C.J. Mosley on Alabama-Browns debate: 'It might be close, but...'
One question that has been circulating over social media during this unofficial college football bye week is whether the undefeated 2016 Alabama team could beat the currently winless Cleveland Browns.
The Crimson Tide have won 25 straight games since an early-season loss in 2015 and are the easy favorite to repeat as national champs, possessing the third-most productive offense in school history and arguably the best defensive the NCAA has seen in over a decade.
The Browns have an 0-12 record this season and haven’t won a game since Dec. 13 of last year — not even a preseason game.
So what does former Alabama and current Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley think: If played on a neutral field tomorrow, would the Tide beat Cleveland?
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“See now, when I was at Bama and we played those kind of games, you’ve got to have a story to talk about,” Mosley told AL.com. “Like, ‘Yeah, this Alabama team can play the worst team in the NFL.’ And when I was at Alabama, I thought that. But being in the NFL now, it might be close, but they won’t win because I think the biggest difference between college and going to the NFL — like some players catch on quick to the offense and defense — but I think the biggest downfall from that is special teams.
“College players don’t really understand how important special teams are until they get in the NFL. That’s why when guys don’t really make it on offense and defense, the ones that stay in the league long is because they get special teams. They can make plays on special teams. So I’m not saying this Alabama team isn’t great and doesn’t have great special teams, I just feel like there’s some things at that age group that they just don’t get yet, that grown men in the NFL have been through. They’ve been fighting for their jobs for a long time because they’ve got a lot of people to feed.”
Mosley makes an excellent point; Alabama without doubt has a long list of future NFL players, but in comparison to a professional roster, there are holes in certain areas, much like special teams.
Fox Sports has a sports-simulation website called whatifsports.com and put the hypothetical game to test 1,001 times, and the Browns won 93.9 percent of those contests by an average score of 33-14. That seems more realistic than Bleacher Report’s recent Madden simulation on GameCube (why?), where Alabama won, 34-0.