NFL Power Rankings: Browns, AFC North Fall in Week 14

Here’s a recap of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed in the mainstream media in the NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 14 of the 2021 NFL season.

CBS Sports – No. 20 (down 1 place)

They close their farewell with a big division game at home against the Ravens. They lost a tough one of theirs two weeks ago but need this to tighten up the division race.

ESPN – No. 19 (dropped two places)

After taking the Browns to their first playoff win in 26 years as quarterback in 2020, Mayfield has had a disappointing season thus far. He has been battling a torn labrum in his non-throwing left shoulder since week 2, as well as injuries to his right knee and left foot. Partly because of this, Mayfield is only 26th in QBR, one season after finishing in the top 10. The Browns are still on the hunt for a playoff spot. But they won’t get there unless Mayfield revives the caliber of the game he unleashed in 2020.

NFL.com – No. 16 (no change)

Andrew Berry gave the media 30 minutes as the Browns began their much-needed farewell week, but the general manager was too smart to offer the press the red meat they craved in regards to Baker Mayfield. The former No. 1 pick has struggled through a year of injuries, but Berry made sure not to play his hand on how this season has—or hasn’t—changed the team’s quarterback’s internal evaluation. Time remains on Cleveland’s side: Mayfield has one year and nearly $19 million left in his rookie deal, making him the likely starter in 2022 no matter what happens next. Mayfield may not be close to the lucrative long-term extension that seemed imminent last summer, but he is also not facing a doomsday scenario.

Sports News – No. 18 (dropped two places)

The Browns should have appreciated the advancements of the Ravens, Bengals and Raiders who had lost in their farewells, giving them a new lease of life for another run to the playoffs. They should come out healthier, led by Baker Mayfield, which tends to warm up in December.

Yahoo Sports – No. 16 (down 1 place)

The Browns’ season looks set to come to a crossroads this week. They receive the Ravens. With a win, Cleveland should feel good if he at least makes the playoffs. On a loss, they stand 6-7 and should feel like one of the NFL’s bigger disappointments. It’s a huge game.

Bleacher report – no 19 (no change)

The Cleveland Browns are like Lucy. Their beleaguered fan base is like Charlie Brown. Each year, the Browns tease that they are about to take a deep run in the playoffs. Every year their fans come running. And every year those fans end up flat on their backs.

After kicking off the season for the second time in three seasons amid a whirlwind of hype, the Browns are a .500 team with a floundering offense and a deranged quarterback. And with a playoff trip becoming increasingly unlikely, a huge question hangs over the team: is Baker Mayfield the long-term answer below the middle?

To be fair, Mayfield’s struggle this year is at least in part due to a series of injuries, including a torn labrum in his left shoulder. But four seasons into his NFL career, Mayfield hasn’t quite lived up to his status as the first overall pick in 2018.

“There’s no way I’m giving Mayfield $40 million a season, or even close to that,” Davenport said. “In fact, unless it’s a short-term extension, the smart game for the Browns is to let Mayfield play his option year in 2022. Because right now, he’s an average NFL starter at best.”

USA Today – No. 19 (down 1 place)

GM Andrew Berry said of QB Baker Mayfield: “We expect him to play his best piece of the year here after the bye.” Giddyup – although that could mean Mayfield handing over exclusively to RB’s Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who might be playing together more.

Below is a summary table of where teams in the AFC North are ranked this week.

Bengal browns raven Steelers
CBS Sports 12 20 8 14
ESPN 11 19 6 15
NFL.com 11 16 12 18
Sports news 12 18 7 13
Yahoo Sports 13 16 8 15
Bleacher report 13 19 12 16
USA today 12 19 13 18
Average 12.0
(down 3.0)
18.1
(down 1.0)
9.4
(down 2.3)
15.6
(up to 2.4)

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