The Cleveland Browns could win the AFC North this year
The Cleveland Browns are currently sitting at 10-4, and they are in second place in the AFC North. As a result, the Browns have the opportunity to win the division in 2020. Cleveland's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in NFL Week 17 will likely determine the winner of the AFC North.
When was the last time the Cleveland Browns won the AFC North?
The Cleveland Browns have not won the AFC North since the NFL realigned its divisions in 2002. Cleveland won the AFC Central, the precursor to the AFC North, six times. The Browns earned the division title in 1971, 1980, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1989.
The 2020 NFL Season is the first time that the Cleveland Browns have been in second place in the AFC North since the 2007 NFL Season. Cleveland has not made it higher than third place in the AFC North since 2007. But this year, the resurgent Browns are having their best season in more than a decade.
The 2002 Cleveland Browns made the NFL Playoffs with a 9-7 record. But the team was knocked out of the postseason in the Wild Card game by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2007, the Cleveland Browns missed the playoffs with a 10-6 record due to a tiebreaker with the Tennessee Titans.
The Cleveland Browns have reached 10-4 during a challenging season
In Week 1 of the 2020 NFL Season, the Cleveland Browns played the Baltimore Ravens, and they were blown out 38-6. But Cleveland bounced back and won four games in a row. Their next loss game came in NFL Week 6, as the Pittsburgh Steelers handed the team a 38-7 defeat.
Next, the Cleveland Browns earned a close win over the Cincinnati Bengals (37-34) and dropped a tight game to the Las Vegas Raiders (16-6.) Heading into the bye week, the team's record was 5-3.
The Cleveland Browns won four straight games coming out of the bye. At this point, the team held a solid record of 9-3. A painful 47-42 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 was discouraging. But the Cleveland Browns fired back with a dominant 20-6 win over the New York Giants last week.
Now, at 10-4, the Cleveland Browns are in the thick of the playoff race. Thanks to two four-game winning streaks, the team has proven that it can get hot at any time. It's also worth noting that the team has not lost consecutive games at any point this season.
The team's NFL Week 17 meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers will give Cleveland an opportunity to win the division for the first time in 31 years. With a win over the Steelers, the Cleveland Browns can earn the team's first home playoff game since the franchise rejoined the NFL.