There were a myriad of reasons that the Cleveland Browns were 7-10 this season. Fans have blamed everyone and everything from Kevin Stefanski, Andrew Berry, Paul DePodesta, Jimmy Haslam, trading for Deshaun Watson, not running Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt enough, Joe Woods (the team agreed with this one), overpaid defenders who don’t care enough, not enough coaches yelling and many, many other reasons.
One reason that is rarely mentioned is luck. While some believe the Browns are cursed, for a variety of reasons, we covered after Week 12 that luck played a role in the team’s struggles this season. The data came directly from the NFL which looked at a number of factors to say that, at the time, Cleveland was the fourth unluckiest team in the league.
The NFL put out the final data for the entire season and, low and behold, the Browns are now the third unluckiest team in the NFL:
Final iteration of Luck table using data thru week 18.
Biggest luck play in week 18 was SEA Missed Field Goal at the end of regulation (+28.9% for LAR). pic.twitter.com/DxqrMi5KQP
— Tom Bliss (@DataWithBliss) January 11, 2023
Interestingly, a few teams that made the playoffs were in the same vicinity as Cleveland. Buffalo, Miami, Dallas and Cincinnati were among the bottom 10 in luck this year.
For the Browns, opponents rarely missed field goals, rarely dropped interceptable passes and often recovered fumbles that Cleveland did not.
So many little things, and big things, didn’t go the Browns way this season and luck was just one of them.