The Cleveland Browns dominated the New York Giants in their Week 15 matchup, winning 20-6 and giving themselves a playoff boost.
Headed home with the W❗️ pic.twitter.com/PuWthfxJjF
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 21, 2020
While the victory didn’t quite clinch a spot in the playoffs, it moved them even closer towards making that a reality.
Coming into this week, the Browns were sitting in the top spot of the Wild Card race, looking at a first-round playoff game against the fourth seeded team.
However, an Indianapolis Colts victory Sunday afternoon over the Houston Texans put more pressure on the fifth overall seed.
For the Browns to still have a leg up in the Wild Card, a victory on Sunday was important.
Because of this, it was a big win against a Giants team that is vying for the NFC East divisional title.
The win helps to solidify the Browns’ spot in the AFC Wild Card race.
Current AFC Playoff Standings.#Browns pic.twitter.com/eCKF3dd02u
— Orange and Brown Rpt (@TheOBR) December 21, 2020
Here is a deeper look at where the Browns now stand in the playoff picture after their victory.
Hanging On In The Wild Card
Though the Browns lost last week to the Ravens, they have been playing good football lately.
In fact, they’ve really made a statement that they could be a force in the playoff picture.
With each week that passes, the team inches closer towards clinching their first playoff appearance since 2002.
Their victory over the Giants moves them to 10-4, and back ahead of the Colts.
Browns reach 10 wins for the first time since 2007 🔥 @brgridiron pic.twitter.com/gYTvNMrTSQ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 21, 2020
They own the tiebreaker against the Colts and just have to match their record the rest of the way.
The Colts do have a difficult game against the 11-2 Steelers next Sunday.
With a game against the 1-13 Jets coming next week, the team looks to hang onto their playoff positioning in the Wild Card race.
For the Browns to set themselves up in a good spot, they need to win one of their last two games.
At 11-5, the team would most likely be comfortably in the postseason.
A Shot At The Division?
The Steelers currently sit atop the AFC North with a game against the Bengals on Monday night.
Though it is a longshot, the Browns still have a chance of winning the division.
If they win their final two games, including their Week 17 game against the Steelers, they can put themselves in position to win the division title.
The Steelers would also have to lose out, which may be more unlikely.
However, they have already dropped two straight games and have started getting exposed by better competition.
They face the Bengals on Monday night and would clinch the division with a win.
The #Steelers can clinch the AFC North on Monday night against Cincinnati
— SteelerNation (@SteeIerNation) December 15, 2020
It may be a longshot, but there is a chance nevertheless.
If the season were to end today, the Browns are looking at a matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
This is if they locked up the fifth seed they currently sit in.
However, depending on how things go over their last two games, the Browns could drop down to the sixth seed.
This would then set up a game against either the Bills or Steelers, depending on who ends up as the third seed.
Any way you look at it, the Browns are in a good spot after their Week 15 victory.
According to Five Thirty Eight, their playoff odds have increased to 92%.
Now, entering Week 16, the team has three clinching scenarios with a good chance that the team will be celebrating next week.
This is how the #Browns can clinch a playoff spot next week: pic.twitter.com/hbSWTCSdiz
— Brad Stainbrook (BrownsWave) (@BrownsByBrad) December 21, 2020
For Browns fans, it appears as though the team is heading to their first playoff appearance in 17 years, the longest active NFL playoff drought.
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