It is impressive how quickly things can change in the NFL. They rarely stay the same as change is the only constant around the parity-driven league.
The Cleveland Browns were left for dead after back-to-back losses to AFC East teams in Week 10 and 11. Two straight victories have kept their fleeting hopes of the playoffs alive after a unique victory over the Houston Texans in Week 13.
Last week, we looked at the Browns final six games and pointed to how the schedule eased up a little bit compared to their first 11 games. Part of that piece noted that having the sad sack Texans on the schedule skews the data.
With the Houston game out of the way, Cleveland’s remaining games are seen quite differently. The final five teams on their schedule have a combined record of 32-28-1 with three teams in playoff contention:
- Cincinnati Bengals - Just knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs and have a top-five offense in the NFL
- Baltimore Ravens -If Lamar Jackson is healthy, have a top ten offense and top 12 defense
- New Orleans Saints - Worst team left on the schedule, they play Tampa Bay tonight on Monday Night Football which will provide some context to the fight they have left
- Washington Commanders - At 7-5-1, the Commandos are on the outside looking in with the eighth seed in the NFC right now. Before yesterday’s tie, they had won six of their last seven
- Pittsburgh Steelers - At 5-7, the Steelers have won three of their last four and gave the Bengals a good fight in their only loss during that stretch and got TJ Watt back
We will have more coverage on the playoff hopes later but a quick look at the schedule presents some concerns especially given the offense’s performance in Week 13.