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What are the Cleveland Browns' playoff odds after loss vs. Patriots?

Following a 45-7 loss to the New England Patriots, the Cleveland Browns fell to 5-5 on the season.

CLEVELAND — In a game that possessed significant playoff implications, the Cleveland Browns came out on the wrong side. But even after their 45-7 blowout defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots, the Browns remain in the thick of the AFC postseason picture thanks to some help elsewhere in the league.

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According to the advanced analytics website Five Thirty Eight, Cleveland's odds of making the playoff now sit at 39 percent -- a 12 percent drop from a week ago. The same website also now gives the Browns a 19 percent chance of winning the AFC North, a drop of just one percent from last week.

Still, Cleveland has plenty of work to do -- and little margin for error left -- if it's going to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season. With that in mind, let's take a look at where the Browns sit in the AFC postseason race following their Week 10 loss.

AFC North

AFC North Standings

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

The bad news for the Browns is that Sunday's loss knocked them to last place in the AFC North as the only team in the division to currently have at least five losses. The good news for Cleveland, however, is that the rest of the AFC North went winless this weekend, with the Baltimore Ravens losing to the Miami Dolphins, the Pittsburgh Steelers tying the Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals being on a bye week.

As a result, the Browns largely control their own destiny in the AFC North with two games remaining against the Ravens and one game left against each of the Steelers and Bengals. At this point, Cleveland's hopes of winning its first division title since 1989 are very much alive -- although doing just that will require a better effort than the one the Browns gave on Sunday.

AFC Wild Card

Through 10 weeks, here's how the AFC Playoff picture looks:

Division Winners

  1. Tennessee Titans (8-2)
  2. Buffalo Bills (6-3)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)

Wild Card

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

While the Browns remain in the thick of the AFC North, their standing in the Wild Card hunt has only become more muddled. After losing to New England, Cleveland now sits in seventh place of the race for the AFC's three Wild Card spots, having already suffered head-to-head tiebreaker losses to the Chiefs, Patriots and Chargers.

From a win-loss standpoint, the Browns very much remain in the mix and a Week 15 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders could prove pivotal from a head-to-head standpoint. But at this point, the odds suggest that Cleveland is nearly just as likely to make the postseason by winning its division as it is to do so by earning a wild card spot.

What's ahead?

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

  • 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

While the Browns have seven games remaining on their schedule, their margin for error gets more narrow with each loss. After facing the winless Lions on Sunday, Cleveland will play a pair of critical games against the Ravens, which will be sandwiched around the Browns' bye week.

Those two games should go a long way toward determining Cleveland's trajectory for the rest of the 2021 season. According to Tankathon.com, the Browns' possess the fourth toughest remaining schedule as they are set to face opponents with a combined .562 winning percentage.