CBS Sports - No. 8 (up 3 spots)
They just keep running their way to victories, which is a change from most teams. Now they face a big game against the Titans on the road.
ESPN - No. 12 (up 2 spots)
As much fun as it might be to potentially knock off Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale, beating Baltimore on Monday Night Football is easily the Browns’ most important remaining game. First, it would give Cleveland the signature victory this otherwise breakout season is missing. Second, the Ravens are a rival, dating to the Art Modell relocation 25 years ago. But most importantly, it would all but clinch a playoff berth, which would snap the league’s longest postseason drought of 18 years.
NFL.com - No. 13 (up 1 spot)
The Browns are poised to snap their endless postseason dry spell because they continue to beat the teams they’re supposed to beat. The latest example came Sunday, when Cleveland dispatched a feisty Jaguars team to clinch the franchise’s first non-losing season since 2007. If Derrick Henry is the NFL’s pre-eminent closer at running back, Nick Chubb is right behind the Titans star. With the Browns up 27-25 and attempting to run out the clock, Chubb picked up a first down on the ground, then another that was negated by penalty, followed by a final first down on a screen pass with 1:37 to play. Game over. The Browns don’t profile as a league superpower, but they have an enviable collection of star players who can take out any team on the right day.
Sporting News - No. 8 (up 3 spots)
It’s been an amazing turnaround in Cleveland under Kevin Stefanski, who’s refocused the team on its strengths in the running and short passing games. The defense has holes but continues to grind without key players.
Yahoo Sports - No. 8 (up 4 spots)
The Jaguars can’t cover anyone, but it was still good to see Jarvis Landry finally go off. He has said he was playing through a broken rib. Maybe he’s healthy. He’d add a different dimension to an offense that could use it.
Bleacher Report - No. 10 (up 5 spots)
The Cleveland Browns aren’t racking up style points. Those don’t get awarded for a two-point victory over a one-win Jaguars team. However, the Browns are racking up wins. Sunday’s victory over the Jags was Cleveland’s third straight and four in its last five contests. At 8-3, the Browns are guaranteed a non-losing season for the first time since 2007. If the season ended today, they would be in the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
However, there could also be trouble brewing. Three of Cleveland’s last five games are against teams with a winning record, including next week at Tennessee and Week 14 at home against a Ravens team that spanked Cleveland 38-6 in the season opener. So far this season, the Browns have played four games against teams that currently have winning records. They’re 1-3 in those matchups.
“The Browns are 8-3, but they don’t really feel like one of the NFL’s heavyweights, nor should they,” Sobleski said. “They’ve beaten only one team with a winning record, and their opponent’s winning percentage so far is the league’s second-lowest. Upcoming meetings with the Titans and rival Ravens will show whether the Browns are ready to stake their claim as a legit playoff contender.”
Associated Press - No. 11 (up 3 spots)
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.