CLEVELAND — Entering the 2019 season, the Cleveland Browns were hoping to end several droughts and accomplish a number of franchise firsts.
But while the Browns' playoff hopes are currently on life support and a chance at making a Super Bowl run seem doubtful (at best), Cleveland has managed to already make at least some history this season.
With their 27-19 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the Browns beat all three of their division rivals in the same season for the first time since the AFC North came into existence in 2002. On Sept. 29, Cleveland beat the Baltimore Ravens 40-25 and the Browns added their first win over the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2014 with a 21-7 victory on Nov. 14.
That it took the Browns 17 seasons to accomplish this feat is rather remarkable considering they play the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers twice each every season. Nevertheless, Cleveland has totaled an NFL-worst 27-78-1 division record since the start of the 2002 season, which also happened to be the last time the Browns made a postseason appearance.
With its win over the Bengals, Cleveland also advanced to 3-1 in division play this season with games against Baltimore and Cincinnati still remaining in Weeks 16 and 17. With one more victory against either, the Browns would clinch a winning record against the AFC North for the second consecutive season after having previously failed to amass a winning record in the division at any point since it formed seventeen years ago.