Saturday, December 12, 2020

Cleveland Browns Week 14 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: 8.4 (8th)
  • Best ranking: 6th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 13th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 14 roundup for the Browns in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 13

Best-case scenario: Baker Mayfield strings together more games like he had Sunday. The Browns stomped the Titans in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score (41-35) indicated. Cleveland scored on its first six possessions (five touchdowns and one field goal) to go up 38-7. Baker Mayfield threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 10.1 YPA. According to TruMedia, it was the Browns' best passing game (EPA) of the season and third-best passing game since 2000. For much of the season, I have viewed the Browns as a plucky playoff team that has been solid, yet unspectacular. However, in a big spot against the Titans, they dominated. Cleveland now has a 91.7 percent chance to make the playoffs. And if Mayfield is starting to settle in and get more comfortable, the Browns' January could get really interesting. Also, Browns fans, DON'T YELL AT ME. I RESPECT YOUR TEAM. I KNOW YOU BEAT THE COLTS AND TITANS. IT'S EPR THAT DOESN'T RESPECT YOU.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 6

They have nine victories, which puts Kevin Stefanski in the Coach of the Year conversation. Now they face a real prove-it game with the Ravens.

USA Today -- Rank: 7

They haven't won 11 games or notched a playoff victory since Bill Belichick was their head coach in 1994 -- yet both benchmarks seem quite attainable ... especially if QB Baker Mayfield continues to play this well.

ESPN -- Rank: 8

Person with most at stake: QB Baker Mayfield

Mayfield has the chance to do what no quarterback in Cleveland has done in 18 years: lead the Browns to the playoffs. After a rough start to the campaign, Mayfield has been spectacular in recent weeks. As a result, Cleveland is in position to snap the NFL's longest playoff drought. Beyond that, though, Mayfield can solidify his standing as Cleveland's franchise quarterback in the coming weeks, which most certainly would prompt the Browns to pick up his fifth-year option -- and, potentially, strongly consider giving him a lucrative extension in the offseason. -- Jake Trotter -- Rank: 8

It's time to start believing in the Cleveland Browns. Baker Mayfield threw four touchdown passes -- all of them in a flawless first half -- in a 41-35 win over the Titans that announced Cleveland as a legitimate player in the AFC. Could the Browns have done a better job closing out a game that was 38-7 at halftime? Sure ... but that's a minor quibble for an organization that has put the misery of the previous decade firmly in its rearview. Mayfield is a fascinating figure as we head down the stretch of this bizarre season. When he is playing with confidence, he can shred defenses with precision strikes, both short and long. He's not always that guy, but if he ever put together an extended hot streak, the Browns would become the proverbial Team Nobody Wants To Play.

+ Previous update: Cleveland Browns Week 13 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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