Browns Playoff Chances, Scenarios, Super Bowl Odds, More
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images. Pictured: Baker Mayfield
Browns Playoff Chances
It can never be easy for the Browns, can it? No, but the Steelers will do their AFC North rival a favor this week.
A win over the Jets in Week 16 would’ve answered a lot of these questions, but down the team’s four top receivers, the Browns could muster just 16 points in a 23-16 loss.
The Browns still control their own destiny and are in with a win over the Steelers, who have already announced they will start Mason Rudolph at quarterback instead of Ben Roethlisberger.
Should the Browns lose, they need a loss from the Colts or the combination of a Titans loss, Miami win and Ravens win to get into the playoffs.
Browns Odds vs. Steelers
The Browns are up to a double-digit favorite against Rudolph and the Steelers. In Rudolph’s last start against the Browns, he threw four interceptions. Cleveland would like to repeat that script this week.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, this will be the first time Cleveland is a double-digit favorite against a team with a winning record since 1968. The Browns covered against the Giants that day.
Our NFL PRO Report has tracked 61% of bets on Pittsburgh, but the Browns are getting 67% of the money as of Wednesday.
How the Browns Got Here
It’s been a lot of running, a little Baker Mayfield and beating teams that good teams are supposed to beat.
Kevin Stefanski was brought in as head coach and increased the team’s scoring by five points per game by utilizing the league’s fourth-best rushing offense. Mayfield is more accurate this year and turning the ball over less — he threw 21 interceptions in 2019 compared to just eight this season.
Odell Beckham went down with a torn ACL in Week 7. The Browns are 5-3 since then, spreading the ball around to five different receivers.
The Browns are 2-3 against teams better than .500 and 8-2 against teams worse than .500. That’s what good teams are supposed to do, right? A good team at full strength should beat an unmotivated team starting a back-up quarterback.
Browns Super Bowl Odds
Under Stefanski, there’s some hope that Cleveland can make a run. Can the Browns slow things down in the playoffs with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt on the ground and Mayfield protecting the ball? That might be the game plan for an upset.
But every time the Browns have had the chance to prove they’re legit, they’ve stumbled — whether it was the Monday Night Football loss to the Ravens in Week 14 or the 38-7 loss to Pittsburgh after rolling out a 4-1 start.
Our model gives Cleveland a 0.50% chance at winning the Super Bowl.