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NFL Power Rankings: Browns & Steelers tied at No. 17 into Week 13

Can Cleveland complete the season sweep?

Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 13.

CBS Sports - No. 19 (up 6 spots)

They’ve won three straight to keep their playoff hopes alive. Here comes the rematch with the Steelers in what should be a nasty game.

ESPN - No. 19 (up 3 spots)

After struggling through the first half of the season, Baker Mayfield has returned to being the QB that nearly won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors last season. Over the past five games, Mayfield ranks fifth in the NFL in both Total QBR and TD passes. He is coming off his best performance of the season, finding Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. for touchdowns in the same game for the first time all season. And he quietly has helped position the Browns to make a run at their first playoff berth in 17 years. - No. 17 (up 4 spots)

The Browns we saw Sunday were the Browns we -- “we” being the bulk of the Football Cognoscenti -- expected them to be this summer. Is it disappointing it’s taken this long to see the offense dominate the way it did against the Dolphins? Of course. But the optimistic viewpoint here is Baker Mayfield and Co. could be figuring it out just as the stakes are about to be at their highest. Mayfield and Jarvis Landry are developing real chemistry, Odell Beckham is showing signs of life and the backfield duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt is as dangerous as any in the league. Myles Garrett’s absence will be felt as the competition improves, but the Browns have the feel of a legit wild-card contender. That is, if they can find a way to sweep the Steelersin Heinz Field on Sunday. A loss there, and Cleveland is cooked.

MMQB - No. 17 (up 1 spot)

Add the Browns to the list of bad AFC teams who won’t give up the ghost just yet. Another strong outing from Baker Mayfield (24-of-34, 3 TDs, INT, 118.1 rating), OBJ’s first touchdown since Week 2 (along with 84 receiving yards) and big games from Nick Chubb (21 carries, 106 yards, TD) and Jarvis Landry (10 receptions, 148 yards, 2 TDs) were plenty against Miami.

Yahoo Sports - No. 17 (up 5 spots)

If the Browns make the playoffs, it would be one of the NFL’s best stories. At midseason, everyone assumed Freddie Kitchens would be fired, and Baker Mayfield looked like a second-year flop. And if you look at the Browns’ remaining schedule and the state of the AFC, it’s really not that crazy. Football Outsiders had the Browns with a 26.4 percent chance to make the playoffs after Sunday’s games.

Bleacher Report - No. 21 (up 5 spots)

The Cleveland Browns are starting to look like the team so many people expected to see in 2019. Against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the Browns were a buzz saw offensively. Quarterback Baker Mayfield topped 300 yards through the air and tossed three scoring strikes. Tailback Nick Chubb went over 100 yards on the ground with a touchdown. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry combined for 16 catches for 232 yards and three scores.

It was a window into what the Cleveland offense could be capable of. The defense wasn’t as impressive, but that’s understandable given the injuries and suspensions that left them short-handed. After a miserable 2-6 start, the Browns have now peeled off three wins in a row to move within a game of .500 and the sixth seed in the AFC. Cleveland will have a chance to move even closer next Sunday when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the 6-5 Steelers.

Given all the happenings against Pittsburgh in Week 11, that game won’t be short on subplots…or emotion. ”The Browns still have trouble getting out of their own way,” Davenport said, “but if they can down the Steelers next week, the schedule is manageable down the stretch. Not that long ago you’d have been laughed at for suggesting this team could challenge for a playoff spot, but that’s not out of the question now.”

Associated Press - No. 19 (up 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 32 19 1 11
ESPN 32 19 2 16 32 17 2 14
MMQB 32 17 1 20
Yahoo Sports 32 17 1 19
Bleacher Report 32 16 1 19
Associated Press 32 16 1 19
Average 32.0
(no change)
(up 4.0)
(up 0.1)
(up 0.1)