2022 NFL Power Rankings: Cleveland Browns
Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.
Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Cleveland Browns in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.
ESPN -- Rank: 17
Who's on the hot seat: Coach Kevin Stefanski
No Browns head coach has survived three full seasons since Jimmy Haslam bought the team in 2012; Stefanski is now entering his third season. And though he won NFL coach of the year in 2020 while guiding the Browns to the playoffs, last year's losing season was a massive disappointment. The pressure is now on Stefanski to get Cleveland back in the postseason despite enormous turmoil at quarterback surrounding Deshaun Watson. Although he spearheaded the Watson trade, Haslam has never demonstrated patience as an owner. If the Browns struggle under the circumstances, the heat could fall on Stefanski.
NFL.com -- Rank: 22
Can this roster hold down the fort until the QB arrives? Deshaun Watson is eligible to return from his suspension in Week 13 against the Texans. Cleveland's playoff chances will hinge on the rest of the team's ability to tread water until the controversial quarterback takes the field. Publicly, the Browns have been optimistic about Jacoby Brissett's ability to handle the QB1 job, but a 14-23 record as a starter helps to explain why he's become one of the league's preeminent journeymen. Add in an underwhelming wide receiver group, and you can safely expect the Browns to run the ball -- a lot. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are both gonna eat in this offense.
CBS Sports -- Rank: 21
With Jacoby Brissett playing for the suspended Deshaun Watson, they are an uncertainty for sure. They have talent, but it's up to Brissett to keep this team afloat until Watson is back.
The Athletic -- Rank: 24
The good news: We probably don't have to pay much attention to them for the first 12 weeks of the season.
The bad news: Week 13 is going to be gross.
Nugget to remember: Jacoby Brissett is something of an empty vessel at quarterback. Over the last three years, he joins Trubisky and Kyle Allen as the quarterbacks with a perfect 0.00 EPA per dropback, per TruMedia. He still ranks 28th of 40 qualifying quarterbacks, though, so it could be worse.
The Ringer -- Rank: 20
Deshaun Watson will serve an 11-game suspension before he throws his first regular season pass for the Browns, so this ranking accounts for a team quarterbacked by Jacoby Brissett, who was 2-3 in five starts with Miami last season. Brissett will lead a run-first offense that will live and die by the success of the offensive line and play-action passing game. The Browns defense has insane talent at all three levels and will need to play like an elite unit to keep Cleveland in playoff contention.
Yahoo! -- Rank: 17
The problem with evaluating the Browns is that the assumption is Deshaun Watson will look like his normal self when he returns from an 11-game suspension. Watson didn't play at all last season, got just a handful of preseason snaps this year, and will be joining a brand new team and offensive scheme about two-thirds of the way into the season. Watson is a talented quarterback but assuming he'll be great right away is asking a lot.
PFT -- Rank: 21
If they eventually win a Super Bowl with Deshaun Watson, the bizarre journey of 2022 presumably will have been worth it. For anything less than that, it won't be.
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