Cleveland Browns: What Steelers loss might mean for 2021 win total

Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns sit at 4-3 heading into Week 8, and for hyperbole’s sake, the season officially starts on Halloween, when Baker Mayfield welcomes the Steelers to his house for a huge divisional matchup.

The Browns should reign victorious when the buzzer strikes zero, but with Cleveland just 3.5 points favorites, according to WynnBET, this oddsmakers basically see this one going either way.

A loss here puts the Browns at 4-4 and things only get harder, as five of the team’s remaining nine games will be against AFC North opponents, a tall order considering the division is the best in the NFL.

1. We’ll start with the non-divisional opponents remaining: At New England, home vs Lions, Christmas Day road game against the Packers and home against the Raiders. My guess is they beat the Lions and the Raiders, so I see a split 2-2.

2. The reaming Divisional games break down like this: At Cincinnati, at Baltimore, home vs Baltimore, at Pittsburgh and home vs Cincinnati. It’s worth noting that the final two games of Cleveland’s schedule include the Bengals and Steelers. When you get that late in the year, there’s no telling who will be healhty/available for game day.

Are the Bengals for real? Will they have a playoff spot wrapped up? All things worth considering.

3. OK, so my divisional prediction for the rest of the way? Since the premise here is the Browns will lose to the Steelers on Sunday, I see a split, with Cleveland winning at Heinz Fielder later in the season.

I think they’ll split with both the Bengals and the Ravens. Remember, the Baltimore game  sandwiches the BYE week, so the Browns play the Ratbirds in back-to-back games on Nov. 28 and Dec. 12.

4. OK, so as much as I want to answer this through the my orange colored glasses, I’ve got to be realistic. They go 3-3 in the division.

5. Back in May, I had the Browns going 13-4. I lost those orange colored glasses. My readjusted win total would be nine, putting Cleveland at 9-8. I don’t believe that’s enough to make the playoffs.

6. However, if they can beat the Steelers twice, and it’s entirely possible, 10-7 is on the table. That doesn’t guarantee a playoff spot, but it has the Browns in the conversation.

Steelers game may determine which direction Mayfield's season goes. dark. Next

Amazingly, WynnBET had the Browns over/under win total set at 10.5 before the season. As previously mentioned, I had them winning 12. Gulp. Vegas knows. Vegas always knows.