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NFL Power Rankings: Browns stay afloat heading into Week 12

A win over the Lions keeps the Browns afloat.

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 2021 NFL season.

CBS Sports - No. 15 (up 3 spots)

They still aren’t playing well, but at 6-5 they are doing enough to stay in the playoff hunt. They face a huge division game with the Ravens this week.

ESPN - No. 15 (down 1 spot)

Most memorable Thanksgiving game: Browns fall to the Lions 13-10 on Nov. 23, 1989

The Browns have never won on Thanksgiving Day — and haven’t played on the holiday since 1989. That Thanksgiving, the Browns gave up 145 rushing yards to a rookie running back named Barry Sanders. Despite that, they had a chance to tie the game late, yet missed a field goal. Still, Cleveland rebounded from the defeat to capture its division title, win a playoff game and reach the AFC Championship Game for the third time in four seasons.

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

Where would the Browns be without Nick Chubb? The star running back returned from a one-game COVID-19-related absence and ran for 130 yards with a receiving touchdown in a 13-10 win over the hapless Lions. Now, the drama: Baker Mayfield struggled through four quarters, walked off the field immediately upon the game’s conclusion, then left the stadium without speaking to reporters. Mayfield is banged up and not playing well, but his postgame behavior only draws more attention to his struggles. With the playoffs in sight, could Kevin Stefanski flirt with the idea of turning to Case Keenum down the stretch? Sunday night’s matchup against the Ravens will be critical on multiple levels.

Sporting News - No. 13 (up 3 spots)

The Browns are not completely right. Their offense is still looking for more pop while Baker Mayfield plays off the running game. His injuries are affecting him; they’re making him more of a grinding leader as he tries to keep his team in the playoff race.

Yahoo Sports - No. 14 (no change)

At this point, it’s clear the Browns offense is what it is. They can run it well with Nick Chubb, which is fine if they’re in a low-scoring game and don’t need the passing game to be a central part of what they do. It can even be a championship formula. Not much can go wrong, though.

Bleacher Report - No. 16 (no change)

The good news for the Cleveland Browns is that after defeating the Detroit Lions in Week 11, the team is back above .500 for the season. That’s it. That’s all the good news. To be blunt, the Browns were mostly terrible against a winless Lions team starting Tim Boyle at quarterback. Nick Chubb had a good game, picking up 130 yards on 22 carries. But Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was a mess, completing just 15 of 29 passes with a pair of ugly interceptions. After the game, head coach Kevin Stefanski went to bat for his banged-up signal-caller.

“Baker has done a really, really good job at taking care of the football in terms of interceptions, and he knows that we do not want to give them anything,” Stefanski said to reporters. “I’m sure he’s frustrated with those, but he has done a nice job this season.”

“Maybe it’s his bad shoulder,” Davenport said. “Maybe he’s pressing and trying to do too much. But whatever the reason, Mayfield hasn’t looked good in a while. And after watching Cleveland struggle to put away a putrid Lions team led by a quarterback who threw for 77 yards the entire game, it has just about become impossible to take the Browns seriously as a contender.”

USA Today - No. 14 (no change)

A much-needed Week 13 bye week is sandwiched by two games against Baltimore – meaning a careening Cleveland team will get little respite much as Baker Mayfield and Co. could use it.

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

Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers
CBS Sports 13 15 6 14
ESPN 13 15 8 17
NFL.com 15 14 13 19
Sporting News 12 13 6 15
Yahoo Sports 15 14 3 16
Bleacher Report 14 16 10 13
USA Today 15 14 9 17
Average 13.9
(up 1.1)
14.4
(up 0.5)
7.9
(up 0.8)
15.9
(down 1.3)