Browns' First Playoff Opponent Set After Week 18 Results

The Cleveland Browns' matchup for the first round of the playoffs is set following the results of Week 18's early slate.

Dec 28, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski looks on during the
Dec 28, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski looks on during the / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cleveland Browns headed into Week 18 already locked in as the No. 5 seed in the AFC for the playoffs. While their game on Sunday didn't matter, they were still scoreboard watching to see who would win the AFC South and face them in the first round of the postseason.

Thankfully those in Cleveland didn't have to wait long to find out the team's first playoff matchup.

The Browns are set to face the Houston Texans in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Houston secured the AFC South title, along with the No. 4 seed and a guaranteed home postseason game, after the Jacksonville Jaguars' loss Sunday afternoon against the Tennessee Titans.

This contest presents an exciting rematch between two talented teams. They previously faced off on Christmas Eve, which ended in a 36-22 road win by the Browns. Star wide receiver Amari Cooper enjoyed a banner day against Houston, as he set the franchise record for receiving yards with 265 while adding 11 receptions and 2 touchdowns.

That being said, the Texans were without star rookie C.J. Stroud for that contest due to a concussion, which may have skewed the result. Now Cleveland's top-ranked defense will be tasked with slowing down the likely Rookie of the Year, instead of Davis Mills and Case Keenum.

Going on the road in the playoffs is never easy, but the Browns have shown this season they're going to fight to overcome any hurdle that's thrown them. A victory here over a higher seed could jump start a potential Cinderella run toward the Super Bowl.

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