Breaking Down the Cleveland Browns’ 2023-24 Schedule
We’re less than a week away from the official release of the 2023-24 NFL Schedule. It’ll occur, as it does yearly, in a primetime special: this year on Thursday, May 11, per NFL insider Adam Schefter. For the Cleveland Browns, the upcoming season carries a ton of weight. After trading a fortune in draft picks for quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2022, he didn’t quite pan out in his first season on Lake Erie. He hadn’t played football in nearly two years, so he was always going to deal with some rust. That said, the Browns’ front office (and their fans) certainly want to see some improvements during the coming year. The Browns are tied for the ninth-highest listed favorite to win the Super Bowl next year for BetMGM Ohio, clocking in at +3100. They have a lot riding on this upcoming season, taking into consideration the Watson storyline. While the official schedule hasn’t dropped yet, we do know which teams the Browns will be playing, both home and away. Here’s a primer for their upcoming slate of games, and how the Browns could fare with their schedule.
First and foremost are the division games. The Browns will play a home-and-home series with each of their three AFC North division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. These games are of the utmost importance because they play the biggest role in determining seeding for the playoffs. The AFC North has been a dogfight in recent years, with no win guaranteed even when there’s a massive disparity in talent between the two teams playing. As such, the Browns will have to take care of business during these six games if they want to make it back to the postseason.
Next are the rest of the AFC games. Each season, every NFL division is paired up with another division in their home conference (in the Browns’ case, the AFC) as well as their opposing conference (for the Browns, the NFC) on a rotating basis. The AFC North is slated to tee off against the AFC South this season, so the Browns will host the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars while going on the road against the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans. For the inter conference series, the AFC North is paired up with the NFC West, so the Browns will have to make a pair of trips to the west coast to face the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks, while they’ll have the heavy home field (and time zone) advantage while hosting the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. Also Read – How to Prepare for a Sporting Event
Playoff Aspirations: Can the Cleveland Browns Overcome a Tough Schedule?
The final three games the Browns are set to play in 2023 are based on how the team finished in 2022. Because the Browns struggled to a 7-10 record last season (good for fourth place in the AFC North) the Browns get a significant advantage. While their record might’ve been good for second or third place in another division, in the dogfight that is the AFC North they slipped all the way to the bottom of the division standings. As such, they get to play three other teams that came in last place in 2022: the Chicago Bears (who at 3-14 were the worst team in the entire league), the 5-12 Denver Broncos and the 7-10 New York Jets. They’ll host the Jets and Bears while going on the road in the Mile High City.
Because the NFL regular season runs for 17 games, teams don’t have an even number of home and away games: that rotates every season, and because the Browns had nine road games in 2022 (as compared to eight home games) they’ll get an extra home game this year, another scheduling advantage (and a big bonus for anyone who wants an extra chance to visit the Dawg Pound).