Top 5 Browns games in 2023: Beating the best the league has to offer

A successful campaign left Browns fans hungry for more heading into 2024

Cleveland Browns, David Njoku
Cleveland Browns, David Njoku / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Week 6: Cleveland Browns vs San Francisco 49ers, 19-17

Before the bye in Week 5, rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was thrust into action at the last second to face the rival Baltimore Ravens in Week 4, after it had been announced that starter Deshaun Watson would be unable to play, due to his shoulder injury suffered the week before. From the jump, and at no fault of his own due to the impossible circumstances, it was clear that DTR was out of his element. Cleveland was embarrassed in a 28-3 loss, and went into the bye week stuck searching for answers at the game's most important position.

Insert P.J. Walker, a career journeyman who saw his most success playing pro football in the XFL, winning league MVP with the Houston Roughnecks in 2020.

In an ugly tilt, which saw the Browns come in as 9.5-point home underdogs, the Cleveland defense took charge. 49ers superstar running back Christian McCaffrey was held to just 47 yards on 11 attempts, 27 of which came on his first attempt of the game.

Quarterback Brock Purdy was never given the privilege of comfortability, as Jim Schwartz's defense had the San Francisco offense confused all game long. Purdy would throw for just 125 yards on 27 attempts, also throwing an interception to Martin Emerson in the third quarter.

Despite this, the 49ers would line up kicker Jake Moody for a game-winning 41-yard field goal attempt. After the ball sailed wide right, however, the Browns offense took the field again, and Walker took one more snap in victory formation to secure a huge win for the home team against the eventual NFC Champions.