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Browns Playoff Watch 1.0: Upwardly mobile

Cleveland has a decent remaining schedule

The Cleveland Browns have defeated division foes in their last two contests and because of beating two really good clubs, have increased their playoff percentage, plus now have a shot at taking the division crown. Their defense keeps them in games whereas the offense still struggles. Special teams also bail out the offense with good punting for a positive field position and the league’s best kicker.

Will the Browns make the playoffs in 2023?

Let’s examine what the other teams are doing, and who has the best chances of making the postseason.


AFC North Division

#1 seed Baltimore Ravens 8-3-0

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

With a loss to Cleveland the week before, the Ravens righted their ship with a 34-20 beatdown of the Bengals that was more of a beating than the score indicates. One look at Baltimore’s remaining schedule can see that it is brutal. They do control their own destiny as they inch themselves toward yet another division title and are pretty much a lock to make the playoffs. The loss by the Chiefs on Monday Night Football catapulted Baltimore into the top spot.

Division crown probability: 56%

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Chargers, Jaguars, 49ers, Dolphins, Steelers

Post-season probability: 96%

Cleveland Browns 7-3-0

The Browns are just a half-game out of first place in the division and have an agreeable schedule remaining. Cleveland has never won the AFC North Division, although they have captured every division they were in before it was renamed. Before the victory over the Steelers, the Browns were slotted in the #6 seed and have gone up one slot.

Division crown probability: 29%

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Broncos, Jaguars, Texans, Jets, Bengals

Post-season probability: 89%

Pittsburgh Steelers 6-4-0

The loss to the Browns really hurt, but they remain in the playoff seeding since the entire division does not have a losing team. Out of all the division clubs, the Steelers have the easiest remaining games.

Division crown probability: 14%

Last five games: 3-2-0. Toughest opponents remaining: Bengals (twice), Colts, Seahawks, Ravens

Post-season probability: 70%

Cincinnati Bengals 5-5-0

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Difficult to imagine the Bengals are in last place in the division, but they are. The loss of starting QB Joe Burrow can only make this season appear more bleak, but they are fighters. The rest of Cincy’s schedule is very brutal with no cupcake clubs but have won three of their last five games.

Division crown probability: 1%

Last five games: 3-2. Toughest opponents remaining: Steelers (twice), Jaguars, Colts, Chiefs, Browns

Post-season probability: 16%


AFC East

#4 seed Miami Dolphins 7-3-0

Last five games: 3-2. Toughest opponents remaining: Jets, Cowboys, Ravens, Bills

Post-season probability: 97%

AFC South

#3 seed Jacksonville Jaguars 7-3-0

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Texans, Bengals, Browns, Titans

Post-season probability: 87%

NFL: AUG 26 Browns at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

AFC West

#2 seed Kansas City Chiefs 7-3-0

Last five games: 3-2. Toughest opponents remaining: Bills, Bengals, Chargers

Post-season probability: 98%


Wild Cards

#5. Cleveland Browns 7-3-0

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Broncos, Jaguars, Texans, Jets, Bengals

Post-season probability: 89%

#6. Houston Texans 6-4-0

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Jaguars, Broncos, Jets, Titans (twice), Browns, Colts

Post-season probability: 63%

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

#7. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-4-0

Last five games: 3-2-0. Toughest opponents remaining: Bengals (twice), Colts, Seahawks, Ravens

Post-season probability: 70%


On the Outside

#8. Buffalo Bills 6-5-0

Last five games: 2-3. Toughest opponents remaining: Eagles, Chiefs, Cowboys, Chargers, Dolphins

Post-season probability: 26%

#9. Indianapolis Colts 5-5-0

Last five games: 2-3. Toughest opponents remaining: Titans, Bengals, Steelers, Texans

Post-season probability: 19%

#10. Denver Broncos 5-5-0

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Browns, Texans, Chargers (twice), Lions

Post-season probability: 21%

#11. Cincinnati Bengals 5-5-0

Last five games: 3-2. Toughest opponents remaining: Steelers (twice), Jaguars, Colts, Vikings, Chiefs, Browns

Post-season probability: 16%

NFL: DEC 20 Raiders at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#12. Las Vegas Raiders 5-6-0

Last five games: 2-3. Toughest opponents remaining: Chiefs (twice), Chargers, Colts, Broncos

Post-season probability: 2%

#13. Los Angeles Chargers 4-6-0

Last five games: 2-3. Toughest opponents remaining: Ravens, Broncos (twice), Bills, Chiefs

Post-season probability: 11%


Week 12 looking ahead: Results that could help the Browns

Friday

Dolphins over Jets

Sunday

Bengals over Steelers

Panthers over Titans

Buccaneers over Colts

Giants over Patriots

Jaguars over Texans

Browns over Broncos

Chiefs over Raiders

Eagles over Bills

Chargers over Ravens


Given the current Browns roster, what are your playoff aspirations/hopes after Week 11?