ESPN NFL Power Rankings: Browns Spot May Surprise


The Cleveland Browns took care of business Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now they get to travel down 71 to face off with the Cincinatti Bengals on Thursday Night Football. Winner leads the AFC North.

How did the Browns win on Sunday change their standing in the ESPN NFL Power Rankings? You may be a bit surprised:

"19Browns5-3Last Week: 19Brian Hoyer has a 59.4 completion percentage on throws 10 yards or less, worst among qualified quarterbacks, but his 51.4 completion percentage deeper than 20 yards downfield is fifth best."

The Browns won yet they still stand at 19th in their rankings. The rival Bengals, at 5-2-1, are ranked 11th while the Steelers, 6-3, are 7th and the Ravens, 5-4, are 14th.

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The Browns are the lowest ranked 5 win team in ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings. Two 4 win teams also sit ranked ahead of the Browns: the Saints, who the Browns beat, are 15th and the 49ers are 16th.

The Browns are getting very little respect nationally based on the records of the opponents they beat. This holds even though they thoroughly beat the Steelers as well as beat the Saints and were in every game they played into the 4th quarter.

Respect comes with winning a big game and Thursday Night is a big game. A win against the Bengals would not only put the Browns on top of the North but likely catapult them near the Top 10 in ESPN NFL Power Rankings.

Where do you think the Browns should be ranked?