The Browns are 9.5 point underdogs to the Chiefs, and almost no one believes they’ll dethrone the defending champs (lookin’ at you Chase Claypool) ... that is, except NFL legend Joe Thomas.
The 10x Pro Bowler tells TMZ Sports Cleveland will not only beat Kansas City ... but they’ll advance to the Super Bowl this season.
Of course, Cleveland's no stranger to playing the underdog.
Vegas had them on the wrong side of a 5.5 point spread on Sunday ... before the team thoroughly whooped the Steelers, ending their season.
So sure, Thomas might be a little biased ... but he wholeheartedly believes the Browns will take downPatrick Mahomesand the Chiefs when they face-off this weekend.
“I think it’s gonna be a close game,” Joe says.
“The Chiefs have played a close game just about, well I think a one-score game every game the last half of the season, and I think with the Browns rushing attack and the way Baker Mayfield is playing with that killer mentality, I like the Browns in this one.”
Bottom line ... Thomas is adamant the lovable loser Browns are long gone -- and this is a team to be reckoned with.
“This is the revival and the resuscitation of the Cleveland Browns franchise. For 17 years, to not go to the playoffs, for a lot longer than that not having won a playoff game and to be able to come back, get that monkey off your back, go to Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers, your hated rival, in a game that nobody gave you a chance in."
"I think it really is the turning of the tides for the Browns franchise and I think it’s a little bit of the turning of tides in the AFC North as well.”