3 critical stretches in the Cleveland Browns 2023 schedule

Every game counts, but for the Cleveland Browns these three stretches in 2023 will matter the most

Dec 4, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA;  Cleveland Browns special teams player Donovan Peoples-Jones (11)
Dec 4, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns special teams player Donovan Peoples-Jones (11) / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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In the NFL, every game matters. Last season we saw the Cleveland Browns lose several games in the late stages and thus they finished the season with a sub .500 record.

While every stretch of games from the first games to the last ones on the campaign all count the same, there will be more particular stretches that could factor into just how well the Browns fair this season.

We're going to tackle three different stretches in this season's upcoming schedule that may have more of a bearing on Cleveland's record and their general success. If the Browns can do well in these moments then the team will be primed to return to the postseason after a two-year hiatus.

No. 1: Browns first four games

It's always important for teams to get off to a good start. Cleveland has rarely won a season opener so that would be a great start to the campaign if they could win in Week 1. But, what makes the first four weeks even more important is that they have their bye week in Week 5 and they play the other three teams in the AFC North Division within this stretch.

The Browns have generally had a good amount of success against the Cincinnati Bengals, who they play in Week 1. Some may find it surprising that the Browns have a record of 8-2 against their state rival since 2018 and are 5-1 on under Kevin Stefanski.

Cleveland travels to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 on Monday Night Football. For the Browns to win in Pittsburgh will take a small miracle. Outside of their playoff win back in January of 2021, they haven't beaten the Steelers in 20 seasons dating back to October of 2003.

After Cleveland tries to pull off a win in Pittsburgh, they return to play the Tennessee Titans. While the Titans have struggled a bit in the last few seasons, they are never an easy out. The other concern in this game is that Cleveland may take their foot off the gas as they take a breather before having to battle the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.

In the Week 4 matchup, the Browns may be in an early season must-win situation. Having to go into a bye week with a loss will likely not sit well with anyone. So beating the Ravens will certainly be crucial.