Browns playoff hopes focus on AFC North games in Week 16

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The Cleveland Browns have slim hopes of making a run at the AFC wild card. The team would have to win out against a tough schedule and hope for some losses from the eight teams above them in the wild card race.

The AFC North, on the other hand, is still winnable if the Browns lose against the Green Bay Packers. Unlikely but possible given the number of difficult games on each team’s schedule.

Due to this, unless something changes, we will only focus on games each week that could impact the AFC North race. If Cleveland drops out of that race, we will then turn to look at draft seeding more.

For Week 16, besides their game with the Packers, the following games matter for the Browns slim playoff hopes:

Sunday 1 PM

Bengals vs Ravens

A game where it is difficult to root for either team, Cleveland is rooting for Cincinnati to continue Baltimore’s slide. With a Ravens loss, the Browns can then take out the Bengals in the final week of the season to hold the tiebreaker over them.

Chiefs vs Steelers

At 7-6-1, Pittsburgh can make math difficult moving forward due to their tie. While Kansas City has been on a roll lately, they are expected to be without their top two weapons for Patrick Mahomes due to COVID-19. Cleveland is rooting for the Chiefs to still pull out the victory at home.

With a matchup next week, Cleveland doesn’t have to have Pittsburgh lose this week but it is helpful especially if the Browns can’t pull off their own upset.

With a Browns win against Green Bay, quite difficult but anything is possible, and the two games above going their way, Cleveland would be a game behind the Bengals, tied with the Ravens and a half-game up on the Steelers going into the final two weeks of the season.

If all three games go Cleveland’s way, the Browns would control their own destiny for the playoffs. First, they are hoping for a Christmas miracle in Lambeau.