CBS Sports - No. 11 (down 5 spots)
The defense fell apart against the Ravens. That can’t happen in the playoffs. It’s looking like it’s a wild-card road for them.
ESPN - No. 11 (down 3 spots)
The Browns’ offense has been spearheaded by arguably the top rushing attack in the league, powered by the running back duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and one of the NFL’s most improved offensive lines. But as FPI underscores, the defense has had issues outside of pass-rusher Myles Garrett, especially in the secondary, where injuries and inconsistent play have plagued Cleveland all season.
NFL.com - No. 9 (down 1 spot)
The Browns have nothing to be ashamed of after coming up agonizingly short in one of the greatest prime-time games in NFL history. Led by an electric Baker Mayfield, Cleveland relentlessly attacked — and eventually broke — a Baltimore defense that had no answers. Unfortunately for the Browns, their own defense was flummoxed by reigning MVP Lamar Jackson, who set an MNF QB rushing record and made a series of monster throws upon returning from the locker room after experiencing cramps. The loss likely ends any quiet thoughts Kevin Stefanski’s team had about catching the scuffling Steelers in the AFC North, but the Browns profile as an extremely difficult opponent come playoff time.
Sporting News - No. 7 (down 1 spot)
The Browns have big prime-time opportunities back-to-back to show they are not just a mild surprise AFC wild-card team to a solid all-around force that can’t be forgotten as a dangerous playoff team. With the Ravens loss, they still showed a lot offensively with Baker Mayfield.
Yahoo Sports - No. 11 (down 5 spots)
The Browns acquitted themselves well on Monday night. Baker Mayfield came up with a ton of huge plays. It wasn’t fun to lose like they did but they should feel good coming out of that game. Someone had to lose.
Bleacher Report - No. 6 (no change)
The Cleveland Browns are not quite ready for prime time. To be clear, that’s not necessarily an indictment. This is the best team the Cleveland Browns have fielded in a long time. It’s probably the best Browns team since the franchise rejoined the league in 1999.
But once again, these Browns came up short in a litmus test against a playoff contender, losing a thriller to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. It was admittedly a far cry from the 38-6 beatdown the Ravens put on the Browns back in Week 1. Cleveland piled up 493 yards of offense and traded blows with Baltimore most of the game.
But there were defensive letdowns, missed kicks and a brutal interception deep in Cleveland territory—the sorts of things that just can’t occur against good teams. They’re also the sorts of things that took place with regularity for the old Browns.
“The Browns are absolutely headed in the right direction under Kevin Stefanski,” Davenport said. “With the New York Giants and New York Jets next up before the finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland will all but certainly win 10 or 11 games and make the postseason. But this team isn’t a serious threat in the AFC. Not yet.”
Associated Press - No. 10 (down 3 spots)
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.