Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season.
CBS Sports - No. 22 (no change)
At 2-5, they are in a deep hole as they wait for Deshaun Watson to come back. The running game just isn’t enough to carry this team.
ESPN - No. 25 (down 2 spots)
The Browns haven’t been consistently good defensively in any quarter this season. But in the fourth quarter, Cleveland has been at its worst. The Browns rank 30th in the league in fourth-quarter defensive expected points added (minus-45.43), underscoring the fourth-quarter collapses that have put Cleveland’s season already on the brink. The Browns played better defensively Sunday in Baltimore, including in the fourth quarter. But after yet another loss, it might end up being too little, too late.
NFL.com - No. 25 (no change)
For the Browns to return to the playoffs, it was imperative they get out of the first 12 games of the season in decent shape ahead of Deshaun Watson’s debut. That’s looking increasingly unlikely as Cleveland continues to be on the wrong end of agonizing losses. The latest: a 23-20 setback to the Ravens that featured a go-ahead touchdown pass to Amari Cooper wiped away by penalty and a false start on a game-tying field-goal try that forced Cade York to attempt a 60-yarder (blocked, naturally). The Browns will drag a four-game losing streak into a Monday Night Football matchup with the surging Bengals. Ominous vibes in Cleveland.
Sporting News - No. 29 (down 3 spots)
The Browns keep getting burned with limited offense and just enough defense mistakes. They need to somehow avoid total dysfunction beyond the reliable running game and respond better under Kevin Stefanski before Deshaun Watson returns, stat.
Yahoo Sports - No. 28 (down 3 spots)
According to ESPN, tight end David Njoku will miss two-to-five weeks with an ankle injury. That’s a big blow to an offense that doesn’t have a lot of playmakers in the passing game. The Browns’ two wins are in the final minute over the Panthers and against the Steelers. They’re not good and it’s probably not getting much better before Deshaun Watson returns.
Bleacher Report - No. 27 (down 3 spots)
The Cleveland Browns have been close in just about every game they have played this season. Four of the team’s five losses are by a combined nine points, including Sunday’s three-point loss at Baltimore. But almost only counts in horseshoes, and the fact is that rather than find a way to win, the 2022 Browns keep finding ways to lose. In Week 7, it was a critical false-start penalty that turned a potential game-tying field goal into a 61-yard prayer. As Mary Kay Cabot wrote for Cleveland.com, Cleveland’s fourth straight loss led to a postgame shouting match in the Browns locker room. Edge-rusher Myles Garrett actually saw the dustup as a good thing—proof that the team isn’t about to give up on the season.
“I think it’s just a lot of guys who are passionate about winning, passionate about the game, and they’re going to voice their opinions,” he said. “Sometimes it spills out where people from the outside can hear. But nobody is no worse for the wear. I think everybody is just very intent on winning and fixing what we have going wrong.”
The Browns are officially in desperation mode ahead of next week’s Monday night tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals. But given how good the Cincinnati offense looked against Atlanta and how bad Cleveland’s defense has looked over the past month, the Browns’ odds of salvaging their season don’t appear very high.
The Ringer - No. 28 (down 3 spots)
Jacoby Brissett and the Browns offense have more than exceeded expectations to start the season, as the team enters Week 8 ranked fourth in offensive EPA per drive (0.44). The problem for the Browns is the defense isn’t holding up its end of the bargain. Cleveand ranks 32nd in defensive EPA per rush (-0.15) and 27th in success rate against the run (57.4 percent). And even though Myles Garrett and Co. are creating pressure at the third-highest rate in the league (38.2 percent), the Browns pass defense ranks 26th in yards per attempt allowed (7.55).
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.