CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - When Super Bowl VIII kicks off on Sunday, February 3rd on Cleveland 19, many Browns fans will be watching and wondering how long it will take for the Browns to reach that stage. History shows it might not take as long as one would think.
The 2019 season will Baker Mayfield's second year, a year that some young quarterbacks have reached the Super Bowl. Ben Roethlisberger guided the Steelers to a win in Super Bowl XL. Russell Wilson lead Seattle to a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. Colin Kapernick, in his second season, took over the San Francisco offense midway through the 2012 season and was under center for the 49'ers Super Bowl run that ended in a loss to Baltimore. Just last year second-year quarterback Carson Wentz played a huge role in Philadelphia's championship season. They won the Super Bowl with Nick Foles, but looked to be on the way anyway with Wentz performing at a MVP-level.
This season Jared Goff is in only his third year. Wilson was in his second Super Bowl by his third year and Eli Manning won it in his fourth.
These teams have all had other things play into their Super Bowl appearances- a good defense, a balanced offense, a reasonably healthy season and nothing terrible breaks against them (like a certain flag not being thrown in the NFC Championship game).
Are the Browns that far away from those things? You cannot control injuries and you cannot control the breaks, you can control how talented your team is. They have a young, ascending defense that can rush the passer. They have a star running back in the making in Nick Chubb and an offensive line that should only be better after another draft and round of free agency.
Should the Browns be a favorite to get to next year’s Super Bowl LIV? No. It will likely be one of the usual suspects- New England or Pittsburgh, maybe Kansas City breaks through. But things can always catch up with one of those teams. And what if it’s not next year for the Browns? What if it’s Super Bowl LV or LVI? Those are not that far away, it is not always a five-year journey for teams. Sometimes these things happen quickly once a team gets the right people in place. Many feel like the Browns have finally done that. Things may come quickly for them. This ride is just getting started.