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Breaking down potential opponents for the Browns in the Wild Card playoff game

The Browns clinched their spot in the playoffs following their Week 17 win over the Jets

Playoff scenarios 1.3.24

The Browns will wrap up the regular season with their Week 18 matchup against the Bengals, and they will then quickly have to turn their attention to the playoffs.

Cleveland officially clinched a playoff berth after beating the Jets on Thursday Night Football in Week 17. It's the first time since 2020 that the Browns have clinched a playoff spot.

As the remainder of Week 17 played out and the Ravens beat the Dolphins on to claim the top seed in the AFC North, the Browns were also locked into the fifth seed in the AFC North. They will face the winner of the AFC South for their Wild Card playoff game.

Entering Week 18, the top seed in the AFC South has yet to be determined. Three teams in the AFC South are tied for the lead after a critical Week 17, as the Jaguars beat the Panthers, the Colts beat the Raiders and the Texans beat the Titans. The Jaguars, Colts and Texans are all in a three-way tie, each with a 9-7 record entering Week 18.

With the final week of the regular season, Week 18 will determine who wins the division title for the AFC South. If the Jaguars beat the Titans in Week 18, they will clinch the division and the Browns will face the Jaguars during wild card weekend. If the Jaguars lose, the AFC South will come down to the winner of the Texans - Colts matchup. Whoever loses that matchup will also be out of playoff contention.

Yet, there are a few wrinkles to the scenarios for the AFC South division title. As provided by the NFL, Houston can clinch the AFC South division title with a win and a Jacksonville loss or tie.

The Colts can clinch with the AFC South with a win and a Jacksonville loss or tie. They can also clinch the division title with a tie and a Jacksonville loss.

The Jaguars clinch the division with a win, or with a tie and a tie between the Colts and the Texans.

Cleveland went 4-0 against AFC South teams this season. They first beat the Titans in Week 3 at home with a 27-3 victory. Then, in Week 7, the Browns traveled to Indianapolis and beat the Colts in a thrilling 39-38 win. In Week 14, Cleveland hosted Jacksonville, and in QB Joe Flacco's second start with the Browns, led them to a 31-27 victory. The most recent AFC South opponent the Browns have faced came in the Texans, who they beat during their Week 16 matchup on Christmas Eve 36-22.

The Browns could cross one possible opponent off Saturday night, as the Texans and Colts face off on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 8:15 p.m. The Jaguars will then face the Titans at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, and the AFC South will have its division title winner.