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NFL Power Rankings: Browns neck-and-neck with Ravens heading to Week 12

Cleveland’s climb up the rankings continue, as they now have a better record than the Ravens.

Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 12 of the 2020 NFL season.

CBS Sports - No. 11 (up 3 spots)

They are 7-3 and the defense is getting better, which is a must for the stretch run. They can’t get complacent against the Jaguars this week, especially with Myles Garrett out again with Covid.

ESPN - No. 14 (up 1 spot)

What they’re thankful for: The offensive line In one year, the Browns have gone from having one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL to boasting one of its best. Cleveland, in fact, is top 10 in the league in both pass block and run block win rate. With the additions of Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. at tackle and the emergence of Wyatt Teller at guard, the Browns have no weaknesses up front. And the offensive line has been a driving force behind Cleveland’s turnaround. - No. 14 (up 1 spot)

Cleveland is not the place for pretty football this season, but who’s going to argue with the results? The Browns are off to their best start through 10 games since 1994, and they beat the Eagles on Sunday without their most important player. Myles Garrett was inactive after being moved to the COVID-19 list on Friday, but Cleveland’s defense still made life miserable for Carson Wentz in a 22-17 win. Sione Takitaki put the Browns on the board with a pick-six, and Olivier Vernon’s third sack of the day put two points on the board. One troubling subplot to watch: The Browns have scored only two offensive touchdowns in their past three games. In defense of bad offense, the unending cycle of miserable weather in Cleveland on football Sundays has not helped. Can’t you move this stuff to Pittsburgh, Mother Nature?

Sporting News - No. 11 (up 4 spots)

The Browns are made for ugly weather. They are winning despite unfavorable conditions and more shaky play from Baker Mayfield because they are smartly oriented around their defense and running game under Joe Woods and Kevin Stefanski. Credit them to playing to what they are, instead of trying to be something they’re not.

Yahoo Sports - No. 13 (up 2 spots)

Olivier Vernon came up huge for the Browns with Myles Garrett out, with three sacks including a safety. At full strength, the Browns defensive line is one of the best in the NFL.

Bleacher Report - No. 15 (no change)

The Cleveland Browns were dealt a big blow ahead of Sunday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles when star edge-rusher Myles Garrett tested positive for COVID-19. But you couldn’t tell the NFL’s sack leader was absent on the field in Week 11—Cleveland’s defense harassed Carson Wentz all afternoon, sacking him five times and forcing three turnovers. Head coach Kevin Stefanski talked up the way the defense rose to the occasion against Philadelphia.

“With Myles out, we were counting on those guys to step up,” Stefanski said. “OV [Olivier Vernon], he did it today. We are counting on him. I told him that.”

The Browns got another big game from running back Nick Chubb, who carried the ball 20 times for 114 yards. Baker Mayfield was far from perfect, but for the most part he avoided the kinds of mistakes the Browns can’t afford. Cleveland isn’t a team without flaws. The Browns are 1-3 against teams with winning records with a point differential in those games of minus-64. But at 7-3, the Browns are in the thick of the playoff race. And with the one-win Jaguars next up, the Browns have an excellent shot at notching their first season of .500 or better football since 2007.

Associated Press - No. 14 (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 30 11 12 1
ESPN 30 14 11 1 30 14 12 2
Sporting News 30 11 15 2
Yahoo Sports 30 12 13 2
Bleacher Report 29 15 12 2
Associated Press 30 14 11 1
Average 29.9
(down 3.8)
(up 1.9)
(down 5.4)
(no change)