How can the Browns make the playoffs after loss to Jets?

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The Cleveland Browns enter Week 17 looking to end the NFL’s longest active postseason drought.

CLEVELAND — Editor’s note: the video in the player above is from Dec. 26, 2020.

The Cleveland Browns’ 23-16 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday didn’t eliminate them from playoff contention.

RELATED: More Cleveland Browns coverage from WKYC

And while the Browns still control their postseason destiny thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Cleveland no longer has much margin for error.

Should Cleveland beat Pittsburgh in its regular-season finale at FirstEnergy Stadium next week, the Browns would clinch one of the AFC’s three Wild Card spots, ending the NFL’s longest active postseason drought (17 years). It’s as simple as that: win and Cleveland is in.

Meanwhile, should the Browns tie the Steelers, they would need one of the following outcomes to take place in order to clinch a playoff spot:

  • Colts lose or tie to Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Titans lose to the Green Bay Packers (Week 16) and Houston Texans (Week 17)
  • Baltimore Ravens lose to Cincinnati Bengals
  • Miami Dolphins loss to the Buffalo Bills

Even if Cleveland were to lose to the Steelers on Sunday, that alone wouldn’t eliminate the Browns from postseason play. They could still qualify for the postseason with one of the following scenarios:

  • Colts lose to Jaguars
  • Titans lose to the Green Bay Packers (Week 16) and Houston Texans (Week 17), Dolphins win or tie vs. Bills, Ravens win or tie vs. Bengals

Considering that the Ravens and Colts are both likely to be heavy favorites next weekend, perhaps the biggest game of interest for Browns fans next weekend — outside of their own — will be the one between the Bills and Dolphins. It’s worth noting that considering its playoff positioning, Buffalo could be in a position to rest its starters against Miami, which could create a significant edge for the Dolphins. The same could also be said for Pittsburgh, which would obviously bode well for the Browns’ playoff odds. 


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Marya Vinget

Marya Vinget is a freelance writer who works for may content writing agencies and for personal blog owners. She loves to write about everything from Tech to entertainment, You can hire her for the versatile writing attitude.