The Cleveland Browns are 0-11 on the season, currently in sole possession of the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft with no serious prospects at wins on the horizon. They have a couple tough games and a couple easier games remaining on the schedule, but everybody they play will be favored against them from here on out.
Cleveland ranks 24th in the league in total offense, dead last in points scored and 30th in points allowed this season. They have a minus-17 turnover differential, the worst in the league. The Denver Broncos are minus-16 and the next-worst team is minus-10, so there’s a fairly sizable gap.
The San Francisco 49ers, for reference, are minus-4, tied with four other teams for 21st in the league.
Cleveland has been outscored 289-166 this season, and most recently lost, 30-16, to the Cincinnati Bengals. That was considered by many to be the easiest game remaining on their schedule, and it wasn’t even close. They also lost to the Bengals by multiple touchdowns in Week 4 of the season.
The remaining schedule isn’t an unstoppable maelstrom of NFL talent by any stretch of the imagination, but it might as well be when going up against the Browns, a team in such disarray that most don’t even give the 49ers a chance at earning the top pick, despite just one win separating the two.
Here’s what remains for the Browns:
at Los Angeles Chargers (5-6): The Chargers are coming off two straight wins, the first a 54-point game against the Buffalo Bills and the second a thorough beatdown of the Dallas Cowboys. They are riding some momentum and are trying to make a push for the postseason. They’re only one game back of the Kansas City Chiefs, who have lost their last three games. The Chargers are plus-9 in turnover differential, a fairly sizable gap.
vs. Green Bay Packers (5-6): Turnover differential continues to be one of the more important stats, at least as far as the Browns are concerned. The Packers are decent in this area, at plus-5, and are currently fighting for a wildcard spot in the NFC. They have lost their last two, but should be more than capable of thrashing the Browns.
vs. Baltimore Ravens (6-5): Baltimore doesn’t do a lot of things well, but they lead the league in turnover differential at plus-11. Contrast that with the minus-17 mark for the Browns and it’s basically laughable. The Ravens are surging late, with wins over the Packers and Houston Texans in their last two outings.
at Chicago Bears (3-8): The Bears were dominated by the Philadelphia Eagles in their last game and will play the 49ers — and Jimmy Garoppolo — on Sunday. They could be riding a significantly longer losing skid by the time they face the Browns, and are probably the best shot the Browns have at picking up a win this season. If they do so and the 49ers finish with the same winning percentage (overall record), then it will come down to a strength of schedule tiebreak.
at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2): The Steelers have played some very close games this season, but ultimately look like one of the best teams in football. They have won six consecutive games, and haven’t scored under 20 points in their past five. They will play the New England Patriots two weeks before playing the Browns.