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How the Browns can still, somehow, make the playoffs

What a strange season it's been
Browns Packers Football
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Posted at 12:11 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 12:11:51-05

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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What Happened Now?

BROWNS 2021 SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · W · Sat 8/14 · 7:00 PM at Jacksonville Jaguars (23-13)
WEEK 2 · W · Sun 8/22 · 1:00 PM vs. New York Giants (17-13)
WEEK 3 · W · Sun 8/29 · 8:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (19-10)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · L ·Sun 9/12 · 4:25 PM EST at Kansas City Chiefs (33-29)

WEEK 2 · W · Thu 9/19 · 1:00 PM EST Houston Texans (31-21)

WEEK 3 · W · Sun 9/26 · 1:00 PM EST Chicago Bears (26-6)

WEEK 4 · W · Sun 10/3 · 1:00 PM EST at Minnesota Vikings (14-7)

WEEK 5 · L· Sun 10/10 · 4:05 PM EST at Los Angeles Chargers (47-42)

WEEK 6 · L· Sun 10/17 · 4:05 PM EST Arizona Cardinals (37-14)

WEEK 7 · W · Thu 10/21 · 8:20 PM EST Denver Broncos (17-14)

WEEK 8 · L · Sun 10/31 · 1:00 PM EST Pittsburgh Steelers (15-10)

WEEK 9 · W · Sun 11/7 · 1:00 PM EST at Cincinnati Bengals (41-16)

WEEK 10 · L · Sun 11/14 · 1:00 PM EST at New England Patriots (45-7)

WEEK 11 · W · Sun 11/21 · 1:00 PM EST Detroit Lions (13-10)

WEEK 12 · L · Sun 11/28 · 8:20 PM EST at Baltimore Ravens (16-10)

WEEK 13 · BYE

WEEK 14 · W · Mon 12/12 · 1:00 PM EST Baltimore Ravens (24-22)

WEEK 15 · L · Mon Dec. 20 · 5:00 PM Las Vegas Raiders (16-14)

WEEK 16 · L · Sat 12/25 · 4:30 PM at Green Bay Packers (24-22)

WEEK 17 · L · Mon 1/3 · 8:15 PM EST at Pittsburgh Steelers (26-14)

WEEK 18 · Sun 1/9 · 1:00 PM EST Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)