Despite going 7-10 in 2022, the Cleveland Browns were much closer to a winning record than it would seem. They had six losses by eight or fewer points, five of those were by seven or fewer, and four were by three or fewer.
The "field goal or less" contests included a 31-30 loss to the New York Jets, a 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, a 30-28 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, and a 23-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Falcons, Chargers, and especially the Jets game all should have gone in Cleveland's favor.
Even two of those wins means a frustrating and inconsistent season ends in a 9-8 mark.
What this tells us is, the Browns aren't that far off from being a good team. And they are even closer in 2023 due to some impressive offseason additions. However, those additions alone won't be enough to truly push them over the top. If they're going to win these close contests and contend in the AFC North, these three players need to step up their game.
3. Jedrick Wills, Left Tackle
Jedrick Wills was the first player Andrew Berry ever selected as the GM of the Browns. After three seasons with the team, the jury remains out on Wills.
He was solid as a rookie but nagging injuries and a perceived lack of effort on the field have been his downfall. Despite his shortcomings, Cleveland exercised the fifth-year option in his rookie contract, keeping him in town through the 2024 campaign.
This move was wise since they can't afford to go into any season without a starter at left tackle and while Wills isn't elite, he's been serviceable. But to take the next step, this offense needs him to be much better than that.
Wills is going to have a huge spotlight on him in 2023 and if he wants to keep his starting spot beyond this year, he needs to be much better.