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USA Today’s prediction for the Browns is the best worst-case scenario

A winning record but missing the playoffs is painful to see

NFL: Pro Football Hall of Fame-New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Defining success in professional sports is sometimes difficult. While the ultimate goal is to win a championship every year, teams are often in different situations with different realistic expectations. The Cleveland Browns were in perpetual rebuilds (really just builds since 1999) where improvement and direction were seen as a success.

In 2023, the Browns expectations are much higher. Executives, coaches, players and fans all believe the team should be competitive this season. Predictions have been all over the place for this year as the AFC is seen as a loaded conference.

Is a winning record a good season?

Is making the playoffs (no matter the record) required for a good season?

Is winning at least one playoff game needed to be considered a good season?

USA Today’s recent predictions for the NFL are a version of a worst-case scenario for Cleveland but are somehow, also, positive and encouraging:

A winning record, hooray! Not making the playoffs, boo!

In the loaded AFC, it is noteworthy that 10 teams are predicted to have a winning record with 10 or more wins leaving three of them to miss the playoffs. In the NFC, just four teams are predicted to win 10 or more games and just seven teams with winning records.

In many years, a 10-7 record makes the playoffs in any conference. Based on the above predictions, 10-7 would tie Cleveland for the fifth seed in the NFC and win the NFC South.

The Browns don’t play in the NFC. This season is 2023, it isn’t any other year. For Cleveland to make the playoffs, the road first goes through the tough AFC North and any chance at a Wild Card spot will require 10 or 11 wins and some tiebreaker luck.

Join the comment section below and share how you would feel about the above best worst-case scenario for the Browns this year!