CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns didn't exactly have a very merry Christmas after losing in a heartbreaker to the Green Bay Packers in what was almost a Miracle on Lombardi Avenue. But with the loss, you might be asking, "What are the Browns playoff chances now?"
While that loss to the Packers certainly didn't help the Browns, two games on Sunday did as the Browns are scoreboard watchers still in the hunt for a playoff berth.
The Baltimore Ravens were annihilated by the Cincinnati Bengals, 41-21 Sunday and that was great news for the Browns. With Cincinnati now 9-6 on the season, the Browns will hope that the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Bengals this week and make their record 9-7 entering the Browns Week 18 showdown with the Bengals.
Additionally, the Chiefs crushed the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-10 on Sunday, giving them a 7-7-1 record as they head into the Week 17 matchup with the Browns. That Cleveland win would ensure the Steelers don't reach nine victories, keeping them out of the playoffs.
With the Ravens losing to the Bengals, the Browns just need the Ravens to lose one of their final two games. With the Rams and Steelers on the schedule, that doesn't seem like the most unrealistic scenario.
But while the Browns are looking for help from their divisional foes, the priority still lies within themselves as Cleveland needs to win both of its final two games on the schedule to get the top spot in the AFC North and return to the postseason.
A wild-card berth is a more chaotic, less-likely path for the Browns, with tiebreaker losses to the Patriots, Chargers and Raiders, and the only promised tiebreaker win being against the Broncos—meaning the Browns should be focused on winning out and keeping their fingers crossed for a little luck on their side in the AFC North battle.
The New York Times Playoff Picture currently gives the Browns a 13 percent chance of winning the division.
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