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Browns Playoff Watch 3.0: Control their own destiny in AFC playoff picture

Cleveland’s string of losses needs to end right now but playoff hopes stay strong

The Cleveland Browns were having a good season and had jumped up to the Number 5 seed. But two losses in a row have pushed them down one slot. And they are fortunate that other teams that affect their standing have had a loss or two recently.

The continuance of losing games will only force Cleveland from the playoff bracket into the “outside” window. When you get dumped into that bracket it usually means righting the ship isn’t going to happen and cleaning out lockers is more likely.

For now, the Browns remain seeded despite a two-game skid.

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 post-season.


AFC North Division

#2. seed Baltimore Ravens 9-3-0

The Ravens’ hold on the AFC’s top seed didn’t last long but they still lead the division as both the Steelers and Browns lost.

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

Division crown probability: 86% (up 12)

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

Post-season probability: 99% (up 1)

Pittsburgh Steelers 7-5-0

The Steelers had a chance to crouch behind Baltimore but lost 24-10 to one of the league’s worst teams, a club that Cleveland already defeated 27-0. Instead of trying to catch the Ravens, they seem more content with just being ahead of the Browns in the seeding process. The Steelers have the easiest remaining games. Despite losing, Pittsburgh did not lose their seeding position.

Division crown probability: 7% (down 11)

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

Post-season probability: 53% (down 25)

Cleveland Browns 7-5-0

The Browns have now lost two games in a row. There is a time when the wiggle room will not allow any more upward motion, and if the coaching staff doesn’t figure out how to take these games then the post-season will just get further and further away. Despite losing, Cleveland is still seeded but lost one position as the Indianapolis Colts have now claimed the #6 seed. And with the Bengals beating the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday Night Football, suddenly Cincinnati is just one game back of Cleveland.

Division crown probability: 7% (down 1)

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

Post-season probability: 60% (down 6)

Cincinnati Bengals 6-6-0

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.

NFL: SEP 10 Bengals at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Division crown probability: 1% (same)

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

Post-season probability: 16% (up 13)


AFC East

#1. seed Miami Dolphins 9-3-0

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Cowboys, Ravens, Bills

Post-season probability: 99% (same)

AFC South

#4. seed Jacksonville Jaguars 8-4-0

Last five games: 3-2. Toughest opponents remaining: Browns, Titans

Post-season probability: 99% (up 12)

AFC West

#3. seed Kansas City Chiefs 8-4-0

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

Post-season probability: 99% (same)


Wild Cards

#5. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-5-0

NFL: NOV 19 Steelers at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Post-season probability: 53% (down 25)

#6. Indianapolis Colts 7-5-0

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Bengals, Steelers, Texans

Post-season probability: 67% (up 24)

#7. Cleveland Browns 7-5-0

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

Post-season probability: 60% (down 6)


On the Outside

#8. Houston Texans 7-5-0

NFL: DEC 04 Browns at Texans Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last five games:4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Titans (twice), Browns, Colts

Post-season probability: 78% (up 20)

#9. Denver Broncos 6-6-0

Last five games: 4-1. Toughest opponents remaining: Chargers (twice), Lions

Post-season probability: 21% (down 13)

#10. Buffalo Bills 6-6-0

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

Post-season probability: 14% (down 1)

#11. Cincinnati Bengals 6-6-0

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

Post-season probability: 16% (up 13)

#12. Los Angeles Chargers 5-7-0

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

Post-season probability: 7% (up 2)

#13. Las Vegas Raiders 5-7-0

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

Post-season probability: 1% (down 1)


Week 14 looking ahead: Results that could help the Browns

Thursday

Patriots over Steelers

New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Sunday

Browns over Jaguars

Bengals over Colts

Jets over Texans

Rams over Ravens

Vikings over Raiders

Chiefs over Bills

Monday

Titans over Dolphins


How closely are you tracking the Browns playoff hunt at this point in the season?