The Browns have overcome a barrage of unfortunate and untimely injuries to scratch and claw their way to 7-3 on the season. Cleveland's "just find a way to win" persona was on full-display once again in a 13-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
After back-to-back wins over AFC North Rivals, the Browns have positioned themselves extremely well to make a run at the playoffs over the final seven weeks of the season. By beating Pittsburgh, they've now jumped their most hated rival to take over the No. 5 seed in the AFC.
According to the New York Times' affiliated data visualization website 'The Uphsot" – which produces a playoff simulator each NFL season – the Browns have an 89-percent chance to make the playoffs after 11 weeks. That figure is fourth highest in the AFC behind the Chiefs, Dolphins and Ravens – all of whom are leading their respective divisions.
According to the NYT Playoff Simulator #Browns are up to 89% to make the playoffs. In a really good spot with 7 weeks to go. Those wins over Baltimore and Pittsburgh were massive. pic.twitter.com/1nwSmgVM1S— 𝚂𝚙𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚛 𝙶𝚎𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚗 (@Spencito_) November 20, 2023
Additionally, the Steelers win moved the Browns to 3-2 in the division, which helps them keep pace with the AFC North leading Ravens, who have the exact same division record. The New York Times Playoff Simulator gives Cleveland a 29-percent chance to win the North, while Baltimore's odds sit at a resounding 56-percent.
For what it's worth, the playoff simulator gives the Browns an eight-percent chance to clinch a first-round by and a mere three-percent chance to win the Super Bowl.
How things shake out from here will all come down to the always important tie breakers, making a Week 12 showdown with the scorching-hot Denver Broncos a critical matchup in terms of playoff seeding.
Without the likes of starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, among numerous other injured players, the Browns certainly have their work cut out for them on their race to the postseason. That said, they've put themselves in a great spot to earn a playoff berth already.