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2022 NFL Power Rankings: Cleveland Browns

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 18 roundup for the Cleveland Browns in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 20

Regular season in five words or fewer: Trade leads to lost year

Cleveland effectively punted on 2022 -- and another season of DE Myles Garrett's and RB Nick Chubb' prime years -- when it traded for QB Deshaun Watson in March. Watson, who violated the NFL's personal conduct policy (by committing sexual assault, as defined by the league), was suspended 11 games. Even though backup QB Jacoby Brissett played well in those 11 games, Cleveland couldn't overcome Watson's suspension -- or a run defense that ranked last in the league proving to be a major culprit.

NFL.com -- Rank: 24

If the final weeks of the regular season are indeed just a platform for Deshaun Watson to find his game after nearly two years away from real live action, consider Sunday's 24-10 win over the Commanders a big step in the right direction. Watson started slow but came on strong against Washington, leading Cleveland on three consecutive touchdown drives to take control of the game in the second half. Said Watson after the win: "That was definitely the potential of what the future can hold." That was the idea the Browns had when they made the decision to get into business with the controversial quarterback.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 23

Deshaun Watson still isn't lighting it up, but the defense played well against Washington. Are changes come to this team next season?

USA Today -- Rank: 22

Eighteen throws from QB Deshaun Watson suggests this offense still isn't optimally dialed in, but Sunday was the best it's looked since he returned -- and his season-best three TD throws should fuel some optimism for next fall.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 21

Deshaun Watson completed nine passes Sunday. It wasn't some massive step forward, despite three touchdowns. There's still a lot to prove, and that's not ideal for a quarterback with a $230 million guaranteed deal. It's probably unfair to judge it until Watson gets a full offseason with his new team, but Cleveland has a nervous offseason ahead.

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