CBS Sports - No. 20 (down 1 spot)
That was a playoff-ending loss to the Steelers. This season has to be considered a major disappointment.
ESPN - No. 20 (down 1 spot)
After the disheartening loss at Pittsburgh, it seems unlikely that the Browns will make the playoffs. That alone makes this season a disappointment. Kitchens will have the final four games to prove that he should be given a second season to turn things around in Cleveland.
NFL.com - No. 18 (down 1 spot)
At a certain point, you are who you are. We’ve waited all season for the Browns to play to their talent level. A three-game winning streak teased that as a possibility, but then came another dull performance in a huge spot against the Steelers. At 5-7, Cleveland’s playoff hopes aren’t completely dashed, but what have we seen from this team that tells us it has something special in store? Maybe that’s a question a reporter could have asked Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., but those team leaders ducked out of the locker room without talking. Browns coach Freddie Kitchens did talk after the game, left to answer questions about the dumb T-shirt he wore over the weekend that incited an already hyped Steelers team. The Browns just seem messy, and you have to wonder if ownership will deem it necessary to find someone new to clean this up.
Yeah, it’s just a t-shirt, but you still need to back it up. This is the fate the 2019 Browns deserved; losing to their less talented division rivals starting a third-string quarterback and down their top running back and receiver. Oh, and not only did Cleveland beat Pittsburgh by two touchdowns two weeks ago, but a win would’ve vaulted them right into the playoff picture with two games in hand against Pittsburgh. This roster is too good to be 5-7, which means all eyes should turn to Freddie Kitchens.
Yahoo Sports - No. 21 (down 4 spots)
A lot has and will be made of Freddie Kitchens’ “Pittsburgh Started It” T-shirt. Maybe it’s overblown, but it sums up everything that’s wrong with the Browns. This team is way too talented to be this mediocre.
The city of Pittsburgh has not been a happy place for the Cleveland Browns over the years. Since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999, the team had played 21 games in the Steel City (including one playoff game). The Browns had two wins entering Sunday—and still do. For a moment it appeared things might be different this time, with the Browns scoring the game’s first 10 points. The Steelers then scored 20 unanswered points—and that was that.
For the Browns, the seventh loss of the season all but ends any hopes of the team’s first playoff trip since 2002. It also put a stop to a three-game winning streak that had given the Browns a bit of positive momentum.
”The defense has been ravaged by injuries and stupidity,” Davenport said, “with safety Damarious Randall staying home in Cleveland this week due to a coach’s decision. That benching is just one more example of the lack of discipline and chemistry this team has demonstrated all season. The Browns have talent. But that’s all they have right now, and it’s become abundantly clear that alone isn’t enough.”
”The Browns entered their biggest game of the season with everything on the line and a chance to change the narrative only to fall completely flat,” Sobleski added. “Typical. The team bought into its preseason hype and never did the little things necessary to actually become a consistent winner. The malaise has ruined another season, with head coach Freddie Kitchens possibly paying for the disappointment with his job.”
Associated Press - No. 21 (down 2 spots)
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.