After Sunday's victory, the Cleveland Browns are sitting at 7-3. That is a great record and one every Browns employee would have been ecstatic to have if told before the season this is where they would be after 10 weeks. At this time last year, the Browns were 4-6 and nobody had any illusions that they were a good football team.
The problem is that the Browns still are not a good football team. They've won seven games, yes, but consider the state of other 7-3 teams in the NFL. The Packers are 7-3 but have an MVP candidate in Aaron Rodgers leading the way and two of their three losses were to playoff teams. The Colts are 7-3 but own the best passing defense in football and lead the AFC South. The Seahawks are 7-3 with a historically awful defense but still have their own MVP candidate in Russell Wilson and several impressive wins from early in the season. The Bills are in the same boat, as are the Bucs.
What do the Browns have, exactly? Their defense has talented players but is not particularly notable as a unit. They gave up 34 points to the 2-7-1 Bengals less than a month ago. They have an outstanding run game. I won't shortchange them there. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are as talented a duo as you'll find in any backfield across the league. But that's it, and the biggest problem is that the ground game doesn't translate to points.
They managed 10 points against the worst run defense in the NFL two weeks ago. The weather was borderline cataclysmic, to be sure, but only mustering 10 points in a full game against a team that had, to that point, one win in eight weeks is not ideal. They put up 22 points against the Eagles in their most recent win this past Sunday, but only 13 of those points were scored by the offense. The rest came from defense and special teams. And, in case you haven't been paying attention, picking off Carson Wentz and holding Philadelphia to 17 points is not the accomplishment it appears to be on the surface this year.
Yes, they have seven wins. But Cleveland isn't a good football team despite that. They haven't scored more than one offensive touchdown in a game this month. The defense has given up 30 points in half their games so far this year. Baker Mayfield hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since Week 7. Their most impressive win in retrospect came over the Colts in Week 5, but other than that no one win has been worth noting. Nothing about this team other than the wins column suggests they're anything more than barely mediocre.
Obviously that's the only column that counts in the end. But it doesn't inspire much confidence in the Browns' ability to win games against other good teams or when it matters most. The Browns might be 7-3, but they're by far the worst team to hold that record at this point in the season.