The season was the second for head coach Bud Carson, but the Browns started the season 2–7. Carson was fired one day after a Week Nine shutout loss to the eventual AFC Champion Buffalo Bills. He was replaced by former Browns quarterbackJim Shofner, who finished the season with only one additional win.
The 1990 Browns surrendered 462 points, the most points of any NFL team in the 1990s. Their −234 point differential is the third-worst total of any team in the '90s, even worse than the 1999 Browns expansion team.