One of many greatest tales in the course of the late going of the 2023 NFL season has been the comeback of Joe Flacco. The nearly-39 yr outdated quarterback has come off of the sofa after Week 12 and led the Cleveland Browns to 4 wins in 5 video games, and has the workforce at 11-5 heading into the ultimate sport of the season. They’ve an out of doors likelihood at catching the Ravens for the division lead and are in some way alive for the #1 seed within the AFC.
Browns Higher Than Steelers For First Time In 34 Years
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) December 29, 2023
However there may be one statistic that’s associated to a different division opponent that makes this season for the Browns that rather more spectacular. For the primary time since 1989, a 34-year stretch, Cleveland will end with a greater file than the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Browns have been one of the crucial down-trodden franchises within the NFL in the course of the course of their existence, whereas the Steelers have been a pillar of consistency. This has been very true for the reason that Nineties, a stretch that has seen Pittsburgh end below .500 simply twice since 1992 (and by no means since 2003).
The Steelers will face a troublesome take a look at to be able to end above the .500 mark for the twentieth straight season. Their last two video games will come in opposition to the Seahawks and Ravens, who’re preventing for their very own respective playoff implications within the late going and might be bringing their greatest in opposition to Pittsburgh.
Cleveland Has A Shot At #1 Seed
They’ll need assistance for it to occur, however there’s a state of affairs this season during which the Lions and Browns — the one two groups in NFL historical past to go 0-16 — may find yourself with the No. 1 seed of their respective conferences. Occasions have modified.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2023
However the Browns would possibly really be rooting for Mike Tomlin and firm in the course of the last week of the season. Ought to the Dolphins upset the Ravens this weekend, and if Cleveland takes care of enterprise in opposition to the Bengals in Week 18, then a Pittsburgh win over Baltimore that week would give the Browns the division.
Ought to the Dolphins lose to the Payments in Week 18, then Cleveland could be the #1 seed within the AFC.
The final time the Browns completed higher than the Steelers was really on account of an outlier. That they had a file of 9-6-1 in 1989, and received the AFC Central title as a result of tie. Pittsburgh completed tied for second with the Houston Oilers at 9-7. 26-year-old Bernie Kosar was the workforce’s quarterback, they usually had been led by head coach Bud Carson.
Cleveland misplaced within the AFC Championship sport to the Denver Broncos.