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The 3News staff makes its 2021 Cleveland Browns predictions

We all say the Browns will make the playoffs, but how many of us think they will go to the Super Bowl??

CLEVELAND — It's hard to believe, but less than 48 hours from the time this article is being written, Browns football will officially be back.

Cleveland will be in Kansas City Sunday afternoon to face the Chiefs, the same team they lost to in last year's divisional round. While the 2020 season ended in heartbreak, it still gave us countless memories and hope for the future, with some even daring to think "Super Bowl."

RELATED: Browns depth chart, schedule, 2021 preview and predictions

BEN AXELROD COLUMN: Browns fans should savor the 2021 season

So with 2021 campaign having the potential to be a special one on the shores of Lake Erie, just how good will the Browns be? We asked members of our 3News staff to make their predictions!

Jay Crawford

  • Final record: 12-5, AFC North champions
  • AFC playoff position: 3rd seed
  • How far they'll go in the playoffs: Lose to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Championship Game
  • Team MVP: Nick Chubb
  • Breakout star: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Additional thoughts: "Patrick Mahomes could be the Browns' new John Elway and the Chiefs could be our new Denver Broncos."

Sara Shookman

  • Final record: 13-4, AFC North champions ("which still seems weirdly optimistic...")
  • AFC playoff position: 2nd seed
  • How far they'll go in the playoffs: "Super Bowl...Super Browns! Champs!!"
  • Team MVP: Nick Chubb
  • Breakout star: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Additional thoughts: "I think the 'SteFANski girl' love will only grow in 2021."

Dave Chudowsky

  • Final record: 10-7, 2nd in AFC North
  • AFC playoff position: 6th seed
  • How far they'll go in the playoffs: Lose to either Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs in divisional round
  • Team MVP: Myles Garrett
  • Breakout stars: Harrison Bryant and Donovan Peoples-Jones
  • Additional thoughts: "My heart wants to pick the Browns to win the AFC North, but they haven't won a division since 1989 and I guess I just need to see it first. I think total wins is 10 or 11; going to go with 10 because of a tough road schedule and, in my mind, still a few question marks. The culture in Berea has changed and with Kevin Stefanski I do believe big things await, but it's a process!"

Betsy Kling

  • Final record: 10-7, 2nd in AFC North
  • AFC playoff position: "I have no idea, but they'll make it."
  • How far they'll go in the playoffs: Lose in divisional round
  • Team MVP: "Baker-Baker Play-Maker!"
  • Breakout star: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Additional thoughts: "Jimmy will come up with another new nickname for Chubb (currently 'Chubba Wubba Hubba,' or whatever). Myles Garrett will have his best season yet."

Ben Axelrod

  • Final record: 13-4, 1st in AFC North
  • AFC playoff position: 2nd seed
  • How far they'll go in the playoffs: Lose to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Championship Game
  • Team MVP: Baker Mayfield
  • Breakout star: Donovan Peoples-Jones
  • Additional thoughts: "I'm buying he Browns' hype as it's hard to think of a way this season gets derailed that doesn't involve injuries. The depth on defense is a concern, but the cohesion on offense should help this team take the next logical step in its progression. While I don't think the Browns are Super Bowl-ready just yet, I do think they'll come pretty darn close. Another playoff loss to Kansas City might not seem like progress, but it could mean ending the season one game closer to a trip to the Super Bowl."

Mike Polk Jr.

  • Final record: 11-6, 1st in AFC North ("I would say 2nd if not for the Ravens' recent injuries.")
  • AFC playoff position: 2nd seed
  • How far they'll go in the playoffs: Lose to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Championship Game
  • Team MVP: Nick Chubb
  • Breakout star: David Njoku
  • Additional thoughts: "We're in truly uncharted territory, folks. Enjoy the well-deserved ride and don't get hung up on the inevitable bumps in the road."

Tyler Carey

  • Final record: 13-4, 1st in AFC North
  • AFC playoff position: 3rd seed
  • How far they'll go in playoffs: Lose to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Championship Game
  • Team MVP: Baker Mayfield
  • Breakout star: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Additional thoughts: "This is still somewhat surreal for me, as up until last year the Browns had been horrible for most of my life. I finally feel like my dad did in the '80s, when fans and analysts alike were unironically picking them to go to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they never got there back then, and I'm not predicting they will this year either. But in the words of the great Lou Brown, 'We're contenders now,' and no city deserves it more."

Nick Camino

  • Final record: 11-6, 2nd in AFC North
  • AFC playoff position: Wild-card team
  • How far they'll go in playoffs: Lose in divisional round
  • Team MVP: Nick Chubb
  • Breakout star: Greg Newsome II
  • Additional thoughts: "This may just be the most exciting Browns team we've been able to enjoy since the team came back into the NFL in 1999. That being said, the NFL is a really, really tough league. Just putting the Browns in the Super Bowl, is not easy. Nothing would surprise. ... In the NFL, anything can happen, but I believe the Browns -- while exciting and fun in 2021 -- fall just short of the AFC Championship Game. Obviously, I hope I'm dead-wrong! Haha."

Stephanie Haney

  • Final record: 13-4, 1st in AFC North ("If there was ever a year that the Browns are going to win the AFC North, it’s this year!")
  • How far they'll go in playoffs: "The Browns are absolutely going to make the playoffs, and we are taking it all the way to the Super Bowl baby!"
  • Team MVP: Nick Chubb ("I can’t say it enough … give the ball to Chubb!!")
  • Breakout star: Blake Hance ("The 'guy named Blake' will continue to deliver for us.")
  • Additional thoughts: "The Browns are going to be great. We can actually go to the games, and we get an extra home game this season. Christmas in Cleveland is going to last for four glorious months this year!"

Dave 'Dino' DeNatale

  • Final record: 12-5, 1st in AFC North
  • AFC playoff position: 3rd seed
  • How far they'll go in playoffs: Lose to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Championship Game
  • Team MVP: Nick Chubb
  • Breakout star: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Additional thoughts: "I want to say that the Browns can get over the hump and make it to their first-ever Super Bowl, but their defense is going to have to prove that it can stop Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and Josh Allen and the Bills. I think the Browns will beat one of those teams in the playoffs en route to a berth in the AFC Championship Game, but not two."