The Cleveland Browns have one game remaining this season, but a win could cost the Browns the number one pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
There were a group of Cleveland Browns fans who were keeping a close eye on Saturday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams. The Browns had just beaten the San Diego Chargers, meaning fans should have been relieved.
But the win meant the Browns dropped to the second overall pick in the draft. The 49ers gave Browns fans another Christmas gift by beating the Rams, vaulting the Browns back into the top spot.
It is not an accomplishment to end up with the number one overall pick, but after an 0-14 start, it is clear the Browns could benefit from the high pick. They are not exactly “winning” the pick, but a win this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers could cause the Browns to lose the pick.
The Browns lose the pick if they win and the 49ers lose to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are fighting for a playoff bye, so don’t expect the 2-13 49ers to pull off an upset.
The Browns are in a different situation, as the Steelers may be without their three offensive stars this Sunday. The potential absences of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown could benefit the Browns, who are riding the high off that first victory of the season.
It is bold to say the Browns have a great shot of winning if Pittsburgh’s stars sit out, as there is still the problem of trying to score against the Steelers’ defense. There is also the fact the Browns only have one win that brings the optimism back down to realistic levels.
But a win is always possible, although not all fans will be hoping to see the Browns end the season on a two-game winning streak.
Just like last week, there will still be fans who want the Browns to lose to secure the number one pick. But then there are others, like myself, who want the Browns to pick up a win and head into the postseason on a positive note.
If the Browns aren’t high on Myles Garett, the difference between the first and second pick may not be all that important.