The Cleveland Browns lost on Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13 in a game that was borderline must-win.
The Browns had a chance to get to 6-6 with the Steelers with a win but blew their 10-0 lead in the second quarter.
Cleveland allowed 20 unanswered points in the game before closing the gap to seven with a field goal midway through the fourth quarter.
The scoring stopped there for both teams.
Team suffers from missed opportunities and fails to capitalize on big plays in loss to Steelers
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 2, 2019
Now at 5-7, every game is 100% a must-win if Cleveland wants to keep their season meaningful.
The division is officially out of reach after this past weekend and the only realistic spot is the second Wild Card spot (which the Steelers currently own).
The Buffalo Bills sit atop the first Wild Card spot at 9-3 and need just one win to officially eliminate Cleveland from that spot.
There are currently three teams between the Steelers and the Browns in the standings.
The Tennessee Titans are 7-5 and have won their last three games.
The Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts are on the downslope as they both sit at 6-6.
With four games to go the Browns sit two games back from a potential Wild Card spot.
It’s not an impossible feat but it also won’t be easy.
Three of the Browns remaining four games they will be favored in (Cinncinati twice and Arizona).
Nothing is a given in the NFL, especially with Cincinnati picking up their first win of the season and having a bit of momentum but nonetheless, the Browns should be able to take care of business in those two games.
The Arizona Cardinals are on a five-game losing streak.
That leaves the Baltimore Ravens in week 16 as the biggest test for the Browns this season (although they won the first meeting this season).
The remaining schedule for the Steelers isn’t an easy one.
They have to take on the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and then the Baltimore Ravens.
Going 1-3 in that stretch is very possible and that is what Cleveland needs, even 2-2 would keep their hopes alive.
The Titans schedule is even tougher as they have to play the Houston Texans twice, New Orleans and the Raiders this coming weekend.
Tennessee very well might go 1-3 in that stretch and fall out of the playoff race as well.
As for the two 6-6 teams, Oakland and Indianapolis, their schedules are easier than the two 7-5 teams.
However, for Cleveland’s sake, a 2-2 finish is very possible for both teams.
Oakland has to take on Tennessee, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos.
Indianapolis still has dates with Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Carolina and Jacksonville.
The Browns are now as desperate as a team can be at this time in the season.
Four wins are a must and a little help will be needed along the way from other teams.
Still, Cleveland must attack this on a week-to-week basis.
Take care of the team in front of you and control what you can control.
Picking up a win this weekend against the Bengals is a great way to get back on track and with each week we will know more about what needs to be done for Cleveland to salvage their season and make it to the playoffs.