Browns currently hold the best home record in the AFC at 6-1
The Browns thrive in front of their home crowd down by the lake at Cleveland Browns Stadium, and they have the record to back it up.
"We love our home crowd," G Joel Bitonio said recently. "I think they bring a great energy. It's been fun playing down there this year."
They currently hold the best home record in the AFC at 6-1. Across the AFC, there are a handful of teams just behind them with five wins at home. In the AFC East, the Dolphins are 5-1 and the Bills are 5-2 at home. In the AFC North, the Ravens are just behind the Browns with a 5-2 record at home. In the AFC South, the Texans are the only team in their division with five home wins, as they are 5-2. Then in the AFC West, no team has more than four wins at home heading into Week 15.
The Browns have excelled this season when playing at home, as their only loss came in Week 4 against the Ravens. HC Kevin Stefanski has emphasized throughout the season just what the fanbase means to them as a team on game day in Cleveland Browns Stadium.
"I know our players, our coaches feed off the energy from our fans," Stefanski said before their Week 14 matchup against the Jaguars at home. "They make a huge difference in these ball games."
The Browns have also played one less game on the road heading into Week 15. With their 6-1 record at home, they are 2-4 on the road. They have two more regular season home games this season, when they take on the Bears in Week 15 on Dec. 17 and the Jets in Week 17 on Dec. 28. And they could add to that win column on Sunday as they take on the Bears at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Much of the Browns' success at home has stemmed from their defensive dominance at home. They have allowed a total of 611 rushing yards at home – with an average of 3.8 yards per carry — compared to 732 rushing yards on the road – with an average of 4.4 yards per carry. They have also given up 28 rushing first downs at home, versus 36 rushing first downs on the road. Teams have only scored five rushing touchdowns this season at Cleveland Browns Stadium, while they've scored nine on the road.
Yet, it's not just the success of their run defense at home. The Browns pass rush has also been dominant at home. They've allowed 918 total passing yards for an average of 4.6 yards per attempt at home. While on the road, the Browns have allowed 1,417 passing yards, with an average of 8.2 yards per attempt. The Browns also have 27 total sacks at home this season, compared to 11 on the road.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Browns have performed well at home in the passing game. They have 1,451 total passing yards this season at home and eight passing touchdowns, compared to 1,332 passes yards on the road and six passing touchdowns. They bolstered that number after QB Joe Flacco threw for 311 total yards three touchdowns in Week 14 against the Jaguars. Yet, Flacco was named the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season following the win.
To Flacco, there is a difference playing at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Now has experienced playing being on both sides of the field.
"It's old school," Flacco said. "It's a grass field, outdoors, you feel the city of Cleveland. You usually have some kind of weather, so you know where you are. That's the way you like it. You smell the grass. It just feels like football. […] That's kind of been attractive to myself. It's like when you can go out there and smell the grass and feel like it's football weather and that's the time of year we're in. We're in December and we're in Cleveland and it should be a lot of fun."