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NFL Power Rankings: Browns slide heading into Week 9 bye

Cleveland takes a dip, hoping to get healthy in the second half of the season.

Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season.

CBS Sports - No. 14 (down 5 spots)

They just can’t seem to get anything going in terms of momentum. The offense regressed against Oakland. They do miss Odell Beckham.

ESPN - No. 16 (down 2 spots)

Reason for optimism: Coach Kevin Stefanski - No team has cycled through coaches in recent years like the Browns. The Browns appear to have a keeper at last. Stefanski has Cleveland on pace to finally snap the league’s longest playoff drought. He has brought consistency to the locker room, creativity to the offense and — Browns fans hope, at least — continuity to the franchise. He and general manager Andrew Berry seem to be on the same page as well, suggesting that the Browns have a chance to be in good hands — from the coaching staff to the front office — for years to come.

NFL.com - No. 14 (down 2 spots)

The Browns reach the season’s midpoint on pace for their first winning campaign since 2007, but this team is far too inconsistent to be viewed as a serious AFC contender right now. Cleveland struggled to get anything going in miserable weather conditions on Sunday, managing just two field goals and 223 yards of offense in a 16-6 loss to the Raiders. The Browns dropped five Baker Mayfield passes (rain, sleet and wind played a role here), and Myles Garrett was hampered by an ankle issue that kept him off the field in non-passing situations. The bye comes at a good juncture: Garrett, Mayfield, and Jarvis Landry are all battling injuries, while Austin Hooper and Nick Chubb continue to miss time.

Sporting News - No. 17 (down 3 spots)

The Browns saw their running game contained in windy conditions and that brought down Baker Mayfield again to start November. They’re still working on a complete team to be more reliable as a wild-card contender.

Yahoo Sports - No. 14 (down 2 spots)

Since the season opener, the Browns have averaged 405 yards of offense in their five wins and 221.5 yards in their two losses. Terrible weather was a big factor in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders but the offense shouldn’t be this inconsistent.

Bleacher Report - No. 16 (down 3 spots)

The Cleveland Browns have a credibility problem. There’s no shame in losing to the Las Vegas Raiders in awful weather conditions in Cleveland. And the Browns are still 5-3 heading into the bye, which fans gladly would have taken at the beginning of the season.

But the Browns have now played four games against teams that presently sport a winning record. Cleveland is 1-3 in those games and have been outscored 115-51. Luckily, the Browns have only three more games against teams with a winning record, and four games against teams who have one or fewer win to date this year. But even if the Browns get to the playoffs, at least one analyst expects it to be a short trip.

“Just because the Browns are better in 2020 doesn’t mean they are good, and that’s being borne out when they play teams that aren’t tomato cans,” Davenport said. “Their soft schedule may well get them into the postseason, but their even softer defense is going to get them shelled in a playoff game.”

Associated Press - No. 16 (down 2 spots)

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

Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers
CBS Sports 25 14 5 1
ESPN 25 16 5 1
NFL.com 25 14 5 2
Sporting News 22 17 6 2
Yahoo Sports 19 14 5 2
Bleacher Report 20 16 5 1
Associated Press 24 16 5 1
Average 22.9
(up 3.0)
15.3
(down 2.7)
5.1
(down 1.4)
1.4
(up 0.2)