Are the Browns Contenders or Pretenders?
The Cleveland Browns were in first place for a week. While it’s difficult to say that the excitement and hype of being atop the division this late in the year got to the Browns, they certainly did not bring their best game this weekend against the Houston Texans. J.J. Watt and company dismantled the Browns offense, holding them to just a second quarter touchdown and ultimately winning 23-7. Unfortunately, the Browns loss coupled with a Cincinnati Bengals win pushed Cleveland out of first place by a half game. Not only that, but the Texans now sit at 5-5 and remain relevant in the postseason picture.
Are the Browns a legitimate contender this year? They have the talent on both sides of the ball, but they do not have an easy schedule remaining in the year. Let’s take a look at the final six games of the season:
November 23, 2014 @ Atlanta Falcons
Average Ticket Price = $123 | Get-in Ticket Price = $35
Though the Falcons are just 4-6, they currently sit atop the AFCSouth and are in prime position to make the playoffs. Amazingly, they are 4-0 within the division and 0-6 when facing all other teams. A win here is very possible, though the Falcons are currently favored by 3.5 points.
November 30, 2014 @ Buffalo Bills
Average Ticket Price = $112 | Get-in Ticket Price = $36
Buffalo is coming off a disappointing loss to the Miami Dolphins and is currently 5-5 on the season. They have several winnable games to close out the year, however, so they are still relevant for the postseason. If the Browns can get the road victory, it will most likely eliminate the Bills and take one more team out of the equation.
December 7, 2014 vs. Indianapolis Colts
Average Ticket Price = $126 | Get-in Ticket Price = $34
Indianapolis sits at 6-4 and lead the AFC South by a game over the aforementioned Texans. Though the team has looked like a Super Bowl contender at times, they’ve also looked very beatable, particularly through the air. This is the cheapest home game remaining for the team with Browns tickets starting at $34 and an average ticket price of just $126.
December 14, 2014 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Average Ticket Price = $144 | Get-in Ticket Price = $40
The final home matchup against a divisional foe will come on December 14th when the Cincinnati Bengals come to town. Riding high after a big road win against the New Orleans Saints, the Bengals are atop the division at 6-3-1 and are 2-1 in the division with their lone loss coming at the hands of Cleveland. Another win for the Browns and they will hold the tiebreaker over Cincy and put themselves in good position to take home the division.
December 21, 2014 @ Carolina Panthers
Average Ticket Price = $135 | Get-in Ticket Price = $23
The panthers are a bit of a mess right now having lost five straight since their tie with the Bengals. That being said, this looks to be a major trap game for Cleveland. If they can not contain Cam Newton, they could have a lot of trouble and potentially drop a huge game in Week 16.
December 28, 2014 @ Baltimore Ravens
Average Ticket Price = $183 | Get-in Ticket Price = $67
The most expensive game and potentially the most important, Cleveland’s Week 17 date at Baltimore could very well decide the AFC North. The Bengals and Steelers will most likely be relevant as well, but a win in the final game of the year could ultimately vault the Browns into the playoffs.
This is the most expensive game remaining on the schedule, though not by a significant amount as Browns vs. Ravens tickets start at $67 and have an average price of $183.