Not everyone thinks the Cleveland Browns are going to have an up year in 2023.
The Cleveland Browns have overhauled their roster this offseason, opting to replace many players on defense and at the skilled positions on offense. While only a handful of players added could be described as game-changers, the hope is that the team as a whole is better. If for no other reason than they have brought in guys with different skill sets than were previously here.
The team has an All-Pro caliber player in Deshaun Watson, who if he can return to his former play during his stint with the Houston Texans, will be a Top 10 quarterback in the league again. The team also has Nick Chubb, the best pure-runner in the game of football. Not to mention they have two Pro Bowl defensive ends, capable of getting after the quarterback.
But will that be enough to elevate them to new heights?
Will Brinson of CBS Sports doesn’t think so, and has projected the Browns to go 7-10 and finish in 4th place in the AFC North. Brinson also says the Browns will lose to the Cincinnati Bengals twice, the Baltimore Ravens twice, the San Fransico 49ers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, The Houston Texans, the Seattle Seahawks, the Denver Broncos, and the New York Jets.
Will Brinson may not be wrong but he may not be right, either
The Cleveland Browns are in an odd place because a lot of their record is based on the uncertainty of the teams they’re playing, while also their own uncertainty. I think it’s fair to say the Bengals are likely to sweep the season series, but the Ravens? There’s a good chance Lamar Jackson continues to regress or gets hurt, and if that’s the case the Browns can easily win.
Also, the Ravens aren’t drafting the same caliber of players now that Ozzie Newsome is gone. They’re not the same squad they’ve been.
The 49ers and Jets have a lot of questions surrounding quarterback, namely who will be San Frans and whether or not Aaron Rodgers can actually still play at a high level. Pittsburgh doesn’t have much offense, and Houston and Denver were awful last year.
Until the games are played, we have no idea who will be where in terms of “quality teams”. The Browns may end up having a murders row of games to play and yes, in that case, they’ll go 7-10. They may also find teams that were overhyped and are now struggling and in that case, they’ll go 10-7, if not better.