I promise you guys: I tried to prevent the Cleveland Browns from being ranked dead last in yet another NFL power rankings feature. It didn't work. Last week, SB Nation asked all of the team bloggers to submit preseason power rankings. When everyone was finished, the results were averaged into the cumulative rankings. I ended up doing the write-up for the Browns, which is why it sounds optimistic for the "No. 32 ranked team." The only saving grace about these rankings? Because I'm an editor, I get to see which bloggers listed the Browns dead last. Unlike Pro Football Talk, I don't mind ragging on each and every one of them who did.
Without further adieu, our affiliates who represent the following teams didn't think twice about ranking Cleveland as the worst team in the NFL:
Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami,, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle
I've just become enemies with half of the team bloggers. The other half are spared for now. I'd like to give a special shout out to our New Orleans Saints affiliate, Canal Street Chronicles, who ranked the Browns at No. 24 overall. Other sites that had a soft spot for the Browns (besides yours truly) were our Atlanta Falcons affiliate (No. 26 overall), San Diego Chargers affiliate (No. 28 overall). I won't reveal my "optimistic" ranking just yet -- I'll save that for some material I have coming over the next few weeks. My bottom three teams were , , and , respectively.
Also related to SB Nation, Ryan Van Bibber posted an article that featured "1 big question" from each team in the league heading into training camp. Cleveland's big question didn't involve the receiver position, but rather the quarterback position:
The big question in Cleveland is obvious. Does quarterback Brandon Weeden make them a better team? Cleveland seems unlikely to compete in a tough division, but they have to get better. Having Trent Richardson certainly helps, but teams have to throw the ball well enough to keep defenses honest.
The answer? Yes, Weeden makes Cleveland a better team. By how much? Hopefully as good asmade the a year ago.