Friday, November 5, 2021

Cleveland Browns Week 9 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: 16.0 (16th)
  • Best ranking: 15th (The Athletic)
  • Worst ranking: 17th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 9 roundup for the Browns in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 16

Biggest Achilles' heel: Passing attack

The Browns' passing attack has fallen off a cliff, and it's not just due to the injuries -- even if they have been a major factor. Baker Mayfield, battling the torn labrum to his non-throwing shoulder, has been up and down, but he isn't getting much help from his highly paid star receivers, either. Jarvis Landry had multiple drops late in the fourth quarter in the loss to Pittsburgh, along with a key fumble. Odell Beckham Jr., meanwhile, has become a total nonfactor. Cleveland's passing game last season gradually got better. This season, it seems to be getting worse. -- Jake Trotter -- Rank: 16

The Browns badly needed a playmaker to step up and win a huge game against the Steelers. Baker couldn't do it. Landry couldn't do it. Hooper couldn't do it. Odell? C'mon now; we know Odell wouldn't do it. The Browns have too often looked the part of an ordinary offense this season, and they're especially vulnerable when Nick Chubb gets neutralized like he was by Pittsburgh's stout front seven on Sunday. Mayfield's left shoulder injury might be playing a role in the passing game's general ineffectiveness, but Browns fans weren't looking for excuses this year -- they were expecting their team to become a conference superpower. It hasn't happened.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 17

At 4-4, this team is in last place in the division. That's hard to believe considering the expectations before the season.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

In positive news, DE Myles Garrett is on pace to collect 22.3 sacks -- an impossible figure to achieve and also slightly shy of Michael Strahan's single-season record of 22½. But if Garrett heats up, he just might get to 22.6.

The Athletic -- Rank: 15

How's the head coach? As the Browns' offense continues to struggle, Cleveland keeps moving closer toward having to choose between head coach Kevin Stefanski or QB Baker Mayfield (or neither, perhaps). The Browns were just 3-of-10 on third downs and 0-of-2 on fourth downs in Sunday's 15-10 loss; they've scored 17 points or fewer in four of their past five games. This thing is teetering a bit -- aside from Detroit in Week 11, there isn't an easy game left on the schedule.

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