After the Cleveland Browns were graciously moved up one spot by SB Nation to No. 31 overall after the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Browns moved up one more spot after their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. I guess that proves that losing...pays off? Sadly, it doesn't. Instead, it is a sign that the team like the Oakland Raiders just...suck worse than the Browns do right now. Here is what SB Nation had to say about ranking the Browns at No. 30 overall:
30. Cleveland Browns (LW: 31, 0-2): Brandon Weeden doesn't look all that great. But Trent Richardson does. This guy could make the Browns relevant.
Whoa. I get that Richardson did great, but what is with the unnecessary dig at Weeden? He looked very good against the Bengals, delivering several powerful throws as he was being hit by a defender in front of him. I think someone (ahem, Joel Thorman, the guy who did the rankings) was a bit too busy watching the highlights of Richardson and just blew off Weeden's on-field performance!
Here is how the AFC North fared in the rankings:
Baltimore: No. 6 (down from No. 1)
Pittsburgh: No. 8 (push from No. 8)
Cincinnati: No. 18 (push from No. 18)
Cleveland: No. 30 (up from No. 31)
It's funny to see how the Eagles were able to pull off similar performances against Baltimore and Cleveland to start off the year. The Steelers' defense will get better once both of their safeties and James Harrison get back on the field together. I will stand by my notion that the Bengals are going to have a tough time this year. Their defense is non-threatening, and while the offense looks to have some punch, I don't think they can go toe-to-toe with some of the more playoff-contending teams (alas last season).
The Raiders and the Jaguars were both ranked below Cleveland, and deservedly so. I think the Titans definitely belong below Cleveland too, but I guess they are getting a pass because they have faced two tough teams to begin the year.
Amy K. Nelson breaks down the SB Nation's NFL Power Rankings below:
You can also view a detailed discussion at a Google Hangout featuring Joel Thorman and Brad Wells.