The Cleveland Browns defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars by the score of 27-25 to go to 8-3 on the season.
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) November 29, 2020
This is an incredible achievement for a rookie coach in an organization that has lost more than its won in the past 5+ years.
Fans are excited about the very real possibility of a playoff berth for the Browns.
With 5 games left, here is a look at the AFC playoff picture and where the Browns could fit.
AFC Playoff Picture
7 teams will advance to the playoffs from the AFC.
4 of those teams will be divisional winners of AFC North, AFC South, AFC East, and AFC West.
3 remaining teams will earn wildcard spots.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are 10-0 and in first place in the AFC North.
They have 6 games left, 3 are with divisional rivals Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are 10-1 and in first place in the AFC West.
With 5 games remaining, only 1 is with a divisional rival, the Los Angeles Chargers.
3. Tennessee Titans
The Titans are 8-3 and in first place in the AFC South.
With 5 games left, only 1 is with a divisional rival, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
4. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are 8-3 and in first place in the AFC East.
With 5 games left, 2 are with divisional rivals.
They are the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
Assuming all 4 of these teams win their respective divisions, the wildcard picture gets very intriguing.
NFL playoff picture
AFC 9 teams vying for 7 spots 5-7. Teams nearly mathematically eliminated
NFC 15 of 16 teams have a realistic shot at playoffs
— Jim Wickens (@cincyplanner) November 24, 2020
Wildcard Spot #1 Cleveland Browns
— Brad Stainbrook (BrownsWave) (@BrownsByBrad) November 29, 2020
The Browns are 8-3 and in second place in the AFC North.
They play both the Ravens and Steelers in the remaining 5 weeks of the season.
Though not a divisional matchup, the Browns also have a tough game against Tennessee.
Barring a major collapse, it appears the Steelers will win the AFC North so the Browns need to do everything possible to win out to get a wildcard spot.
The Browns are likely to go either 2-3 or 3-2 down the stretch to put them at 10-6 or 11-5.
Wildcard Spot #2 Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are 7-4 and in second place in the AFC East.
Being only 1 game behind division leader Buffalo means the Dolphins could win the division.
That’s especially true since they meet Buffalo again in Week 17.
The Dolphins also have the Chiefs and Raiders on their schedule yet this season.
Wildcard Spot #3 Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are 7-4 and in second place in the AFC South.
They are 1 game behind the Titans after suffering a crushing loss to Tennessee in Week 12.
They have an easier schedule down the stretch with two games with Houston, one with Jacksonville, and then bigger challenges in the Raiders and Steelers.
On The Bubble
At 6-4 and in third place in the AFC North, the Ravens are on the bubble.
They are sliding in the wrong direction and with massive COVID-19 player losses and a big game against the Steelers this week, it appears the cards are stacked against them right now.
Las Vegas Raiders
At 6-5 and in second place in the AFC West, the Raiders are also on the bubble.
The Raiders are difficult to figure out as they gave the Chiefs their only loss of the season but cannot get past the 4-7 Falcons in Week 12.
The Browns are in a great position.
They need to focus on one week at a time because right now, they are in control of their playoff destiny.