2019 Could be a Record Breaking Season 

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The Cleveland Browns single season record book does not contain the astronomical numbers like many franchises – especially via the passing game – but impressive numbers do abound. There are many factors resulting in somewhat low numbers via the air – including horrendous teams during Roger Goodell’s pass happy NFL, weather and focus on the running game. The current roster has several players who could etch their names with historical greats.

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A look at the record book:

Single Season Passing:

  • Yards: Brian Sipe 1980 4,132 (Sipe three of the top four seasons), Kosar third in 1986, Derek Anderson 5th, Mayfield 6th
  • TDs: Sipe 1st 1980 30, DA second with 29 tied with Frank Ryan, Sipe 4th, Mayfield 5th with 27, Otto Graham 7th with 25 in 1947! The Browns have not been an historically great passing team

Baker Mayfield has a legitimate shot at becoming the single season all-time leader in only his second season. His growth and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. could produce an historical season for the fiery quarterback in both yards and passing touchdowns.

In terms of the career mark of 23,713 yards and 154 passing TDs, both set by Brian Sipe, Mayfield will have a legitimate shot at breaking both records.

Single Season Rushing:

  • Yards Jim Brown 1863 in 1963 (14 games), Brown has the top six seasons, Jamal Lewis 7th in 2007 with 1,304.
  • TDs Jim Brown 1965 and 1958 with 17 (five of the top 7 seasons), Leroy Kelly 3rd & 4th with 16 in 68, 15 in 66, Peyton Hillis is the only “modern” player with 11 in 2010

The rushing records are legitimate for any franchise. Jim Brown’s records are astounding especially considering the shorter seasons. Nick Chubb will surpass 1,000 yards this season but reaching the records books in yards and/or touchdowns will be difficult – especially given Kareem Hunt’s arrival.

The career marks of 12,312 yards and 106 TDs, both set by Brown, will last for decades especially considering how the game is now played.

Single Season Receiving:

  • Receptions Ozzie Newsome 1983 & 84 with 89 – Winslow tied in 2006, Gordon 4th with 87 in 14 games during the 13 season, Kevin Johnson had 84 in 2001 (Jarvis Landry had 81 last year)
  • Yards Josh Gordon 1,646 in 2013, Braylon Edwards 1,289 in 07, Webster Slaughter 1,236 in 1989, Mac Speedie 1,146 in 1947, Kellen Winslow 1,106 in 2007
  • TDs Braylon Edwards 16 in 2007, Gary Collins 13 in 1963, Paul Warfield 12 in 1968, Collins with 12 in 66 & 11 in 69

Ozzie Newsome is one of, if not the, best tight ends of all-time. He played in a physical league without the rules that are now in place to protect receivers. His reception record of 89 will be challenged but may survive due to Mayfield’s ability to spread the ball around and the split production of Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.

The receiving yards record set by Josh Gordon in just 14 games still hearkens “what could have been.” Beckham Jr. could challenge the yardage record but it will be difficult on a team that is well-rounded and likely will be competing for the division title.

The receiving touchdowns mark set by malcontent Braylon Edwards in 2007 will be in jeopardy. If not broken, OBJ will still likely etch his name among the greats into the top five.

OBJ could end up with more receptions for his career than Newsome (662), but his composite numbers will include his time with the Giants. The same could be said of the yardage mark of 7,980 (Newsome). Gary Collins’ 70 career touchdowns in the orange and brown will likely fall in due time but will take an extensive career in Cleveland.

Single Season Defense:

  • Sacks Reggie Camp 14 in 1984, Myles Garrett 13.5 in 2018, Jamir Miller 13 in 2001, Clay Matthews 12 in 1984, Michael Dean Perry 11.5 in 1990
  • Interceptions Thom Darden (1978) & Anthony Henry (2001) with 10, Tommy James (1950), Eric Turner (1994) and Felix Wright (1989) with 9

The sack record is not entirely accurate due to not being tracked as an official stat until 1982. Since then, there has been marginal success for players wearing the orange & brown. However, Myles Garrett is quickly developing into one of the best pass rushers in the entire league. He notched the second best sack season since 82 and has a good shot at becoming the single season leader this year. He posts a career mark of 20.5 in two seasons – only 23, Garrett will have the opportunity to break Clay Matthews’ all-time team record of 62 sacks.

The interception mark will difficult for anyone to beat in the near or distant future. There are more passing attempts but interceptions have not risen in equal fashion due to significant rule changes. The single season record of 10 and career record of 45 (also owned by Thom Darden) appear to be safe.

The 2019 Cleveland Browns are easily the most talented squad to play on the shores of Lake Erie in the last 25 years. They not only have the opportunity to break the playoff victory drought, which has lingered since 1994, but also achieve significant individual accomplishments. Enjoy the ride Browns fans.