Browns Aim to Turn 5-3 Start Into Postseason Spot

Browns Aim to Turn 5-3 Start Into Postseason Spot
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Somehow the Cleveland Browns have survived using three starting quarterbacks who have combined to throw more interceptions than touchdowns.

The Browns’ stout defense is a big reason why they sit at 5-3 after holding their third opponent without a touchdown this season in a 27-0 over Arizona on Sunday.

To aid your Browns wagers at apps like ESPN BET Ohio, took a look at teams that were 5-3 in 2022 to see what the Browns’ chances of making the playoffs could be. Four of the six 5-3 teams last year made the playoffs, but none made deep runs after sneaking into the postseason.

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How 2022 5-3 Teams Performed

Teams With Same Record Best Finish Worst Finish Average Record
6Chargers, Ravens, 10-7Jets, Titans, 7-108.7-8.7

The Browns playoff chances are still strong, with -175 to make the postseason against +155 to miss out.

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Early Playoff Exits For 5-3 Playoff Teams

Of the six teams to be standing at 5-3 after eight games in 2022, only the N.Y. Jets and Tennessee Titans didn’t make the playoffs. Both finished 7-10, as Tennessee lost seven straight to close the season after improving to 7-3, while New York lost its final six games.

The Browns will be aiming to follow the other four teams to the playoffs and advance a little further than they did. The L.A. Chargers (10-7), Baltimore (10-7), Miami (9-8) and Seattle (9-8) all finished second in their respective divisions, but then all four lost in their Wild Card playoff games.

Cleveland won for the third time in four games when quarterback Deshaun Watson returned from a rotator cuff strain last week against Arizona. That has the team tied for second at 5-3 with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, while Baltimore leads the AFC North at 7-2. If the season ended today, all four teams in the AFC North would make the playoffs. The Browns Super Bowl odds are +3500.

The Browns are 1-2 in the division with a season-opening win over Cincinnati, a close loss to Pittsburgh in Week 2 and a blowout loss to Baltimore in Week 4. The division rematches will be this week against the Ravens, Nov. 19 against the Steelers and a season-ending game with the Bengals on Jan. 7.

Cleveland’s last three wins are against teams with a combined record of 10-16 in the 49ers, Colts and Cardinals. The three wins in four games has improved the Browns’ odds of making the playoffs to 55.4%, according to the ESPN Football Power Index. If they do make the playoffs, it would be just the third time since the team’s revival in 1999 following the previous franchise’s move to Baltimore.

Cleveland goes for an important divisional win with a road game against a Ravens team that has won four in a row after a 37-3 thrashing of a good Seattle Seahawks team. That leaves the Browns as a 5-point underdog with an over-under of 40.5 points, according to DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio.

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Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.

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