CBS Sports - No. 25 (down 2 spots)
At 2-6, all that preseason hype seems like a big waste of time. They aren’t going anywhere this season.
ESPN - No. 26 (down 4 spots)
Though the Browns are among the league leaders in penalties and turnovers committed, they at least corrected those in the loss at Denver. Problem was, they were -- and have been -- a disaster in the red zone, scoring only one TD in five red zone attempts on Sunday. Notably missing red zone targets once again was star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who hasn’t had a TD catch since Week 2. If the Browns are going to make a miraculous run in the AFC North, they’ll need to dramatically turn their red zone offense around.
NFL.com - No. 24 (down 1 spot)
When you’re in a virtual must-win situation and lose to a former sixth-round pick making his first career start at quarterback, you’re no longer just a disappointing team. You’re a bad team ... and the Browns have to figure out what they must do to correct that moving forward. It was another dispiriting performance by Cleveland’s offense, which failed repeatedly in the red zone and turned the ball over twice on downs in Broncos territory. Baker Mayfield is simply not seeing the field like he needs to, and Odell Beckham Jr. began to show his frustration on the sideline after another relatively quiet performance. To make matters worse, starting safety Jermaine Whitehead fired off a series of threatening messages on social media after the game, prompting a stern rebuke from the team and, on Monday morning, his release. Freddie Kitchens might be coaching for his job over the final eight games of the season.
The state of affairs in Cleveland has steadily devolved from underwhelming to disappointing to nearly unwatchable as the Browns dropped their fourth in a row to a two-win team playing their backup QB in his first career start. Baker looks haggard, Odell isn’t happy and Freddie is totally not worried about his job.
Yahoo Sports - No. 26 (down 1 spot)
If you can’t beat the Brandon Allen-led Broncos to save your season, then it’s time for Freddie Kitchens to go. It doesn’t do much good to fire him now, but it’s clear he shouldn’t be back in 2020.
The Cleveland Browns stink. After laying an egg in Denver against a team led by a backup quarterback who had never attempted a regular-season pass, it’s time to stop with the talk of a second-half rebound borne of a soft schedule. If the Browns couldn’t beat the Broncos, they probably aren’t beating Buffalo in Week 10. Or Pittsburgh in Week 11.
The problems are legion. For the first time in a long time, the Browns avoiding committing costly penalties and turnovers Sunday, but they were also a pitiful 1-of-5 in the red zone. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has regressed severely in his second season. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has mostly been a non-factor—and he (maybe) isn’t happy about it. Then there’s first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens.
”Choosing a QB sneak over handing the ball to a tailback averaging over five yards a pop is one thing,” Davenport said. “But for Nick Chubb to have not even been on the field for that pivotal play is just the latest example of how out of his depth Kitchens is. Questions regarding whether he could handle the jump to head coach have been answered with a resounding no. At this point, the question is becoming less about whether Kitchens will be a one-and-done head coach and more about whether he’ll make it to the end of the season. It’s that bad.”
Associated Press - No. 24 (down 3 spots)
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.