CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A depleted Cleveland Browns team could have clinched a playoff berth with a win on Sunday against the New York Jets, but their fate will now be decided in the final game of the season.
It’s quite simple, actually.
The Cleveland Browns currently hold the seventh and final Wild Card spot with a 10-5 record heading into Week 17.
- Scenario 1:
Cleveland would clinch one of the three Wild Card spots with a win against the AFC North champions and rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The road goes through Pittsburgh,” Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett said. “The Steelers come to play us at our house, and we have to get to the playoffs through them.”
Even with a loss on Sunday against the Steelers, the Browns still have hopes of reaching the playoffs.
But they would need some help.
- Scenario 2:
If the Indianapolis Colts lost to the 1-14 Jacksonville Jaguars, the Cleveland Browns would make the playoffs.
- Scenario 3:
There is a second situation possible for the Browns to clinch a playoff spot if they lose on Sunday.
The Tennessee Titans would have to lose to the Houston Texans, while the fellow AFC North opponent Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins both win their Week 17 matchups in order for Cleveland to advance.
The Ravens travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals and the Dolphins will play a road game against the Buffalo Bills.
“What is ahead of us is everything that we set out to do this season,” first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski said after Sunday’s disappointing loss. “It is all still right there.
The Browns will look to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2002 when they host their division rivals on Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.
It’s still unclear if any of the key players placed on the COVID-19 list ahead of the game against the Jets, including wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins, will be available for the season-deciding matchup against the Steelers.