Cleveland Browns

AFC North

2017 Schedule

  • Week 1

    PIT @ CLE


    1:00 pm

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

Cleveland Browns - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview

steal your face browns mark



Cleveland Browns - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview



The emotions ride high in the NFL. When it comes to the city south of the lake, fans have emotion in spades. It has always been a love-hate relationship. Well, with their second pick in this year’s draft, the Browns created a one man quarterback controversy, because love him or hate him, Johnny Manziel  is the man in Brown.  Last year, no other team attempted as many passes as the Cleveland Browns (681). That is not to say we are going to see the same Browns.  They are attempting to reinvent themselves, again. The question remains: do they know what the hell they are doing? This is the team that drafted Johnny Manziel only after they spent $100,000 on a study that concluded Teddy Bridgewater was the best quarterback in this year’s draft. Genius!


Immediately after the draft, it came out that Josh Gordon, last year’s fantasy phenomenon, was heading for yet another suspension. One would think they had warning of his latest failed drug test prior to the draft, at least a whiff. Even if they did not, the writing was on the wall with Gordon. Hell, they were rumored to be shopping him around last year, but nobody wanted the off the field headache that Gordon brings with him. That speaks volumes considering the talent. So, why not address the need in the draft? Either this is a sign that Ray Farmer, the new GM, has a vision, and is sticking to his guns, or he is stubborn and  incompetent. Well, at least Farmer landed the head coach he wanted… Oh, wait… 


As far as who will be under center, that question is still up for debate. Brian Hoyer is poised to take the job. The Browns seem eager to wrap up his contract. Read the tea leaves anyway you want. They see potential in Hoyer and desire to lock him up before he steps onto the field and shows his true worth. If successful, getting him under contract now would save them money in the long run. The Browns eagerness to get him to sign on the dotted line not only reveals their confidence in him, but also their trepidation with Johnny Freefall. Ideally, Johnny Manziel, who slipped in the draft until the 22nd pick, would take time to learn under an experienced quarterback, ala Rodgers under Favre. Oh, but we all know that is not how Johnny Football rolls. He has stated he is gunning for the starting role week one, even though reports from camp refer to him as inconsistent thus far. It can be devastating for a rookie if they do not experience some level of success. Cleveland gave up the second most sacks last year.  They did take one offensive lineman in the draft, 3rd rounder Joel Bitonio. If Manziel is thrust into the game too quickly, it could be disastrous for his psyche. 


New head coach Mike Pettine brought in Kyle Shanahan to be his offensive coordinator. Kyle was the OC for Washington the last four years; He was OC in Houston the two years prior. Four of those six years, his offense landed in the top ten. The rushing scheme did well in Houston and in Cleveland. Alfred Morris has rushed for at least 1200 yards in his two first years in the league.  Many credit Shanahan for helping RG3 transition so successfully into the league in 2012. His coaching style has also seen many successful receivers as well, while in Houston, Andre Johnson led the league in receiving yards in 2008 and 2009 under Shanahan’s tutelage. There is no doubt, Shanahan brings a wealth of experience, and a record of success. But, the question still remains: will Manziel be ready when the Browns call on him? It will help Manziel in the long run if he is brought along slowly and not thrust into the fire too soon. That means, it will be up to Brian Hoyer, who tasted success last year, albeit briefly. Hopefully, Hoyer will be under center come week one. This should help Manziel learn the ropes. Although he is a wild card, he is a definite grab in later draft rounds. He could earn his keep on his legs alone. According to 4for4, Manziel’s ADP is the 18th QB off the board. He is going as the 134th pick overall, ahead of guys like Tannehill and McCown. Guys going just before him are Andy Dalton and Ben Accosthisfurberger.  Regardless who starts in Cleveland, they are going to need a great deal of help from their receivers. Looking at the line-up does not inspire confidence however.

There is one word that sums up the Browns passing attack, “chronic”. That word works in so many ways, too many for Josh Gordon; as an adjective, he is always deadly on the field, yet he is constantly in trouble; as a noun, it is precisely what gets him in trouble. Last year, he led the league with 1,646 yards and saw the end zone 9 times. This year, he will still see the end zone, however his vantage point will be from the bench.  At this point, it is only speculation as to how many games JG will miss due to the chronic. The safe money would say a year suspension, 8 games, which was speculated at first, seems impossible with the latest news. On the morning of July 5th, Joshua Caleb Gordon was arrested for driving while impaired. To all you dynasty leaguers, trade NOW while you still can. This dude is in chronic trouble. Some analysts are even questioning if Gordon dons a NFL uniform again.


In 2013, Gordon reeled in 87 receptions. Who is going to step up in his stead? Well, Jordan Cameron, their Tight End or according to his twitter account “pro bowl pass catcher”, should fill the void. Cameron will roam the mid-field, perfect for rookie quarterbacks and those gunslingers often under pressure. Regardless of starting slinger, Cameron will be a safety valve behind an offensive line that gave up the third most sacks last year (49). I think Cameron will continue this trend, and without Gordon in the line-up, Jordan Cameron could be poised to break 100 receptions this year. Pyro ranks Cameron as a tier III tight end. Cameron had amazing chemistry with Hoyer. In the two games Hoyer started (he got hurt early in the third game he started), he threw 5 touchdowns, 4 of which went to Cameron. In those two games, Cameron caught 16 passes from Hoyer. The chemistry is there for these two to build upon. According to 4for4, Cameron’s ADP is 52 and is the fourth tight end off the board. If Gordon is put on ice for a whole year as expected, the early 5th round is a bargain for the kind of production he may put up. 


Jordan Cameron TD Machine

Jordan Cameron  - TD Machine

The other three wide receivers to note are Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, and Nate Burleson. Pyro ranks Hawkins as wide receiver #72. Right behind him at # 73 is Miles Austin. This would make for a nice tandem, except that these are Cleveland’s highest ranking wide receivers going into the 2014 season. So, if you are in a 12 team league, and you start 3 wide receivers, that makes for a total of 36 positions. Even if every single team started a wide receiver at the flex spot, that only accounts for 48 wide receivers. Austin is entering his 7th year in the league and has never returned to the player he was back in 2009 and 2010. Last year, he continued to struggle with injury and brought in a miniscule 2.2 fantasy points per game. Andrew Hawkins did slightly better with 2.5 fantasy points per game. Burleson comes in at wide receiver # 93. Since entering the league in 2008, he has only played all 16 games one time. During that 2011 season under gun slinger Matthew Stafford, he caught 73 balls for a total of 757 yards and 3 touchdowns. If Austin can keep his quads stretched and loose, and if Burleson can possibly avoid late night pizza pickups, these guys could make for a nice supporting cast. However, without a real go-to receiver, neither can carry the load, especially with such question marks at the quarter back position.

Although Cleveland only had the third fewest rush attempts last year, can you blame them with the likes of McGahee, Ogbonnaya, and Edwin Baker. The Browns made some interesting moves to spice up the backfield. The most recognizable name is certainly Ben Tate. Currently, Tate is the 24th back off the board and has an ADP of 57. He is going before guys like Joique Bell, Pierre Thomas, and Christine Michael, all of whom I like better. Here’s the thing, if you look a little closer at Cleveland’s roster, the position is not locked up by any means. First of all, Tate was marginally successful in a dynamic Kubiak offense. When he became a free agent, he garnered little attention from the league. In all likelihood, the starter will be their number one draft pick Terrance West. The Browns positioned themselves to get him, much to the chagrin of the Ravens draft strategist, Ozzy Newsome. Now, clearly the powers that be in Cleveland have proven to be a bunch of douche canoes over the years, however, trading up to get this guy was well worth it. He currently has an ADP of 96, running back 35. I would take West over guys like MJD, and Ray Rice any day, both of whom are going before West in current mock drafts. If you don’t know him, West had a spectacular season last year in college. He scored 41 touchdowns, again, in one season. He ran for a total of 2,519 yards, and had 26 catches for another 258 yards and one more touchdown. Alright, so it was in the FCS against inferior competition. But the numbers don’t lie. One last point, he did tie the FCS record for career touchdowns with 84. The guy that he tied… Adrian Peterson.


Another rookie that commands attention is the undrafted rookie, Isaiah Crowell.  In 2011, he played for Georgia and went on to become the SEC freshmen of the year. Well, apparently Ray Charles was the only one to have Georgia on the mind (Crowell was suspended one game for a failed drug test). After his promising rookie campaign where he averaged 4.6 yards a carry, he was swiftly booted from the team for felony gun possession. So, yeah, there’s baggage, and his bags carry automatic fire-arms. However, if indeed there is a RBBC in Cleveland this year, I might take a flyer on Crowell with my last pick.






Kansas City Chiefs - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview

By Jeremy Battaglia



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Jim Brown - Greatest Ever

jim brown was a man amongst boys

The history of the NFL is filled with so many amazing stories and characters, unfortunately there are many in the younger generations who have no knowledge of them.  It is important for football fans to understand the history of the game, and the players who set the standard for what is great today. There are always going to be debates over who was the greatest quarterback, running back, wide receiver, or tight end of all time, but unfortunately when these conversations happen, the players of yesteryear seem to be forgotten. There is one player who stands out to me most, even though I never had a chance to see him play live and could only watch NFL films of his amazing prowess, Jim Brown.

Jim Brown was the greatest running back to ever play professional football.  That is a debatable topic, but for sure the answer you will get in Cleveland, and they can back it up.  Jim Brown was the most dominating player at the running back position the game had ever seen when arrived on the scene in 1957.  What followed was 9 years of brilliance and supremacy.  Jim Brown was the original ultra back and set the standard that all other running backs would be measured against. 

The first thing that you need to know is that Brown was a BEAST at his position at 6’2” and 232 pounds.  The average backs at the time were in the 190-200 pound range and Brown weighed as much as most linebackers.  It was not just his size, that gave him such an advantage, but also, he was an amazing athlete and does not get the credit he deserves.  Brown was not only a complete back that could run, block and catch; he was also a kick returner, I bet you didn’t know that.  Can you imagine being 190 pounds running full speed on a kickoff and have to tackle Jim Brown running full speed at you?  Brown also threw 3 TD passes in his career, he was the do it all back and the best in the business. 

Jim Brown was just a tremendous athlete. While he was in college at Syracuse University Jim Brown walked on to all the major sports at the school and played football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse, lettering in all of them. Brown was just an all-around athlete that could do everything. Brown was considered one of the greatest lacrosse players of his era. In his senior season he led Syracuse Orangemen to an undefeated season. Brown was a 2 time all midfielder while playing lacrosse for Syracuse.

I already mentioned about the size and speed of Jim Brown, but to truly understand the speed you have to realize that Jim Brown was also a member of the Syracuse track team in 1954. Then, just to show how dominant he was, in 1957 Brown competed in two sporting events on the same day. He started the day on the track and field where he won the javelin and the high jump event while finishing second in the discus toss. After he was done with the track to meet he went on to compete in a lacrosse game and led the Syracuse Orangemen to a victory over Army.

The tale of Jim Brown does not stop there though. Brown was also a boxer in college. His coach in college, Roy Simmons Jr., thought that Brown could have become the world heavyweight champion if he had dedicated himself to boxing. Think about this in the era of today, where there are some players who will compete in two sports, but how many players do you know that would have played in more than five sports and dominated all them. Jim Brown was truly in a class all of his own, and could easily be considered the greatest college athlete of all time as well. It would be fair to say that Jim Brown was the Jim Thorpe of his generation. There was nothing that he could not do, and do at the highest level.

Jim Brown was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1957 with the 6th pick in the first round, giving them Jim Brown as a player and Paul Brown as the head coach of the Browns.  After being drafted, Jim wasted no time in beginning to make his mark in Cleveland and the NFL.  In his rookie season of 1957 he finished with 942 rushing yards and 9 TD and added 55 receiving yards with another TD, which was in a 12 game season.  While those numbers don’t seem so great now, they were good enough then to garner Brown the Rookie of Year Award.  Not only did Brown take home the Rookie honor he also was the league MVP in his rookie season…WOW!!!

That rookie season was just the tip of the iceberg, as that was the worst season in the storied career of Jim Brown.  In his second season, which also became the 2nd of 4 League MVP season’s Brown would win; he may have had his best season as a rusher.  Brown rushed for 1,527 yards, 17 rushing TD, 138 yards receiving and a receiving TD.  All of this was done in a 12 game season.  In the math of today with a 16 game season Brown would have finished with 2,036 yards and 23 TD…Fantasy STUD…YES!!!

The next 2 seasons for Jim Brown were the final two 12 game seasons of the NFL and Brown was, as always, dominant.  In those two years Brown rushed for 1,329 and 1,257 yards with 14 and 11 total TD respectively.  Jim Brown was the face of the Cleveland Browns and a reason for the people of Cleveland to feel prideful.  Jim Brown simply imposed his will on the league and they could basically do nothing until he finally retired. 

In Brown’s 4th and 5th seasons it seemed like he was slowing down, which happened to coincide with the season stretching out from 12 games to 14.  In 1961, his 4th season, Brown was still dominant rushing for 1408 yards with 8 TD and added 46 catches for 459 yards and 2 more TD.  That year he saw his yards per carry average drop to 4.6 and it got worse for him in 1962. 

In 1962 there might have been questions flying around Cleveland as to whether or not Jim Brown had lost a step.  In that season, Brown’s worst statistical, he rushed for 996 yards in 14 games with 4.3 yards per carry average, the worst of his career.  Think about that…The worst season of his career and he still rushed for 4.3 yards per carry, which a lot of running backs in the NFL would give their left nut for!!! While his rushing average was down, he did rush for 13 TD.  Brown also had his best season as a receiver that year with 47 catches for 517 yards and 5 TD.  The questions about whether or not he lost a step would have quickly vanished after this season.   

Then there are the final 3 seasons that Jim Brown played, which were the most dominating years of his career.  In those final 3 seasons Brown rushed for 4,853 yards, while adding another 933 yards receiving and finished those 3 years with 45 total TD and averaged 5.4 yards per carry during that time…that is incredible!!!  In 1963, when many thought Brown had lost a step, Brown exploded with what could be argued as his best season as a pro.  Brown rushed for 1,863 yards with an astounding 6.4 yards per carry average.  He also added 12 TD rushing and another 3 receiving, with his highest yards per catch average of his career at 11.2.  Jim Brown was able to do what many other great athletes who have dominated their sports failed to do…leave while still at the top of their game.

If you were playing fantasy football during the time that Jim Brown played, and if you had him on your team you would've had an unfair advantage.  Especially when you look back on that 1963 season Jim Brown would have absolutely crushed the competition in fantasy points. If you extrapolate that season out to 16 games Jim Brown would have gained 2,435 total yards while scoring 17 total touchdowns. Jim Brown averaged 152 total yards with a TD a game for that season. So if you use the most basic fantasy points with no bonuses Jim Brown would've averaged 21 points a game for a 16 game season. That would be an astounding 336 fantasy points on the season. Then you have to factor in the fact that during this time in the NFL there were not many 300-yard passers in the league, so quarterbacks would not have been that dominant, and it is not a stretch to believe that Jim Brown could've outscored most fantasy teams in certain weeks during that amazing season. If I were playing fantasy football during that time I would've had to make adjustments in my scoring system and I would have notated them as the Jim Brown rules.

There is one thing that sticks out to me, that is not talked about when people discuss Jim Brown, was that he fumbled the ball a lot.  Brown had 57 fumbles in his career, which is an average of 6.33 fumbles per year.  Brown had 9 fumbles in both 1960 and 1962.  There is something to consider about the fumbles which can put it into perspective.  The NFL did not have the same rules as the current NFL when Jim Brown played.  Think about how many times you see the ground cause a fumble, and then it is no longer a fumble.  Back in Brown’s day that would have been a fumble.  Then you need to think about all the times a running back is in a pile of players and his momentum has slowed and the referees blow a whistle and the play is dead.  In the old days they would let the play go until they drove the player to the ground and sometimes there would be late hitting while on the ground before a whistle would ever be blown.  The ball often changed hands during these stalled piles, where players liked to play dirty.  Back in those days the game was designed for the defense to have a huge advantage over the offense.  So if you ask me I would feel that it is okay to overlook this stat, but it is still something that warrants more discussion.  

Brown was only 30 years old at the time of his retirement from football and left as the greatest rusher the NFL had ever seen with 12,312 rushing yards.  That was an average of just over 104 yards for every game that he played.  Brown also finished with 106 rushing TD and 126 total TD which was good for an average of more than a TD per game in his career.  Brown was named to the Pro Bowl all 9 years of his career, and the final game he played was in the 1966 Pro Bowl game and finished his career by scoring 3 TD in that game.  That may not seem like a big deal now, where the Pro Bowl is a game that has all the rules set to benefit the offense, but when Brown did this the players actually played the Pro Bowl like a real game!!!      

Jim Brown helped to lead to the Browns to 3 Championship Games (pre Super Bowl era) in 1957, 1964 and 1965.  His only Championship win came in 1964 in a shut out 27-0 win over the Baltimore Colts.  His final season ended with a loss to the Green Bay Packers 23-12.  This is why it was surprising that he decided to retire after coming so close to winning it again, but Jim Brown was his own man and made his own decisions.  Jim Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.  Jim Brown completely rewrote the record book at the time of his retirement and it would take more than 30 years before most of these were caught up to, and those who did had the benefit of playing in a 16 game season.  Jim Brown was the Babe Ruth of the NFL when he retired.      

Here is a look at the final stats that Jim Brown put up during his stellar 9 year career. 

Jim Browns NFL Stats


These stats are amazing, but what really stood out at the time was how Jim Brown completely rewrote the record book at the time of his retirement.  Brown held 15 individual records at the time of his retirement and was top 3 in 20 other categories…CRAZY!!!  Here are the records that he accomplished at the time of his retirement.  

(At time of his retirement following 1965 season)
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Career – 126
• [1st] Most Seasons Leading League, Rushing – 8 (1957-61, 1963-65)
• [1st] Most Consecutive Seasons Leading League, Rushing – 5 (1957-1961)
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Career – 12,312
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,863 (1963)
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Game – 237 (vs. Los Angeles, Nov. 24, 1957; vs. Philadelphia, Nov. 19, 1961
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 2,359
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 305 (1961)
• [1st] Most Game 100 or More Yards Rushing, Career – 58
• [1st] Highest Average Gain Rushing, Career – 5.22
• [1st] Most Touchdowns Rushing, Career – 106
• [1st] Most Attempts Career, Combined Net Yards – 2,658
• [1st] Most Attempts Season, Combined Net Yards – 354 (1961)
• [1st] Most Attempts Game, Combined Net Yards – 39 (vs. Chicago Cardinals, Oct. 4, 1959)
• [1st] Most Combined Net Yards Gained, Career – 15, 459

Team Records
Browns’ records held by Brown at the time of his retirement following the 1965 season
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Career – 12,312
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,863 (1963)
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Game – 237 (vs. Los Angeles, Nov. 24, 1957; vs. Philadelphia, Nov. 19, 1961)
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 2,359
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 305 (1961)
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 37 (vs. Chicago Cardinals, Oct. 4, 1959)
• [1st] Highest Average Gain Rushing, Season – 6.4 (1963)
• [1st] Most Consecutive Games, Rushing Touchdown – 7 (1957-58, 1962-63)
• [1st] Most Consecutive Games Without Fumble – 12 (1958-1959)
• [1st] Most Points, Season – 126 (1965)
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Career – 126
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Season – 21 (1965)

Here is the final breakdown of the Awards and Honors he garnered during his 9 year Hall of Fame Career. 

Awards and Honors
• 1960s All-Decade Team
• NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team
• All-Time NFL Team (selected in year 2000)
• 1957 Rookie of the Year (UPI, AP, SN)
• 1957 Most Valuable Player (AP, SN)
• 1958 Most Valuable Player (UPI, AP, NEA, SN)
Rushing Titles: 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965

There may be many who don’t remember and never saw Jim Brown play, but what he did during his era was unheard of, and due to the domination he displayed over his 9 year career you can understand why Jim Brown is still considered the best running back of all time…in Cleveland for sure!!!

Jim Brown in his prime

By Houdini

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brian sipe and the kardiac kids

Brian Sipe did not come to the Cleveland Browns with much fan fair. Sipe was selected in the 13th round of the 1972 NFL Draft, 330th overall. Brian became the Browns starting quarterback in 1976, and he was their leader for eight seasons. The best season of his career came in 1980, where he was named League MVP as the leader of the “Kardiac Kids”.

Prior to the 1980 season it had been seven years since the Browns made the playoffs. Sipe and the offense showed flashes of brilliance in 1979, as he threw for 3,793 yards with 28 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.  Cleveland did have some firepower in their offense for the 1980 season, with Dave Logan and Reggie Rucker at receiver. They also had a bruising fullback, yes teams used fullbacks as offensive weapons back in the day, in Mike Pruitt who ran for over 1,000 yards and was a dual threat with 63 catches on the season. The other major cog in the offense was future Hall-of-Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome. The finished the 1979 season with 9-7 record, but missed the playoffs again. Browns fans had reason to feel confident in their bunch heading into the 1980 season. Unfortunately, things never seem to come easy for Cleveland.

The Browns opened the 1980 season with two straight losses, and it seemed that this was going to be yet another season without making the playoffs. They were outscored 50-24 in those two games. Cleveland would bounce back over the next two games, as Brian Sipe threw for 613 yards, with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Sipe showed the possibilities of the offense, and gave hope back to Browns fans. Although, these Browns would never make it easy on their fans even when they were playing well.

The Browns had a 3-3 record as they welcomed the Green Bay Packers, as began to earn the nickname, the “Kardiac Kids”. The Packers were leading 21-13 in the fourth quarter, and that meant two scores as the two point conversion was not in the NFL at this time. The Browns rallied late to win the game 26-21. That began a stretch of games where the Browns would go down to the wire, and test their fans mental fortitude tested.

The following week the Browns faced division rival Pittsburgh, and they found themselves trailing 20-7 in the 3rd quarter. Brian Sipe would then throw three touchdown passes, and bring the Browns from behind for a 27-26 victory. The following week it seemed like the Browns were becoming a strong team, and they led the Chicago Bears 20-7 in the fourth quarter. The Browns were unable to put the game away, and allowed the Bears to mount a comeback before holding them off 27-21. That trend would continue the following week.

In week 10 the Browns traveled to Baltimore to face the Colts, and they had a 28-13 lead in the fourth quarter. Once again, Cleveland was unable to take the drama out of the game, as the Colts rallied with two late touchdowns, but still held on to win 28-27. The Browns found out the following week that you can only play with fire for so long before getting burned.

Sipe and the Browns traveled to Pittsburgh in week 11, and they mounted a 13-7 lead, behind his two second quarter touchdown passes. The Steelers would not allow the Browns to pull away, and shut their offense down the rest of the game. The Steelers were able to rally late to pull out a 16-13 victory over Cleveland.

The “Kardiac Kids” never made it easy on their fans the entire season. In week 13 facing the Oilers in Houston, the Browns led 17-7 in the third quarter, and once again their offense went in the tank. The Oilers closed the gap, but fell just short 17-14. The next week they were home to face the New York Jets, and were down 14-10 in the fourth quarter. Sipe led the Browns down the field before hitting Greg Pruitt (the Browns had Greg and Mike Pruitt on their roster) for late score to win the game 17-14. With only two weeks to go in the season, the Browns were on their way to a playoff berth, and only needed a win at Minnesota to lock down their spot.

Brian Sipe started the game very strong against the Vikings, as he threw for a touchdown as well as rushing for a score. Sipe and the Browns built up a 23-9 lead over the Vikings in the fourth quarter. It seemed all but certain that the Browns would win this game and head to the playoffs. These “Kardiac Kids” though did not know how to handle success. The Vikings would come from behind with three touchdown passes by Tommy Kramer, two of which went to Ahmad Bradshaw, and beat the Browns 28-23. Now the Browns would have to win on the road against the hated Cincinnati Bengals to secure their playoff spot.

The Browns seemed to carry over the fourth quarter of the Vikings game into the season finale, as they found themselves trailing the Bengals 10-17 in third quarter. Brian Sipe then hit Ricky Feacher on two touchdown passes for 35 and 34 yards. The “Kardiac Kids” had come from behind for the eighth time on the season to beat the Bengals 27-24 and reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

Brian Sipe was the main reason why the Browns were able to make their return to the playoffs, and he was rewarded for his accomplishment and amazing season by being named the League MVP. Sipe threw for 4,132 yards with 30 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. Those numbers would still look pretty good in todays passing NFL, but this was era of the running back making it even more impressive. Sipe and the Browns brought the joy back to Cleveland, and prompted a hilarious adaptation of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, which became the “Twelve Days of Browns Christmas”.

The “Kardiac Kids” would host the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs, and had their fans thinking of the next round as they led by a count of 12-7 in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the “Kardiac Kids” were unable to hold off the Raiders, who would score on a Mark van Eeghen 1-yard score late in the game to seal a 14-12 victory. There was no reviving the “Kardiac Kids” on this day, but they brought joy and hope back to Cleveland, which had been lacking it since 1972.

By Houdini

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