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NFL Power Rankings: Browns rise into the Top 20 heading in Week 6

Cleveland may be fourth in the division still, but entering Week 6 is when the media finally broke the barrier to say, “the Browns are good.”

Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 6.

CBS Sports - No. 20 (up 8 spots)

At 2-2-1, they’ve been in every game. That defense is impressive.

SB Nation - No. 17 (up 6 spots)

Also on the rise are the Browns, who beat the Ravens in overtime. Cleveland held Baltimore to just nine points, proving Gregg Williams’ defense is no joke. The Browns have the second-most interceptions (8) and second-most forced fumbles (8) in the league. - No. 16 (up 7 spots)

Said before in this space that, turnovers be damned, Baker Mayfield makes the Browns exciting to watch. Witness the key down in overtime: On third-and-long, the kid phenom evades the Ravens rush, steps back from a collapsing pocket a la Drew Brees and calmly hits Derrick Willies (who?) over the middle for a 39-yard gain. Willies, an undrafted free agent, made the first three catches of his pro career Sunday, with none larger than his catch-and-run in the extra period to set up the game-winning kick. He made the club playing special teams (for the first time). Amazing what opportunities a trade can open up -- and not just for the Patriots.

MMQB - No. 23 (up 3 spots)

I declare that we stop talking about the Browns the way we have the last few years. It’s no longer a novelty when they win. They are an average team, capable of winning any week.

Yahoo Sports - No. 20 (up 7 spots)

The Browns tied in Week 1 after a blocked field goal in overtime. In Week 2 they missed two key kicks that could have delivered a win. In Week 4 they had two controversial calls go against them, and the questionable reversal of a first down definitely cost them a win. Yes, the Browns are legitimately a handful of plays from being 5-0. Really.

ESPN - No. 18 (up 5 spots)

Rest-of-season SOS ranking: 2nd. The Browns’ toughest remaining game is Week 8 at the Steelers, where they have a 16 percent chance to win, according to FPI. Cleveland already has tied the Steelers this season, and they are the only team in NFL history to be tied at some point in the fourth quarter of each of their first five games in a season.

Associated Press - No. 16 (up 7 spots)

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

Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers
CBS Sports 5 20 10 12
SB Nation 4 17 9 16 7 16 11 12
MMQB 8 23 14 11
Yahoo Sports 11 20 13 14
ESPN 6 18 10 12
Associated Press 5 16 10 12
Average 6.6
(up 1.8)
(up 6.1)
(down 3.0)
(up 4.4)