I’m a Cleveland Browns fan. It’s in my blood to be optimistic about my team no matter how bad or even average things may be looking. Most of that optimism usually takes place during the offseason, but this time around, it has crept into many heads of Browns Backers worldwide.1
When the Browns (somehow) beat the Ravens in Baltimore by 15 in Week 4, the Dawg Pound was sky-high about their team. A win in Baltimore is huge, let alone one by two touchdowns. Then Cleveland decided to lose four straight games, including one dismal, horrible, inexcusable loss in Denver against a bad and depleted Broncos team in Week 9, one. Following that loss, the Browns turned it around and beat a previously 6-2 Bills team this past Sunday.
Now 3-6 and with a favorable schedule ahead, fans are once again looking at the odds and chances that Browns have of making the postseason. To save you some time, WFNY did some of the digging for you:
Speaking of that schedule, if Cleveland takes care of business when they host the Steelers in a short week Thursday night, those chances rise to 23%. If they beat the Dolphins at home the week after that, that percentage climbs to 29%. I won’t even tell you what that percentage moves to if they beat the Steelers in the Steel City in a few weeks.
It’s important to take these games week by week, but for us fans, it’s also fun to see the best outcomes for our favorite NFL team. We love playing the “what if” game, and by looking ahead, it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves.
With the Ravens at 7-2, it’s all but impossible to catch up to them and win the division. Baltimore has looked very, very good and unless something major happens, there’s just no way the Browns can catch up to them this season. At 3-6, their best opportunity to make the postseason is via the wild card.
Cleveland dug themselves into such a deep hole that it’s likely that they will have to go either 7-0 or 6-1 the rest of the way if they want to make the playoffs. Winning out puts them at 10-6 and should very well give them a wild card spot. At 9-7 (losing one game the rest of the season), things will get dicey.
Now I’m not here to say that the Browns will win out or even come close to the postseason this year. The odds say that they likely won’t, but even then, they still have a chance to do so and that’s all that matters. That’s what makes Thursday night’s game so important. Not only is it a rivalry game, but the Browns must keep the momentum going, especially at home. Take care of your own business and let the rest of the cards fall however they will around the league.
Optimism and hope is all Browns fans have right now, and the numbers suggest that somehow, Cleveland still has a chance. Until that number is 0%, let’s make sure that the Browns are doing everything possible to beat their opponents. Putting an end to the self-inflicted penalties and plays is a good start; winning football games like the team was projected to prior to the season. Even at 3-6, the Browns somehow still have can make the playoffs.
So in the wise words of Dumb and Dumber: “So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?”