Tough Loss To a Division Rival
The Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens played in what many believe was the best game of this NFL season thus far, with the Browns surely playing their best all-around game on the year as well. With a 42 point outing and another great game for Baker Mayfield, everything looked great for Cleveland. The defense, however, would give up 45 points of its own and the Browns would lose by a final score of 47-42. Now sitting at 9-4 on the season, Cleveland’s final three games are of the utmost importance.
Cleveland’s Final Three Games
The Browns head to New York for a matchup against the New York Giants next week. While this game is not necessarily a must-win, the Browns are going to need as many wins as possible to try and stay in the playoff race and get as high of a seed as possible. While they do own tiebreakers over a few teams, Cleveland and its fans hope those won’t be necessary.
Cleveland is favored in the game against the Giants and experts do believe they will come out on top. With a win next week, the Browns would move to 10-4 and in a very favorable position for the playoffs. To add to that positivity, the Cleveland Browns face the winless New York Jets the week following. Another game the Browns would be favored in and should win.
If everything goes the way we would all guess. We would see an 11 win Cleveland team taking on a 12 or 13 win Pittsburgh Steelers team in week 17. This could be one of the biggest games we’ve seen here in Cleveland in a long time. However, I think that 11 wins should get the Browns into the playoffs with no trouble. If the Browns don’t take care of business next week against the Giants, though, the Steelers game becomes increasingly important.
There is a slight chance that Cleveland misses the playoffs even with a win over the Jets. The Ravens hold a tie-breaker over the Browns, and a 1-2 record over Cleveland’s final three games would also put them behind a Miami team that theoretically wins out. Safe to say, Browns fans don’t want any of those scenarios to pop up.
What The Playoffs could look like
The Browns are on the brink of their first playoff birth in 18 years. If the season ended today, we would see a Week 13 rematch in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans. The Browns currently hold the 5th seed in the AFC playoff picture and would most likely hold that spot, or the 6th spot, barring something drastic.
The most likely opponents for Cleveland are the Buffalo Bills, the aforementioned Titans, and Indianapolis Colts. If the Browns somehow landed as the AFC’s 7th seed, they would see Kansas City or Pittsburgh. As I mentioned before though, the Browns have a couple of very favorable matchups in the next two weeks. If they do what many expect them to do and win those matchups, they would land at 5 or 6 in the AFC. Playoff seeding could be the most important thing for Cleveland as a potential matchup against Kansas City would be much more difficult than a game against Tennessee.
Despite losing in heartbreaking fashion on Monday night, the Browns proved to everyone that they are a talented team that plays hard. Despite the loss, many people believe that Cleveland will be in good shape for the rest of the season. We should see them in the playoffs in a few weeks and there is a real possibility they could even win a playoff game this year. This is finally a new era for Cleveland, and the Browns are officially back.
Thanks for reading my article on Cleveland’s final three games. Check out more of my content @malensek_j.
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