CBS Sports - No. 12 (down 7 spots)
They have to learn how to win the big games. That’s the difference between the Browns and the Chiefs.
ESPN - No. 7 (up 1 spot)
Top rookie: WR Anthony Schwartz
The third-round pick out of Auburn had a nice debut after battling a hamstring injury in training camp. He caught three passes for 69 yards and also had a 17-yard rush off a reverse. He wasn’t able to come up with a third-down grab downfield in the fourth quarter that might have been the difference in the 33-29 loss. Because on the next play, punter Jamie Gillan dropped the ball, setting up Kansas City to take the lead for good.
NFL.com - No. 8 (no change)
There’s a version of Hell where the Browns are forced to play the Chiefs in Arrowhead for all of eternity. Cleveland now has twopainful losses to Kansas City in the space of nine months, both games sprinkled with moments of great optimism but ending with the cruel amputation of hope. The Browns have shown they are not intimidated by the defending AFC champions; the next step is proving they know how to close out the conference kings when they have the chance. The second-half turnovers by Nick Chubb and Baker Mayfield can’t happen when Patrick Mahomes is running plays on the other side.
Sporting News - No. 5 (down 1 spot)
The Browns don’t slide too much for their strong losing effort at Kansas City, given they were eliminating a couple mistakes away from winning the game and ruling the early roost in the AFC. Cleveland is still learning to win as a young playoff team under Kevin Stefanski. The journey started with an expected result but it hinted the Browns’ lofty destination is much in their control.
Yahoo Sports - No. 11 (down 1 spot)
I don’t want to be too hard on the Browns, but they have graduated from moral victories. Losing at Kansas City is not the worst thing but when you have a double-digit lead, and have multiple chances in the fourth quarter to make a drive and win the game, you have to win if you want to be labeled a contender. They can learn from Week 1 though.
For most of Sunday’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, it appeared as though the Cleveland Browns might finally shake off their miserable fortunes in season openers. They’ve mustered only one win in Week 1 since they re-joined the league in 1999. The Browns led 22-10 at halftime and by nine in the fourth quarter, despite the absence of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. But then came the final quarter.
A miscue on a punt handed the Chiefs the ball inside the red zone. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense got rolling. And Baker Mayfield threw a game-sealing interception. The game showed both what the 2021 Browns could be capable of and how much work remains to be done. Fortunately, Cleveland’s schedule softens up quite a bit from here. Only one of the Browns’ next six opponents made the postseason last year, and the one that did is a Chicago Bears team that went 8-8 during the regular season.
USA Today - No. 4 (down 1 spot)
Their past two games have been at Arrowhead Stadium, where they’ve given Chiefs all they can handle. Now imagine if Cleveland had WR Odell Beckham Jr. in the lineup ... or merely a punter who could field a snap.
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.