The Cleveland Browns are headed back to the postseason after going 11-6 and securing the No. 5 seed in the playoffs. Despite the numerous injuries problems this team has faced, they've risen above their circumstances, which speaks to their incredible togetherness.
Now this squad will look to finish their magical year with a Super Bowl. While some don't consider Cleveland's chances of winning the title to be especially strong, Kevin Stefanski's group could be one of the better dark-horse threats we've seen in recent postseasons.
In fact, there's a few stats that only strengthen the Browns' case as a SB-worthy contender.
Browns Stats That Could Fuel 2024 Super Bowl Run
1. 270.2 Total Yards Allowed
Cleveland's title dreams will hinge, at least in part, on its top-ranked defense remaining strong in the playoffs.
This group has been revitalized after offseason moves that added better personnel and brought in a talented defensive mind Jim Schwartz as their new coordinator. The result? Leading the league in fewest total yards allowed with a mark of just 270.2.
The AFC will feature a gauntlet of incredible offenses like the Miami Dolphins (409.2 YPG, No. 1), Baltimore Ravens (370.4 YPG, No. 4) and Buffalo Bills (368.3 YPG, No. 5) in the postseason, which makes an elite D even more valuable since it can possibly neutralize those squads' advantages.
If the Browns hope to make it to the Super Bowl, they'll likely need to take down at least one (if not more) of Miami, Baltimore and Buffalo. The fact they have a legit deterrent to the top contenders in the conference is what makes them an attractive dark horse pick.
Boasting a defense that can slow high-octane offenses down allows Cleveland an opportunity to potentially control the flow of its playoff games. That would give the Browns a major advantage if they're able to keep those threatening units off the field and play at the pace they desire, instead of getting forced into a track meet.