Browns Preview Capsule

CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-16)

New faces: GM John Dorsey, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Jarvis Landry, RB Carlos Hyde, DB Damarious Randall, QB Baker Mayfield, CB Denzel Ward, LT Austin Corbett, RT Chris Hubbard, WR Antonio Callaway, TE Darren Fells, DB E.J. Gaines, WR Jeff Janis, DB Terrance Mitchell, DL Chris Smith, QB Drew Stanton, CB T.J. Carrie.

Key losses: LT Joe Thomas, RB Isaiah Crowell, QB DeShone Kizer, NT Danny Shelton, CB Jason McCourty, CB Jamar Taylor, WR Ricardo Louis.

Strengths: Taylor led Buffalo to first playoff appearance in 17 years last season. He gives Cleveland experienced, competent starter to serve as bridge until Mayfield's ready. Landry's 400 receptions are most in league history for player in first four seasons. Three-time Pro Bowler, plus Josh Gordon and Callaway, provide Taylor with multiple downfield targets. LB Mychal Kendricks was added to deep linebacking unit that includes Jamie Collins and Joe Schobert, Pro Bowler last season. But Kendricks was cut after being arrested in an inside-trading case. Myles Garrett, top overall pick in 2017, had seven sacks in 11 games as rookie and could be on verge of major breakout.

Weaknesses: Retirement of Thomas left enormous hole on left side of line. After trying other options early in camp, team moved elite left guard Joel Bitonio to tackle — where he hasn't played since college. Bitonio has been replaced by Corbett, a rookie who played tackle at Nevada. Cleveland's offensive line lacks depth and any injuries could be devastating.

Fantasy Players To Watch: WR Gordon, RB Duke Johnson. If he stays sober and active, Gordon still has potential to be one of NFL's best players. Gordon has incentive to get bigger contract, and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley will find ways to get him ball. Johnson has developed into one of league's best dual-threat backs and caught 74 passes last season. He joined Herschel Walker as only backs with 500 yards receiving in each of first three seasons.

Vegas Says: Super Bowl 100-1. Over/under wins 6.

Expectations: After going 1-31 past two seasons, nowhere to go but up. Coach Hue Jackson begins season on hot seat and needs to win couple early games to take heat off. Decision to play Taylor over Mayfield seems wise at start, but things could change by midseason if Browns struggle. Jackson has given up play-calling duties to Haley, who could replace him if Browns begin poorly and ownership makes change. Defense has potential to be really good, and must force more turnovers; Cleveland had league-low 13 takeaways in 2017. Schedule is rough with opener against Pittsburgh and four of last six games on road.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Upcoming Games

Oct 29th, 8:20 PM

Atlanta +1.5 -110

Carolina -1.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Pittsburgh +4 -110

Baltimore -4 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Minnesota +7 -105

Green Bay -7 -105

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

NY Jets +19.5 -110

Kansas City -19.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis -2.5 +105

Detroit +2.5 +105

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Tennessee -5.5 -110

Cincinnati +5.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas +2.5 -110

Cleveland -2.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

New England +3.5 -110

Buffalo -3.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

LA Rams -3.5 -110

Miami +3.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 4:05 PM

LA Chargers -3 +100

Denver +3 +100

@

Nov 1st, 4:25 PM

San Francisco +3 -105

Seattle -3 -105

@

Nov 1st, 4:25 PM

New Orleans -4.5 -110

Chicago +4.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 8:20 PM

Dallas +9 -110

Philadelphia -9 -110

@

Nov 2nd, 8:15 PM

Tampa Bay -12.5 -110

NY Giants +12.5 -110

@

Nov 5th, 8:20 PM

Green Bay +1 -110

San Francisco -1 -110

@