These next five days could change the course of the franchise.
If the Browns (2-6) can beat the Bills (6-2) Sunday and the Steelers on Thursday night — both at FirstEnergy Stadium — they would creep closer to .500, restart the playoff talk and halt discussion of coach Freddie Kitchens’ job security.
I don’t need to tell you what might happen if the four-game losing streak reaches six heading into the mini-bye.
The Bills have played a soft schedule — their opponents have combined to go 22-47 — but they’ve done what the Browns haven’t been able to do.
The Bills are a tough team built on running the ball, playing good defense and having 6-foot-5 quarterback Josh Allen make plays. The Browns will never be considered tough until they prove they can stop the run.
I keep saying the Browns have too much talent to keep losing. I’m going to say it again.
But beating the Bills won’t be easy. And if the Browns don’t play better than they did last week against the Broncos, they will hear boos from the home crowd.
Maybe Kareem Hunt will make a difference. Maybe Baker Mayfield will regain his mojo. Maybe Odell Beckham Jr. will have a day. Maybe the defense won’t crumble.
Something needs to change.
THE PICK: The Browns have to come out of this tailspin one of these days, and what better time than against a solid Buffalo team without an impressive win on its resume. Browns 20, Bills 19.