Saturday, October 9, 2021

Cleveland Browns Week 5 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: 6.8 (6th)
  • Best ranking: 4th (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 10th (

Below you will find a Week 5 roundup for the Browns in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 6

Biggest surprise: How quickly the defense has come together

Why it's a surprise: After finishing 19th in defensive efficiency last year, the Browns overhauled their defense in the offseason, bringing in or drafting eight new starters. The talent upgrade across the board was evident. But how quickly this defense has jelled in four weeks is still surprising. Already led by the league's No. 1 pass rush win rate, the Browns own a defense that has the look of a championship-caliber unit. -- Jake Trotter -- Rank: 10

When the Browns' defense dominated the Bears in Week 3, it felt such a mismatch of personnel and scheme that it was difficult to distill signs of actual progress. Sunday's 14-7 win over the Vikings was different: Cleveland went into a hostile environment and shut down an opposing offense that had been humming as well as any unit in football in the season's first three weeks. All the Browns need now is balance. Baker Mayfield completed less than half his passes in one of his worst performances in recent memory. Mayfield has always been a streaky quarterback, but he was a liability on Sunday. Cleveland will continue to win games with a stingy defense and elite running game, but Mayfield must improve to make the Browns true Super Bowl contenders.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 5

It wasn't pretty at Minnesota, but they found a way. That's the sign of a good team. They just keep fighting -- even on bad days.

USA Today -- Rank: 4

They now feature the league's No. 1 rushing offense and No. 2 overall defense, which has been simply oppressive last two weeks. But QB Baker Mayfield needs to dial it in if this team is to go further than any Cleveland team ever has ... meaning Super Sunday.

The Athletic -- Rank: 9

Another dominant defensive performance from the Browns, this time shutting out what had been a very good Vikings offense for three quarters. Football Outsiders now has the Browns' defense ranked third in DVOA -- a big jump from No. 10 last week -- but two major tests are next, against the Chargers in Week 5 and the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6.

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