Predict the Stats – Cleveland Browns’ Version
In preparing for the upcoming season, I take an educated guess to determine which guys will stand out statistically from the rest. I look to review this in several months to see how right or wrong I really was. But for now, let’s take a gander at some guesses.
Yards, Touchdowns, Completions, Attempts – All go to Josh McCown
Analysis: I envision 2015 to be similar to last year, where the team’s long-timeveteran plays a majority of the season and not Johnny Manziel. Hopefully McCown can perform well enough to put the team in the playoffs (for the first time since 2002). I am figuring around 2,500 yards for the starter, just over 210 completions, and sixteen touchdowns (with twelve interceptions) finishing with a reasonable record this year.
Rushing Yards and Touchdowns – Go to Isaiah Crowell
Analysis: The Crow is expected to be the team’s featured back heading into the season. The way the second-year pro gobbles up yards on the ground and finds the end zone with ease makes this guess a no-brainer. I expect him to make life much easier for Josh McCown (to the tune of 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns).
Rushing Attempts – Go to Terrance West
Analysis: I am going out on a limb here, as many feel that West is slated as the third-string running back for the team. In the middle part of the season, however, John Defilippo hands the keys to the offense to the former Towson star – leading to multiple carries of the ball for not many yards. Somehow, he finishes the year with more attempts (just over 200) than Crowell and Johnson.
Receiving Yards and Receptions – Go to Duke Johnson
Analysis: Being a receiver is this rookie’s forte, and he is expected to add a few wrinkles to this offense that was not present in 2014. Motioning, lining up in the slot, and simply getting out in the open from the backfield is what Johnson is projected to do. 550 yards and forty catches would not surprise me by the former Miami Hurricane.
Receptions – Go to Brian Hartline
Analysis: The crafty veteran figures to secure multiple slant and shorter routes tossed by Josh McCown. While this will not necessarily put points on the board or instill fear in defenders, it will move the chains consistently. Hartline should finish the campaign hauling in at least sixty passes from his teammate(s).
Yards – Go to Taylor Gabriel
Analysis: The yardage-per-reception leader should have an advantage here in 2015. Those fly routes, out-and-ups, and other deep patterns will permit Gabriel to garner a large chunk of yards while breezing by defenders. Can 1,100 yards be eclipsed by the second-year pro? I think so.
Touchdowns – Go to Andrew Hawkins
Analysis: Here is another tough decision where I took a risk. Hawkins is not the tallest or fastest guy on the team, but he excels in getting open. This is the ultimate need in the red zone – and being in the slot will allow for many different options for the veteran and this offense. Look for a modest seven scores through the air (up from a team-high three in 2014).
Receptions and Yards – Gary Barnidge
Analysis: This is another difficult choice, but I went with the sure-handed veteran. Barnidge should haul in about fifteen grabs or so totaling just over 200 yards. I know I’m not predicting overwhelming amounts here, but I have no idea what to expect from this group.
Touchdowns – Rob Housler
Analysis: Sure, why not? The newly acquired veteran has height and should figure into a few goal line scores. I am thinking he will find pay dirt at least three times in 2015 and become a respectable option for this offense.