CBS Sports - No. 7 (up 6 spots)
That was a big-time comeback victory against the Ravens. Kevin Stefanski has done a nice job keeping this team together.
ESPN - No. 8 (up 2 spots)
Biggest remaining game: Week 11 vs. Pittsburgh
After the stunning, come-from-behind win in Baltimore, the Browns now have a real chance to win their first division title since 1989. But first, Cleveland needs to take out another AFC North rival: the Steelers, who, like the Browns, are also 6-3. The Browns already lost in Pittsburgh in Week 2. But if they can split with the Steelers with a victory this weekend, they’ll be no worse than a half-game back in the AFC North race, and, potentially, even in the driver’s seat heading into the second half of the season.
NFL.com - No. 9 (up 1 spot)
The Browns can absolutely win the North. They are 6-3, half a game back of Baltimore now, and don’t have an outrageous schedule left. But their chances have as much to do with Deshaun Watson as anything else. Sunday was Watson’s finest hour as a Brown: He rallied his team back from a two-touchdown, fourth-quarter deficit, overcoming his own rough start (6-for-20 passing with a pick-six in the first half). In the second half, Watson completed all 14 of his passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. That Watson did it with a hurt ankle and without his two starting tackles is meaningful. If anyone had any questions about his toughness or resilience, those have been answered for now. This team has just found ways to win this season, sometimes without great QB play — but now Watson is helping, too.
Sporting News - No. 8 (up 2 spots)
The Browns proved they can win games with defense in another way, with big plays. They also have more offensive pop when Deshaun Watson plays well and the running game doesn’t slump. Their playoff hopes look much better after their stunning comeback vs. the Ravens.
Yahoo Sports - No. 8 (up 2 spots)
Another positive sign for Cleveland on Sunday was seeing Jerome Ford reemerge. He had 107 rushing yards on 17 carries. It looked like he was over an ankle injury that had limited him. The Browns still miss Nick Chubb but Ford should be an asset to the offense going forward.
Bleacher Report - No. 8 (up 4 spots)
The Cleveland Browns entered Week 10 at 5-3, but they weren’t seen as a major threat to win the AFC North. That changed Sunday, with Cleveland erasing a 24-9 deficit to stun the rival Ravens in Baltimore. Mind you, this is a Browns team that lost 28-3 to the Ravens in Cleveland. But that was without Deshaun Watson at quarterback, and edge-rusher Myles Garrett told reporters the return of Watson could mean big things for the team the rest of the way.
“Kept on trying to tell y’all once he hits his stride, he’s going to be back to his previous ways,” Garrett said. “We’re just seeing a glimpse into what he can be and who he is.”
“The version of the Browns that showed up in the second half Sunday is a team to be reckoned with and a potential Super Bowl contender,” Sobleski said. “Against the rival Ravens, who are one of the league’s better teams, Cleveland showed toughness and resiliency in a comeback victory after trailing by 14 points in the fourth quarter. More importantly, Cleveland actually received quality quarterback play for the first time this year. The Browns defense is made up of tone-setters. Multiple weapons can be found at the skill positions. Cleveland’s offensive line is dinged at tackle, but it’s a well-coached group with a strong interior. More strong outings from the game’s most important position could make the Browns unstoppable.”
USA Today - No. 4 (up 9 spots)
You wonder what Cleveland could be if the team was ever mostly healthy, QB Deshaun Watson’s ankle issue the latest concerning malady. But let’s celebrate these Dawgs for what they are – a tough club on both sides of the ball, and one that can win in a place like Baltimore even when the league’s No. 1 defense has an off day.
Listed below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.
What do you think of the Browns’ ranking this week?