Going into Week 17, the Cleveland Browns precariously hold on to the seventh and final seed in the AFC to advance to the playoffs.
There are three scenarios that can occur in Week 17 that will lift the Browns into the playoffs.
If any of these three occur, the Browns are in.
1. The Browns Defeat The Steelers
This is the most direct path to the playoffs.
It also allows the Browns to control their own destiny.
Players and coaches already began uttering “win and get in” after the disappointing defeat to the Jets in Week 16.
This is a home game for the Browns, scheduled for Sunday January 3 at 1:00 pm at FirstEnergy Field.
The Steelers won their previous meeting in Week 6 by a score of 38-7.
Cleveland’s offense looked disjointed in that game.
Mayfield threw for only 119 yards and had 2 INTs in the game, but also remember that Nick Chubb did not face the Steelers because he was out with the knee injury.
Since 2010, the Browns have won 3 previous meetings, all were home games, in 2012, 2014, and 2019.
Currently, the Steelers are the second seed in the AFC.
This could mean the Browns may have to play the Steelers two weeks in a row if the Steelers stay at number two and the Browns squeak in at number 7.
Admittedly that is looking too far in the future especially with the Bills contending for the second spot also.
2. The Titans Lose To The Texans
This is a rematch of a tough Week 6 game that the Titans won in overtime by the score of 42-36.
The Titans are 10-5 and coming off a 40-14 loss on Sunday Night Football to the Green Bay Packers.
Yes, the Texans are 4-11, but JJ Watt gave an impassioned speech yesterday that could surely fire up his team.
After the Texans’ latest loss today, J.J. Watt was asked how he and his team would be able to bounce back next week. His answer is required watching for many. pic.twitter.com/3uRRnvBC53
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 27, 2020
Tennessee travels to Houston for this Sunday, January 3 showdown scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm.
3. The Colts Lose To The Jaguars
The Indianapolis Colts blew a resounding lead over the Steelers and lost by a score of 28-24.
Jacksonville beat the Colts in Week 1 by the score of 27-20, and that is Jacksonville’s only victory of the 2020 season.
— Officer Craig (@TheOfficerCraig) December 27, 2020
The Colts host the Jaguars at 1:00 pm on January 3.
The Browns will know their fate one way or another after the early games in Week 17.
There is no need for the team to watch the scoreboard because they control their own destiny.
It’s time to dust off the remnants of the painful Jets loss and focus on what’s ahead.
Hopefully, players will come off the COVID-19 list early in the week to allow for a full week of practice and preparation.
Everyone will talk about the missing wide receivers, but the often overlooked linemen were sorely missed also.
The Browns have succeeded with the “next man up” mentality all season long; given preparation time, they probably would have against the Jets also.
But that’s in the past, and Week 17 is all that matters now.