While the Cleveland Browns (hopefully) take care of the business with the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11, there are some other games worth paying attention to in the AFC fall season. Brown’s jockeys with several other teams for the precious playoff spots, something Cleveland has not experienced in nearly 20 years.
Here’s what to look for in the scoreboard updates throughout Sunday’s game as you watch the 6-3 Browns giant 3-5-1 Eagles.
Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens
This is a huge one for the Browns. Both Baltimore and Tennessee are 6-3, meaning the loser here falls behind the Browns. The Titans have dropped three of four since starting 5-0. The Ravens have lost two out of three and this could be a trap for the home team; Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh on Thursday to play the Steelers first place in what is perhaps the most heated rivalry of the year.
The Browns still get a crack at the Ravens again in Week 1
Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos
The Broncos cling to life at 3-6, but their vitality can dramatically help the Browns. Miami has won five in a row and plays a good defense under head coach Brian Flores. Kl. 6-3, Miami is tied with the Browns, but owns the conference tiebreakers across the board. A win in Denver that hangs an AFC loss on Miami would be a huge break for Cleveland.
New England Patriots and Houston Texans
Houston is 2-8 and has only defeated Jacksonville in 2020, but they can still affect the Browns. The Patriots are 4-5 and want to climb back into the mix. Houston can at the same time prevent the Patriot’s progress and also give the Browns a nice little bump in the AFC strength as planned, as the Browns own the head-to-head victory over the Texans from week 10.
Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday night, there are two teams over the Browns in the standings. The more advantageous result for Cleveland is that the Chiefs bombard the Raiders and drop the hosts to 6-4. The Raiders won the first meeting between these two teams. It’s hard to watch 8-1 Kansas City fall out of one of the top two seeds in the AFC, so a clear win that hangs some negative points on the Raiders’ AFC differential is the best possible way for this to unfold.
Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts
Green Bay are 7-2 and have control of NFC North and they have a chance to help the Browns by beating the 6-3 Colts down a stick. In general, NFC teams that beat AFC teams are always good for the Browns and their jockeying after the season. Because the Browns own head-to-head with the Colts, it’s not the worst if Indianapolis wins if it comes to a two-team tiebreaker.