The Cleveland Browns are 6-4 and sitting on the outside of the AFC playoff picture. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons are 4-6 and would be hosting a postseason game in the NFC, thanks to a horrendous NFC South.
Cleveland has been a Cinderella story for most of the 2014 season behind first-year head coach Mike Pettine and journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer. Hoyer will get a major playmaker back this week in wideout Josh Gordon, after Gordon served his 10-game suspension for multiple violations of the league's drug policy. Gordon led the league with 1,646 receiving yards last season, despite only playing 14 games. Gordon will lead a fairly underrated receiver group, which includes rookie Taylor Gabriel. Gabriel is averaging 18.2 yards per reception as a rookie out of Abilene Christian, ranking second in the NFL to only DeSean Jackson.
The Browns went from first in the AFC North to last after losing at home to Ryan Mallett and the Houston Texans in Week 11. Cleveland is grouped with the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers as playoff hopefuls at 6-4 in the AFC. To get in, the Browns must take care of business against sub-.500 teams.
Atlanta begins a brutal stretch of its schedule, facing four consecutive teams with a winning record before going to the Superdome to take on the rival Saints. The Falcons are capable on offense behind the trio of Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Julio Jones. Jones is enjoying a career year, amassing 912 yards and 18 plays of more than 20 yards.
Despite playing behind a leaky offensive line, Ryan has thrown for 2,793 yards and 17 touchdowns with a 65.8 completion percentage. Defensively, the struggle is real. Atlanta is last in the league against the pass, allowing 281 yards per game. Playing the run, the Falcons sit 24th, giving up 122 yards/game.
How to Watch
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
When: 1 p.m. ET
For more on the Browns, check out Dawgs By Nature.
To keep up on the Falcons, head over to The Falcoholic.