Here's why you should expect the Browns to make the playoffs

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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Week 7: Browns at the Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland was down by just three points with 2:44 remaining in the game. Jacoby Brissett led the offense to the Ravens 37-yard line. It was 4th and 5, so the field goal unit came out to tie the game. And right on cue, the special teams unit collapsed.

Lineman Michael Dunn committed a false start, pushing the Browns back five yards. The field goal became a 60-yard attempt, which then got blocked.

Not only did the special teams fail again, but the defense also lost to a Ravens offense that, similar to Mariota with the Falcons, only needed nine total completions from quarterback Lamar Jackson to win the game.

Why 2023 will be a different story

Looking at just those four losses in 2022, the Browns had recurring themes that cost them ticks in the win column. Special teams and defensive breakdowns, specifically at the end of games, were the difference between the Browns going into Week 16 with a 6-8 record instead of a 10-4 record.

Clearly, the team understood this because they promptly fired defensive coordinator Joe Woods and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer after the season. The Browns then hired Jim Schwartz, whose defenses have ranked in the top 10 against the run in ten out of his fourteen seasons as a defensive coordinator.

And the team hired Raymond "Bubba" Ventrone to lead the special teams. Ventrone's special teams units were ranked top-five in the NFL in four of his five seasons as coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts.

Next. OBJ, Ravens to blame. No Hopkins? Blame OBJ, Ravens. dark

With the new coaching hires in place, along with the wealth of talent that's been added to the team via free agency and the draft, the Browns couldn't be in a better position to fix their problems from 2022. It's time now to count on the Browns to win those close games that should have been won last season.