With quarterback Deshaun Watson suspended for the first eleven games of the 2022-23 season, the Cleveland Browns might struggle to settle early on. While certainly far from having the worst odds in the league, preseason the Browns were ranked middle of the pack to take home the Super Bowl trophy this year.
Following a volatile offseason for the Browns, it is uncertain whether the team will reach the playoffs. Jacoby Brisset will be starting quarterback for the beginning of the campaign, and he along with Hunt, Chubb and Njoku will need to bring their A games for the Browns’ offense to do damage.
The Browns have some skilled players that are capable of reaching the playoffs on their day, and the team will be worth a look particularly against weaker opponents as there might be some good value to be had in NFL betting, especially if form is uncertain and bookies struggle to predict wins.
The Cleveland Browns are not widely regarded as one of the best teams in the NFL, although they have recorded some wins. The team reached the playoffs in 2020 after a drought stretching back to 2002. The most consistent period in the team’s history however was the 1980s when they reached the playoffs seven times in a decade.
The Cleveland Browns recorded 8 notable wins in 2021, although a lot of commentators were of the opinion that they could have done better. Nevertheless, these 8 wins were tremendous and a move towards being better.
With things seeming to be on the up over the last two seasons, the Browns look like a team that is beginning to gather some momentum. Roster issues aside, they are expected to at least equal their performance of 2021-22 this year.
The Cleveland Browns were founded in 1946, although the history of the team dates back to 1944. The team is named after the founder and first coach, Paul Brown. The Browns were formerly members of the All-American Football Conference (AAFC) and consistently won the league title in the four years of the Conference's existence.
The Browns joined the NFL in 1950 and continued to record success in the new league. In the teams first 40 years in the NFL, the Browns got to the post-season playoffs 22 times.
They won four NFL championships between 1950 and 1964, 11 NFL American/Eastern Conference championships, three NFL Century Division titles, and AFC Central Division championships in 1971, 1980, 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1989.
The Browns were bought for $4 million in 1961 by Art Modell, and in 1996 he planned to move the team to Baltimore due to the losses he had suffered from the stadium lease that put him at a disadvantage.
The NFL, however, ensured that Modell didn't take the team's name, logo, and uniform, which a new franchise inherited. So instead, Modell renamed his franchise as the Baltimore Ravens.
After a trust was set up by the NFL to act as custodian for the Browns during the transition, the franchise was eventually bought by businessman Al Lerner for $530 million in 1999.
After returning to the league, the Browns had a playoff appearance in 2002. However, they lost the game and many more games after, placing them at the bottom of the list of teams in the NFL. In 2018, Baker Mayfield, a rookie quarterback led the team to its best record in over a decade.
The venue for Cleveland Browns home games is currently the 68,000 capacity FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, which opened in 1999. The energy at the stadium is contagious, and despite poor to average performances in recent seasons, games usually benefit from a good atmosphere because of the positivity of the crowd who seem to just want to have fun.
When it comes to rivals, the Cleveland Browns have a few. Their biggest rivalry is perhaps with the Baltimore Ravens due to the intertwined history that the teams share. The formation of the Ravens altered the course of the Browns, with the team’s path on hold until the city had a new franchise in 1999, and these are always two teams that want to beat one another. The Ravens currently lead the all-time series 34-12.
Another key rivalry for the Browns is with the Cincinnati Bengals, primarily due to the location of the teams and the history between franchises. The Bengals were set up by Paul Brown after he was sacked as head coach from the Browns, and the animosity between Paul Brown and Art Modell contributed significantly to the rivalry in the early days, with showdowns known as “The Battle of Ohio”. All-time results are currently 51-46 to the Bengals, however the Browns have been victors in the last four meetings prior to the 2022-23 season.
The Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers are also geographically close and have been in the same division since 1950. After the Ravens and the Bengals, the Steelers are one of the fiercest and oldest rivals of the Browns. They met in the 1994, 2002, and 2020 playoffs and the Steelers currently lead the overall series 79-62-1.