How the Browns will finish the season

There is a saying in the NFL it's not who you play but when you play them, implying that at various times of the season, teams are stronger or weaker depending on injuries or recent acquisitions by signing free agents or perhaps by trade.

I disagree. An organization named Cold Hard Facts several years ago came up with a formula to determine which games a team would have a better chance of losing and therefore how a team would finish the season based on the number of QUALITY OPPONENTS it had to face over the course of a season. A QUALITY OPPONENT is defined as a team who currently (after week 7) has a record above .500 and who down the road would be almost certain losses for lousy teams and could even result in losses for good teams especially if they were played on the road (for example Denver losing to Indy this past Sunday). And as you might have suspected by now a team with fewer QUALITY OPPONENTS remaining on its schedule might have a better chance of winning more its remaining 9-10 games.

There is one caveat for every team. The starting QB has to stay healthy As Brian Hoyer, the QB who is responsible for the Browns three wins this season is out for the season, the Browns' outlook is bleaker than normal.

Here is how it breaks down for the Browns:

Cleveland now sits at 3-4 and has 5 QUALITY OPPONENTS remaining on its schedule, the Jets, the Patriot, the Bengals, the Bears and the Chiefs. That's 5 losses which take the Browns to 9 losses. Then the Browns have to play the Ravens and the Steelers twice. The Browns for sure will lose 7 of its remaining 9 games. At best they will finish with a 5-11 record.

Finally here are the projected playoff spots for the teams in the AFC with their current record and the QUALITY OPPONENTS they have remaining:

1 Denver Broncos (6-1)-----------------------13-3 (5 QUALITY OPPONENTS)

2 New England Patriots (5-2)-----------------12-4 (1 QUALITY OPPONENT)

3 Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)-------------------11-5 (beat the Colts) (3 QUALITY OPPONENTS)

4 Indianapolis Colts (5-2)-------------------11-5 (lost to the Bengals)(2 QUALITY OPP)


5 Kansas City Chiefs (7-0)-------------------12-4 (5 QUALITY OPPONENTS)

6 New York Jets (4-3)------------------------10-6 (2 QUALITY OPPONENTS)

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