Looking ahead: Next three games pivotal for Browns playoff chances

Browns, Jacoby Brissett. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Jacoby Brissett. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

The upcoming three games for the Browns will go a long way in determining their chances of making it into the postseason as they face a tough stretch in their schedule. 

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will make his regular-season debut in Houston on December 4th against the Texans and is able to begin practicing with the team on Monday, November 14th. With the Browns sitting at a 3-5 record, the team would benefit from winning two of their next three matchups prior to Watson’s arrival.

In the next three weeks, the Browns will take on the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Jacoby Brissett is able to hand the reigns over to Watson while sitting at a 5-6 record, Watson would have a legitimate shot to play the final six games of the season and lead the Browns to the postseason.

Browns set for a pivotal three-game stretch

Looking at this weekend, the Dolphins are one of the league’s hottest teams right now as they sit at a 6-3 record, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and star wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

The Browns defense will certainly need to step up against such a dominant offense with many explosive weapons, especially in their secondary. On the bright side for Cleveland, they’re expected to get linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah back from injury after he missed the Halloween night matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. They’re also hoping to get Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward back from concussion after missing the last three games.

Then looking past Miami, the Browns will head to Buffalo and take on one of, if not the best teams in the league; the 6-2 Buffalo Bills. Led by MVP candidate Josh Allen and an elite defense, Buffalo is a betting favorite to win the Super Bowl so the Browns will certainly have their work cut out for them.

Allen suffered a right elbow injury in their previous game against the New York Jets, however, he’s day-to-day and not expected to miss longer than one week, if any at all. Either way, a slightly banged-up Josh Allen is a break for the Browns defense that they’ll need to try to capitalize on.

While the 4-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t looked as good as many thought they would be so far this season, the Browns will still have their hands full with Tom Brady and a solid Buccaneers defense. From what it looks like now, it appears this will be the easiest opponent out of their next three and will be the only game played at home for the Browns over the three games.

This will be a game that the Browns will be desperate to win as it’s the last start for Jacoby Brissett before Deshaun Watson returns from suspension and against the greatest quarterback of all time.

Following the next three games, anything worse than one game below .500 will be quite the task for Watson to make a playoff push, as he’s returning to regular season action for the first time since the 2020 campaign. By no means is he expected to come in and light it up with the Browns in his first game back, rather it’ll likely take time for him to settle back into things.

On the bright side for the Browns, the schedule eases up once Watson returns, as they’ll face each member of the AFC North once more, and then the Houston Texans (1-6-1), New Orleans Saints (3-6) and (4-5) Washington Commanders.

Next. 3 surprises about Dolphins that give the Browns an advantage. dark