Browns and 49ers in familiar fight in Week 7 power rankings

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers are in a battle for not only the bottom of the weekly power rankings, but so much more.

The Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers have quite the budding rivalry brewing.

The Browns and the 49ers are the NFL’s lone winless teams after six weeks and, for the second consecutive season, are in a race to see who can secure the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.

This same scenario played out last year with the Browns holding the lead until the early afternoon of Christmas Eve. Cleveland lost its grip on the top selection for a few hours that day after defeating the San Diego Chargers, but were saved when quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to a last-second victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

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Those two wins by San Francisco against the Rams were enough to secure defensive end Myles Garrett for the Browns, which is probably the best thing to come out of the 2016 season.

The 49ers are allegedly improved this year and their 0-6 record has come against slightly better competition – a .559 winning percentage for their opponents vs. .486 for the Browns – and the 49ers “only” have a point differential of minus 33 vs. a minus 63 for the Browns.

That would seem to give the edge to the Browns, but the 49ers are not playing around as they have benched quarterback Brian Hoyer and will roll, at least for now, with rookie C.J. Beathard.

Of course, head coach Hue Jackson is still waffling between rookie DeShone Kizer and second-year quarterback Kevin Hogan, so the Browns are not going to give up the fight for the draft’s top pick easily.

Just don’t tell that to Jackson, who does not have the luxury of looking ahead to next year’s draft. The record may look the same, but this is not the same Browns team, Jackson told

"“We are different than last year in the sense that I think there is more hope and I think we understand the situation we are in and what we are trying to accomplish. I think our guys know and I truly know that at some point in time this thing is going to flip and you don’t know what might make it flip.”"

Chew on that for a moment, Browns fans, and then dive into the weekly NFL power rankings, where the Browns and the 49ers continue to battle for the bottom spot.


"No. 32 (no change): The Browns are an FPI underdog in each of their remaining 10 games, but they do play three of the next four at home. An 0-16 season seemed possible last year, and if they can’t get through this current stretch without a win, it might be possible this year. (Pittsburgh No. 4, Baltimore No. 22, Cincinnati No. 23)"

Pete Prisco at CBS Sports:

"No. 32 (no change): The move to Kevin Hogan didn’t pay off at all. They need to just play DeShone Kizer the rest of the way. (Pittsburgh No. 5, Cincinnati No. 24, Baltimore No. 25)"

Frank Schwab at Yahoo Sports:

"No. 32 (no change): The NFL is set up so every team shouldn’t be that good or that bad for too long. That makes the Patriots’ dynasty so impressive. It also makes the Browns’ utter futility impressive too, in a different way. I look at how the Jets being competitive every week, how the 49ers are fighting, and it makes it a lot harder to defend Hue Jackson. The Browns’ roster is bad, but it’s not that much worse than some of these other teams’ rosters. Yet they’ve lost 21 of 22 under Jackson and they’ve lost by double digits in 13 of Jackson’s 22 games. They have been outscored by 251 points in those 22 games. That’s not supposed to happen in today’s NFL. I’ve said it before, but I’ve gone from thinking the Browns had to keep Jackson around for four years no matter what to wondering how the Browns could justify bringing Jackson back for a third season. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Baltimore No. 23, Cincinnati No. 24)"

Elliot Harrison at

"No. 32 (no change): Really thought that by Week 7, the Browns would be out of the No. 32 spot. Which, in their case, has become a 32-hole. Or, maybe Cleveland has season tickets to being the worst team in the league. It’s frustrating for the organization, the fans, as well as those of us who cover the team from afar. Losing in Houston to the Texans – and the hottest quarterback in the league – is not the part that is bothersome. Rather, the Browns losing by three scores in a game they were never really in – that is tiresome. I mean, being down 33-3 midway through the third quarter hints little at analytics and potential, while screaming same ol’, same ol’. Ugh. (Pittsburgh No. 4, Cincinnati No. 22, Baltimore No. 28)"

The Browns will have a nice opportunity to put some pressure on the 49ers this week when they host the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Next: Browns: 3 defensive takeaways from Week 6

Cleveland has won two of the past three meetings, and five of the past eight, against Tennessee, so the Titans just might be the flip that has eluded Jackson and the Browns so far this season.