Who would have thought that after Week 12 of the 2018 NFL Regular Season, both the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns would have the same record of 4-6-1. After having two of the first four draft picks in the draft back in April which saw Cleveland take quarterback Baker Mayfield, No. 1 overall and CB Denzel Ward at No. 4, there was hope in Ohio.
The Browns finished 0-16 a year ago, so, behind the rookies, they’ve vastly improved already this season. However, people did not expect them to have the same record as the Aaron Rodgers led Packers at this point in the season. Green Bay has taken a step back, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy figures to be on the hot season at the end of the regular season. Let’s take a look at some things that have made this exact record for these two teams a reality.
As stated above, the Browns went a winless 0-16 a year ago. After starting the season on the bench and watching newly acquired Tyrod Taylor fail to perform at the necessary level Cleveland expected from him, the No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma took the reigns of the offense and for the most part has been successful. Since he took over against the Jets and led the Browns to their first win in two years, he’s compiled a 62% completion percentage, 2,242 yards passing and a TD/INT ratio of 17/7 in nine games played. His last two games have been his best. He’s misfired on only ten passes out of 46 pass attempts and has seven touchdowns with zero interceptions. He’s also averaged a phenomenal passer rating of 147.6.
Another rookie who has really stepped up for the Cleveland offense is rookie running back Nick Chubb. After fellow running back, Carlos Hyde was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars a few weeks ago, Chubb stepped into the role as star back. Since the season started, he’s racked up 663 yards on a 5.4 yards-per-carry average and six touchdowns on the ground. He’s been hot in November picking up three of those scores.
Records don’t tell the full story
So while the Browns are 4-6-1 and not so much in the playoff race, there are many positives to take away from the season thus far. You can’t say the same about the Green Bay Packers who are in the same position as Cleveland. Packers Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has had flashes of his usual self this season. We got a glimpse of that right out of the shoot in Week 1. When everyone was holding their breath due to the fact we thought he was injured severely again, he then came out of the tunnel after halftime and led his team back from a 20-0 deficit to win 24-23. Since then, however, despite having a 20/1 TD/INT ratio on the season, Rodgers’ completion percentage is way down from years prior at 64.9%.
Not the same old cheese
Green Bay has had multiple injuries to deal with as well on the receiving corps front. Randall Cobb has missed multiple games, while star in the making, Geronimo Allison has been done for the year with an abdominal injury as well. Not to mention, the departure of Jordy Nelson didn’t help either. Rodgers has had to adjust to a few rookies in the form of Valdez-Scantling and St. Brown while having his No. 1 receiver in Adams to lead the crew. Things just haven’t been the same in the land of cheese this year as they have been in previous seasons. A down year by the passing game and an inconsistent running game yet again continues to be the downfall for the Packers.
Looking ahead to Week 13, the Browns travel to Houston to take on a hot Houston Texans team, while Green Bay will look to stay undefeated on home turf against a 2-9 Arizona Cardinals squad. The Packers should win to pull to 5-6-1, while the Browns are going to have a fight on their hands as the Texans sit at 8-3 and atop the AFC South. Let’s see what happens going forward as they two teams figure to go in different directions the rest of 2018.