Good news, Cleveland Browns fans: your team might be 0-10, but according to one really, really diligent user on Reddit, the Browns are not yet mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs.
It might be the longest of longshots, but as outlined on fivethirtyeight.com, Cleveland still has a one-in-19 quintillion chance of making it into the AFC postseason tournament. One in 19,649,922,085,696,900,000, to be exact.
No team with 10 losses has ever made it to the playoffs. But it’s shaping up to be a down year in the AFC, and according to the permutations of Redditor MrMolonLabe, the Browns need 46 games – including two ties – to go their way in order to make history.
Ready for the rundown?
First and foremost, the Browns have to win their remaining six games.
Then they need … well, let’s just say they need a lot of help.
In Week 12, Cleveland needs Kansas City, Tennessee, New England, Houston, Dallas and Carolina to win;
In Week 13, it needs wins from New England, Denver, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Detroit and the Giants;
In Week 14, the Browns need wins from Indianapolis, the Jets, Kansas City, New England, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco;
In Week 15, they need Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Minnesota and Dallas to win;
In Week 16, they need wins from Baltimore, Kansas City, San Diego, New England, Pittsburgh and Washington;
In Week 17, they need wins from Baltimore, Kansas City, San Diego, New England, Pittsburgh and Washington;
And they need the Broncos and Raiders to tie this Sunday, and the Bills and Dolphins to tie in Week 17.
Got all that?
So if by some miracle of football all of that happened, there would be four AFC teams with a record of 5-10-1, and five more at 5-11. The Patriots, Steelers, Chiefs and Titans would be the winners of the AFC East, North, West and South, respectively, and the Jaguars, at 12-4, would be the first wildcard team from the conference.
The Browns and the Ravens would each be 6-10 and tied for the second AFC wildcard spot. But Cleveland’s theoretical Week 15 win over Baltimore would mean a season split between the two teams, and Cleveland’s superior record in the AFC North would give them the tiebreaker.
The ties, of course, are the least-likely things to happen; FiveThirtyEight says there’s just a 0.35 percent chance of a tie game, because only one of every 288 games since 2012 have ended in a tie.
As the site notes, the Browns are far more likely to go 0-16 – 32 percent – than make the playoffs, but the fact that they aren’t yet eliminated means there’s hope. Hey, ask the Atlanta Falcons and their fans about improbable finishes; more than 32 percent of them were dreaming of what the Falcons’ Super Bowl rings would look like when Atlanta held a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI.
So if you want a bit of hope for your Browns, it’s there. We’ll let Lloyd Christmas take us out:
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