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The Cleveland Browns did not make the NFL playoffs in 2021 after doing so in 2020. Last year, the Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and gave the Kansas City Chiefs, without Patrick Mahomes for most of the game, a run for their money in the second round.
The Browns defense was very good in 2021 but may need to replace Jadeveon Clowney, who is focused on getting paid, as well as a few other free agents. The early success of their first two picks in the 2021 NFL draft will also help.
Saturday’s playoff results, with the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills moving on to the second round, point to Cleveland’s need for more offense. While defense can never be ignored, the team’s offense has greatly struggled. Saturday is a great example of what the Browns need.
The Bengals rushed out to a 20-6 lead before attempting to salt away the game while the Bills demolished New England 47-17. While Cincinnati only scored 26 points, that is more points than Cleveland scored in their final eight games of the season.
Only five times in 2021 did the Browns score 26 points or more points.
Despite a great running game and great offensive line, Mayfield and company were not able to put up big numbers much of the season. With the team planning to build around Mayfield, Saturday’s results show how important investing in skill positions will be for Cleveland this offseason.