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Browns tabbed for first victory; Bengals, Steelers take to the road

September 20, 2012
By RICH GIBSON - Times Leader Sports Writer (rgibson@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

Much too early in the game to label Brandon Weeden the Browns' quarterback now and well into the future.

Following a none-too-impressive season-opening loss to the Eagles, Weeden returned and for the most part - performed like a seasoned veteran - during a 34-27 loss at Cincinnati.

At 28, Weeden's coming of age baptism into the NFL was not expected to be a major issue. Last Sunday's 322-yard, two-touchdown performance likely indicated as much.

But the NFL is all about consistency and a (player's, team's) ability to produce over the grind of a 16-game schedule.

Weeden and the Brownies are back on the lakefront Sunday, opposing Buffalo's 1-1 Bills in a 1:00 kickoff.

A third straight loss will do significant psychological damage to both the Browns and their fans. Thus, can Weeden rebound with another solid outing and lead his team to a much-needed early season win?

Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, meanwhile, are on the road. The Bengals in a 1:00 matchup vs. Washington while Pittsburgh plays a late (4:25) game at Oakland.

Week two resulted in another inconsistent (8-8) output for this column - barely treading water (17-15 overall) though hope springs eternal.

THURSDAY'S GAME

NEW YORK GIANTS AT CAROLINA. Cam Newton and the Panthers roared in last weekend's triumph while banged-up Giants dodged potential 0-2 bullet with comeback win over Tampa Bay. GIANTS, 20-17.

SUNDAY GAMES

CINCINNATI AT WASHINGTON. Home team normally prevails in these inter-conference matchups. This one has the potential for a high-scoring shootout. REDSKINS, 33-27.

NEW YORK JETS AT MIAMI. Jets have blown out Buffalo and succumbed to Steelers at Heinz Field. Dolphins are mediocre at best. JETS, 27-17.

BUFFALO AT CLEVELAND. Brownies one of only six remaining winless teams in NFL. Should be a prosperous day on the lakefront. BROWNS, 24-17.

JACKSONVILLE AT INDIANAPOLIS. Jaguars also 0-2 and first win will have to be achieved in hostile territory. JAGUARS, 28-24.

ST. LOUIS AT CHICAGO. Rams played great in scoring three-point win against Redskins. But Chicago needs rebound performance. BEARS, 31-16.

DETROIT AT TENNESSEE. Titans seek to avert 0-3 start and will in our upset special. TITANS, 33-28.

SAN FRANCISCO AT MINNESOTA. Niners off to early season roll. That trend should continue Sunday. 49ERS, 27-13.

KANSAS CITY AT NEW ORLEANS. Saints and their fans certainly did not foresee 0-2 start and are NFC's lone winless team. SAINTS, 40-23.

TAMPA BAY AT DALLAS. Hard to imagine Bucs duplicating last week's near-upset of Giants at Meadowlands. COWBOYS, 34-14.

PHILADELPHIA AT ARIZONA. Is Philly a legit 2-0 or is Andy Reid's ballclub living early season lie? EAGLES, 34-17.

ATLANTA AT SAN DIEGO. This battle of 2-0 teams looks good on paper. Should also be a good one on the field. FALCONS, 23-20.

HOUSTON AT DENVER. One of the weekend's best matchups which should produce offensive fireworks. BRONCOS, 37-31.

PITTSBURGH AT OAKLAND. Too often Steelers find ways to lose games they have no business doing. Just saying. STEELERS, 24-21.

NEW ENGLAND AT BALTIMORE. Ravens let one get away last weekend at Philly. Pats just played poorly in home field loss to Cards. RAVENS, 21-17.

MONDAY NIGHT

GREEN BAY AT SEATTLE. Nice win for Seahawks over Dallas. But that was then. PACKERS, 35-17.

LAST WEEK (8-8). OVERALL (17-15). UPSET SPECIALS (0-2).

Gibson may be reached at rgibson@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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