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NFL playoff picture: What does Browns-Texans mean for AFC standings

The Browns face the Texans in Houston on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns will travel to face the Houston Texans for Week 13 of the NFL season. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 with the game airing on CBS. Browns QB Deshaun Watson will make his first start in two seasons, and it happens to come against his former team. Do the Browns have a chance to make the playoffs if they catch fire with Watson? Let’s break it down below.

Browns playoff picture

The Texans are 1-9-1 on the season, so they obviously won’t make the postseason. The Browns step into this matchup with a 4-7 record, which is three games out of the final AFC Wild Card spot. Cleveland is also three games behind the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North.

The Browns’ margin for error is very small at this point in the season. Cleveland needs to string wins together while hoping for losses from the Ravens, Bengals, and other AFC Wild Card contenders. The Browns will play the Bengals in Week 14 and the Ravens in Week 15, so they can help their cause. However, Cleveland needs to take care of business against the Texans first.

Tiebreaker implications

Best conference record is the fourth tiebreaker for division standings and the second tiebreaker for overall conference seeding. A win over the Browns helps Cleveland if it comes down to that.