CBS Sports - No. 18 (up 3)
Give Jacoby Brissett credit for his game-winning drive against Carolina, even after an uneven showing for most of the game. The defense had a letdown in the second half.
ESPN - No. 18 (down 1)
Rookie who stood out: K Cade York
How about a kicker who gave Cleveland its first Week 1 win since 2004 with a game-winning, 58-yard field goal in the final eight seconds? In his NFL debut, York booted one of the biggest kicks in Browns history, saving Cleveland from a disastrous defeat to former quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers. The Browns expended a fourth-round pick to select York out of LSU, hoping that he would be a special-teams difference-maker. Already, York has proved to be just that.
NFL.com - No. 20 (up 2)
The Browns have landed themselves a major weapon in Cade York, the fourth-round rookie kicker out of LSU who was absolutely nails in Cleveland’s 26-24 win over Baker Mayfield and the Panthers in Charlotte. York’s 58-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining would have been good from 10 yards further (at least!), the final kick in a perfect 4 for 4 day. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt carried the offense, something they’ll be tasked with doing for the entirety of Jacoby Brissett’s limited time as the starting quarterback. The best that can be said about Brissett? He avoided the killer turnover. But it’s clear opponents will be able to stack the box against Cleveland with impunity until Deshaun Watson returns from his suspension.
Sporting News - No. 14 (up 4)
The Browns found their winning formula with Jacoby Brissett: A lot of running the ball with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and a lot of defensive disruption with Myles Garrett. They also had to be thrilled about rookie Cade York being their new centerpiece on special teams.
Yahoo Sports - No. 13 (up 4)
The Browns are going to have to squeeze out as many wins as possible with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, and that’s why it’s important they have a good rookie kicker who can hit all four field-goal attempts including a clutch 58-yarder. It might not be pretty but the Browns can win that way with a strong running game and a solid defense.
Bleacher Report - No. 17 (up 3)
After a tumultuous offseason in which they acquired quarterback Deshaun Watson and traded Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers, the Cleveland Browns faced their former signal-caller in Week 1. With Watson serving an 11-game personal conduct suspension, Jacoby Brissett will lead the offense for most of the regular season. On Sunday in Charlotte, we saw Cleveland’s recipe for success.
Brissett was hardly impressive, completing just over half his passes for 147 yards. But the Browns were dominant on the ground, with Nick Chubb’s 141 yards keying a running game that peeled off 5.6 yards per carry and posted 217 yards.
It took a 58-yard field goal by rookie Cade York to seal the victory, but the win provided Cleveland with positive momentum during a soft stretch in the schedule. Over the next three weeks, the Browns will face the New York Jets, the injury-plagued Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons. If Cleveland can emerge from that less-than-imposing slate 3-1, it will buy at least some margin for error.
The Ringer - No. 19 (up 1)
Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett was as advertised—conservative (he finished Week 1 with the lowest yards per attempt average of any starter) and turnover prone. The only reason his stat line wasn’t a total disaster was that he was bailed out of two would-be interceptions, first by one of the dumbest pass interference penalties I’ve ever seen committed and then on a drop by Carolina safety Myles Hartsfield. A stalwart defense led by Myles Garrett (two sacks and three tackles for loss), heavy doses of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (who combined for 187 rushing yards), and a clutch rookie kicker (Cade York, FTW) saved Cleveland from disaster. That will be the key to victory for the Browns until quarterback play improves.
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.