3 Biggest Must-Win Games on the Browns' 2023 Schedule

Divisional matchups are always big, but only one makes the list of the Cowboys' top three must-win games in 2023.

The three biggest must-win games on the Browns' 2023 schedule, including a Week 1 clash with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The three biggest must-win games on the Browns' 2023 schedule, including a Week 1 clash with the Cincinnati Bengals. / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
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Week 6 vs. San Francisco 49ers

After that Bengals game, this will be Cleveland's first chance to prove themselves to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The 49ers are among the favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2023, and a cross-conference test gives the Browns an opportunity to show that they belong in the conversation as well.

There are a couple key factors working in Cleveland's favor here: the 49ers will be on the road making a tough coast-to-coast trip, and they'll be doing it after playing the Sunday-nighter in Week 5. Meanwhile, the Browns will be coming off a bye week with extra rest and preparation.

It might be an exaggeration to say that a loss here would crush the Browns' Super Bowl dreams, but with all the off-field factors tilting things in their favor it's really not a game they should lose.

The schedule is pretty tough after this one too, going on the road for five of the following seven games, and it will be crucial to build some momentum out of the bye to get ready for that trip.