AFC Playoff Picture: How the Browns Can Clinch Postseason Spot in Week 16

Cleveland could clinch as soon as this week
The Browns are in line for their first playoff appearance since 2020
The Browns are in line for their first playoff appearance since 2020 / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns are surging behind Joe Flacco, having won two straight with a matchup against the Texans on deck.

Houston may be without C.J. Stroud, though nonetheless Cleveland has an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a win and some help.

It's been a tumultuous season but this could be a magical week. Take a look at the clinching scenarios below.

NFC Playoffs: How Browns Can Make Postseason

This is obviously a bit complicated, but let's start with the obvious: Cleveland needs to beat Houston.

After that, it gets tricky. The Steelers and Bengals play each other and most scenarios prefer a Cincinnati win, while the Bills need to lose to the Chargers in some, but not all, situations.

Generally, fans want to root for the Patriots against the Broncos and then each scenario has its own one-off game. A Browns win is the most important component regardless, as it'd give Cleveland a big edge on a playoff spot in the final weeks.

The Browns are currently tied for the third-best record in the AFC, sitting with the fifth seed due to the Ravens' division lead. It's unlikely that Cleveland catches Baltimore, but still possible if the Browns win out.

Cleveland has a fantastic opportunity to return to the postseason despite dealing with a flurry of injuries this year. That's a win, no matter what happens in the next month.

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