Browns closing in on ending lengthy playoff drought


By The Associated Press



Cleveland Browns' Nick Chubb (24) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Cleveland Browns' Nick Chubb (24) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


Tennessee Titans running back Darrynton Evans celebrates after scoring with tight end MyCole Pruitt during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Nashville, N.C. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams (33) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


The Cleveland Browns’ lengthy playoff drought is nearly over.

The Browns, who have reached 10 wins for the first time since 2007, can clinch their first playoff spot since 2002 with a victory Sunday at the New York Jets and a loss by any of the following teams: the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins or Indianapolis Colts.

And the Browns are only one game behind Pittsburgh for first place in the AFC North and host the rival Steelers in Week 17.

The Steelers, who have dropped three in a row after an 11-0 start, need either a win over the Colts on Sunday or a Browns loss to wrap up the AFC North title.

The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win or a loss by either the Steelers or Buffalo Bills.

The Tennessee Titans, on the cusp of ending a long division drought, can wrap up their first AFC South title since 2008 with a win over the Green Bay Packers and a Colts loss. The Titans will make the playoffs with a win or a loss by either the Dolphins or Ravens.

And the Colts can reach the playoffs with a win and losses by either the Dolphins or Ravens.

In the NFC, the Packers can wrap up home-field advantage with a win over the Titans on Sunday night and a loss by the Seahawks to the Rams.

The Seahawks will take the NFC West with a win over the Rams. The Rams can earn a playoff spot with a win or either a loss by the Chicago Bears or an Arizona Cardinals win.

The Cardinals can wrap up a playoff spot with a win and a Bears loss.

The New Orleans Saints can clinch the NFC South with a win on Friday against the Minnesota Vikings or a loss by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Detroit Lions on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Bucs need a victory over the Lions or a Bears loss for a postseason berth.

The Washington Football Team can wrap up the NFC East with a win over the Carolina Panthers and a New York Giants loss in Baltimore.

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Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb (24) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/12/web1_125966896-dc9638e9357e486e9ce428cfd317e087.jpgCleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb (24) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Tennessee Titans running back Darrynton Evans celebrates after scoring with tight end MyCole Pruitt during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Nashville, N.C. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/12/web1_125966896-f52bbb1123364553a44dfa774d767a63.jpgTennessee Titans running back Darrynton Evans celebrates after scoring with tight end MyCole Pruitt during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Nashville, N.C. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams (33) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/12/web1_125966896-f922cfa0885d4c7db5136b4373e24536.jpgSeattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams (33) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

By The Associated Press