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AFC Playoff Picture: Browns rise, AFC North controls, Bills fall far

AFC North continues to be the best conference which the AFC playoff seeding proves

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Victory Monday is a great feeling no matter what part of the season it is but as the weeks go on, it gets just a little sweeter. That is even more true as the Cleveland Browns moved to 5-3 with a convincing 27-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Last week, the Browns fell one place but remained slotted for one of the spots in the AFC playoff picture. When we provided you with a playoff rooting guide for Week 9, there was hope that not only could Cleveland rise in the seeding but that the AFC North competition would fall.

Instead, the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals all joined the Browns in the winner’s circle this week. Not only that but every other game (except the yet-to-be-decided Monday Night Football matchup) went the opposite of Cleveland’s rooting interest.

Despite that, the Buffalo Bills losing to the Bengals dropped them from the fifth seed all the way down to the ninth which moved the Browns up to the sixth seed. Cincinnati’s victory pushed them into the seventh seed:

Cleveland currently loses the tiebreaker to Pittsburgh but holds the tiebreaker over Cincinnati.

Going into Week 10 of the NFL season, depending on the results of MNF and tiebreaker possibilities, the AFC North holds four of the seven playoff spots in the AFC including Baltimore tied for the best record in the conference.

Based on the number of matchups within the division, it is very difficult for four teams to actually make the playoffs. The Browns have a chance to solidify their chances with back-to-back games against the Ravens and Steelers in Weeks 10 and 11.

For now, the AFC North rules the conference and Cleveland is in a good position to build on a solid start to the year.

How surprised are you with the AFC North all being seeded this late in the season?