If you’re wondering how the Cleveland Browns will make the playoffs, you’re not alone. There are a few routes they can go on, but the simplest one? They need to win out and they’re in the playoffs. Sounds easy. But the entire situation is still a little complicated (as it always is), so let’s take a good look at how exactly the Browns will make it to the playoffs.
How The Cleveland Browns Will Make The Playoffs
With their emphatic 20-6 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night, the Browns have now upped their season record to 10-4. They are so close to sealing their place in the playoffs next week. Cleveland possesses a 92 percent chance of qualifying for postseason play. This number increased from an 87 percent chance a week ago.
The Browns postseason drought is close to ending, but that still leaves no room for complacency. To really clinch their place in the postseason, they need to beat the New York Jets plus depend on certain factors from the rest of the AFC North. With all that said, here is a look at where the Browns currently stand.
AFC North Standings
Pittsburgh Steelers 11-3
Cleveland Browns 10-4
Baltimore Ravens 9-5
Cincinnati Bengals 3-10-1
With the Browns Week 14 loss to the Ravens, the only way Cleveland can win the division is to finish the season with a better record than the Steelers. Pittsburgh was expected to take the win over the Bengals and the Indianapolis Colts before facing the Browns again in Week 17. In an absolute shocker of a game, the Steelers lost 27-17 to the Bengals. A victory over Cincinnati would have meant the Steelers had the division locked up right away and the race to secure it would be over. This upset win by the Bengals means everyone can hold their breath for another week.
After Week 15, here’s how the AFC Playoff picture looks:
Kansas City Chiefs (13-1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)
Buffalo Bills (11-3)
Tennessee Titans (10-4)
Cleveland Browns (10-4)
Indianapolis Colts (10-4)
Miami Dolphins (9-5)
Baltimore Ravens (9-5)
Las Vegas Raiders (7-7)
The current AFC Wild Card standings haven’t changed from a week ago because the Titans, Browns, Colts, Dolphins and Ravens all won over the weekend.
The Browns are currently slotted to be the top Wild Card and the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs.
Just To Make it Clear…
Cleveland’s head-to-head tiebreaker with the Colts makes it slightly easier for the Browns. In order for them to clinch a postseason appearance, they must beat the Jets and any of these three scenarios must also take place next week:
- Colts lose to Steelers
- Dolphins lose or tie to Raiders
- Ravens lose or tie to Giants
Put simply, the Browns win out and they’re in. If they win against the Jets but lose to the Steelers, who will probably rest their starters after locking in their postseason seeding, Cleveland can get help from a number of different teams and scenarios. Their first postseason appearance since 2002 is very much expected and fans couldn’t be happier.
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