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AFC Playoff Race: Browns still alive!

A timely Week 14 victory over Kansas City allowed the Cleveland Browns to stay alive in the AFC playoff race.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a disastrous 2-8 start to the year, the Cleveland Browns still remain alive in the AFC playoff race with just three weeks left in the regular season.

The Browns dispensed the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-7, on Sunday to pick up their third consecutive victory, a win that moved head coach Pat Shurmur's team to a 5-8 record on the season. Although Cleveland remains two full games out of the No. 6 spot in the AFC, the Browns will have a chance to unseat the Pittsburgh Steelers, who currently own the No. 6 seed, in a pivotal Week 17 meeting.

While the Browns would need to win out over their final games just to have a chance at making the postseason, the fact that the organization remains in the hunt at this point can only be viewed as a success. With rookie tailback Trent Richardson making big plays on a weekly basis and quarterback Brandon Weeden growing into his role as a leader, the Browns are fully poised to close out the 2012 campaign on a high note regardless of whether a surprise playoff berth materializes.

AFC Playoff Race:

1. Houston 11-1
2. Denver 10-3
3. New England 9-3
4. Baltimore 9-4
5. Indianapolis 9-4
6. Pittsburgh 7-6

7. Cincinnati 7-6
8. New York 6-7
9. Miami 5-7
10. Cleveland 5-8
11. San Diego 5-8
12. Buffalo 5-8

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.