— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 29, 2020
Winners of four of their last five, the Browns have made their playoff presence clear.
While winning the division may be out of reach because of the undefeated Steelers, the team sits atop the Wild Card picture.
As it stands now, there are three teams that the Browns could likely face.
The Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts all have a chance to be the Browns’ first-round matchup.
If the season were to end today, they would be traveling to Buffalo.
What the Browns Bring to the Table
This season, the Browns have proven their potent running offense.
Led by the two-headed monster of a backfield in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the Browns have the most rushing yards in the NFL.
The talented @Browns backfield is a problem. Chubb and Hunt are RB1s and Stefanski does a great job of feeding each guy. If they’re able to get the game on their terms with the running game, they could be a problem down the stretch (and in the playoffs) #PHIvsCLE
— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) November 22, 2020
With 161.4 rushing yards per game, it is hard to deny the threat of their backfield.
The Browns also have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.
Each week, the line has shown their skill up front, bullying opposing teams in the run game.
This allows them to perform well in a variety of different schemes and formations, making it uncomfortable for defenses.
However, the team’s passing game has struggled.
After Week 12, the team ranks towards the bottom of the NFL in different passing stats.
They rank 29th in completion percentage with 61.24% and 30th in passing yards per game with 194.4.
On defense, the Browns are towards the middle of league with both rushing and passing.
They have a fairly balanced defensive approach.
Here’s a look at potential playoff matchups
1. The Buffalo Bills
The Bills are currently sitting in the fourth seed.
If the playoffs began this weekend, this would mean they’d be facing off against the Browns.
While the Bills have put together a solid 8-3 campaign, they would actually be a good matchup.
Buffalo has one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL, giving up the 8th most yards per game; the Browns would take advantage of this.
On top of this, the Bills have a subpar running game of their own.
Where they do excel is in the passing department, ranking in the top 10.
— Josh Allen's Burner Account (@JoshAllenBurner) November 30, 2020
For a playoff matchup, this is where the game would be won or lost.
They would need to play a good game on defense against an aerial attack from the Bills, limiting their scoring output.
2. The Tennessee Titans
This upcoming Sunday could be a preview of a potential playoff matchup when the Browns and Titans face off.
Interestingly enough, these two teams are very similar.
The Titans rely heavily on star running back Derrick Henry, who carries their rushing attack.
AJ Brown is rocking with Derrick Henry for MVP.
— ESPN (@espn) November 29, 2020
However, they have a lackluster passing game.
This would be a classic football game, filled with ground and pound from both sides.
It would be up to one of the defenses to step up and make the stops.
3. The Indianapolis Colts
The final likely matchup would be the Colts, who currently sit below the Browns in the standings.
If they are able to jump the Titans in the AFC South, they would have a good chance of facing off with the Browns.
Of the potential games, the Colts may not be the best for the Browns.
Led by Philip Rivers, the Colts have a good passing game.
On top of this, the team has a good rushing defense.
The combination of these could hurt give an advantage to the Colts, making this a game you’d like to avoid for the first-round game.
The Browns’ Ideal Matchup
With each team’s skillset in mind, the best opponent for the Browns would be the Titans.
This week will be a good glimpse at how the teams look against each other, but the similarities of them could become a good match.
They wouldn’t have to worry about a dangerous passing game and could channel the energy towards the run defense.
If they can limit Henry with a rushing defense that is their strength, they can win that game.