Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Cleveland Browns Week 8 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: 12.6 (12th)
  • Best ranking: 9th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 17th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 8 roundup for the Browns in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

EPR still does not consider the Browns a top-tier team, despite their thrilling win against the Bengals. Baker Mayfield after the first quarter against Cincinnati: 22-for-23 with 297 yards and five touchdowns. His one incompletion was a spike to kill the clock. Mayfield put up those numbers without Odell Beckham Jr. or starting tight end Austin Hooper. With Beckham out for the season, the Browns will need others to pick up the slack like they did against the Bengals. One player who popped Sunday was rookie tight end Harrison Bryant, who caught four of five targets for 56 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 9

So that's the Baker Mayfield many Browns fans were waiting to see. Can he continue his hot second half against the Bengals the rest of the way?

USA Today -- Rank: 11

Bummer to lose WR Odell Beckham Jr. for season. But let's be real: Baker Mayfield and Co. looked pretty potent without OBJ on Sunday.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

Who needs to step up: WR Rashard Higgins

With Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season with a torn ACL, the onus will fall on Higgins to replace him in the lineup. Higgins and QB Baker Mayfield, who also are close friends, have enjoyed a rapport on the field going back to Mayfield's rookie season in 2018. The Browns will need Higgins to be Mayfield's security blanket alongside new No. 1 WR Jarvis Landry if the Browns are to finally snap the league's longest playoff drought, which dates to 2002. -- Jake Trotter -- Rank: 12

A hugely important performance by Baker Mayfield, who silenced the doubters (temporarily, anyway) in a 37-34 shootout win over the Bengals. After starting the game 0-for-5 with an interception on his first throw, Mayfield completed 22 of his final 23 attempts, posting a perfect passer rating in the final three quarters. Baker's only incompletion was a clock-killing spike that preceded his game-winning 24-yard touchdown strike to Donovan People-Jones in the final minute. Baker went on his rampage without Odell Beckham, who suffered a knee injury on Mayfield's initial pick that was later diagnosed as a season-ending ACL tear. A crushing blow for Beckham, but Sunday showed us the Browns can still be explosive without their high-profile star.

+ Previous update: Cleveland Browns Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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