NFL Power Rankings Week Six: Browns Head To Oakland At #21 In Power Rankings

Power Rankings in the NFL are meaningless, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun to talk about.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Cleveland Browns Move Up to 21st in SB Nation's Latest Ranks

The Cleveland Browns had an off week and some things in the news they would undoubtedly rather not have, but they still moved up in SB Nation’s latest power rankings, moving up from 22nd in the league to 21st.

Joel Thorman believes the Browns have a chance to win each of their next three games, something that will be critical with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh playing good football right now:

21. Cleveland Browns (2-2, LW: 22): The next three weeks will tell us what kind of team they are — Raiders, Seahawks and 49ers. All winnable games.

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Browns Ranked 22nd in Newest SB Nation NFL Power Rankings

Joel Thorman has released his newest NFL Power Rankings for SB Nation, which you can check out here, and as would be expected, the Cleveland Browns dropped a couple of spots after their loss on Sunday to the Tennessee Titans.

Cleveland was slightly embarrassed by the Titans on their home field, but Thorman still believes the Browns have a chance to turn heads this season:

22. Cleveland Browns (2-2, LW: 18): Sorta like the Bengals, this is one of my surprise teams in 2011. They gotta beat Oakland and Seattle coming up if they’re thinking playoffs this year.

The Browns’ defense is going to have to really step up if they want to beat the Raiders in two weeks. This week, they will try and get a little healthier as they have one of the early bye weeks this season.

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NFL Power Rankings Week Four: Browns Jump Up To 21 In ESPN Power Rankings On Play Of Young Draft Picks

Colt McCoy said it best: A win is a win. And that win was enough to bump the Browns from a less-than-inspiring 29th in the ESPN Power Rankings a week ago to 21st in this week's edition.

Yes, the Browns could (and should) be 3-0. Yes, the Browns opponents have combined for an ASTOUNDING 1-8 record. Yes, the team has flaws galore. But, let’s enjoy the fact that the team is 2-1 for at least a minute or two. ESPN had this to say about the Browns:

21 (29) Browns 2-1 The Browns have beaten two winless teams (Indianapolis, Miami). But they’ll take it. (Walker)

They’ll take it…and fans will take it (even if they complain about it). With games left against Tennessee, Oakland, Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Cincinnati and Arizona (as well as the two matchups apiece against the Ravens and Steelers), this is one of the easiest schedules the Browns have had in a long time.

And what about early returns from the 2011 NFL Draft? Well, the Falcons (who traded up with the Browns to select Juilo Jones and gave Cleveland their 2011 1st round pick, 2011 2nd round pick and 2012 1st round pick) lost on Sunday, dropping to 1-2. Phil Taylor (who the Browns selected after trading their 3rd rounder and the 21st overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs) had a strong game, as did the Browns other 2nd rounder selection, Jabaal Sheard.

Greg Little, whom the Browns selected with the Falcons second round pick, had three big catches during the game winning drive on Sunday. 4th round pick FB Owen Marecic has been getting a ton of valuable minutes, CB Buster Skrine has been getting involved in nickle and dime packages and on kick returns and Jason Pinkston (5th round) stepped in to start for the injured Eric Steinbach and has done a better-than-expected job thus far.

Those players, along with guys like Colt McCoy, Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Ahtyba Rubin, Shawn Lauvao, Evan Moore, Mohamed Massaquoi, Montario Hardesty, Joe Haden and TJ Ward are forming the backbone of this young team. So with a less-than-formidable schedule and a chance to gain valuable playing time, the team can gel and grow.

It may not pay off immediately, but continued draft success and shrewd front office moves (like the quiet trade for Jayme Mitchell last year and the probable extensions of both D’Qwell Jackson and Peyton Hillis) give hope for the future. True, a win is just a win, but a 2-1 start is something to be a little excited about.

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NFL Power Rankings Week Four: Browns Ranked in Top 20 After 2-1 Start

The Cleveland Browns have come in 19th in the latest SB Nation power rankings, five spots ahead of where they were last week (24th). The Browns have been in three fairly close games this year, but have had an “easy” schedule allowing them to lose a guy like Peyton Hillis and still come out and get a victory. Their defense is coming up with timely stops, and the schedule isn’t looking to daunting compared to some of the other teams around the league.

Here is what SB Nation writer Joel Thorman had to say about the Browns:

19. Cleveland Browns (2-1, LW: 24): The Bills, Lions and Browns have combined for an 8-1 record this season. The year of the underdog may be upon us.

The year of the underdog is indeed upon us, which gives me hope that the Broncos can pull through this week at Lambeau. The Browns have a good young core of players and are translating that on to the field with victories. If not for a couple of fluke plays late against the Bengals, this team would be 3-0.

They will have a tough task facing the 2-1 Tennessee Titans at home on Sunday, a game that should feature a lot of Peyton Hillis and Chris Johnson.

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NFL Power Rankings Week Three: Browns Ranked 25th in NFL.com Poll

NFL.com analyst Elliott Harrison has compiled his top 32 teams in the NFL, and the Cleveland Browns come in ranked 25th after their victory against Indianapolis, but Harrison also factors in their loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Cleveland is ranked one spot behind Cincinnati (24th) and a few spots above the Colts (30th), and they will take on Harrison’s 28th best team—the Miami Dolphins—in week three. Here’s what Harrison had to say about ranking the Browns 25th:

Cleveland probably deserves to be a shade higher, but they lost to Cincinnati, who, in turn, lost to Denver. Thus you have the exact science behind Denver at 23, Cincinnati at 24, and Cleveland at 25. The Browns face the Dolphins at home next week, a rematch of a close contest from last season. Will Colt McCoy be able to take advantage of the Dolphins’ secondary, which has struggled mightily?

Look for the Browns to attack the Dolphins through the air early to try and establish an early lead, then utilize Peyton Hillis and the ground game to close things out.

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NFL Power Rankings Week Three: Browns Up to 24th After Victory Over Colts

The Cleveland Browns’ victory over the Colts was the first in what could be a big stretch of games for this team in 2011. There is no such thing as an “easy” game in the NFL, but the Browns’ next few games are against opponents who aren’t exactly in the upper echelon of the NFL as it currently stands.

NFL Power Rankings author Joel Thorman feels the next five games are contests the Browns not only can compete, but he believes they are potentially favorites in all five:

24. Cleveland Browns (LW: 28): Dolphins, Titans, Raiders, Seahawks, 49ers? I see those as five straight games they can win. They’ll need to with the Ravens and Steelers in the AFC North.

The Browns showed they could play with some balance on Sunday, getting Peyton Hillis involved in any way they could. Hillis had two touchdowns in their road win over Indianapolis, which wasn’t even really as close as the score may have indicated.

Cleveland needs to take advantage of this stretch of games, especially in the early part of the season. They will need to have a lot of wiggle room when they begin more play inside the division.

This is a team many believed to be on the rise and they showed why that is on Sunday, even if it was against the Colts sans Peyton Manning.

The Browns take on the Miami Dolphins this week looking to improve on their 1-1 record, while Miami is looking to get in the win column for the first time this season.

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NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Browns Ranked 28th in SB Nation Poll

After dropping their season opener to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns have dropped from 26th in the SB Nation Power rankings to 28th, and here is what the author had to say about their week one performance:

28. Cleveland Browns (LW: 26): This was my sleeper team, the team that surprises people this year. Last week’s loss to the supposedly lowly Bengals shows how much I know.

The Browns seemed to have control of their game on Sunday save for two big plays they gave up to the Bengals, and it proved to cost them a spot in the winner’s circle on Sunday. This is a team that had a little bit higher expectations than normal coming into the season, and getting beat by the Bengals was not a good start to the year.

Still, it’s a long season and the Browns still have 15 games left to play, but for now, this ranking doesn’t seem too promising.

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