AFC Power Rankings: Where do Cleveland Browns land following Week 5 defeat?

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Oct 10, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates his touchdown scored against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates his touchdown scored against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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AFC Power Rankings
Sep 26, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

AFC Power Rankings No. 4 – Cleveland Browns

As much as I want to have the Cleveland Browns third right now, I just can’t until they prove they can close big games. Two of their three wins are vs. bad teams (Bears and Texans), with one quality win vs. the Minnesota Vikings. Both of their losses they had fourth-quarter leads and should have won the game.

If they could have just beat the Chiefs or the Chargers, I would easily have them at the No. 2 or 3 slot this week.

Things don’t get easier for the Browns this week as the 5-0 Arizona Cardinals come to town. Vegas currently has the Browns as a favorite, likely because of the travel and the Cardinals coming off two emotional wins vs. the L.A. Rams and S.F. 49ers.

Health is the biggest concern for the Browns right now. Both of their starting tackles were out to end the game last week, and their top three cornerbacks were injured, along with Jadaveon Clowney. It appears Clowney should be back this week which is a huge help with a mobile quarterback like Kyler Murray, but we still have no idea on the other five guys.

As important as it is to not fall to 3-3, the must-win game will really come the following Thursday night when they face the Denver Broncos who are currently 3-2, and face a Raiders team with a lot of question marks in week six.

Being a bit of a pessimist and assuming the Browns may be vying for a wildcard spot (I hope I’m wrong), the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, and Bengals will likely be the biggest competition.

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