Could Browns Be The Lone AFC North Team To Miss Playoffs?

One outlet posted their 2024 playoff predictions and the Browns were the only AFC North team not in the postseason.
Nov 12, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Elijah Moore (8) celebrates.
Nov 12, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Elijah Moore (8) celebrates. / Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
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Since the 2024 NFL schedule was released, record predictions have been coming at us fast and furious. The vast majority of record predictions for the Cleveland Browns have been falling between 10-7 and 12-5. Within that range, the assumption is that the Browns will make the playoffs.

Bleacher Report's Gridiron account on X however, posted an early NFL playoff prediction that excluded the Browns from the 2024 playoffs. Not only did that graphic exclude the Browns, but every other AFC North team found a path to the playoffs.

The Cincinnati Bengals were predicted to win the North and get the two seed. Both the Ravens and Steelers manage to snag Wild Card spots with the Ravens as the fifth seed and the Steelers as the seventh seed.

It appears that the return of Joe Burrow weighs heavily into this prediction. It is unknown as to why the Browns were excluded, whether that be a lack of trust in Deshaun Watson staying healthy, a difficult schedule or believing that the defense cannot repeat what they did in 2023. Regardless, this was not the only fascinating omission.

Despite an anticipated step back in 2024, the Buffalo Bills were also excluded on the AFC side. With Josh Allen at quarterback, the Bills will most likely still push for playoff contention once again.

On the NFC side, the Dallas Cowboys were the most interesting omission. Instead of the Cowboys, both the new-look Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams snag the final two Wild Card spots.

The NFC is not nearly the same gauntlet as the AFC, which makes the Dallas Cowboys take quite surprising. As for the Browns, even though their division and conference is filled with talented football teams, on paper the argument could be made that Cleveland is better than most of these other 14 teams.

Cole McDaniel


Cole McDaniel is a contributor to both Browns Digest and Cavs Insider. He is the Vice President of Operations for Kee on Sports, most notably serving as lead NFL Draft analyst and the play-by-play voice for high school football. He can also be heard on numerous Baldwin Wallace University athletics broadcasts and has served as Cleveland SC's color commentator since 2019. Cole is a 2019 graduate of Baldwin Wallace where he also played soccer.