The Cleveland Browns are double-digit favorites over the Houston Texans this Sunday.
The game is at home in Cleveland and the Browns are supposed to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
But the Texans are the team showing up with the 1-0 record and Browns fans are used to being disappointed after the past two decades.
The Browns should win, but here are three questions hanging around as the game approaches.
3. Can They Get The Easy Wins?
The Browns are currently 12.5-point favorites over the Texans for their game on Sunday.
If that line holds, it'll be the largest amount the Browns have been favored by in a game since the franchise returned to the NFL in 1999.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 16, 2021
Great teams are great because they easily win games over lesser competition.
That is true in every sport, but even more so in football because of the limited schedule.
The Browns need to roll right over the Texans on Sunday and do the same against the Chicago Bears in Week 3.
That is, if they want to actually compete for a Super Bowl.
They must prove they can bounce back from a grueling Week 1 loss that felt like a playoff game and settle into the season with an easy win gifted to them by the schedule-makers.
2. Can The Offense Thrive Without OBJ?
The Browns have not seen a lot of Odell Beckham Jr. since the start of 2020.
He suffered an ACL tear last year and continues to rehab that injury in 2021.
The running game has nothing to do with Beckham and should continue to carry the offense.
1. Can Baker Mayfield Avoid Mistakes?
The Browns had a chance to win in Week 1 before Baker Mayfield threw a late interception that effectively ended the game.
The loss is not entirely on him, however, limiting mistakes remains a key especially against a Texans team not expected to do much in 2021.
Interceptions are going to happen from time to time.
The way the one happened in Week 1 was just avoidable and will hopefully serve as a learning experience.
Mayfield has a ton of pressure on his shoulders and seems to thrive in such a situation.
Avoiding mistakes will not only help the team, but will also help Mayfield increase his asking price in a new contract.
"That's one of the best throws I've ever seen (Baker Mayfield) make." – Jim Nantzpic.twitter.com/7eKavKbUW2
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) September 12, 2021
Winning will also drive up the price and that should be the only focus on Sunday.