The Dawg Pound is howling in Cleveland.
Sure, in recent decades, the Browns have looked more like pound puppies than pit bulls, but that’s all ancient history now. The big dogs are finally ready to eat, and the sports betting world has taken notice.
The tides have changed for the Cleveland Browns since Kevin Stefanski took over as head coach. After going 11-5 last year, they were rewarded with their first playoff appearance since 2002, ending a dubious postseason drought that was the NFL’s longest.
They followed that up with their first playoff victory since 1994 over the Steelers before losing to the Chiefs.
Overall, the season was a resounding success, and for the first time in years, there was some real (and warranted) optimism in the air this offseason. With all the pieces seemingly falling into place, it’s fair to wonder if the Browns’ bite will finally be bigger than its bark.
Full Steam Ahead
Things have picked up right where they left off last year. The Browns are out of the gate with a 2-1 record, with their only loss coming on opening weekend in a tight game in Kansas City.
But even in a losing effort, there was a palpable feeling that the Browns had turned the corner. They bounced back in Week 2, taking care of the Texans, and made a statement on Sunday by pulverizing a putrid-looking Bears squad.
A Good D Begets a Good O
It’s no secret that the Browns’ recipe for success is to play shutdown defense, pound the rock, and control the clock. But one of the great byproducts of keeping other teams off the field is that it gives your team more chances to score on offense.
So far, Baker Mayfield and the offense have been taking advantage of their opportunities. The Browns have scored 29, 31, and 26 points in their three games this season, which is good for 9th in overall scoring.
It has helped that the field has been tilted in their favor. Of all the plays run against the Browns this year, only 14% have taken place in their territory. A shocking stat, considering the league average is 44%.
Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” will continue to be the motto this week when the Browns head to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Minnesota has given up over 100 yards rushing in each game this season, which bodes well for Cleveland’s ground and pound style.
The Browns have rushed the ball with aplomb this season, with workhorse backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt averaging 5.5 and 5.7 yards per rush. Hunt is coming off a monster game in which he accumulated 151 yards from scrimmage, including a 29-yard touchdown scamper.
Browns Continue to Pile on the Points
Look for the Cleveland Browns to run wild on the Vikings this weekend as they continue to surge up in the standings.
The team is firing on all cylinders right now, and with Minnesota not known for its stalwart defense, this could make the Browns a great play in BetMGM’s King of the Weekend Promo.