At 5-5, the Cleveland Browns are literally in a must-win situation every week.
While it is possible to run the table like Tampa Bay did last year, it is not likely.
With that being said, here are the three games the Browns cannot afford to lose.
1. Week 11 – Detroit Lions
The Browns have a difficult schedule for the rest of 2021.
The Week 11 game against the Detroit Lions is considered one of the easier games.
After all, the Lions are 0-8-1.
They played the Steelers very tough last week so the Browns should not fall into the trap of thinking this is a gimme.
If the Browns cannot soundly defeat an 0-8-1 team, they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) November 14, 2021
2. Week 12 or 14 – Baltimore Ravens
The Browns have not beaten the Ravens since Freddie Kitchens was the head coach.
Ideally, the Browns would sweep both games against the Ravens because they have a bye in Week 13 so it really is three solid weeks of focusing on the same team.
However, the Ravens are a tough opponent so it is too good to be true to assume the Browns can win both games.
As a result, they have to at least split with the Ravens to stay competitive in the AFC North division.
.@Lj_era8 has recorded a passing or rushing TD in 45-straight games, the longest-active streak by a QB ❗️
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 17, 2021
3. Week 15 – Las Vegas Raiders
I still haven’t gotten over the fact that the 2020 Browns could not beat the Raiders.
It was a game where weather and wind were factors, but those conditions should favor the Browns and their running game and not the warm weather Raiders.
However, this year this game is an absolute must-win.
Once again, the Browns, on paper, are a more talented team so if they are a playoff contender, they must win the games against their lesser talented opponents.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) November 8, 2021
What About The Steelers And Bengals In Weeks 17 and 18?
You may be wondering why I didn’t select the Week 17 and 18 games against the Steelers and Bengals respectively.
Naturally, wins against AFC North opponents are great; however, the Browns cannot wait until the latter weeks of the season to kick it into high gear.
To stay in the AFC playoff race, they need to win now.
If they do not, those games in the waning weeks of the season are meaningless.
Hardest remaining strength of schedule:
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) November 17, 2021
Time to lock in.🔒 #RuleTheJungle
🗣 CAN WE GET A WHO DEY?! pic.twitter.com/KlTwxZPpnE
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) November 17, 2021
What About Green Bay In Week 16?
Christmas Day in Lambeau Field is a tall order for the Cleveland Browns or any other opponent, to be perfectly honest.
The Browns are a cold weather team so perhaps the conditions will not be as brutal for them; however, Aaron Rodgers can be brutal on just about every NFL team he faces.
Green Bay is arguably the best team the Browns face the rest of the season.
It would be an awesome win and a statement game.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 17, 2021
The 2021 NFL season has been crazy.
Even with COVID-19 last year, the season was not as odd as this one.
The best team one week is losing to a much less talented team the next week.
It is anyone’s guess how this season will finish.
Hopefully, the Browns are in the mix, but they need to win these three games to have a chance of being there.