in a division with two pretty old teams in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, both of whom have some injury concerns going into training camp.

If the Browns can take advantage and win some games early, they may surprise some people in 2012. It’s certainly an interesting argument, and the chips would have to fall into place, but it’s certainly not out of the question for the Browns to surprise some people and be a playoff contender this season if their young players exceed expectations.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.