The Cleveland Browns are in a position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as defeat the one-win New York Jets this afternoon and they’re in. The Browns need to win and have the New York Giants somehow, someway defeat the Baltimore Ravens OR have the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Indianapolis Colts. However, if the Colts defeat the Steelers and the Browns defeat the Jets, then next week’s game between Pittsburgh and Cleveland will be for the AFC North Division Title.
So, who should Browns fans root for? The Colts or the Steelers?
Currently, both the Browns and Colts find themselves tied in the wildcard column with a record of 10-4. However, Cleveland has the edge due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Browns defeated the Colts 32-23 in Week 5 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was 21-37 in that game and he threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns. However, he also had two interceptions in that game.
Had the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Miami Dolphins last night, we as Browns fans might not be in this predicament. That’s because if the Dolphins lost last night, all the Browns would need to do was win. Speaking of the Raiders, that Week 8 loss against the Raiders is proving to be crucial right now for Cleveland. We would be sitting at 11-3 instead of 10-4. That difference in the record could have given Cleveland some breathing room from the rest of the pack who fighting for a wildcard position.
As stated earlier, if the Steelers lose against the Colts today then next week’s game off the shores of Lake Erie will be for the AFC North Division Title! In Week 6, the Browns traveled to Heinz Field to play the Steelers. All week it was being hyped up as a big game and the first meaningful Browns/Steelers game in a very long time. However, Pittsburgh laughed at the Browns and proceeded to dismantle them, 38-7.
Right now, the Browns are the fifth seed. Meaning that if the playoffs started today, they would be headed to Nashville for a rematch with the Tennessee Titans. The outcome of the Colts/Steelers game won’t change the standings necessarily. However, the Steelers could fall into the wildcard if they lose today and next week against the Browns.
In summation, if you want the Browns to secure a playoff spot but not the division then you should root for the Steelers today. If you want the Browns to be in a fight for the division next week, then you should root for the Colts.