The 10-5 Cleveland Browns control their own playoff destiny heading into the final week of the season. Still, even if they do end up falling short in Week 17, there are many ways they can sneak into the postseason.
If the Browns are able to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, they’re in the playoffs. Pittsburgh has already clinched the AFC North and a home playoff game, but their seeding remains undetermined. Still, they could decide to rest their starters this week with the No. 1 seed off the table.
On the unlikely chance that the game ends in a tie, the Browns would need the Indianapolis Colts to tie with the Jacksonville Jaguars to get a playoff spot. If that doesn't happen, they could still hope for a loss by one of the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, or Tennessee Titans. Another scenario for Cleveland to get in with a tie is if the Titans also tie and the Dolphins and Ravens both win.
If the Steelers are able to pull off a win against Cleveland, the Browns still have two ways to get in. Even with a loss on Sunday, Baker Mayfield and company would still head to the playoffs if the Colts lose or if the Titans lose, the Ravens win or tie, and the Dolphins win or tie.
The Browns could slot in anywhere between the 5th and 7th seeds, regardless if they win or lose on Sunday.
Cleveland entered the season as a slight underdog to make the playoffs, but thanks to a powerful rushing attack, they have a favorable chance to end up there now. The Browns entered the season with +123 to earn a playoff spot before Week 1 at DraftKings Sportsbook.