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HomeSportsWay-Too-Early NFL Overreactions After 2023 Week 1

Way-Too-Early NFL Overreactions After 2023 Week 1

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AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
The Cleveland Browns made a statement on Sunday.
Forgotten by many in the the stacked AFC North, Cleveland destroyed the twice-defending division champion Cincinnati Bengals.
There are often some aberrations in Week 1, and the Bengals were probably a bit rusty with quarterback Joe Burrow coming back from a calf injury, but 24-3? With Cincinnati’s prolific and highly talented offense converting just six first downs the entire game? Not a single team had fewer first downs than that in one game throughout the 2022 season.
This was one of the worst performances on Burrow’s career, and a testament to the jolt venerable new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz brings to Cleveland.
This is also quarterback Deshaun Watson’s first full season with the Browns. What’s scary is that Sunday’s performances from Watson, Nick Chubb and the Elijah Moore-led pass-catching corps weren’t close to the ceiling across the board.
Three years ago, with a similar core but a worse quarterback and a less experienced coaching staff, Cleveland went 11-5. The Browns definitely have the ingredients to take down the Bengals (as we saw Sunday), the Pittsburgh Steelers (who were bludgeoned Sunday and have major issues) and the Baltimore Ravens (whom we’ll talk about next).

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