No. 2: Cleveland Browns (7-4)
What a difference a week makes. This time last week, the Cleveland Browns were sitting atop this very same power ranking. But after a disappointing outing in Denver where the Browns became the Broncos' fifth victim in as many games, the Browns slid down to the second spot in the AFC North power rankings.
There were many things that became apparent in the Browns road loss at the hands of the Broncos. The first observation jumped off the screen at the beginning of the game. This Cleveland defense, as talented as it is, is a completely different unit at home than they are on the road. Last Sunday marked the third straight road game where the defense started the game off flat and uninspired.
However, the elephant in the room is just how decimated this roster is due to injury. All season long the Browns have overcome adversity, but it is finally becoming apparent that the still growing list of injuries is simply too much to power through. Now the Browns must pivot and move forward with a mash unit and head to Los Angeles to take on the Rams.
The Browns sit at 7-4, and even with the injuries, Cleveland has several winnable games left on their schedule. As long as the Browns handle their business, they are in the driver’s seat to land a wildcard spot. It will be up to the defense to do the heavy lifting in the short term, as the Browns prepare to start their (checks notes) fourth quarterback of the season.