The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite winning 11 games against all odds in 2023, the Cleveland Browns are still seen as a middle-of-the-pack NFL team, when it comes to Super Bowl odds.
Heading into the offseason, Cleveland is sitting at 35-1 odds according to Draft Kings, which is better than the 40-1 they had at this time last year. That was understandable at the time since they were coming off a 7-10 campaign and had a questionable defense. But that’s far from the case now.
Cleveland was one of the top teams in the NFL throughout the season, especially on defense. Led by Myles Garrett, they were one of the toughest teams to score points against and they still have an offensive roster that's nearly identical to the one they entered this past season with.
Browns middle of the pack despite success in 2023
Not only did Cleveland boast a dominant defense under Jim Schwartz, but they overcame the odds time and again despite several injuries. They lost Nick Chubb in Week 2, Jack Conklin in Week 1, and had a healthy Deshaun Watson for just five full games.
That doesn’t even tell half the story as they saw other key contributors go to the IR including Jedrick Wills, Dawand Jones, Anthony Walker, and Grant Delpit. Yet they kept winning.
Cleveland secured the No. 5 seed and had wins over the No. 1 seed in both the AFC and NFC. They even secured wins with four different quarterbacks starting and five signal-callers start for them by the time the season ended.
After the season ended, they were then rewarded with several trophies at the NFL Honors show as Kevin Stefanksi (Head Coach of the Year), Jim Schwartz (Assistant Coach of the Year), Joe Flacco (Comeback Player of the Year), and Myles Garrett (Defensive Player of the Year) all received some hardware.
Yet here we are, entering the offseason with the 16th best odds to win the title. That feels incredibly low but that’s not a problem with this team. They just get another chance to defy the odds.