NFL Network Analyst Adam Rank predicts the Cleveland Browns will finish the 2023 season 6-11 and will once again miss the playoffs.
- Bengals - L
- @ Steelers - W
- Titans - L
- Ravens - W
- 49ers - L
- @ Colts - L
- @ Seahawks - L
- Cardinals - W
- @ Ravens - L
- Steelers - W
- @ Broncos - L
- @ Rams - W
- Jaguars - L
- Bears - L
- @ Texans - L
- Jets - L
- @ Bengals - W
Nothing would bring me more joy than a season sweep of the Steelers.
A deep playoff run is ideal, but beating the Steelers TWICE is still pretty satisfying.
The Browns being projected to lose to a team with issues from the front office to the bench like the Colts, or a young team in the rebuilding process, like the Texans, seems like another media snub.
Let’s take a look at each projected L’s weakness:
- Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow will be out “Several weeks from when I said several weeks” according to Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor when asked about Burrow’s calf injury. The Bengals are 2-5 when Joe Burrow isn’t under center, and the last time that happened was in January against the Browns, when Cleveland won 21-16.
- Tennessee Titans: The Titans rebuilt offensive line has had a shaky start to camp, which may be an issue for an early season game against Cleveland’s defense. The Titans offensive line comes into 2023 ranked dead last.
- San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers may have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but their main weakness is their secondary. As of 8/9, the cornerbacks have yet to get an interception in camp. Brock Purdy is looking to bounce back from a torn UCL he suffered during the NFC Championship.
- Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis has more than one problem heading into 2023. Between Jonothan Taylor’s contract and preseason sit-out to the question marks at quarterback, the same Colts starting offensive line that struggled last season has returned for 2023.
- Seattle Seahawks: According to Pro Football Focus, the Seattle Seahawks have the 30th-ranked defensive line, and the Browns just so happen to have a top running back and the 2nd-ranked offensive line to complement him.
- Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens are still searching for an edge rusher to give them the extra push to solidify their defense. Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr have faced longevity issues in their careers, which will be a factor when the season is winding down.
- Denver Broncos: The Broncos face similar issues to the Ravens regarding defense, especially the pass rush. Denver also has the 22nd-ranked defensive line in 2023. Russell Wilson is looking to increase his touchdowns after throwing only 16 which was the least of his career.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars have the 21st-ranked defensive line and the 26th-ranked offensive line. Jacksonville lacks depth at cornerback, which could benefit the Browns passing game.
- Chicago Bears: The Chicago Bears have secondary issues stemming from a lack of depth at safety. The Bears addressed needs at linebacker this offseason, but their defensive line is ranked second worst for 2023.
- Houston Texans: The Texans debut their new offense led by rookie quarterback CJ Stroud this season. Despite their apparent gaps at the defensive line, Houston is a young team looking to build chemistry and gain traction in the AFC South. The Texans have the 23rd-ranked defensive line this year. In 2022 the Texans allowed 170.2 rushing yards per game, the worst in the league.
- New York Jets: The New York Jets got their guy in Aaron Rodgers this offseason. Unfortunately, he will be behind the 23rd-ranked offensive line. Rodgers should have no issue making snap decisions and getting the ball out of the pocket quickly, but expect more hits and rushed passes. The Jets have the 14th-ranked defensive line with the highest-rated cornerback in their secondary, which could work out well for the Browns run game.