Browns hopeful of finishing 8-8

Despite poor finish, even record would be better than most expected

BEREA, Ohio—If the average Browns fan was told the team would be playing the season’s final game with a chance to finish 8–8, most fans would’ve taken it.

If the Browns were to finish .500, it would be the best record the Browns have had since 2007 when they were 10–6 and the third best record the team has had since the return in 1999. Even a 7–9 finish would seem to be an improvement, but Mike Pettine doesn’t agree as the Browns haven’t won more than five games since ’07.

 “Yeah, I don’t see it that way though,” Pettine said. “Maybe it can be looked at that way on the outside. Just knowing the opportunities that we had and, to me, just how we finished…our November and December, even if we do win, it’s still a disappointment anytime you have a month or stretch where you’re losing consecutive games. What is it? Five of our last six, four in a row - that’s frustrating.

“We’re going to do everything we can for it to end on a positive note, on an upswing, but it’s frustrating to know that 8–8 is the best we can do when six weeks ago we were in a much better position.”

The Browns as a franchise have not been able to play well at all to finish seasons—to put it mildly. They are 3–20 in the months of December (3–18) and January (0–2) since 2010 and to close out the regular season. Currently, they’ve lost their last 11 games in December.

A win over the AFC North rival Ravens Sunday would at least give the Browns the chance to end the season on a positive note—and not another losing record.

Notebook

Hoyer Doubtful: QB Brian Hoyer (shoulder/bicep), DL Ahtyba Rubin (ankle), C Ryan Seymour (hamstring) did not practice on Friday. The Browns listed Hoyer as doubtful for the game and Rubin and Seymour were ruled out.

QB Tyler Thigpen will likely be rookie QB Connor Shaw’s backup for the season finale.

WR Andrew Hawkins (thumb) returned to practice. TE Gary Barnidge (rib), CB Joe Haden (shoulder), DL Desmond Bryant (thumb), WR Marlon Moore (knee), LB Jabaal Sheard (foot) and DB K’Waun Williams (hamstring) are officially listed as questionable


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