Why are the 49ers not viewed the same as the Browns?

(Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns remain at the bottom of the weekly power rankings, which raises the question of why they are perceived as being worse than San Francisco?

The Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers have been joined the hip in a lot of ways since the start of the 2016 NFL season.

During that time period, the Browns have gone 1-22, while the 49ers have posted a record of 2-21.

The Browns have cycled through quarterbacks, starting a rogue’s gallery that included Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and DeShone Kizer.

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The 49ers have followed a similar path, having started Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard.

And for the second consecutive season, the Browns and 49er are locked in a battle for the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft.

Cleveland edged out San Francisco last season thanks to the 49ers pulling off a pair of wins against the Los Angeles Rams, and the race for the top pick could once again come down to the final weeks of the season.

Yet, even though the teams are in similar situations, the Browns continued to be the laughingstock of the league, while the 49ers are undoing what is generally considered a “positive” rebuilding effort.

How can that be? Like the Browns, the 49ers don’t have a quarterback. The records are basically identical. And both teams have ample amounts of cap space.

Maybe the perception stems from the fact that the 49ers are being run by general manager John Lynch, a rough-and-tumble “football guy,” while the Browns rebuild is being overseen by executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and his band of Ivy League-educated “nerds.”

The football media machine couldn’t be that shallow … could it?

While you ponder that, Browns fans, let’s take a dive into the weekly NFL power rankings.


"No. 32 (no change): The Browns are just the fourth franchise in the Super Bowl era to start 0-7 in back-to-back seasons. Their chances to win the division are nonexistent, but their chances to “earn” the top pick in next year’s draft are through the roof. The Browns are a 58.4 percent favorite to pick first, according to FPI. (Pittsburgh No. 4, Baltimore No. 25, Cincinnati No. 26)"

Pete Prisco at CBS Sports:

"No. 32 (no change): All the quarterback shuffling isn’t good for this team. They need to settle on somebody. Losing Joe Thomas is a major hit. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Baltimore No. 27, Cincinnati No. 28)"

Frank Schwab at Yahoo Sports:

"No. 32 (no change): Either start DeShone Kizer and live with the rookie mistakes or don’t start him. Don’t pull him after two (admittedly bad) interceptions. I want to preach patience with this coaching staff, but instead of a few signs of optimism, it’s going the other way. (Pittsburgh No. 4, Baltimore No. 24, Cincinnati No. 25)"

Elliot Harrison at NFL.com:

"No. 32 (no change): So defensive coordinator Gregg Williams stonewalled the vaunted Titans running attack all game long and came up short Sunday. Well, the Browns’ offense did the coming up short part. Another mixed-bag showing from rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer – mostly bad – with Cody Kessler trying to do his best Cody Allen impression. Nada. While the overtime loss was gut-wrenching, the season-ending injury to Joe Thomas was unfortunate. The torn triceps he suffered Sunday snapped his consecutive snaps streak at 10,363. I’ve been watching football for three decades and I’ve studied the NFL’s history profusely. I’ve never seen anything like Thomas’ run. The closest thing you can point to would be Brett Favre’s 297 straight starts at quarterback, or Vikings legend Jim Marshall playing 282 straight games without missing any. Marshall, a defensive end, pulled that off while playing in the trenches in the 1960s and ’70s. Unbeknownst to many people, Marshall launched his career in 1960 … in Cleveland. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Cincinnati No. 24, Baltimore No. 28)"

Next: What are the Browns going to do at left tackle?

Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it Browns fans?