Week 14: @ Cleveland Browns
Green Bay has a bunch of tough matchups on the road this season. With trips to Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Dallas to go with their annual road meetings with division-mates Detroit and Minnesota, this team will need to be on top of their game just about every time they leave the friendly confines of Lambeau Field.
Luckily, their scheduling brings them at least one matchup I have zero reservations in chalking up as a win.
The Browns are the Philadelphia 76ers of the NFL: a once-great franchise that has gone all-in on the idea of tanking. That idea surely draws ire from the outside, but really, for a team that has failed so spectacularly at building their team in every other possible fashion, is it truly all that bad in this case?
I’ll never be a proponent to outright trying to lose, but what else should a team that has shown zero ability to build a solid program while acting normally do to get out of that rut? The smartest thing would be bring in as much young talent as they can find, take chances on talents other teams may not want to pay a premium for, and let things grow from about as bottomed-out of a position as possible — and that’s what they are doing.
In the long-term, it might turn out to be transformative. Instead of wasting high picks and trading up for failed prospects under center, the team is collecting up those draft picks and building everything from the purest iteration of “best player available”, and they seem intent to give it the time to actually prove itself as a viable plan.
In the interim however, it makes for a rough, low-quality roster while those non-QB talents prove themselves worth long-term spots and placeholders handle the football. With this process only entering its second year, they shouldn’t be anywhere near ready to keep up with the elite teams in the league even on their best days.
Give the Packers an easy win here, and keep it moving.
Packers 37, Browns 17 (9-4)