The Cleveland Browns are currently seeded as the AFC’s sixth playoff team with a 4-2 record. Given the difficult starting schedule, injuries, poor quarterback play and the early bye week, that record looks pretty good but the NFL stands for “Not For Long” for a lot of teams.
As we hit what used to be the midpoint of the season, the Browns schedule continues to be difficult. While records do not tell the whole story of teams (Cleveland is a good example of this), it does tell a story of if teams can close things out.
On the Browns schedule for the next four games are three teams with winning records and the 1-6 Arizona Cardinals. In Week 8, Cleveland travels west to take on the Seattle Seahawks who are 4-2 but have only beaten one good team (Detroit Lions) with the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants and the Cardinals accounting for the other three victories.
The Browns return home to host Arizona with the potential for Kyler Murray to return at quarterback or former Cleveland QB Josh Dobbs will remain at the helm.
After that, the difficult AFC North returns to the Browns schedule and a chance to avenge the team’s two losses this season. It starts with an away game against the Baltimore Ravens (5-2) before hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) in Week 11. Unlike the Ravens, the Steelers have not looked impressive this season, even in their wins.
Given the questions around QB Deshaun Watson’s health, Cleveland would likely be satisfied to leave this four-game stretch with a 6-4 record. The Baltimore game is the toughest on the schedule while the other three are winnable games.
If the Browns can enter Thanksgiving week with a 7-3 record, fans should start preparing for the NFL playoffs. A 6-4 record should still put them in a good position to push for the postseason.
What do you think is a realistic record for the Browns after these four games?