Saturday, January 2, 2021

Cleveland Browns Week 17 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Cleveland Browns rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 10.6 (T-9th)
  • Best ranking: 9th (
  • Worst ranking: 13th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 17 roundup for the Browns in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 13

Olivier Vernon, edge: The Browns have most of their core pieces under contract for next season. It feels like Vernon has been in the league for 20 years, but he's still just 30. After a slow start, Vernon has come on and has eight sacks and 15 quarterback hits while playing 74 percent of the Browns' snaps. He could appeal to teams that are in the market for a veteran pass rusher.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

The COVID losses of their receiving group really impacted their offense against the Jets. Now they need a victory against the Steelers to assure that they are in the playoffs.

USA Today -- Rank: 10

Pretty mystifying why a team built to run the ball -- and without its top receivers -- would throw it 53 times ... against the Jets.

ESPN -- Rank: 10

New Year's resolution: Improve the defense

This past offseason, the Browns focused on solidifying their offense and better supporting QB Baker Mayfield. They accomplished that, signing TE Austin Hooper and RT Jack Conklin before drafting LT Jedrick Wills Jr. in the first round. Now, Cleveland needs to turn toward the other side of the ball for a defense that ranks just 20th in efficiency, despite featuring star pass-rusher Myles Garrett. The Browns need help at every level, but especially in the secondary. -- Jake Trotter -- Rank: 9

All the Browns needed to do to end the longest postseason drought in the NFL was beat the 1-13 Jets on Sunday. They failed in that task, and now they face the prospect of missing the playoffs entirely if things don't go their way in Week 17. Baker Mayfield fumbled three times in the loss, the final miscue coming on the game-deciding fourth-and-short QB sneak deep in Jets territory. After the game, Mayfield took the blame for the loss on a day Cleveland was without its top four wide receivers due to COVID-19 protocols. A tough situation, no doubt, but there won't be any excuses if Cleveland can't beat a Steelers team that could be resting its starters in the regular-season finale. The Browns have made too much progress to see this season end with the bitter disappointment of another dark January.

+ Previous update: Cleveland Browns Week 16 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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