The 2009 Cleveland Browns were a miserable team on both sides of the ball. They couldn't move the ball or stop defenses on a consistent basis and that lead to a 5-11 losing season. What's telling about that season was the way they finished. From a 1-11 season to winning 4 straight games, it seemed like maybe the Browns figured out to win at the end of the season.
The NFC North based Detroit Lions and the AFC North based Cleveland Browns, historically speaking, have been similar in a lot of different ways. From the dominant teams in the championship 1950's to the recent laughingstock teams of the 2000's. Will history repeat itself for the 2011 Detroit Lions or will they rewrite history?
The 2010 season approached and optimism was high, nobody forgot how they won the last 4 games and turned some heads after last season. They believed that the Browns could actually be improved after that finish and with the recent acquisitions in CB Joe Hayden and QB Colt McCoy among others. This season would be different they said.
Well, they were wrong.
The 2010 Browns were again a miserable team just like the seasons prior. Opening the season with three straight losses and proving yet again that the Browns may always be the Browns. Although, there were bright spots like McCoy/Hayden and beating the then Superbowl winning Saints in Louisiana and blowing out the Patriots. The season was ultimately another failure in the record books.
The 2010 Lions, unlike the 2009 Browns, were actually IN every game they play last season and even getting screwed in the opener on that process catch with Calvin Johnson. They had firepower on offense even without their star QB Matthew Stafford and a lot of muscle on the defensive line. They just couldn't finish teams off and ended up going 6-10 and breaking more records for futility. But, they did finish the season with the same 4 game winning streak that the Browns of 2009 did.
They could've easily gone 8-8 with a healthy Stafford all season. The season was far more promising than the last 10 before them. It had appeared that this 4 game winning streak was a beginning of a new era in Detroit, or at least that's the feeling around Detroit and the league. Matthew Stafford will make this team a playoff contender if he can stay healthy.
The 2009 Browns were 1-11 and the 2010 Lions were 2-10 before those 4 game winning streaks. You have to wonder if the Lions will repeat the same mistakes and end up 6-10 again or will they get the necessary acquisitions (including Stafford's health) to put this team over the hump. The seasons ended the same, but I have to admit the 2010 Lions were far more superior to the 2009 Browns and could've actually won a lot more of their games had it not have been for stupid calls, injuries, and bad luck.
I believe that 2011 could be the season that 2010 was supposed to be. Let's just hope for a healthy Stafford and the right guys get brought in. Otherwise, it's a repeat of what the Browns did.