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NFL Power Rankings: Browns see Pittsburgh, Cincinnati close the gap heading into Week 6

The Browns fell one spot while they were idle during the bye.

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Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

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 2023 NFL season.

CBS Sports - No. 16 (down 2 spots)

They come off their bye with a big game against the 49ers. They should have Deshaun Watson back, unless he declines to play again.

ESPN - No. 12 (down 1 spot)

Fantasy surprise: Defense/Special teams

The Browns are No. 1 in defensive efficiency. They’re giving up just 15 points per game (No. 2 in the NFL) and they lead the league in third-down defense (22.6% opponent conversion rate). Curiously, the Browns have forced only three turnovers, with only one interception. But with coordinator Jim Schwartz’s aggressive style and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett leading the pass rush, the turnovers should come in time. The Browns have the 8th-easiest remaining schedule, which means they could feast on the opposition the rest of the year. - No. 12 (down 1 spot)

Everything about Week 4, from Deshaun Watson missing the game to the defense having its first real tough outing of the season, forced us to reevaluate this team on its Week 5 bye. San Francisco is coming to town Sunday, followed by road tests at Indianapolis and Seattle, and there are enough questions to wonder if this team is built to last. The lack of offensive consistency is the most pressing issue, and we just don’t know if Watson and Kevin Stefanski have the magic formula. The Nick Chubb-less run game is a limiting factor right now, and there are concerns on the offensive line (Jedrick Wills’ performance, a lack of depth). As good as the defense has been, it would behoove that unit to create more turnovers. This team needs all the possessions it can steal from opponents.

Sporting News - No. 13 (down 1 spot)

The Browns are trying to hold steady in the tough AFC North and will hope the injuries to Deshaun Watson and Myles Garrett won’t linger. It was a bad bye given the Steelers and Bengals got off the mat in a big way.

Yahoo Sports - No. 11 (down 1 spot)

Deshaun Watson’s status for this week is still unclear due to his shoulder injury. It seemed clear in Cleveland’s last game that the Browns won’t win much if Watson is out. Even if Watson hasn’t been great, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson isn’t ready. Watson’s injury status is huge for Cleveland this week.

Bleacher Report - No. 11 (down 2 spots)


USA Today - No. 13 (no change)

Semi-eventful bye week with GM Andrew Berry explaining QB Deshaun Watson’s last-minute scratch in Cleveland’s previous game while defending the trade of obviously capable veteran QB2 Josh Dobbs during preseason.

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

Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers
CBS Sports 19 16 11 20
ESPN 18 12 11 15 15 12 10 20
Sporting News 16 13 10 9
Yahoo Sports 15 11 9 16
Bleacher Report 17 12 9 19
USA Today 22 13 10 9
Average 17.4
(up 5.7)
(down 1.0)
(down 2.6)
(down 4.0)

What do you think of the Browns’ ranking this week?