AFC North Power Rankings after Week 5: Bengals in last but at least there's optimism

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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3) Cleveland Browns 2-2 (1-2 in the division)

The Cleveland Browns fell a spot in this week’s rankings even though they were on a bye. After being handed a crushing loss at the hands of the Ravens in Week 4, they will attempt to get on track against the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday.

Like the Bengals, Cleveland will face a West Coast opponent at 1:00 p.m. What is stereotypically an advantage for the East Coast teams does not appear likely to take precedence over the dominance of the 49ers so far this season.

With a Browns loss and a Bengals victory on Sunday, Cincinnati could find themselves out of the basement of the standings and the power rankings for the first time this season. This is the NFL though, and we know that nothing is guaranteed.

The 49ers are not coming off a bye week like the Seahawks are. Thus, they have a greater disadvantage than their NFC West counterpart. If somehow the Browns pull off the upset, they could find themselves back in the top spot as they were after Week 3.

The Browns will provide a good test for San Francisco’s offense. Cleveland leads the league in total yards surrendered with 787. The 49ers would need to gain 488 total yards to move Cleveland from the top spot in that category.

Cleveland’s defense is second in average yards per pass attempt (4.2), just behind the Ravens. They currently rank first in passing yards given up with 500. They are 343 yards shy of the Cowboys, who are second in that category.

The Browns are tied for the league lead in average rushing yards per attempt (3.2) through four games with Seattle.

The expectation is that the Browns will lose, but it could be a closer game than some predict it will be.