Can Browns pull off playoff miracle? If so, they'd join 1978 Patriots


It's December 15, and the Cleveland Browns somehow still are in playoff contention.

The Browns hung on for a wild, 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Saturday night to improve to 6-7-1 with two games remaining.

The win means Cleveland actually has a chance to make the playoffs. It's a very small chance, but if the Browns win out and get a lot of help -- starting with a Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday -- they could sneak into the final AFC Wild Card spot or even win the AFC North.

Cleveland in the playoffs would be improbable on several levels -- they started the season 2-6-1, haven't reached the postseason since 2002 and went 0-16 last season -- but here's one more note that Patriots fans may find interesting.

The Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson after their Week 8 loss to the Steelers, and interim coach Gregg Williams has gone 4-2 since then.

If Williams keeps winning, he can join the likes of Hank Bollough, who took over as the Patriots' co-interim head coach when Chuck Fairbanks was suspended in Week 16 of the 1978 season for negotiating a head coach position with the University of Colorado during the season.

Bollough's stint was brief, as Fairbanks was reinstated for New England's AFC Divisional Round matchup with the Houston Oilers, which it lost 31-14.

Williams' feat would be much more impressive, as he's put a moribund franchise with a rookie quarterback in at least an outside position to reach the postseason.

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