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Community Convo: Desired playoff opponent and path

Browns playoff opponent gets decided in Week 18 but what about after that?

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a strange week for fans of the Cleveland Browns. Nothing to play for in Week 18 is not new but, normally, fans are looking at draft positioning when that has happened.

Instead, the Browns visit the Cincinnati Bengals with a playoff spot locked up and the fifth seed guaranteed. The only things to play for are a winning record in the AFC North and keeping the Bengals winless in the division.

Cleveland’s playoff opponent will be decided by two games in Week 18 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts as the three options. As noted in that article, all three teams are dealing with some major injuries that could impact which one gets the fourth seed and will host the Browns.

With how the NFL resets matchups after the Wild Card round, instead of a bracket-style playoff, Cleveland’s path to the Super Bowl is unknown and uncertain but it could include facing the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round.

If the Browns win their first postseason game and the other two wild card teams lose, Cleveland and Baltimore will match up in the following round. If the Browns and at least one other Wild Card team wins, the Ravens would face the lower-seeded Wild Card team.

While unlikely, Cleveland could host a playoff game if all three Wild Card teams are victorious. For example, the sixth-seeded Buffalo Bills knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs and the seventh-seeded Houston Texans beat the Miami Dolphins. If those things happen, the Browns would face the Bills (or whoever was the sixth seed) with Baltimore hosting the Texans (or whoever was the seventh seed).

For this weekend’s community conversation, we come with two questions:

  • Which of the three AFC South teams (Jaguars, Texans, Colts) do you want the Browns to face in the Wild Card round? Which do you want to avoid if possible?
  • Would you like Cleveland’s path to the Super Bowl to go through Baltimore or prefer to avoid a third matchup with the AFC North champion?

Jump down to our comment section to share your thoughts with the rest of the DBN community