Cleveland Browns locking up the 1 seed easier than it seems

With the playoffs locked up, the Cleveland Browns now can think about the AFC North title, and more

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

In the famous words of Lloyd Christmas “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.” The Cleveland Browns locked up a playoff spot with a win over the New York Jets on Thursday night but they could be in line for more, even if the odds aren’t in their favor.

Right now, there’s just a two percent chance it happens but the Browns could not only win the AFC North, but they could also wind up with the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. And while the percentage is low, the path isn’t that hard to follow. Nor does it seem highly unlikely.

The first step is done with the playoffs clinched. Cleveland, of course, will need to win their final game which is on the road against Cincinnati — a team they beat in Week 1. Sweeping them would mean a 12-5 campaign but then, they’ll need some help.

What the Browns need to happen for the No. 1 seed

Normally, this is where we see all sorts of possibilities. Teams needing help to clinch a spot often have to see strength of schedules get changed with some random wins by a team out of contention. That’s not the case here. All Cleveland needs is for the Baltimore Ravens to lose their final two games.

First up is the Miami Dolphins, who are also in line for the top seed. After that, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers who played much better with Mason Rudolph under center last week. Both games are in Baltimore, which doesn’t help, but they’re not impossible. Then again, nothing seems impossible now that we've seen Cleveland Browns Stadium break into a Joe Flacco chant in prime time.

Should that happen, the Browns would win the AFC North. However, to claim the top seed, they need just one more thing to happen. That would be Miami losing in Week 18 to the Buffalo Bills. Again, this is a home team for the Dolphins, which is why the percentage is so low but it’s not out of the question.

Either way, the Browns are in the playoffs for the second time in the past four years. That alone is impressive enough but being alive for the No. 1 seed in Week 17 is just the icing on the cake.

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