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What are the Cleveland Browns' playoff odds after win vs. Bengals?

Following a 41-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns moved to 5-4 on the season.

CLEVELAND — With a dominant 41-16 road victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns moved to 5-4 on the season.

RELATED: More Cleveland Browns coverage from WKYC

And with the Browns now past the halfway point of the 2021 campaign, it's about time to start looking toward the AFC playoff picture.

In looking around, Cleveland will have plenty of company, with 11 of the conference's 16 teams currently laying claim to winning records. According to the advanced analytics website Five Thirty Eight, the Browns' odds of making the playoff now sit at 51 percent, with a 20 percent chance of Cleveland winning the AFC North, while The New York Times' playoff simulator gives the Browns a 45 percent chance of making the playoffs and a 16 percent shot at winning the division.

With eight games left on the Browns' schedule and nine weeks left in the NFL's regular season, a lot can change between now and the playoffs. With that in mind, let's take a look at where Cleveland currently stands and what it still needs to do to punch its ticket to the postseason for the second straight year.

AFC North

AFC North Standings

  1. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)*
  3. Cleveland Browns (5-4)
  4. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)

*The Steelers face the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football on Nov. 8.

Following last week's loss to the Steelers, the Browns' win over the Bengals doubled as their first division victory of the 2021 campaign. With a 5-4 record overall and 1-1 mark in the AFC North, Cleveland currently sits in third place in the division with the potential to move into second place should Pittsburgh lose to Chicago on Monday night.

With the Browns' bye week not coming until Week 13, Cleveland currently finds itself 1.5 games back of the Ravens in the division standings. It's worth noting that the Browns still have both of their games against the Ravens (Week 12 and Week 14) remaining, as well as additional contests against the Steelers (Week 17) and Bengals (Week 18).

AFC Wild Card

Through nine weeks, here's how the AFC Playoff picture looks:

Division Winners

  1. Tennessee Titans (7-2)
  2. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
  3. Los Angeles Chargers (5-3)
  4. Buffalo Bills (5-3)

Wild Card

  1. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)*
  3. New England Patriots (5-4)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)
  5. Cleveland Browns (5-4)
  6. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)
  7. Denver Broncos (5-4)
  8. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)

While the Browns remain alive in the AFC North, their likeliest path to the postseason remains a wild card spot. In order to do that, Cleveland is going to have to separate from the pack with five playoff hopefuls in the conference -- including the Browns -- currently laying claim to 5-4 records.

Of Cleveland's eight remaining games, six come against teams in the AFC playoff mix, beginning with this Sunday's matchup vs. the New England Patriots. The outcome of the Browns' visit to Foxborough could prove pivotal to their postseason hopes, as a win would increase Cleveland's odds of making the playoffs to 57 percent, while a loss would drop those same odds to 33 percent, according to The New York Times' simulator.

What's ahead?

Here are the games left on the Browns' 2021 schedule:

  • Nov. 14 at New England Patriots
  • Nov. 21 vs. Detroit Lions
  • Nov. 28 at Baltimore Ravens
  • Dec. 12 vs. Baltimore Ravens
  • Dec. 18/19 vs. Las Vegas Raiders
  • Dec. 25 at Green Bay Packers
  • Jan. 3 at Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Jan. 9 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

With eight games left to play, the Browns still control their own destiny in both the AFC North and Wild Card races. In addition to their four remaining divisional games, Cleveland's contests against the Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders could give the Browns important head-to-head tiebreakers within the conference.

Heading into this weekend's road matchup in New England, Cleveland currently claims head-to-head tiebreakers vs. the Denver Broncos and Bengals, but lost previous matchups to the Los Angeles Chargers, Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs. So while the playoff picture is beginning to come into focus, it's worth noting that there's still a lot of football left to be played.

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