The Browns have fallen from 2-1 to 2-4. Can they get up?
With the Ravens and Bengals on deck before the bye, guard Joel Bitonio knows it’s now or never.
“We are at a big moment for our season,” Bitonio told reporters on Thursday. “We are not where we want to be record wise. We have two division opponents. You handle your business, and you see where you are there. No one has really pulled away in our division yet so it is a big moment. I think the guys understand the sense of urgency. It is something. We have to find a way to get a win. We have been stressing that, but it is very important this week. I think the guys are committed to putting in whatever work is necessary. I don’t know if you need extra work, but make sure that you are 100 percent committed to getting those results.”
The Browns, at 2-4, are tied with the Steelers behind the 3-3 Ravens and 3-3 Bengals. So, yes, the next two games are critical.
They’re also critical for the Ravens and Bengals. Still, if the Browns can’t win at least one of them, they’ll enter the bye on a five-game slide.
After that, they’ll have the Dolphins, Bills, and Bucs before Deshaun Watson returns in Week 13 at Houston.
If they can get to 5-6 or even 4-7 before Watson returns, they’ll have a chance to make a late-season run at a playoff berth. But if they’re 3-8 or 2-9, that may not be enough for a rusty starting quarterback to turn around, since they’d likely have to run the table and/or need various forms of help.