AFC North: 2013 NFL Week 3 Power Rankings

A weekly examination of the Browns’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 28 | Last Week: 30 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Browns fell to 0-2 for the fifth time in six seasons and have scored one touchdown this season. And by the way, they may not have starting quarterback Brandon Weeden available because of a thumb injury. So dropping the Browns one spot to No. 31 shouldn't come as a surprise. The only team below the Browns is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have been outscored 47-11.

This is the 14th time Cleveland is ranked 30th or lower in the past 23 Power Rankings. In terms of regular-season rankings, this is the lowest for the Browns since Week 6 of last season, when they were No. 32 after going winless in their first five games.

The Browns' schedule doesn't get any easier. Cleveland plays at the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and returns home to face the Cincinnati Bengals the following week.

As far as the rest of the AFC North goes, the Bengals (No. 10) and the Baltimore Ravens (No. 11) remain in the top half of the league, while the Pittsburgh Steelers slipped to No. 25.
A weekly examination of the Bengals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 9 | Last Week: 10 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Voters in ESPN.com's weekly Power Rankings still like the Cincinnati Bengals after Monday night's 20-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they haven't quite been convinced that this team should be considered among the elite. For the second straight week, Cincinnati came in 10th in the Power Rankings. A win Sunday over the Green Bay Packers (currently ranked fifth) certainly would allow that to change.

The problem for the Bengals was that as convincing a win as Monday night's was, the game actually left more people scratching their heads about the suddenly inept Steelers than wondering how good Cincinnati really is. If the Bengals can pull off a similar win over another top-10 team at home this weekend, the doubters may begin changing their minds. For the record, Pittsburgh enters Week 3 at No. 25.

Cincinnati was ranked as high as eighth by two of the six voters, Mike Sando and Dan Graziano. Kevin Seifert gave them their lowest ranking (13).
A weekly examination of the Baltimore Ravens' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 8 | Last Week: 11 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Baltimore Ravens remain in the No. 11 spot in the rankings for a second straight week. The Ravens (1-1) won their first game of the season, but they were hardly impressive in beating the Cleveland Browns 14-6 on Sunday.

A more convincing win wouldn't have moved up the defending Super Bowl champions. The only team in the top 10 that lost was the San Francisco 49ers, and they were atop the rankings last week.

So, just like last week, the Ravens are the fifth-highest-ranked team in the AFC, behind the Denver Broncos (No. 2), Houston Texans (No. 4), New England Patriots (No. 7) and Bengals (No. 10). As one of six voters, the biggest difference in my Power Rankings was putting the Ravens at No. 9, ahead of the Chicago Bears and Bengals. The Ravens will have a chance to jump back into the top 10 if they beat the Texans on Sunday.

As far as the rest of the AFC North goes, the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to No. 25 and the Cleveland Browns dropped to No. 31.
A weekly examination of the Steelers’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 16 | Last Week: 23 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Steelers played better in a 20-10 loss at Cincinnati on Monday than they had in the team’s season opener, but that didn’t stop them from dropping two spots in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings. The Steelers are 0-2 for the first time under seventh-year head coach Mike Tomlin, who has to find a way to get Pittsburgh’s moribund offense going -- and in a hurry. The No. 9 Bears (2-0) visit Heinz Field on Sunday, and the Steelers' offense will have to generate more than one touchdown to keep Pittsburgh in the prime-time game.

The Steelers have collectively vowed not to panic, but the offense’s early struggles are alarming for two reasons: There is no easy fix to them, and they put more of an onus on the Steelers’ defense, the latter of which showed in the loss to the Bengals. Free safety Ryan Clark said he sensed some of his teammates were trying to make a play with the offense bogged down. That led to the Bengals catching the Steelers out of position at times on Monday night and rushing for 127 yards.

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