Just How Bad Have the Browns Been Under Hue Jackson?

Sep 19, 2018 12:39 PM EDT
  • The Browns' 1-32-1 record in their past 34 games doesn't properly reflect just how bad they have been under Hue Jackson.
  • The Browns have been the league's worst regular-season team straight-up and against the spread since 2016.
  • The offense has been particularly brutal to watch during recent years.

The Cleveland Browns are 3-point favorites against the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. It is the first time in the Hue Jackson era that the Browns are favored to win a football game.

Since it is the end of an era, there is no better time than now to give some context to the historic lows that the Browns hit over the past two years.

Cleveland football fans have witnessed an absurd 32 losses since 2016. The only thing more certain than Bill Belichick and Tom Brady taking care of business has been Jackson and the Browns failing in spectacular fashion: The Patriots boast a league-best +349 point differential compared to a league-worst -367 mark from the Browns over the past three seasons.

The Browns attempted to create an even larger divide by trading stud receiver Josh Gordon to the Patriots.

The 1-32-1 record over the Browns’ past 34 games somehow doesn’t properly portray just how futile the team has been. I’m here to right that wrong and break down exactly how terrible Hue and Cleveland’s lovable band of losers have been since 2016.

Scoring Points Shouldn’t Be this Hard

There was a time when Jackson was labeled a “quarterback guru” and it wasn’t immediately followed by laughter. He has attempted to turn the franchise over to six signal-callers (so far) during his time in Cleveland:

  • Cody Kessler: Averaged the most yards per attempt (6.9) of any quarterback under Jackson; was traded to the Jaguars for a 2019 seventh-round pick.
  • Josh McCown: The last man to lead the Browns to 30-plus points. This happened on Oct. 11, 2015, against the Ravens. 45 f*cking games ago.
  • Kevin Hogan: The Browns seemingly pounced on Hogan because Andy Reid selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. Honestly, not a bad idea.
  • DeShone Kizer: 2017’s reigning interception leader averaged 3.7 adjusted net yards per attempt last season – the 10th-worst mark ever (min. 15 starts).
  • Robert Griffin III: The only human to lead the Browns to a victory with Jackson as head coach played through a shoulder injury … and was shown the door.
  • Tyrod Taylor: Our current QB1 has been sacked a league-high 10 times and has career-low marks in completion rate (52.9%) and yards per attempt (6.3).

Overall, the Browns’ 537 points (15.8 PPG)  are the fewest in the league since 2016.

The Browns have ranked 32nd and 29th in offensive DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) over the past two seasons. Their pass offense was particularly disastrous in 2017, as they became one of just 11 teams over the past 10 years with a pass DVOA below -30%.

Gambling on the Browns has been a -EV Move

Good teams win, great teams cover. Bad teams lose, the Browns regularly get beaten to oblivion.

Per our tools at Bet Labs, the Browns have gone just 10-24 against the spread since 2016. Every other team has won at least 12 games ATS, and the Browns’ -43.4% return on investment is the only mark in the league below -30%.

The Browns are one of just seven undefeated teams ATS in 2018. Perhaps positive regression is finally here to help them out, but it’s safe to say the damage as already been done to faithful gamblers.

The Browns Have Lost in Spectacular Fashion Under Jackson

Eight teams have been outscored by at least 100 points over the course of the past three seasons. Six of those teams have been outscored by fewer than 200 points, and seven by fewer than 230 points. The Browns, on the other hand, have been outscored by an astronomical 367 points since 2016.

There are more than a few lowlights from the past 34 games of Browns football …

  • Overtime has been losing time: The Browns have gone 0-4-1 straight-up in OT since 2016.
  • No lead is safe: Cleveland has managed to blow 20-, 14-, 14- and 13-point leads to the Ravens, Steelers, Packers and Jets, respectively.
  • The likes of Ryan Mallett, AJ McCarron, Tom Savage and even Johnny Manziel have led their teams to more victories than Jackson since 2015.

Weeks 1 and 2 this season were particularly cruel to fans and brave moneyline bettors alike, as kicker Zane Gonzalez missed a combined three field goals and two extra points. The Browns are an average kicker away from being 2-0, considering their pedestrian -3 point differential.

Historically Speaking

The expansion 1976-1977 Buccaneers lost a league-record 26 consecutive games, while the 2007-2009 Lions and 1972-1973 Oilers posted 19- and 18-game losing streaks, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Browns are owners of two of the league’s seven losing streaks of at least 17 games since the 1970 merger, and they’ve managed to somehow achieve both of these streaks during the past three years.

Credit:

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson.

Follow Ian Hartitz on Twitter
@IHartitz

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