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

Following a 27-25 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Cleveland Browns lay claim to an 8-3 record.

CLEVELAND — Following Sunday's 27-25 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Cleveland Browns now lay claim to an 8-3 record heading into Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season.

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And while they were on the outside looking in at AFC playoff picture just two weeks ago, the Browns are now in the driver's seat of the conference's Wild Card race, with Five Thirty Eight giving Cleveland a 78 percent chance of ending the longest active postseason drought in the NFL (17 years).

Of course, there's still plenty of football to be played and a lot can change between now and the end of the regular season. With that in mind, let's take a look at where the Browns stand in the race for the AFC Playoffs and what they'll need to do to make the postseason for the first time since the 2002 season.

AFC North

While the Browns have a 78 percent chance of making the playoffs, Five Thirty Eight also gives Cleveland just a 1 percent chance of winning the AFC North.

That's because at 10-0, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only undefeated team in football, with a game against a Baltimore Ravens squad dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak scheduled for Tuesday night.

Should the Steelers beat the Ravens as expected, they'd enter the final five weeks of the regular season with a three-game lead over Cleveland. It's worth noting that Pittsburgh's road to 16-0 will hardly be a cakewalk with games remaining against the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills still remaining. But if the division is going to be on the line in the Week 17 matchup between the Browns and Steelers, Cleveland is going to have to take care of its own business and Pittsburgh is going to need to stumble along the way.

That scenario might not seem as far fetched as it did just two weeks ago. But it's still unlikely, at best.

AFC North Standings

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 10-0*
  2. Cleveland Browns 8-3
  3. Baltimore Ravens 6-4*
  4. Cincinnati Bengals 2-8-1

*denotes Week 12 game still remains.

AFC Wild Card

Two weeks ago, the Browns stood at ninth place in the AFC standings -- one spot behind the conference's three Wild Card spots. But as of Monday, Cleveland hasn't just reentered the playoff picture -- it now lays claim to the top Wild Card spot, which would prove advantageous for its potential playoff matchup.

Through 12 weeks, here's how the AFC Playoff picture looks:

Division Winners

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0)*
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-1)
  3. Tennessee Titans (8-3)
  4. Buffalo Bills (8-3)

Wild Card

  1. Cleveland Browns (8-3)
  2. Miami Dolphins (7-4)
  3. Indianapolis Colts (7-4)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (6-4)*
  5. Las Vegas Raiders (6-5)
  6. New England Patriots (5-6)
  7. Denver Broncos (4-7)
  8. Houston Texans (4-7)

With at least a one-game lead over every other team in the AFC Wild Card race, the Browns control their own destiny when it comes to qualifying for postseason play. Notably, Cleveland also possesses a head-to-head tiebreaker win over fellow Wild Card contender Indianapolis, effectively giving the Browns at least a two-game lead over both the Colts and 6-5 Raiders with five weeks remaining in the season.

As far as remaining schedules are concerned, Cleveland lays claim to the 15th easiest in the NFL based on opponent winning percentage. And while Miami (No. 6), is the only other legitimate Wild Card contender with a tougher remaining slate, the Browns' remaining schedule is more than manageable.

What's ahead?

Here are the games left on the Browns' 2020 schedule:

  • Dec. 6 at Tennessee Titans
  • Dec. 14 vs. Baltimore Ravens (Monday Night Football)
  • Dec. 20 at New York Giants
  • Dec. 27 at New York Jets
  • Jan. 3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

While it once appeared the two-game stretch in which they would face the Titans and Ravens would define the Browns' season, that may no longer be the case. In the time since, the Titans have jumped Colts in the AFC South -- thus negating the importance of Cleveland winning a head-to-head matchup vs. Tennessee -- while the Ravens have floundered and are currently in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak that could affect star quarterback Lamar Jackson's availability.

Even if the Browns -- who haven't lost back-to-back games all season -- lose to both the Titans and Ravens, back-to-back games in New York against two of the worst teams in the league could be enough for them to punch their ticket to the playoffs. As the odds suggest, barring an epic collapse, Cleveland appears primed for postseason play.