The Cleveland Browns are in a unique position during their late-season bye week. They are currently just a half-game back of the seventh seed in the AFC but are also just one game ahead of teams tied for the eighth-worst record in the NFL.
Earlier we reviewed the games that would impact the Browns playoff chances in Week 13. Those six games going Cleveland’s way would have them in a tie for the seventh seed and have fewer teams between them and their playoff goal.
As always, none of that matters unless the Browns win their games.
Now we take a look at games that could impact the team’s draft standing depending on the outcome of Week 13. While no fan (generally) is rooting for their team to lose, if Cleveland continues to struggle their draft positioning could be important.
These six games (mostly in the NFC), along with reverse outcomes in five of the six games noted in the playoff piece (still rooting for WAS), would impact where the Browns would be slotted to pick after Monday Night Football or draw teams closer to Cleveland’s record:
1 PM Games
Bucs vs Falcons
If Atlanta is able to upset Tampa Bay, they will have the advantage of their home stadium to do so. With a win, the Falcons will pull even with the Browns at 6-6 on the season.
Cards vs Bears
Chicago has been mostly a dumpster fire this season and have turned back to Andy Dalton, mostly due to injuries to Justin Fields. Matt Nagy is coaching for his job but is likely out. A Bears victory gets them to 5-7, just a game worse than Cleveland.
Vikings vs Lions
Detroit has been sniffing around getting their first victory of the season but Browns fans will be rooting for Minnesota to get their sixth win of the year and pull into a tie with Cleveland.
Giants vs Dolphins
Here is an interesting game for Cleveland fans. Both teams have worse records than the Browns but a win for one is probably better. With a win, Miami gets their sixth win of the season, with seven losses. Miami has been playing much better while New York is stumbling and may end the year with their current total of four wins.
Eagles vs Jets
Another game of two teams with records worse than Cleveland. A Philadelphia win, like the Dolphins, gets them to 6-7 while New York has stumbled like their city counterpart in the NFC.
Niners vs Seahawks
Somehow the return of Russell Wilson hasn’t been the spark Seattle wanted but they also don’t have their first-round pick to look forward to. San Francisco also doesn’t have their first-round pick and is fighting to stay alive in the playoff race. The 49ers moving to 7-5 would be a big boost to Browns draft stock.
Best Case Scenario
If everything goes the way Cleveland would like, the Browns will leave their bye week tied for the 12th pick in the 2022 NFL draft.