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NFL Power Rankings: Browns face uphill battle to crawl back toward division lead in Week 8

Cleveland may hold a tiebreaker over Baltimore, but they are still 2.5 games out of the division lead.

Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 8.

CBS Sports - No. 21 (down 1 spot)

They come off their bye at 2-4 with a tough road game against the Patriots. Can they get the offense going against that tough defense? Good luck.

ESPN - No. 19 (no change)

The Browns are off to a bumpy start, yet their goal of snapping the NFL’s longest playoff drought (2002) remains intact. For one, they play in the surprisingly weak AFC North and already have a road win over the division-leading Ravens. Two, they still have the talent. And three, they own one of the NFL’s easiest remaining schedules. - No. 23 (down 2 spots)

The biggest news story out of the Browns’ bye week was the idiot lunatic who sucker-punched Myles Garrett. That bizarre incident was a fitting encapsulation of the Browns’ 2019 season to date -- a team that came into Week 1 with serious swagger is currently on its butt after getting popped in the jaw. Luckily, Cleveland does not have any superpower to contend with in the AFC North and can still get off the mat ... it just has to happen quickly. They’ll get the undefeated Patriots on Sunday before the schedule lightens up considerably. The pressure will be on Baker Mayfield to turn his season around. The second-year passer must find a way to make better decisions and bring consistency to the offense. The Browns know they need to fix their offensive line in the offseason -- it’s on the former No. 1 overall pick to make do with what they’ve got now.

MMQB - No. 18 (up 1 spot)

An oddly–nay, blissfully–quiet weekend in Cleveland is over, and the Patriots await in New England on Sunday. 2-5 seems likely for one of the NFL’s biggest underachievers.

Yahoo Sports - No. 24 (up 1 spot)

The Browns play at the Patriots next. Unless they can pull that upset, they’re looking at a 2-5 start. Poor Browns fans.

Bleacher Report - No. 19 (up 2 spots)

After an offseason that was overflowing with equal parts hype and hope, the first six weeks of the 2019 campaign have been a cold, hard dose of reality for the Cleveland Browns. The offensive line has been atrocious. Per Football Outsiders, the team ranks 19th in run blocking and 24th in pass protection.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield has regressed significantly in his second season. He leads the NFL with 11 interceptions, and his completion percentage (56.6) and passer rating (66.0) are way down relative to his rookie season. A team that can’t afford to make mistakes keeps making them. Cleveland’s turnover differential of minus-six is the fifth-worst in the league. The Browns had piled up an NFL-leading 506 yards in penalties prior to Week 7. Add it all up, and reality is that they aren’t nearly as good as many hoped before the season.

Associated Press - No. 21 (down 1 spot)

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

Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers
CBS Sports 31 21 6 20
ESPN 31 19 6 21 30 23 10 19
MMQB 30 18 9 23
Yahoo Sports 31 24 8 21
Bleacher Report 31 19 6 21
Associated Press 31 21 10 19
Average 30.7
(down 0.1)
(up 0.4)
(up 2.8)
(down 0.9)