Winning in the division and conference
The Browns are in, as previously stated, a conference loaded with good quarterbacks and teams. That means, first and foremost, they need to take care of business in the division if they are to lead it.
Kevin Stefanski is 9-9 in his tenure with the Browns against the AFC North. While you can win the division by going 3-3, if you dominate the rest of the schedule, it would make things easier by having a winning record in your division.
Going 4-2 or 5-1 would help lead the way to a division title. That means winning on the road in the division, and Stefanki is 2-7 during his tenure on the road. He will need to turn that around in 2023.
Should the Browns falter a bit against division foes and finish at or below .500 in the division, they'll need to dominate in conference games with an 8-4 or 9-3 record. It's the only other road to the playoffs and a shot at the division crown.
Once again, Cleveland must overcome road woes with a 10-15 record in the Stefanski era. While most teams are better at home, these splits for Stefanski-led teams are concerning. This points to another area the Browns need to improve.
Under Stefanski, the Browns had one winning season on the road in 2020. Unsurprisingly that's the last time they went to the playoffs. Since that season, they have gone 5-12 on the road leading to two mediocre seasons.
If you want to win the division and be a playoff team, you must be able to win on the road. I'm sure someone can point to teams that have done it, but they are the outliers. Being at least even on the road or better is how you get to the top. In a wildly competitive AFC, being .500 might not be enough.
The Browns have the talent. They have their quarterback. They have arguably the best running back in the NFL. They have two talented and successful coordinators. Now it is time to turn all that into not just a winning season but a dominant season and take the division crown away from the team down south.