Skip to main content

Browns can clinch playoff spot with Week 16 win and some help

Cleveland controls its own playoff destiny but can wrap things up Sunday if it wins and has 1 of 3 other games fall its way

Two more wins, and the Browns don't need to worry about a thing.

That's always been the surest path to a playoff spot, and the Browns have earned that control through a "go 1-0 every week" mentality, which was exemplified yet again in Sunday's 20-6 victory over the Giants.

But for the first time this season, the Browns, at 10-4, enter Week 16 with a scenario in which they can clinch their first playoff spot since 2002. If Cleveland beats or ties the Jets on Sunday and gets a little help in one of three Week 16 games, it will earn its long-awaited ticket to the postseason.

Here's what needs to happen: The Browns CLINCH with a WIN over the Jets AND

  • Miami Dolphins LOSS or TIE to Las Vegas Raiders OR
  • Baltimore Ravens LOSS or TIE to New York Giants OR
  • Indianapolis Colts LOSS to Pittsburgh Steelers

The Browns can also CLINCH with a TIE on Sunday AND

  • Miami Dolphins LOSS to Las Vegas Raiders OR
  • Baltimore Ravens LOSS to New York Giants

Miami faces Las Vegas on Saturday at 8:15 p.m., setting up a possible win-and-in scenario for the Browns when they face the Jets on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both the Ravens-Giants and Colts-Steelers games will be played Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Browns still have a path to winning the AFC North. Cleveland would need to beat the Jets and see Pittsburgh lose next week against the Colts to set up a Week 17 showdown between the Browns and Steelers for the division crown at FirstEnergy Stadium.

If the Browns win their next two games to finish the season with a 12-4 mark but don't win the division, they would enter the playoffs as a Wild Card team with the No. 5 seed.

Here's an updated look at the AFC standings. The top four teams have either clinched their division or are their current division leaders.

1. y - Kansas City (13-1)

2. y - Buffalo (11-3)

3. x - Pittsburgh (11-3)

4. Tennessee (10-4)

5. CLEVELAND (10-4)

6. Indianapolis (10-4)

7. Miami (9-5)

In the Hunt

8. Baltimore (9-5)

9. Las Vegas (7-7)

x - Clinched playoff spot

y - Clinched division

Check out photos of the Browns against the Giants