The dust from the 2022 NFL season has not settled yet following last night’s Super Bowl but many are ready to turn the page to the 2023 NFL season. Two head coaches need to be hired, a bunch of other coaches need to move around the league and then we get to player movement.
Needless to say, where teams are the day after the last Super Bowl and where they are at the start of the following season are generally quite different. That doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting to at least discuss next year at this point but it is important to note.
ESPN just completed their very early 2023 power rankings. In many ways, their power rankings are very similar to the final records of last season with some tweaks.
The Cleveland Browns are ranked 19th with the obvious key being around QB Deshaun Watson:
19. Cleveland Browns
2022 record: 7-10
Offseason in three or fewer words: Meshing with Watson
Only one team that finished 2022 with more than the Browns seven victories is ranked below them, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who just lost Tom Brady. Cleveland is also the highest-ranked team that won seven or fewer games last year.
The AFC North is also interesting to look at with the Pittsburgh Steelers up at #14, the Baltimore Ravens at #11 (with lots of questions about Lamar Jackson) and the Cincinnati Bengals 4th in the league.
Thankfully for the Browns, a lot will change between now and the start of the season and, which is always true, power rankings do not mean a lot. It will be interesting to compare these rankings to those following free agency and the draft to see how the team’s moves impact how they are seen by some in the national media.