AFC North: 2013 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

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

Preseason: 28 | Last week: 25 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Cleveland Browns are close to moving into unfamiliar territory, and they and their fans have to be thrilled about it.

The Browns moved from No. 31 in the Week 3 rankings to 20 after trading running back Trent Richardson and moving third quarterback Brian Hoyer into the starting spot. Those moves were treated as cataclysmic by many, but the result has been two consecutive wins over playoff teams in 2012 (Minnesota and Cincinnati) and an 11-spot jump in the Power Rankings.

The last time the Browns were ranked 20th was the 15th week of the 2012 season.

A win Thursday night over Buffalo might even move the Browns into the teens. That hasn’t happened since the Browns were ranked 17th in Week 2 of the 2008 season.
A weekly examination of the Bengals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 9 | Last week: 6 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Cincinnati's 17-6 loss to the Browns on Sunday sent it for a free fall in this week's ESPN.com Power Rankings. After shooting up four spots to No. 6 with a 34-30 win over Green Bay last week, the Bengals plummeted five spots following an offensive display at Cleveland that offensive coordinator Jay Gruden called "shocking."

Head coach Marvin Lewis said the way the game was lost indicated how inconsistent his team is. At times this season, the Bengals have looked unstoppable. On other occasions, like this past weekend, they have looked like the old version of themselves that so many NFL fans have come to know throughout the league's history. If this inconsistent play continues, expect this trend of seesawing in the Power Rankings to persist, too.

The No. 11 ranking is the lowest for the Bengals so far this season.

The Bengals received one top-10 vote from ESPN.com's six-person Power Rankings panel. Dan Graziano placed them ninth on his ballot. Ashley Fox and Kevin Seifert gave them a No. 15 ranking, the panel's lowest.
A weekly examination of the Steelers’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 16 | Last week: No. 28 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Apparently the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t the worst team in the NFL despite what quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after the team dropped to 0-4. Roethlisberger, however, was not far off, according to the ESPN.com Power Rankings. The Steelers slipped another spot after their fourth-quarter rally fell short in a 34-27 loss to the Vikings, and they are ranked ahead of only the Giants, Buccaneers and Jaguars. Here is a voting breakdown:

Ashley Fox: 29

Mike Sando: 26

Kevin Seifert: 31

John Clayton: 28

Dan Graziano: 29

Jamison Hensley: 29

As stunning as it is to see the Steelers so low, it is hard to argue with their ranking. Yes, they have been in every game this season, but a team that always used to find a way to win is now finding ways to lose. The offense came to life in London but the defense collapsed, and so it goes for the Steelers, who have started a season 0-4 for the first time since 1968, the year “60 Minutes” was born. The Steelers have yet to put together a solid 60 minutes of football, and until they do so, they will continue to lag near the bottom of the Power Rankings.
A weekly examination of the Ravens’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

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

A week after failing to move up after beating the Houston Texans by three touchdowns, the Ravens (2-2) dropped three spots after getting upset 23-20 at Buffalo. This is the lowest ranking of the season for the defending Super Bowl champions. The last time the Ravens ranked outside the top 12 was Week 14 in 2009, when a loss at Green Bay dropped Baltimore to 6-6.

The biggest surprise for me was seeing the Tennessee Titans ranked ahead of the Ravens. The Titans have a better record at 3-1, but they lost to the Texans, a team that the Ravens routed. As one of six voters on the Power Rankings, I had the Ravens at No. 10, but the others don't see it that way. The Ravens are the eighth-ranked team in the AFC in the Power Rankings.

As far as the AFC North goes, the Cincinnati Bengals dropped five spots to No. 11, the Cleveland Browns moved up five spots to No. 20 and the winless Pittsburgh Steelers fell another spot to No. 29.

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