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Browns Week 15 rooting guide: Best results for playoff seeding

A look at the best possible outcomes in Week 15 as the Cleveland Browns are currently holding the No. 5 in the AFC.

NFL: DEC 10 Jaguars at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns took another big step toward securing a playoff berth with their victory last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The win moved the Browns (8-5) back into the No. 5 seed in the AFC and set up a scenario where Cleveland controls its destiny with four games left to play.

If the Browns can continue to win, a tall task for any team but one that is becoming increasingly more difficult as the Browns lose players by the day to the injured reserve list, it does not matter what anyone else does - Cleveland will be in the playoffs.

As it stands right now, the Browns have an 86 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to The New York Times. A win this week against the Chicago Bears (5-8) and that number jumps to 93 percent. Even with a loss, Cleveland’s playoff chances will remain at 73 percent.

While the Browns may not need any help, it never hurts to have some additional insurance in case they stumble, so let’s run through this week’s rooting guide for Browns fans, starting with a trio of games to be played on Saturday.

Saturday’s Slate

Minnesota Vikings (7-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)

The shine has come off Josh Dobbs in Minnesota as the Vikings are turning to Nick Mullens as the starting quarterback this week in a bid to keep their surprising playoff hopes alive. Speaking of playoff aspirations, the Bengals are trying to fight their way back into the AFC playoff picture with Jake Browning at quarterback as one of six teams sitting at 7-6. The Browns hold the tiebreaker over the Bengals based on divisional record, but there is still no incentive to see Cincinnati be happy. Root for the Vikings

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

The Steelers are still befuddled as to why firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada did not solve their issues on offense and are coming off consecutive losses to two-wins teams. The Colts continue to hang around and will be eager to earn the tiebreaker over the Steelers and pick up their second win of the season against an AFC North opponent. The Browns have the tiebreaker over the Colts and can use some help with the tiebreaker scenarios against the Steelers. Root for the Colts

Denver Broncos (7-6) at Detroit Lions (9-4)

The Broncos continue to try and fight their way into the playoffs as they are 6-1 in their past seven games after starting the season at 1-5. It is irritating, especially since while Denver is currently No. 9 in the AFC, they are only one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, meaning a division title is still in play. The Lions continue their slow fade after being one of the early season darlings and are feeling a bit of heat from the Vikings in the NFC North. Denver holds the tiebreaker over the Browns, so the Lions need to get back to their winning ways. Root for the Lions

Sunday’s Slate

Houston Texans (7-6) at Tennessee Titans (5-8)

The Texans have come back to earth a bit after losing two of their past three games and could without quarterback C.J. Stroud (concussion) and wide receiver Nico Collins (calf) for the game. The Titans pulled out a surprising win on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins and will be trolling Houston fans by wearing their Houston Oiler throwback uniforms for the game. The Browns can secure the tiebreaker against the Texans when they meet on December 24, but another loss before then would be good. Root for the Titans

New York Jets (5-8) at Miami Dolphins (9-4)

The Jets, behind quarterback Zach Wilson, did the Browns a solid last week by upsetting the Texans, while the Dolphins bumbled their way to a loss, which helped the Baltimore Ravens move into the No. 1 seed in the AFC, a scenario that no one wants to see play out. With the Jets coming up on the schedule in a couple of weeks there is no reason to give them any sense of hope that the playoffs are still in reach, and Miami needs to keep the heat on Baltimore. Root for the Dolphins

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) at New England Patriots (3-10)

The Chiefs are in a bad place at the moment as they have lost four of their past six games and are looking at the reality of possibly having to play a road playoff game for the first time in quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ career. The Patriots had their Super Bowl last week by beating the Steelers and are potentially in the endgame with head coach Bill Belichick. As poorly as things have been going with the Chiefs, a loss to a Bailey Zappe-led New England team seems improbable. But stranger things have happened this season in the NFL. Root for the Patriots

Dallas Cowboys (10-3) at Buffalo Bills (7-6)

A matchup of two teams coming off big wins as the Cowboys took over first place in the NFC East with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles, while the Bills picked up the victory over the Chiefs with an assist from Kansas City wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Even with the win, the Bills have lost three of their past five and are at the bottom of the six-team glut of seven-win teams in the AFC. Another loss could spell the end of the Bills. Root for the Cowboys

Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens (10-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5)

The Ravens pulled out an overtime win last week against the Los Angeles Rams on Tylan Wallace’s 76-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Jaguars lost to the Browns and suddenly find themselves in a fight for the AFC South Division title. Baltimore is entering a potentially rough closing stretch of the season with games against the Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, Dolphins and Steelers, which means the AFC North title is still in play for the Browns. Root for the Jaguars


How are you currently feeling about the Browns chances at making the playoffs given that they are losing starters to injury seemingly on a daily basis?