ESPN Power Rankings: Browns # 30; 5 Above, 5 Below

Sep 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Each week on Tuesday ESPN releases their Power Rankings on Tuesday around noon. While they have no impact on the season, many look forward to their release and the debate that follows. Each week we will review the Browns’ ranking, their previous week’s opponent, their upcoming opponent and the 5 above and 5 below them in the rankings. We will look at how the Browns can climb in the rankings and avoid falling.

Cleveland Browns

Ranking: 30th

Thoughts: They note Brandon Weeden’s struggles, comparing him to Blaine Gabbert from Week 1. The Browns were bound to slip after a loss in Week 1 to the Dolphins. They only went down 2 and are above the Raiders and Jaguars. This week’s game against the Ravens could move them up quickly but probably not drop them any if they lose to a much higher ranked team. From 28th to 30th isn’t a far drop, but there isn’t much farther to drop and the 2 below, well they are there for a reason.

Last Week’s Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Ranking: 17

Thoughts: Up 3 spots after defeating the Browns the Dolphins are lauded for their pressure on Weeden and the need to continue such against Andrew Luck in Week 2. Moving up 3 spots after beating the lowly Browns seems about right. If the Dolphins continue to win expect a slow and steady rise in rankings instead of a meteoric one.

This Week’s Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

Ranking: 11

Thoughts: After a beat down to the Broncos the Ravens drop 3 spots. No shame in getting beaten by Peyton Manning, but the way they were beaten in the second half should cause for some concern. A close win over the Browns could cause them to drop again. A dominate win could affirm there top 10 standing.

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Five Above

Buffalo Bills

Ranking: 29

Thoughts: The Bills played the Patriots well and showed a solid, steady play on both sides of the ball. Expect the Browns and Bills to have similar seasons based on line performances and QB play, which is expected to be streaky. The Bills rose 1 even in defeat based on their performance.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ranking: 28

Thoughts: The Bucs were a big faller after their opening loss to the Jets. While a bad Lavonte David penalty cost them the game they did not look good throughout. The Bucs are too talented to play that way too often without major changes. Don’t expect the Bucs down this low often, instead the Browns will most likely be looking up at them throughout the season.

New York Jets

Ranking: 27

Thoughts: The Jets are not as talented a team as the Browns but they pulled out the victory and rose 5 places in the rankings because of it. The Browns should find their footing while the Jets come down to earth a little bit over the next few weeks. Expect to see the Jets in the 5 Below category very soon.

San Diego Chargers

Ranking: 26

Thoughts: Norv Turner’s old team played the game backwards from Turner’s time. In the past the Chargers started off slow and would end strong. They are different now but still lost a close game when the Texans came from behind. The Chargers fell 2 spots in the rankings this week. They will be a tough team to judge all season long with Rivers as a solid but inconsistent QB and transitions both offensively and defensively.

Arizona Cardinals

Ranking: 25

Thoughts: Larry Fitzgerald may have his first real quarterback since Kurt Warner. The Cardinals went up 1 spot but should be expected to Yo-Yo most of the season as they transition under Bruce Arians. The offensive line will continue to hold up to keep Carson Palmer in the game. Palmer’s age and injury history have to be a concern. The Browns would love to be in the Cardinals shoes as they have established talent to make an impact on the game.

Five Below (When possible)

Oakland Raiders

Ranking: 31

Thoughts: The Raiders fall just below the Browns on the rankings. The Raiders were not able to pull off the win Sunday but have found a fun toy in ex-Ohio State Buckeye Terrelle Pryor. The Raiders didn’t move in the rankings but besides their starting rankings, much like pre-season college football polls, there isn’t much reason for the Raiders to be below the Browns. Wins and QB performance will decide who is fighting the Jaguars for last place in the rankings, if things continue for both teams as they are.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Ranking: 32

Thoughts: As expected the Jags bring up the rear after a poor outing in Week 1. Scoring only 2 points will do that to a team. The Jags dropped 3 spots and may find themselves at 32 for much of the year as they look to tear down and rebuild. Biggest concern for them has to be RB Maurice Jones-Drew who looked great in pre-season but was bottled up much of this game.

How the Browns fair this year compared to the 5 Above and 5 (when possible) below will be very interesting. Just like the standings change each week so will these opinion based rankings. They make for fun debate. You can debate me here on Twitter or continue the discussion below.

Earlier Today

Chip Kelly: What Could of Been in Cleveland?

Over/Under Reactions to Week 1

Spinning Week 1 Forward to Week 2

 

Topics: Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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