When you think about the best offenses in the NFL, which teams do you think of? Maybe the Kansas City Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Miami Dolphins, and the Buffalo Bills? Perhaps the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, and even the Detroit Lions? But one team that sneakily has built one of the strongest offenses in the NFL is the Cleveland Browns.
One of the main reasons Cleveland’s offense has flown so under the radar is the team’s underwhelming 2022 performance. The team finished the season with a 7-10 record, good for last in the AFC North. Even so, and even without quarterback Deshaun Watson for a large part of the season, the Browns ranked in the top half of the NFL in total offensive yards. And it was all thanks to the elite weapons Cleveland had on that side of the ball.
Running back Nick Chubb has been one of the primary leaders of the offense since he entered the league in 2018, and he hasn’t slowed down. In 2022, his 1,525 rushing yards were third-most in the NFL. He and Kareem Hunt’s efforts helped make the Browns’ rushing offense one of the top 10 most potent in the league in 2022. Even with Hunt still a free agent, Cleveland has second-year Jerome Ford in their backfield to pair with Chubb and keep their rushing offense strong.
In 2022, the passing offense wasn’t too shabby either. Wide receiver Amari Cooper had one of the best seasons of his career in his first year in Cleveland, despite the fact that he was catching passes from Jacoby Brissett for most of the season. His 1,160 receiving yards during the 2022 season with the 12th most of any NFL pass-catcher. Furthermore, Donovan Peoples-Jones established himself as a very solid WR2 in his third year as a pro, and tight end David Njoku had his best year since 2018 right after signing an extension to stay in Cleveland.
The passing offense should only get better in 2023 for a few reasons. For one thing, quarterback Deshaun Watson will have a full offseason to prepare and potentially get over the struggles he faced at the end of his first year with the Browns. For another, Cleveland only added more help to the receiving corps around Watson. They traded for former Jets receiver Elijah Moore early in the offseason then drafted Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman with their first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
So as the Browns enter the 2023 season, they do so with one of the league’s best running backs, one of its most productive pass-catching tight ends, and a top-tier receiving corps from top to bottom. They’re also getting their first full season with Watson, who, if he returns to his early career form, is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today.
When we think or talk about the best offenses in the NFL, we can’t forget to include the Browns in that discussion.
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