December 5, 2021

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Browns on verge of a breakthrough

4 min read
Browns on verge of a breakthrough

The first seven teams held their placing in The Post’s weekly NFL power rankings, with only some minor jockeying in the Top 10 due to New England’s loss (sans Cam Newton) to the best team in the league Monday night.

The rising Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns are knocking on the door of the Top 10 if someone falters.

Sadly for local fans, the winless Jets and Giants have secured the bottom two spots for the second consecutive week.

1. Kansas City Chiefs, 4-0 (Last week: 1)

It took a few quarters to get going Monday night in their COVID-delayed game against the Patriots, but Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs became the first team in NFL history to start 4-0 in four consecutive seasons. Next: Sunday vs. Las Vegas

2. Seattle Seahawks, 4-0 (2)

Russell Wilson’s record production pace slipped a bit, with “only” two touchdown passes following an unprecedented 14 through the first three games. The Seahawks are 4-0 for only the second time in franchise history; they won their lone Super Bowl title the other time (2013). Next: Sunday night vs. Minnesota

3. Buffalo Bills, 4-0 (3)

The Bills lost in Week 4 last season to New England, but Sunday’s win over Las Vegas gave them four wins to open a season for only the second time since 1992 (2008). Only Wilson has a better QB rating than Josh Allen, who has three rushing scores in addition to 12 through the air. Next: Sunday at Tennessee

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron RodgersGetty Images

4. Green Bay Packers, 4-0 (4)

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ defense made sure the Falcons wouldn’t be in position to blow another big lead Monday night. The eight-time Pro Bowl QB flipped three of his four touchdown passes to tight end Robert Tonyan. Green Bay has this weekend off before facing Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Next: Bye

5. Baltimore Ravens, 3-1 (5)

Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson is off to a slow start in comparison to his off-the-charts offensive numbers last season, but Sunday’s win over Washington showed he’s still capable of busting long TD runs (50 yarder). He’s also minimized mistakes with only one interception through the season’s quarter pole. Next: Sunday vs. Cincinnati

6. Pittsburgh Steelers, 3-0 (6)

Mike Tomlin’s unbeaten team had an unplanned bye week due to Tennessee’s COVID-19 issues, currently scheduled to be made up Oct. 25. The Steelers are one win away from starting a season 4-0 for the fourth time in franchise history (also 1973, 1978-79). They won the Super Bowl in two of those three seasons. Next: Sunday vs. Philadelphia

7. Tennessee Titans, 3-0 (7)

The Titans had no players test positive for COVID-19 Monday after 10 players and 10 staffers had done so between Sept. 24 and Oct. 4. The team can resume in-person meetings and practices at its facilities Wednesday if there are no positive tests for a second straight day. Next: Sunday vs. Buffalo

8. Los Angeles Rams, 3-1 (9)

Sean McVay’s high-powered offense was limited to 240 total yards by the winless Giants, but that was enough to get back into the “W” column following a shootout loss the previous week to Buffalo. Next: Sunday at Washington

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-1 (10)

Tom Brady’s first fourth-quarter comeback win with the Bucs featured touchdown passes to five different receivers, including a 9-yard toss to Ke’Shawn Vaughn against the Chargers for Tampa’s third straight win following a season-opening loss to New Orleans. Next: Thursday at Chicago

10. New England Patriots, 2-2 (8)

With Cam Newton sidelined by a positive coronavirus test, the Pats didn’t fly to Kansas City until Monday morning. Bill Belichick’s squad hung with the mighty Chiefs for a while, but the Pats were sunk by far too many mistakes from both backup QBs, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham. Next: Sunday vs. Denver

Baker Mayfield
Baker MayfieldGetty Images

11. Indianapolis Colts, 3-1 (16)

12. New Orleans Saints, 2-2 (15)

13. San Francisco 49ers, 2-2 (12)

14. Cleveland Browns, 3-1 (18)

15. Arizona Cardinals, 2-2 (11)

16. Las Vegas Raiders, 2-2 (13)

17. Chicago Bears, 3-1 (14)

18. Dallas Cowboys, 1-3 (17)

19. Carolina Panthers, 2-2 (21)

20. Philadelphia Eagles, 1-2-1 (27)

21. Cincinnati Bengals, 1-2-1 (28)

22. Los Angeles Chargers, 1-3 (19)

23. Minnesota Vikings, 1-3 (24)

24. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-3 (20)

25. Houston Texans, 0-4 (22)

26. Washington Football Team, 1-3 (23)

27. Miami Dolphins, 1-3 (25)

28. Detroit Lions, 1-3 (26)

29. Denver Broncos, 1-3 (29)

30. Atlanta Falcons, 0-4 (30)

31. Giants, 0-4 (31)

The Giants have scored the fewest points in the league, but their maligned defensive unit actually had a decent day against Jared Goff and the Rams until Cooper Cupp’s late TD haul. Big Blue did manage 136 rushing yards after totaling just 170 in their first three games. But yes, as a famous coach of theirs once said, “You are what your record says you are.” Next: Sunday at Dallas

32. Jets, 0-4 (32)

Bill Parcells also coached the Jets, and their record is 0-4 for a second consecutive season for the first time in franchise history. Adam Gase’s offense is tied with the Giants’ unit for the fewest offensive yardage output per game (278.0) in the league. And way too many personal fouls by Gregg Williams’ defense. Next: Sunday vs. Arizona

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