At 9-5, the Cleveland Browns are guaranteed a winning season in 2023 despite all the injuries they've suffered through. This will be their second winning campaign in the past four years and they can make it back to the playoffs for just the third time since 1999.
Cleveland is currently the fifth seed and can secure their spot as early as this weekend. Adam Schefter breaks it all down and while some of it gets convoluted, this much is true — if they win their games, they're in. They don't even have to win all of the remaining three but just one or two more wins could very well be enough.
What's interesting is that Cleveland isn't alone when it comes to getting it done with backups. The Cincinnati Bengals are also in the mix in the AFC with Joe Burrow out and the Minnesota Vikings are haning on with Kirk Cousins unavailable. Even the Pittsburgh Steelers have an outside chance of gettint in. But none have better odds than the Browns, which is the focal point of today's Daily Dawg Tags.
Cleveland Browns News
Browns playoff probability is high for a few reasons — Jared Mueller, Dawgs by Nature
"With injuries piled on top of injuries, it is interesting that everywhere you look, watch and listen has the Browns with 90% or higher odds to make the playoffs. Despite only being a game up and barely beating the lowly Chicago Bears (-4), there is a lot of confidence that Cleveland will have a postseason game. DraftKings has the Browns at -800 to make the playoffs, a 90% implied odds. Of the teams currently listed, which does not include everyone at this point, only the Miami Dolphins have better odds to make the playoffs."
The odds are high because they put themselves in an excellent spot. Cleveland has won the majority of their games and have been especially good at home. They're on the road this week but might be facing a backup quarterback, which could even the odds.
Texans QB C.J. Stroud likely out Sunday vs. Browns, sources say — DJ Bien-Aime, ESPN
"Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, who missed Sunday's win over the Tennessee Titans and remains in the concussion protocol, is likely to miss a second straight game this coming Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, sources told ESPN."
C.J. Stroud has been sensational as a rookie and it would be a huge blow for Houston if he misses another game. However, Case Keenum isn't someone to overlook. Cleveland knows this considering he spent two seasons as their backup behind Baker Mayfield.
Report: Browns lose former Buckeye from practice squad — Chad Krispisnky, WKBN
"NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo is reporting that the Atlanta Falcons are signing defensive tackle Tommy Togiai to the active roster off the practice squad of the Cleveland Browns. He has spent the bulk of the 2023 season on the Cleveland practice squad."
Originally a fourth-round draft pick in Cleveland, Togiai was released ahead of the regular season. He was signed to the Jaguars practice squad but made his way back to the Browns when they let him go. Now, he gets a chance on the Falcons active roster.
2023 NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Browns climb to No. 6 overall — DPD
After their improbable win over Chicago, the Browns are now sixth in these NFL Power Rankings. That might feel high but they've been far more consistent than many of the other teams in the top 10. Right now, no one wants to see them on the schedule since they're never truly out of the game.
Browns attempted to land defensive tackle, lost out to Texans — DPD
Cleveland needed depth on their defensive line with injuries and attempted to land Teair Tet from the Tennessee Titans. He was awarded to the Houston Texans, who will host the Browns this weekend. While it's unfortunate Cleveland didn't land him, at least the Bengals were beaten out by Houston — since they too wanted Tart and were ahead of the Browns in the waiver order.