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Browns, Steelers Bengals serve up Sunday trifecta

September 29, 2011
By RICH GIBSON - Times Leader Sports Writer (rgibson@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

It was just a matter of time. Following a pair of satisfactory performances to open the season, week three in the NFL was rapid return to earth.

In which we endured a modest 8-8 record and in the process, gave a majority of readers every reason to go the other way when considering the logistics of NFL handicapping.

Week four features early season tests for all four AFC North residents, all of whom play at home with the exception of Pittsburgh.

Amazingly, of the league's three teams off to 3-0 starts, only defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay has stayed the course. The Bills and Lions remain on the yellow brick road.

SUNDAY'S GAMES

SAN FRANCISCO AT PHILADELPHIA. In what's looking like a competitive NFC East, Philly's not in a position to open 1-3. Eagles, 28-17.

NEW ORLEANS AT JACKSONVILLE. This won't resemble the track meet Drew Brees and company found themselves involved in last week vs. Houston. Saints, 23-16.

TENNESSEE AT CLEVELAND. Brownies don't want to play from behind again this week. Additionally, Colt McCoy and the offense must generate more points. Titans, 24-21.

BUFFALO AT CINCINNATI. Bills have been scoring machine last two starts while Cincy exploded for eight points last week at home vs. Niners. Bison roll on. Bills, 27-20.

CAROLINA AT CHICAGO. Cam Newton is the NFL's early feel good story. But not this week. Bears, 23-13.

WASHINGTON AT ST. LOUIS. Skins could easily be 3-0 while winless Rams are coming off embarrassing loss to Baltimore.Make this the Upset Special. Rams, 28-21.

MINNESOTA AT KANSAS CITY. In a titanic struggle of 0-3 combines, Vikes finally get one right. Vikings, 24-17.

DETROIT AT DALLAS. Lions' roar may be silenced in Arlington where Cowboys are hitting their stride. Cowboys, 30-17.

PITTSBURGH AT HOUSTON. It's imperative Black & Gold have effective run game and maintain time of possession vs. potent offense led by Matt Schaub. Texans, 27-17.

NEW YORK GIANTS AT ARIZONA. Cards went belly-up last week at Seattle and will rebound at home. Cardinals, 20-16.

ATLANTA AT SEATTLE. Highly touted Falcons could fall to 1-3 with a loss in the Emerald City. But that's not happening. Falcons, 31-17.

DENVER AT GREEN BAY. Pack shows no signs of dropoff following strong start. Can't see Broncos stealing one at Lambeau. Packers, 33-14.

NEW ENGLAND AT OAKLAND. Is it asking too much of Raiders to knock off back-to-back AFC East powers? Affirmative. Patriots, 38-17.

MIAMI AT SAN DIEGO. Fish in legitimate danger of starting 0-4 and are desperate for a win. Dolphins, 26-23.

SUNDAY NIGHT

NEW YORK JETS AT BALTIMORE. In the weekend's best matchup, defense figures to dictate in a low-scoring affair. Ravens, 17-13.

MONDAY NIGHT

INDIANAPOLIS AT TAMPA BAY. What a drag watching Colts operate without injured future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. Bucs, obviously, must take advantage. Bucs, 24-14.

LAST WEEK: 8-8. SEASON: 29-19. UPSET SPECIALS: 1-2.

Gibson may be reached at rgibson@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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