Browns path to the playoffs might be blocked by a major obstacle

Can they overcome it?
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns made the playoffs in the 2023 NFL campaign, their first time in the dance since the 2020 season. It was a surprising run for the Browns considering how tough the AFC North is and the fact that they rolled with four different quarterbacks during the course of the season.

The good news is that the Browns have made it a point to ensure their quarterback woes won't happen again this season, signing both Tyler Huntley and Jameis Winston to back up Deshaun Watson.

The bad news is that, according to Warren Sharp, the Browns have one of the five toughest schedules in the NFL in 2024.

Browns have one of the most difficult schedules in 2024

Only two teams have a tougher slate of opponents in 2024 and those teams are the Steelers and Patriots. Rounding out the top five are the Ravens and Vikings with the Browns sandwiched in the middle.

Now, of course, this is to be expected considering how challenging the AFC North is. Every team in the AFC North finished with a winning record during the 2023 season and only the Bengals missed out on the postseason but barely.

Just focusing on the AFC North alone is worrisome for the Browns but it's nothing they haven't dealt with before. That being said, the Bengals will have a healthy Joe Burrow and a last-place schedule and the Ravens and Steelers are always threats to make the playoffs. The Bengals actually have one of the easiest schedules in 2024, according to Sharp.

The Browns overcame a lot of obstacles during the 2023 season but their path to repeating as a playoff team in 2024 won't be a picnic. They're going to have their work cut out for them this year.