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Could the Browns Have a Top Five Offense in 2023?


Get ready because this Cleveland Browns offense is going to look very different in 2023.

Ever since the Cleveland Browns drafted running back Nick Chubb back in 2018 NFL draft, the offense has been a run heavy attack. Cleveland wanted to establish the run, in hopes of hitting defenses with the play-action pass.

When Cleveland traded for Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, this offense, all of the sudden, was going to be more of a passing team now. I see this offense running more of an RPO ( Run-Pass-option) style offense.

Watson will have a normal off-season this year and that’s exactly what the Browns needed. Cleveland will have workouts on April 17th, Then OTAS (Organized Team Activities) May 23-25 and May 30-June 1st. After that, Mandatory minicamp is June 6-8.

This is going to give Watson a chance to work with the offense. This also allows his offensive linemen a chance to learn how to block for Watson. One thing they’ll have to learn, is how to stop holding so much. Watson has great mobility and can escape when the pocket breaks down. If the Browns linemen hold, that could take away from a good run from Watson.

This will also give Watson and his receivers a chance to work together. We know this year that Watson is the starter. No guessing game or wondering about a suspension.

Finally, this new offense that head coach Kevin Stefanski and Watson worked on during the off-season, can get even more implemented.

Needless to say, the team workout dates that I mentioned above are going to be huge for the Browns.

I talked about working with the wide receivers. Well, let’s talk about them.

Cleveland has Amari Cooper out wide. Cooper is one of the best route runners in the NFL. Donovan Peoples-Jones has been a reliable pass catcher and does a great job of making tough catches in traffic even if taking a solid hit.

Cleveland also traded for Jet’s WR Elijah Moore. This was a good trade for the Browns. They needed speed in the slot and someone who could make plays with the football after the catch. Moore brings that to the WR room. Marquise Goodwin, who is coming off a wrist and shoulder injury, could be a good pickup, but only if he stays healthy. He still has good speed.

When it comes to the tight-end position, I’m still not completely sold on David Njoku. I know a lot of people are, but I still see his inconsistency issue as a problem when it comes to catching the football. His size and athleticism make him a great red-zone target, especially corner fade routes, but I need to see him be more consistent with catching the football.

Harrison Bryant may have his role decreased due to the fact that Cleveland brought in Jordan Akins in from Houston. Akins was with the Texans when Watson was QB.

I’m curious how Nick Chubb will play in a new offense. Chubb is more of a traditional type back when he gets the ball in the backfield and looks for running lanes. With Watson, I’m curious how he’ll adjust. Will we see more of Chubb on third down passing situations? I know I would love that. I’d like to see if Chubb can be a quality back that can also catch the ball out of the backfield.

Last year, Cleveland had an offense that was middle of the pack in yards per game at 349. I’m expecting that to improve to closer to 400 yards per game. Naturally, being a run first team, Cleveland was closer to the bottom on the NFL in passing. I see that changing this year and their average pass yards per game to go from 200 pass yards per game, to 350 pass yards per game. The Browns averaged 146 yards per game on the ground. That had them at 6th best in the league. I see that dropping more to around 110 or 120 YPG on the ground.

However, we all know this game is about winning and whoever scores the most points…….wins. The Browns ranked 18th in the league in scoring at 21 PPG. With this offense, Cleveland better be averaging closer to 28 PPG. The top offenses in the league (Kansas City, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Dallas, Detroit and Cincinnati) are all above 25 PPG. Only the Detroit Lions didn’t make the playoffs, but if head coach Dan Campbell can get their defense to improve a little bit more and keep that offense up in Detroit rolling, I expect the Lions to make a run at the playoffs.

The Browns have a chance to have a special offense this year. If Watson gets back to his Houston form, this offense could be really fun to watch. I expect Watson to return to his elite level form and I know the Browns do.


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