The Cleveland Browns have been the laughing stock of the NFL for nearly two decades. Ever since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999, the NFL Draft has held the attention of Browns fans year after year. After all, playoffs were never really a realistic option other than a few instances.
Then there was the 2007 Browns, led by Derek Anderson and finishing with the team’s best record since returning in 1999. The Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback Jim Sorgi became Cleveland’s favorite NFL player for a night in that season.
The Browns won 10 games that season and needed the Colts to defeat the Tennessee Titans in Week 17 in order to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Titans went on to win 16-10 and Cleveland has yet to sniff the playoffs since. And no, Brian Hoyer wasn’t taking the 2014 Browns to the playoffs.
So, here we sit on December 12, 2018 and the playoff picture is clearing up. Currently the Browns don’t own a spot and the Steelers (7-5-1) and Baltimore Ravens (7-6) both do.
The Steelers are winning the division and the Ravens currently hold the second AFC Wild Card spot. The Browns, after their Week 14 victory against the Carolina Panthers, are in third with a 5-7-1 record.
The best chance Cleveland has to make the playoffs is winning the AFC North, and there is a way that happens.
What needs to happen?
- The Browns need to win their three remaining games of 2018 starting with the Denver Broncos this Saturday.
- The Steelers need to lose out. It doesn’t sound likely, though they face the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints in the next two weeks. Their last game would be against none other than the Cincinnati Bengals. Yes, that means Browns fans would be rooting for Hue Jackson to beat the Steelers in order for the Browns to make the playoffs. What a weird world we live in.
- The Ravens need to lose two of their next three games, including a loss to the Browns. They have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers before their season finale against Cleveland.
The odds are against the Cleveland Browns, but they always have been. It took the Cleveland Cavaliers overcoming a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals to reverse the curse in 2016 and it will likely take more for the Browns.
The bottom line is Baker Mayfield has proven he’s a legitimate franchise quarterback and these players are playing for one another. The Denver Broncos are a tough, physical football team, and playing at Mile High Stadium won’t be an easy task. The Broncos are fighting for a playoff spot as well and have everything to lose with a prime time loss against the Browns on Saturday night.
The Browns need to take the last three weeks of the 2018 season one game at a time. That starts in their second prime time game of the season this Saturday at 8:20 pm against the Denver Broncos.
See you then.
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