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NFL Power Rankings: Browns’ early lead in defeat doesn’t help in Week 3

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Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 3.

FOX Sports - No. 32 (down 1 from last week)

The Browns will start their third quarterback in as many games Sunday, when Cody Kessler takes over for the injured Josh McCown. Kessler was a dink-and-dunk quarterback at USC and wasn’t viewed as a very promising prospect, but the Browns don’t have a choice. They’re the worst team in the league.

SB Nation - No. 32 (even from last week)

The Cleveland Browns are a work in progress, no doubt. While Josh McCown helped lead the team to a 20-0 lead against the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter, he opened himself up to a lot of big shots along the way. He failed to lead the team to additional points in the final 49 minutes of the game.

Baltimore eventually got the lead back, won the game, and now it looks like McCown will be out for a while. That means the Browns will turn to Cody Kessler to lead the way, just a few days after there was a report that Cleveland coaches think the rookie "isn't close to being ready to play." They added Charlie Whitehurst on Monday night.

NFL.com - No. 32 (even from last week)

Not sure what's worse: losing by three scores or blowing a 20-0 first-half lead at home. Gonna double down on the latter. OK, so Browns fans -- who will watch yet another QB, untested rookie Cody Kessler, take the field next Sunday after Josh McCown played through a serious injury to his non-throwing shoulder against the Ravens -- have a season ticket to heartache. But we already knew that. The denizens of the Dawg Pound could glean a few positives from the defeat. Start with rookie receiver Corey Coleman's two touchdown receptions. Then there's the running game, which, through two contests, is averaging over 6 yards per carry, a 2-yard-per-carry improvement over last season. The defense looked much better than it did in Week 1 versusCarson Wentz. (I'm trying to avoid the blown second half and harsh penalties on Sunday here -- work with me.) Lastly, how can anyone not respect McCown? Maybe he won't end up immortalized in Canton, but the product of the Lone Star State is as tough as nine acres of Texas onions.

Bleacher Report - No. 31 (up 1 from last week)

The talent might not be there in Cleveland but the blueprint is.

Don't judge the Browns on wins and losses alone. Judge them instead on how well their young first- and second-year players adapt to head coach Hue Jackson's teachings and, better yet, how they contribute.

They'll blow their share of 20-point leads before things get better. When they do, they'll be able to lean on Isaiah Crowell, who bursts through the hole, or Corey Coleman, who takes the top off a defense.

Right now, Baltimore is the better team. But I liked the way the Browns battled, and I really liked the way they reflected their head coach's character.

Yahoo Sports - No. 32 (even from last week)

Josh McCown is out this week, and probably longer. The Browns, a bad team even with healthy quarterbacks, have to press third-round rookie quarterback Cody Kessler into a starting role. It seems probable they go wire-to-wire as the No. 32 team in these rankings.

ESPN - No. 32 (even from last week)

The Indians have a seven-game lead in the American League Central. The defending champion Cavaliers open training camp Sept. 27. The Browns look to avoid an 0-3 start at Miami on Sunday. It's not all bad, Cleveland.

Associated Press - No. 32 (even from last week)

Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.

Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers
Fox Sports 9 32 14 2
SB Nation 7 32 10 4
NFL.com 9 32 15 1
Bleacher Report 10 31 12 3
Yahoo Sports 6 32 14 2
ESPN 8 32 13 2
Associated Press 10 32 11 1
Average 8.4 (down 1.8) 31.9 (even) 12.7 (up 2.4) 2.1 (up 1.9)