Crippled Steelers face tough Titans; Browns can’t lose
Not much is certain in the unpredictable NFL. With this exception: The Browns won’t lose on Sunday.
That’s right, Pat Shurmer’s club has reached its bye week in addition to the Ravens, Dolphins, Cowboys, Redskins and Rams.
In reality, Pittsburgh could have used a week off to regroup from an inordiante number of injures making life difficult for Mike Tomlin’s Black & Gold. But no such luck. The Steelers’ bye week doesn’t arrive til week 11. No telling what shape they’ll be in by then.
As it stands, a 2-2 record has you squarely in contention among AFC North residents with Baltimore atop the division at 3-1.
We struggled to go 9-7 last week and dropped to 1-3 regarding Upset Special selections. However, compiling a .500 record in this business, we feel, must be considered a noble achievement. With that in mind:
SEATTLE AT NEW YORK GIANTS. Seahawks were impressive last week, taking Atlanta to the wire before missing 61-yard game-winning field goal attempt. G-men coming off tight road win at Arizona and should use home field to their advantage. Giants, 30-16.
NEW ORLEANS AT CAROLINA. How can this not be a potential point-a-minute shootout? All Cam Newton has done is come into the league and turned into one of its most productive rookies in years. Still, there’s a cool breeze blowing on the opposing sideline. Saints, 34-24.
PHILADELPHIA AT BUFFALO. Another intriguing matchup between a Buffalo team smarting from last week’s second half meltdown at Cincinnati and an Eagles outfit on the verge of burying itself in the NFC East. Eagles, 33-26.
CINCINNATI AT JACKSONVILLE. Conceivable snoozefest with Bengals riding momentum of last week’s last-second win over Buffalo. However, the home field comes into play here. Jaguars, 24-14.
TENNESSEE AT PITTSBURGH. Steelers were all but soliciting players in this week’s classifieds. Are they healthy enough to knock off an under-the-radar Titans’ club seeking an unexpected 4-1 start? Steelers, 23-10.
KANSAS CITY AT INDIANAPOLIS. Stub Hub taking big hits in this matchups of I-70 ballclubs. Based on its past two outings vs. Steelers and Bucs, Indy is knocking on the door. Colts, 27-14.
OAKLAND AT HOUSTON. Texans proved last week they can play a little ‘D’ when they have to. Raiders’ secondary will be under the gun all afternoon. Texans, 35-21.
ARIZONA AT MINNESOTA. In the ‘Heads Will Roll’ department, might a fifth consecutive loss mean curtains for Vikes’ coach Leslie Frazier whose team could realistically have three wins at this point? Redbirds show no mercy. Cardinals, 26-20.
TAMPA BAY AT SAN FRANCISCO. If you projected these two upstarts to match 3-1 records on Sunday, play the lottery by all means. Otherwise, just go with the home team. 49ers, 20-17.
NEW YORK JETS AT NEW ENGLAND. Expect off the chart TV ratings for this 4:15 kickoff. But expect no repeat performance of last season’s Jets’ postseason victory at Foxboro. Patriots, 28-20.
SAN DIEGO AT DENVER. Broncs were blitzed last week by Packers and need bounce back home field win to avert 1-4 start. Broncos, 28-21.
GREEN BAY AT ATLANTA. A hot ticket in Hot-Lanta. Pack is one of league’s two remaining unbeatens and already playing like Super Bowl returnees. Georgia Dome will be rocking…which makes little difference to Aaron Rogers and company. Packers, 30-23.
CHICAGO AT DETROIT. At some point, this thrill ride comes to an end for 4-0 Lions and their long-suffering fans. Considering I’m out of options, make this my Upset Special. Bears, 19-17.
LAST WEEK: 9-7. SEASON: 38-26. UPSET SPECIALS: 1-3.
Gibson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org