Battle of Ohio: Browns seek redemption Sunday in Cincinnati
They are 4-6 but the Browns are actually a couple plays from owning a 6-4 mark.
One of two outcomes Pat Shumur’s ball club failed to secure occurred opening week on the lakefront where the Bengals caught Cleveland’s defense taking a fourth quarter siesta.
Andy Dalton fired a quick-strike to wide-open rookie A.J. Green who virtually breezed 40 yards to the end zone leaving Shurmur and his staff woefully embarrassed on the sideline.
The Browns also managed to let a week nine victory slip away when Phil Dawson’s potential game-winning 22-yard field goal was botched resulting in a 13-12 loss to the Rams.
Not that they were ever a semblance of playoff contenders, but the Browns can make a statement of sorts Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in a rematch with Cincinnati and a Bengals’ team reeling from consecutive losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
The Steelers, meanwhile, are Sunday night players at Kansas City, a difficult venue in past seasons for the Black & Gold.
This column got back into the playoff hunt last week, compiling a 10-4 mark. Turkey Day means an NFL tripleheader with the nightcap matching Baltimore and San Francisco on the NFL Network. Let the drumsticks fly:
GREEN BAY AT DETROIT. At 10-0, Pack begins tough two-game stretch in Motown against Detroit and its fired-up fans inside Ford Field. Next week, GB plays at the New York Giants. Aaron Rogers and company carve out a win today. Packers, 31-24.
MIAMI AT DALLAS. What looked like a mismatch could turn competitive considering Dolphins are on a mini-roll. Cowboys, 24-17.
SAN FRANCISCO AT BALTIMORE. One of the season’s best matchups with much more at stake for the dirty birds. Ravens, 20-17.
BUFFALO AT NEW YORK JETS. A pair of 5-5 outfits with NYJ fans starting to get restless – not to mention their coach Rex Ryan. Jets, 27-20.
HOUSTON AT JACKSONVILLE. Even banged-up Texans should find a way to knock off disappointing Jaguars. Texans, 23-20.
CLEVELAND AT CINCINNATI. Offensively inept Browns must again rely on their better-than-average defense to avoid being swept in this Battle of Ohio, Part II. Bengals, 17-13.
TAMPA BAY AT TENNESSEE. Two teams struggling for consistency hook up in Music City where up and down Bucs prevail. Bucs, 24-20.
MINNESOTA AT ATLANTA. Falcons gearing up for playoff stretch run and could pull into first place NFC South tie with Saints by weekend’s end. Falcons, 27-16.
CAROLINA AT INDIANAPOLIS. Two bottom feeders sporting combined 2-18 ledger. With Peyton, Colts remain missing in action. Panthers, 35-27.
ARIZONA AT ST. LOUIS. Battle for last place in the NFC West has fans counting down days to spring training. Cardinals, 23-17.
CHICAGO AT OAKLAND. Two teams seeking late-season playoff push. How will Bears fare without Cutler? The Upset Special. Bears,, 27-20.
WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE. No postseason plans for these two units playing out the string. Redskins, 27-23.
NEW ENGLAND AT PHILADEPHIA. Pats looking to establish AFC superiority against totally unpredictable Philly. Patriots, 30-28.
DENVER AT SAN DIEGO. Determining AFC West champ likely won’t be decided till week 17. Chargers, 33-14.
PITTSBURGH AT KANSAS CITY. Black & Gold can’t take night off coming off their bye week. Chiefs looked shaky at New England with back-up QB Tyler Palko calling the shots. Steelers, 28-14.
NEW YORK GIANTS AT NEW ORLEANS. Matchup of conference frontrunners may be best game of the long holiday weekend. Edge here goes to Brees and NO’s offense. Saints, 31-27.
LAST WEEK: (10-4). SEASON (95-64). UPSET SPECIALS 2-8.
Gibson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org