Heading into this week’s slate of games, the Browns are current holders of the No. 6 seed in the AFC and have a 62 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to The New York Times.
Cleveland (5-3) is in Baltimore (7-2) this week to take on the Ravens in the first of two consecutive games against AFC North opponents. A victory over Baltimore would bump Cleveland’s playoff chances to 81 percent. A loss would likely quash any hope the Browns have of claiming the division title given that the Ravens would hold the tiebreaker, but Cleveland’s playoff hopes would still be 61 percent in their favor, so at least they have that going for them.
The Browns are six-point underdogs to the Ravens, who have won four in a row and took the Week 4 matchup in Cleveland. But where would the fun be if the Browns were not facing a difficult task?
Sunday’s game has the makings of a good one, but it is not the only Week 10 contest to pay attention to, so let’s dive in with the latest handy rooting guide for Browns fans.
Houston Texans (4-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
The Texans are feeling it after quarterback C.J. Stroud led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final minute of last week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bengals have won four in a row but just picked up their first AFC victory last week. Cincinnati might be amid its annual midseason surge, but they are running out of NFC teams on the schedule and another conference loss this week would be most beneficial. Root for the Texans
Green Bay Packers (3-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
The Packers broke a four-game losing streak with a victory over the Los Angeles Rams last week, but haven’t won a game in Pittsburgh since 1970. The Steelers are rested after a 10-day layoff and have somehow won three of their past four games while playing both Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. Win or lose, the Browns are going to have to beat the Steelers next week, but welcoming them to Cleveland following a loss is always preferable. Root for the Packers
San Francisco 49ers (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2)
The 49ers had the bye week to pick up the pieces of a three-game losing streak that started at the hands of the Browns. San Francisco’s offense has scored exactly 17 points in each of those losses as quarterback Brock Purdy has been trying to find himself after getting slapped around by the Browns. Jacksonville, winners of five in a row, has its sights set on the AFC’s top seed but will need some help. Cleveland gets the Jaguars later in December, so drawing even with them this week would add some extra spice to that game. Root for the 49ers
Detroit Lions (6-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-4)
The Lions come into the weekend as the NFC’s No. 2 seed thanks to the recent struggles of the 49ers and the overall mediocrity of the NFC. The Chargers are feeling a bit better about themselves after rolling over the Jets on Monday night, although their current streak of winning two games, and then losing two games, sets up for this week to be a loss. Root for the Lions
New York Jets (4-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (4-5)
Zach Wilson vs. Aidan O’Connell on Sunday Night Football! The Raiders had a mini-resurgence last week now that they are not under the mismanagement of head coach Josh McDaniels, while the Jets are just hanging around with dreams of quarterback Aaron Rodgers making a return to miraculously save their season in December. Time to start putting that to rest. Root for the Raiders
Denver Broncos (3-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-4)
The Broncos found some life the past two weeks with consecutive wins over the Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. A third win in a row is probably too much to ask, especially on the road, but the Bills are in a funk and are currently out of the playoffs thanks to last week’s loss to the Bengals. There is always the chance the Bills can rebound, so pushing them as far down the standings as possible is the right call here. Root for the Broncos
Enjoy this week’s games, everyone!
Heading into Sunday’s game, how are you feeling about the Browns chances at making the playoffs?