2023 NFL Power Rankings: Cleveland Browns

Throughout the 2023 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 2 roundup for the Cleveland Browns in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 11

Best debut performance: DC Jim Schwartz
Week 1 stats: Defense held Joe Burrow to 82 passing yards

Cleveland's new defensive coordinator came up with a game plan that both rattled Joe Burrow and shut down Cincinnati's passing offense. The rainy conditions helped, but Schwartz blitzed Burrow on 53% of his dropbacks in the first half, the highest rate of the quarterback's career, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In turn, Burrow averaged just 2.6 yards per attempt, the lowest in a half in his career. The Browns pitched a shutout in the first half and never looked back. Under Schwartz, the new-look defense could prove to be among the most improved units in the league. -- Jake Trotter

NFL.com -- Rank: 13

I won't harp on this yet, because the Browns' revamped defense absolutely turned in a banner performance in working over the Bengals in Week 1, and that's a sign of progress. But it's a good thing Joe Burrow struggled more than Deshaun Watson did, because the Browns have some issues offensively, compounded by the season-ending injury on Sunday to RT Jack Conklin.The weather conditions in Cleveland were not ideal for pristine execution on Sunday, and it was encouraging to see the Browns try to stretch the field vertically and use Watson's legs as a real weapon, with the latter strategy at least being effective. But if Watson struggles again throwing the ball vs. an angry Steelers team in Week 2, I am prepared to dive in deeper there.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 7

The defense was suffocating against the Bengals, which is a good sign. The offense wasn't great, but it did enough in the elements.

USA Today -- Rank: 6

As expected, the defense appears to be the bedrock of this squad — though few could have foreseen a near-shutout of Cincinnati. However don't underestimate the loss of RT Jack Conklin to a devastating knee injury ... even if it will be fascinating to see how 6-8, 374-pound rookie Dawand Jones fills in.

The Athletic -- Rank: 4

Whose head coaching job is Jim Schwartz going to get next year? The Browns' first-year defensive coordinator dared the Bengals to beat single coverage (and just about every other kind of coverage) and unleashed defensive ends Myles Garrett and Za'Darius Smith, who each had four quarterback hits. Nick Chubb had 106 rushing yards and more catches than any other Brown (four). Deshaun Watson had a 67.3 passer rating. It didn't matter.

FOX -- Rank: 12

It's still too soon to say if Deshaun Watson is good or not. He definitely didn't play great in a driving rainstorm. But what we do know is that the Browns can run the hell out of the rock and they can get after the quarterback. They did both things impressively in a domination of Cincinnati. If Watson picks up his play, they can jump from "formidable" to "contender."

Yahoo! -- Rank: 9

We can't keep making excuses for Deshaun Watson, but it was bad luck that he got yet another poor weather game to start this season. Everyone seemed affected by the rain and field conditions in Cleveland. Watson didn't look very good to start the season, but we'll see what happens when he plays on a dry field. And if the Browns defense plays like it did Sunday, Cleveland is going to be good whether Watson plays better or not.

PFT -- Rank: 11

They were the biggest wild card entering Week One. The card looks like an ace so far.

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