Browns 2023 win prediction round-up: Is 7-10 really a crazy prediction?

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

It's become a yearly tradition for Cleveland Browns fans. They figure out what held them back during the following season, then get excited when changes are made. And for the past 24 years, this typically ends in disappointment.

Not to be discouraged, the Dawg Pound is again pounding its collective chest after an offseason full of additions as well as a change at both the special teams and defensive coordinator positions. They're now so convinced that this season will be different that there was an all-out social media assault on Will Brinson of CBS Sports who predicted a 7-10 finish.

But is Brinson really picking on the Browns? Is he out on an island expecting a frustrating finish, or are Cleveland fans setting themselves up for heartbreak again? Let's look at other predictions across the web and see what the expectations are.

Cleveland Browns not predicted to shine brightly in 2023

Pro Football Network Predicts 10-7

Right now, Pro Football Network seems to be the one 'non-Browns centric' site to predict double-digit wins. Personally, 10-7 doesn't sound crazy but it's telling that this is the outlier. Even so, the crew at PFN calls Cleveland a dark-horse Super Bowl contender.

Bleacher Report Predicts 9-8

Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox sees a 9-8 record for Cleveland, calling them a potential "surprise contender" if Deshaun Watson returns to form. He does praise their improvements on defense but knows they go as No. 4 goes.

ESPN Predicts 9-8

Like most outlets, ESPN believes Watson will be the key – and they're right. In their season outlook, it's said they could go from either dangerous to worst in the division. That's probably why they stayed semi-safe with a 9-win prediction.

Akron Beacon-Journal Predicts 9-8

Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal sees the Browns going 9-8 this year. He gives a game-by-game breakdown and while the season is a roller-coaster, they finish with a winning record.

FOX Sports Predicts 9-8

Make that four predictions of 9-8 for Cleveland. While this would be an improvement, it's hard to know how the fan base would react without knowing if this is Wild Card worthy or not.

PFF Predicts the under on 8.5 wins

To be fair, this prediction was made before Za'Darius Smith was added but that likely wouldn't have changed things — since they're also focused on Watson as the "x-factor" in 2023.

Sports Illustrated Predicts 8-9

Matt Verderame says the Browns will be favored in most of their games outside of the AFC North but understands this division is a gauntlet. That's why he has them finishing just 8-9 on the year.

Will Brinson, CBS Sports Predicts 7-10

This is the one that got the debate started. Will Brinson thinks the Browns will struggle and while he acknowledged their additions will help, he sees a 1-5 finish in the AFC North, which is what leads to his prediction. Outside of the division, he has them going 6-5, so it's mainly their rivals that slow them down here. Predicts 7-10

Mike Phillips from FanSided's main page sees the Browns struggling as well, predicting the same finish at 7-10 that Brinson predicted.

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Again, these mean very little but 4-of-9 outside predictions see things going poorly while another four see them on the brink of the postseason. Only one has them with at least 10 wins. So while Brinson ruffled feathers, he clearly wasn't alone in this assessment. Now it's up to the Browns to prove them wrong.