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Browns Playoff Watch 2.0: Ugly loss loses ground

Cleveland’s lack of offense is its Achilles heel

The Cleveland Browns were having a good run having defeated two division foes in consecutive games against the Baltimore Ravens and then the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then, they hit a brick wall in the embarrassing loss to the red-hot Denver Broncos.

What has shown these past few games is that Cleveland’s offense is downright bad. Their passing attack is the worst in the league and their once-elite offensive line is allowing huge sack numbers including four against Denver. The Browns have the league’s best kicker because the offense can’t score touchdowns.

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 9-3-0

It took a miracle for the Browns to defeat the Ravens and will take another miracle for any team in the division to topple Baltimore from the top of the heap. This team is very good with an offense that can keep drives going and an elite defense.

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

A quick glance at Baltimore’s remaining schedule can see that it is tough going in this back stretch. But good teams beat other good teams and they do control their own destiny in the division and also as the top seed in the AFC.

Division crown probability: 74% (up 18)

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

Post-season probability: 98% (up 2)

Pittsburgh Steelers 7-4-0

This is a resilient team as they just win ugly but all of those victories count in the win-loss column. The Steelers rely on their defense to keep them in games as their offense is not very good as well. Out of all the division clubs, the Steelers have the easiest remaining games.

Division crown probability: 18% (up 4)

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

Post-season probability: 78% (up 8)

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns 7-3-0

The Browns went from being a half-game out of first place in the division to now getting a lower seed as other clubs are climbing. Cleveland must find out how to move the ball effectively on the offensive side of the ball or their decline will continue. They can’t be the playoff team that scores a bunch of field goals while the other clubs are getting seven per drive.

Division crown probability: 8% (down 21)

Last five games: 3-2. Toughest opponents remaining: Jaguars, Texans, Jets, Bengals

Post-season probability: 66% (down 23)

Cincinnati Bengals 5-6-0

The Bengals are in trouble and they know it. Their offense stinks and they have an issue defending the pass. Their schedule going forward is downright scary and is hard to imagine they will make the post-season this year.

Division crown probability: 1% (same)

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

Post-season probability: 3% (down 13)


AFC East

#4. seed Miami Dolphins 8-3-0

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

Post-season probability: 99% (up 2)

NFL: AUG 12 Preseason - Browns at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

AFC South

#3. seed Jacksonville Jaguars 8-3-0

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

Post-season probability: 99% (up 12)

AFC West

#2. seed Kansas City Chiefs 8-3-0

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

Post-season probability: 99% (up 1)


Wild Cards

#5. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-4-0

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

Post-season probability: 78% (up 8)

#6. Cleveland Browns 7-4-0

Last five games: 3-2. Toughest opponents remaining: Jaguars, Texans, Jets, Bengals

Post-season probability: 66% (down 23)

Cleveland Browns v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

#7. Indianapolis Colts 6-5-0

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

Post-season probability: 43% (up 24)


On the Outside

#8. Houston Texans 6-5-0

Last five games: 3-2. Toughest opponents remaining: Broncos, Jets, Titans (twice), Browns, Colts

Post-season probability: 58% (down 5)

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

#9. Denver Broncos 6-5-0

Last five games: 5-0. Toughest opponents remaining: Texans, Chargers (twice), Lions

Post-season probability: 34% (up 13)

#10. Buffalo Bills 6-6-0

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

Post-season probability: 15% (down 11)

#11. Cincinnati Bengals 5-6-0

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

Post-season probability: 16%

#12. Las Vegas Raiders 5-6-0

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

Post-season probability: 2%

NFL: OCT 09 Chargers at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#13. Los Angeles Chargers 4-7-0

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

Post-season probability: 5% (down 6)


Week 13 looking ahead: Results that could help the Browns

Sunday

Titans over Colts

Patriots over Chargers

Falcons over Jets

Commanders over Dolphins

Broncos over Texans

Browns over Rams

Packers over Chiefs

Monday

Jaguars over Bengals