One of the most exciting parts of the short NFL season is that every single win and loss means so much. Dropping a lone game doesn't mean anything for most of the season in the NBA, MLB or NHL, but you can't afford many slip-ups in a 17-game regular season.
And for a team like the Browns that's ready to make the jump as a division-winner and Super Bowl threat, each win carries even more importance.
Oddsmakers have Cleveland's regular season win total projected at 9.5, and living up to their potential will mean needing to steal some surprising wins to go over that mark.
Every win matters, but not every win is created equally. Here are the three biggest must-win games on the Browns' schedule in 2023.
3 Biggest Must-Win Games on the Browns' 2023 Schedule
Week 1 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
We're going to learn a ton about the Browns team in Week 1, because the biggest question mark for the whole season is how Deshaun Watson plays.
Were last year's struggles tied to his extended time away from football? Were they just growing pains while he learned to mesh with a new offense? Or were they a sign of something bigger?
If it was either of the first two, then having an extra full offseason under his belt should have Watson ready to fire on all cylinders this season, and he should be ready to come out firing in Week 1, even in a tough matchup against the Bengals.
The Bengals are also the favorites to win the AFC North this season, and to win the division the Browns will likely need at least one win in the matchup. Having to play them on the road later in the year will be a tougher test, and the Browns can't afford to head into that one down 0-1 in the series.