Saturday, September 18, 2021

Cleveland Browns Week 2 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 7.4 (8th)
  • Best ranking: 4th (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 12th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 2 roundup for the Browns in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 6

Top rookie: WR Anthony Schwartz

The third-round pick out of Auburn had a nice debut after battling a hamstring injury in training camp. He caught three passes for 69 yards and also had a 17-yard rush off a reverse. He wasn't able to come up with a third-down grab downfield in the fourth quarter that might have been the difference in the 33-29 loss. Because on the next play, punter Jamie Gillan dropped the ball, setting up Kansas City to take the lead for good. -- Jake Trotter -- Rank: 8

There's a version of Hell where the Browns are forced to play the Chiefs in Arrowhead for all of eternity. Cleveland now has two painful losses to Kansas City in the space of nine months, both games sprinkled with moments of great optimism but ending with the cruel amputation of hope. The Browns have shown they are not intimidated by the defending AFC champions; the next step is proving they know how to close out the conference kings when they have the chance. The second-half turnovers by Nick Chubb and Baker Mayfield can't happen when Patrick Mahomes is running plays on the other side.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 12

They have to learn how to win the big games. That's the difference between the Browns and the Chiefs.

USA Today -- Rank: 4

Their past two games have been at Arrowhead Stadium, where they've given Chiefs all they can handle. Now imagine if Cleveland had WR Odell Beckham Jr. in the lineup ... or merely a punter who could field a snap.

The Athletic -- Rank: 7

Overreaction: I was completely prepared to write here about why the closing minutes of Sunday's game should give Andrew Berry and the Browns pause as they consider Baker Mayfield's contract extension. But probably better for you to read Jason Lloyd's column about it. Bottom line: Mayfield had a chance to out-Patrick Mahomes Patrick Mahomes and lead a game-winning drive against the AFC favorite and didn't get it done. That's troubling when the margin for error is so slim against Kansas City. -- Jones

Reality check: If you'd told me the Browns would go to Arrowhead and lead in the fourth quarter, that's more than I expected. This could be an AFC divisional playoff matchup, and if you add in Odell Beckham, it might be a different outcome. -- Auman

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