It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the first four games of the 2014 Cleveland Browns season. And yes this team is insanely bipolar, unpredictable and crazy to watch. There is a theory that this team could very easily be 4-0 right now, but the same theory applies to the fact that this team could very easily be 0-4 right now. They probably should be 2-2 right now, but the thing is they haven't won both games they probably should have won, but didn't lose both games they should have lost.
Twice this team has completed the largest comeback in team history. They are 1-1 in those games. They completed a 70 yard bomb to all but seal the Ravens games, and literally didn't do one single thing right for the rest of the game to ensure a loss.
When this team is good it is great. When this team is bad it is unpalatable. At times the "same old Browns" show their ugly faces, Yet the offense isn't the problem, which is new for the Browns. The defense is a huge problem, which wasn't supposed to be the case.
Yes it is very hard to deny that Brian Hoyer has finally managed to make believers out of many people. Hoyer has a 6-1 TD to INT ratio and has a higher QBR than Brady, Brees, Flacco, and Stafford. While there is still the painfully biased Johnny Manziel faithful still calling for Hoyer's benching, the consensus finally has agreed to stay the course with Hoyer for the foreseeable future.
While Hoyer hasn't been perfect, he has done a fine job of making his receivers better, not the other way around. He isn't leaning on any one guy. Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins have been very solid, but many of the biggest plays have been left for guys like Taylor Gabriel and Travis Benjamin.
But the real strength has been the fine core of running backs that the Browns amassed this offseason. Gone are the days of watching a back smack into a rear end of an offensive lineman for a minimal gain. This team can run, and run well.
Call them what you will the running backs have been awesome. Ben Tate ripped off a huge run in the opener and got injured. All that did was show us that we have two more awesome running backs in Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell. Each guy is just different enough from one another that it has made for a tremendous opportunity to rotate and keep our running game fresh all game long.
So what is the catch? Yes it is Browns football so there has to be a catch right? The catch comes in the 31st ranked defense. Yes the vaunted "wait until you see what these guys can do" defense that came with into town with Mike Pettine has been awful.
Each game has came and gone with large chunks of games exhibiting some of the poorest tackling you can hope for. Running backs flow through our front seven like water passing through a strainer. Receivers routinely run wide open through our secondary. Our defense is a big play factory. Their 6.1 yards allowed per play is tied for the worst in the league.
So no I can't tell you what to expect for the rest of this season. I am not even going to embarrass myself with a guess. If the defense improves we have a good chance. If the offense stalls we are probably screwed. It is as simple as that, now hopefully the games will be less stressful.