Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 1.
With a rookie starting at quarterback, there will be growing pains. But they are building to something down the road, and it's the right approach.
Smart move to start DeShone Kizer now. The Browns aren't expected to compete for the AFC North in 2017, and Brock Osweiler clearly was not the answer. Although, you must hand it to team brass for trying to get something for Brock Lobster. Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame had a better chance hiring Axl Rose as a tour guide than the Browns did of acquiring so much as a conditional fifth for Osweiler (who openly stated he would've returned to the Broncos as a water boy). Non-sequitur: Cleveland is going to give Pittsburgh a heckuva ballgame Sunday.
The Cleveland Browns open against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers with a rookie quarterback in DeShone Kizer making his first NFL regular-season start. That might sound discouraging to most people, but Kizer is far and away Cleveland's best chance to win football games. I give Hue Jackson a ton of credit for naming Kizer the starter.
I don't think this Browns team is going to be a pushover this year. Cleveland's defense is legit, and this is a much more physical team than we've seen in past years.
The Browns aren't going to be bullied by the Steelers in Week 1. The question is whether they can do enough to keep pace with the Steelers. Pittsburgh is going to make plays—we know that. Can Kizer match Big Ben and Co. and, at the same time, not make big mistakes against the Steelers defense?
I liked some things this preseason from the Browns, who went 4-0. And it was the right move to turn to rookie DeShone Kizer at quarterback. However, he’s still going to struggle. I don’t see Dak Prescott, The Sequel coming for Kizer this season. But the Browns have to figure out what they have with him. This team will probably move up the rankings during the season, but let’s not forget they have a long way to go after a 1-15 season.
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.
|Pro Football Focus||12||32||21||3|