On the whole, it’s rare that wild-card teams actually make it to the conference championship game, but the 2019 Tennessee Titans reminded fans last year that it’s still a possibility…

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Up until recently, you could argue the Browns were simply a team that was beating inferior competition. But the last two weeks have shown they’re a little bit more than that.
First came the 41-35 win over the Tennessee Titans. The Browns got the best game of Baker Mayfield’s career to this point and rode it to a 38-7 halftime lead. The defense ended up allowing the Titans to make a desperate last-ditch effort to get back in the game, but all in all, they held Derrick Henry to just 60 yards on the ground which is impressive given his success this season.
However, the pass defense failed them in the second half. They gave up 389 yards to Ryan Tannehill and 182 yards on 11 catches to Corey Davis.
The following week, the offense proved once again to be playoff-caliber, putting up 42 points on the Ravens. Unfortunately, the defense was once again at the helm of a collapse: Lamar Jackson and Co. put up 47 points, and the quarterback added 124 yards on the ground, spearheading a team total of 231.
Getting cornerback Denzel Ward back into the lineup should help the defense, but it likely isn’t enough to make the defense all that dangerous. But the pass rush is tough enough to cause problems if the Browns get an early lead. Myles Garrett has 10.5 sacks, and Olivier Vernon has come on lately, racking up seven of his own.
The offense is among the best in the league right now, though. They’re put up back-to-back 40-plus-point performances led by Mayfield, who has thrown for eight touchdowns to just one interception over the past five games and has been on fire since Odell Beckham Jr. went down with a knee injury in Week 7.
That’s not factoring in the best one-two punch at running back in the league. Both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt could eclipse 1,000 yards rushing, giving the Browns one of the most balanced attacks in football. The defense could ultimately be a hindrance, but Cleveland can keep pace with anyone on the scoreboard.
Expect a shootout with whoever the Browns see in the playoffs.