The Browns alone in first place? That doesn’t happen every day.
The Cleveland Browns are all alone in first place in the AFC North Division.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time that the Browns were leading a division all by themselves this late in the season was in 1994. The AFC North did not exist. The Browns were on top of the AFC Central at that time.
Bill Belichick was the head coach, Nick Saban was the defensive coordinator and Art Modell still owned the team.
Vinny Testaverde was the quarterback with Mark Rypien backing him up. Leroy Hoard was the leading rusher with Eric Metcalf and Earnest Byner also taking snaps.
Linebacker Pepper Johnson, Safety Eric Turner and defensive linemen Rob Burnett and Michael Dean Perry all earned Pro Bowl honors on defense.
The Browns would finish the season 11-5 and in second place behind the Pittsburgh Steelers in the division.
After beating the Patriots in the Wild Card round, the Browns traveled to Pittsburgh and lost to the Steelers – for the third time that season.
Following that 1994 season the Browns would finish 5-11, fire Bill Belichick and move to Baltimore.
What else has happened since then?
-Thirteen different teams have won the Super Bowl, including the Packers, Broncos, Ravens, Steelers and Giants twice. The Patriots have won three.
-Eight more different teams have been to the Super Bowl and lost, bringing the total to 21 different teams participating in the NFL’s biggest game since the Browns were in first place after 10 weeks.
-The Cleveland Indians have been to and lost the World Series in 1995 and 1997.
-The Cleveland Cavaliers went to the NBA Finals and were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
-DVD’s were invented (1995).
-FirstEnergy Stadium, originally called Cleveland Browns Stadium was completed in 1999.
-Chris Palmer, Butch Davis, Terry Robiskie, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski and Mike Pettine have all been the head coach of the Browns for at least five games.
-Dwight Clark, Butch Davis, Phil Savage, George Kokinis, Tom Heckert, Michael Lombardi and Ray Farmer have all held the position of GM.
-The MP3 player was invented. Sorry Apple fans, the iPod was not the first. In 1998 a Korean company introduced the MPMan. The iPod came in 2001.
-Twenty-two quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Browns.
-YouTube (2005) and Facebook (2004) debuted.
-Ten different MLB teams have won the World Series including the Cardinals and Marlins twice, the Giants and Red Sox three times and the Yankees five times.
-Eight different NBA teams have won the NBA Finals including the Bulls and Heat three times, and the Spurs and Lakers five times each.