NFL Power Rankings: Browns’ defense keeps ranking high heading into Week 5

Here is a summary of how the Cleveland Browns are viewed across mainstream media outlets in NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season.

CBS Sports – No. 5 (up 3 spots)

It wasn’t pretty at Minnesota, but they found a way. That’s the sign of a good team. They just keep fighting — even on bad days.

ESPN – No. 6 (no change)

Biggest surprise: How quickly the defense has come together

Why it’s a surprise: After finishing 19th in defensive efficiency last year, the Browns overhauled their defense in the offseason, bringing in or drafting eight new starters. The talent upgrade across the board was evident. But how quickly this defense has jelled in four weeks is still surprising. Already led by the league’s No. 1 pass rush win rate, the Browns own a defense that has the look of a championship-caliber unit. – No. 10 (down 2 spots)

When the Browns’ defense dominated the Bears in Week 3, it felt such a mismatch of personnel and scheme that it was difficult to distill signs of actual progress. Sunday’s 14-7 win over the Vikings was different: Cleveland went into a hostile environment and shut down an opposing offense that had been humming as well as any unit in football in the season’s first three weeks. All the Browns need now is balance. Baker Mayfield completed less than half his passes in one of…

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