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AFC standings, playoff picture: Browns keep same seed despite loss

The Browns continue to control their destiny

Cleveland Browns v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

For the first time all season, the Cleveland Browns have lost two games in a row. Back-to-back road defeats to the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams have turned an impressive 7-3 mark into an acceptable 7-5 record.

For the Browns, the AFC playoff picture and standings have become a vital thing to watch. Without a first-round pick, or many selections overall, losing out to get better NFL draft picks makes no sense.

Besides, anything can happen in the NFL’s postseason.

Last week, the NFL playoff picture was pretty clear for Cleveland despite the loss to the Broncos. Playoff Watch 2.0 provided all the details for the fight for the postseason. Despite the second straight loss, the Browns did not lose positioning as Week 13 comes to an end (Monday Night Football will not impact Cleveland’s seed):

As we shared previously, the tiebreaker process could turn out to be vital for teams this year. This week, the details that help break the ties between the four 7-5 teams are as such:

  • In a multi-team tiebreaker, you first use divisional tiebreakers to get to one team per division.
  • Pittsburgh and Cleveland go to a divisional tiebreaker, which the Steelers win based on their AFC North record.
  • Indianapolis and Houston go to a divisional tiebreaker, which the Colts win based on head-to-head record.
  • After the divisional tiebreakers, the Steelers and Colts go to a tiebreaker which Pittsburgh wins on record in common games to claim 5th.
  • With the Steelers eliminated, the Browns and Colts go to their tiebreaker. Cleveland has a win over Indianapolis to slot in 6th.
  • Then we revert back to Indianapolis and Houston, which the Colts win to stay 7th. Houston is 8th.

The Browns have five games remaining, four within the AFC. If they win out, a playoff spot is assured. If they win three out of five, there is a strong likelihood that they make the postseason but the tiebreakers will come into play, especially with the Texans on their remaining schedule.


What are your current hopes for the Browns playoff aspirations?