The Cleveland Browns can still make the playoffs, but they need 5 things to happen including one near-miracle

  • At 6-7-1, the Cleveland Browns have secured their best season in years.

  • While it's a longshot, the Browns can still make the playoffs, though they'll need a lot of help.

  • The Browns first need to win their final two games of the year, and then things get weird.

The Cleveland Browns may finally be moving out of the darkness.

A strong stable of young players and the confident play of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield have the Browns playing their most exciting football in years. Since cutting ties with head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley mid-season, the Browns have gone 4-2, and one more win would give them their best season in over a decade.

Thanks to an overcrowded race for the final playoff spot in the AFC, the Browns playoff chances are still alive. It will take something of a miracle, but there is still a scenario in which the Browns are playing postseason football for the first time since 2002.

Take a look below to see how it's possible, starting with the easiest obstacles and working our way up to the miracles Browns fans really need to keep in their prayers.

Here's how the NFL playoff bracket would look if the season ended today:

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

The Baltimore Ravens hold the sixth spot in the AFC playoff picture at 8-6. The Indianapolis Colts, the Tennesee Titans, and the Miami Dolphins also stand between the Browns and the playoffs.

FiveThirtyEight lists the Browns' chances of making the playoffs as the dreaded "<1%," statistical code for "better luck next year."

But there is a chance as the Browns are five steps away from the postseason.

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It's a tough road to get the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, but it's not impossible.

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