King: Worse than 1999?

With the Browns at 1-5 and not a lot of hope, Steve King looks at the numbers...

The year ends in 9, but it's 2009, not 1999.

Still, for the Browns, you have to wonder if anything is that much different – or different at all – for them now than it was in that expansion season of 1999. It wasn't much better in 2000 than it was in 1999, so you could group those two together and call them expansion seasons.

Is 2009 an expansion-type season, too? The overall numbers suggest it is.

Let's start with the won-loss record. The Browns are 1-5 after six games, which, if pro-rated, would result in a record of between two and three wins and 13 to 14 losses. In 1999, they were 0-6 on the way to a franchise-worst 2-14 finish, and they were 2-4 in 2000 en route to doing just a shade better, 3-13, which is tied for the second-worst in team history..

In the first six games, the 1999 Browns had only two close ones, losing 17-10 to the Baltimore Ravens and then 18-17 to the Cincinnati Bengals. In the other four games, they were outscored 112-23.

In 2000, two of the Browns'  four losses through six games were close, 12-0 to the Ravens and 29-21 to the Arizona Cardinals. They were outscored 63-17 in the other two defeats.

This year, just one of the Browns'  five setbacks has been close, 23-20 in overtime to the Bengals. In the other four losses, they've been outscored 122-43.

Overall, this season's team has scored 69 points and yielded 148. Pro-rated over the entire year, the Browns would score 184 and give up 395.

In 1999, the Browns scored 217 points and surrendered 437, and the 2000 team scored 161 and allowed 419.

As for total yards, this year's Browns have gained 1,439 and given up 2,444. As such, they are on pace to gain 3,829 and surrender 6,514, which, far and away, would be a Browns record. This is not a new problem, as the 5,794 yards given up last year are the second-most in team history, and the 5,753 in 2007 are No. 3.

Also, the 543 yards the Browns yielded in last Sunday's 27-14 loss at Pittsburgh are the fifth-most in team history.

The 1999 club gained 3,762 yards and allowed 6,046, a team record, and in 2000, the Browns gained 3,530 and permitted 5,643, which are the sixth-most in club history.

Rushing-wise, the 1999 Browns gained 1,150, the third-fewest in team history, and gave up 2,736, the most in team annals. In 2000, the Browns rushed for 1,085 yards, the second-fewest ever, and allowed 2,505, the third-most.

This year's team has rushed for 622 yards and is on pace for 1,662. It has allowed 992 yards, which pro-rates to 2,642. That would be the second-most in Browns history.

This year's Browns have rushed for one TD and are on pace to get either two or three, which would beat the team mark of four in 2005. They have allowed nine TDs and are on pace for 24, which would be the fourth-most in team history.

The 1999 team rushed for nine TDs and gave up 29, a team record. In 2000, the Browns rushed for seven TDs, which are the sixth-fewest in their history, and gave up 26, which are the second-most.

Now for passing. The 1999 team passed for 2,997 yards and gave up 3,457, and in 2000, the Browns threw for 2,728 and allowed 3,408.

The current Browns have passed for 906 gross yards and are on pace for 2,417, and have allowed 1,518 and are on pace for 4,048, which would be a team record.

This year's Browns have passed for three TDs, which pro-rates to eight for the year, which would tie for the second-fewest in team history. They have allowed seven scores, which pro-rates to 19.

In 1999, the Browns passed for 19 TDs and surrendered 17. The 2000 team passed for nine TDs, tied for the third-fewest in club history, and gave up 18.

The starting quarterback for almost all of 1999, Tim Couch, passed for 15 TDs with 13 interceptions and had a passing rating of 73.2. In 2000, Couch played just seven games before getting hurt. He and several others passed for nine TDs with 19 picks for a 63.4 rating that year.

This year's team has thrown for three TDs with 10 interceptions for a 47.5 rating, which, if it continues, would be the worst in team history. The current starter on this year's club, Derek Anderson, has two TD passes and six interceptions for a 41.7 rating, which, if it continues, would be the second-worst in Browns history for a starter. But it would be close to being the very worst. The person holding the mark is Tommy O'Connell, who had a 41.6 in 1956. Even the much-maligned Doug Pederson, who relieved Couch in 2000 when he got hurt, was better – much better – than that, finishing with a 56.6.

There are 10 games left, so things can change for this year's Browns. But it doesn't look good thus far, which causes Browns fans to wonder to what these last 10 years were really for.


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