AFC North Predictions: Browns surprise while Ravens implode

• The Ravens offensive shift doesn't fit their roster

• Cincinnati remains a major threat

• The Browns defense will be key to victory

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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1st Place in the AFC North

Cleveland Browns

Record: 11-6
Division record: 4-2

We've said this before — the Cleveland Browns have had a sensational offseason. While that hasn't always led to success when it counts, this time feels different.

They were very close last year, even with a 7-10 record. Now, they get a full season with Deshaun Watson as well as a revamped defense led by coordinator Jim Schwartz. While all of that is huge, their success will come down to how they do in the division and they have a huge advantage this year — even if it doesn't seem like it.

Cincinnati is again the favorites and while they should finish with a solid record, the Browns have a golden opportunity in front of them. The Week 1 matchup between the Browns and Bengals is in Cleveland. As we saw in 2022, the Bengals tend to start slow at the beginning of the year and despite their divisional dominance, the Browns are the one team that's had sustained success over the past two years against them.

A statement win (as well as at least one more with the remaining early divisional games) helps them secure a better record in the North. They split the series with Baltimore and Cincy in this prediction while sweeping the Steelers. Sure, a Week 17 win from Cinncinatti is predicted, but at this point, the Browns will already have the division won by way of a tiebreaker.

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