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NFL Power Rankings: Browns slip to No. 20 heading into Week 6

Meanwhile, the Ravens continue to climb despite only having one more win than Cleveland.

Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 6 of the 2022 NFL season.

CBS Sports - No. 20 (down 3 spots)

The defense is a big problem for the Browns. They can’t stop anybody, which won’t win a lot of games, even with an offense that can really run it.

ESPN - No. 18 (no change)

The combination of being without starting QB Deshaun Watson for another six games (suspension) and an underachieving defense with one of the league’s toughest remaining schedules might tone down postseason hopes. The Browns squandered an opportunity to pad wins during the first month of the season facing QBs Baker Mayfield, Joe Flacco, Mitch Trubisky and Marcus Mariota. Now, a beleaguered Cleveland defense has to find a way to survive against Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Tom Brady until Watson’s return in Week 13. By then, Cleveland’s playoff hopes could be barely flickering, if not extinguished completely. - No. 20 (up 1 spot)

The Browns are quietly having an absurd season. Cleveland has played five games, won two and allowed victory to slip away in brutal fashion in three defeats. Jacoby Brissett is at the center of all the madness. The backup QB has played the best football of his career, but each of his three interceptions have come at crucial late junctures to seal — or help seal — the Browns’ fate in their losses. On Sunday, it was a killer end-zone pick with less than three minutes to play in a 30-28 defeat to the Chargers. Brissett threw 34 passes in the loss, or double the amount of carries Nick Chubb had in the game. Kevin Stefanski might want to make an adjustment there.

Sporting News - No. 22 (down 5 spots)

The Browns will keep trying to let Nick Chubb carrying their run-heavy offense but with a regression causing major defensive holes against both the run and pass, they are not positioned well to finish and win shootouts with Jacoby Brissett.

Yahoo Sports - No. 18 (down 2 spots)

The Browns are allowing rushing yards in bunches. Only the Lions and Chargers allow more rushing yards per attempt this season. They couldn’t slow down Austin Ekeler on Sunday. The next two opponents are the Patriots and Ravens, who are going to test that defense on the ground. The Browns have to find a way to get better, and perhaps adding linebacker Deion Jones in a trade with Atlanta is a step toward that.

Bleacher Report - No. 24 (down 5 spots)

On Saturday in Cleveland, the Guardians won in thrilling fashion on a walk-off home run to advance to the American League Division Series. On Sunday in Cleveland, the Browns had an opportunity to repeat the feat by downing the Los Angeles Chargers on a last-second field goal. But these Browns are all about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in 2022, so Cade York’s 54-yard attempt was wide right. And in the third game in four weeks, the Browns lost by three points or fewer. Cleveland’s three losses have come by a combined six points.

It was the same story Sunday as it was against the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets. The defense faltered at crucial moments. Jacoby Brissett threw another brutal late interception. And yet another brilliant effort from running back Nick Chubb was wasted.

“It’s not like the Browns are a bad team that’s getting pancaked on Sundays,” Davenport said. “If the Browns could close games, this team could easily be 4-1 or even 5-0. But Cleveland flatly refuses to get out of its own way, finding new ways to lose by the week. ... Two of Cleveland’s next three are against teams that made the playoffs last year, and the third is a trip to Baltimore. By the time the Browns hit their bye in Week 9, they may be in too deep of a hole to dig out.”

The Ringer - No. 21 (down 1 spot)

The Browns are averaging an NFL-high 0.17 EPA per rush through five weeks. Running back Nick Chubb is playing like a man possessed, leading the league in PFF rushing grade (90.7), forced missed tackles (42), total yards after contact (415), and total runs of 10-plus yards (20). Chubb’s efforts combined with middle-of-the-road quarterbacking from Jacoby Brissett have Cleveland’s offense surprisingly sixth in EPA per drive (0.64) entering a Week 6 matchup against the Patriots.

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

Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers
CBS Sports 16 20 11 29
ESPN 14 18 7 29 9 20 5 27
Sporting News 14 22 9 28
Yahoo Sports 15 18 5 29
Bleacher Report 12 24 6 30
The Ringer 9 21 4 29
Average 12.7
(down 3.7)
(down 2.1)
(up 1.6)
(down 0.6)