This week, Marshall Faulk said, "Being GMC Professional Grade means being focused on a singular objective," and then asked us the following question: "No matter how your season is going, what’s that ONE remaining game that you want to win more than any other? And why?"
To answer that question, first, we need to take a look at the result of last week's poll, which asked what record fans believed the team would finish with:
71% of fans believe the Browns will finish with a 10-6 (41%) or 11-5 (30%) record, which means that over the team's final seven games, Cleveland would have to post either a 4-3 or a 5-2 record. 11-5 should get you into the postseason, while 10-6 would involve needing to have the upper hand in terms of tiebreakers.
Let's go with the projection that the Browns will finish at 10-6, and that the best path to making the playoffs is to win the AFC North. We've already split the season series with Pittsburgh and do not play them any more. The Bengals have a rough schedule coming up and could fade a bit; plus, Cleveland already beat them once, so a worst-case season split with them would not be crippling when it comes to a tiebreaker. The game that could bite the Browns, and therefore we're labeling as the most important one, is the Week 17 matchup against the Ravens.
Baltimore edged out a last-second victory over the Browns in Week 3. If Cleveland and Baltimore finish with the same record and the Ravens swept the season series, the Browns would have no shot at winning the AFC North. If everything is on the line, the game could be a flex possibility -- in other words, it could be the game that NBC puts on Sunday Night Football for the final regular season game of the year.
What do you think, Browns fans? What is the most important game left on Cleveland's regular season schedule and why?