Can Steelers avoid fourth loss? Browns seek second straight win

As the NFL’s 2012 season approached, there was every reason to believe Mike Tomlin’s Black & Gold – not only appeared legitimate postseason contenders – the Steelers looked like a Super Bowl possibility considering they got well at several key positions.

Limping into week seven at 2-3 and winless on the road, that early season projection no longer exists for a team which will likely struggle to compile a .500 record.

If this sounds like another potential road reversal Sunday night, unfortunately, this column sees that scenario becoming reality before a national television audience.

Cincinnati’s Bengals aren’t exactly on a roll, having dropped consecutive nods to the Browns and Dolphins. A division matchup with not much else on the line.

Cleveland, meanwhile, broke a five-game losing streak last week with a lakefront victory over Cincy. We see the Brownies making it two in a row Sunday against Andrew Luck and the Colts.


SEATTLE AT SAN FRANCISCO. Surprising Seahawks rallied to beat New England last week while Niners were being humbled at home vs. Giants. 49ERS, 27-17.


WASHINGTON AT NEW YORK GIANTS. Potentially high-scoring affair between Super Bowl champs and Redskins’ young gun RG3. GIANTS, 33-26.

TENNESSEE AT BUFFALO. Titans’ win streak ends at one following last Thursday’s KO of Pittsburgh. BILLS, 30-20.

DALLAS AT CAROLINA. Teams with combined 3-7 mark. Cowboys can ill-afford a loss here. COWBOYS, 34-30.

NEW ORLEANS AT TAMPA BAY. Ditto the above with Saints seeking to avoid 1-5 start. SAINTS, 24-21.

CLEVELAND AT INDIANAPOLIS. Not that Brownies are going on a roll but a second straight win helps the cause. BROWNS, 35-24.

GREEN BAY AT ST. LOUIS. 3-3 Pack capable oif running off extended win streak. They should handle erratic Rams. PACKERS, 40-21.

ARIZONA AT MINNESOTA. Few projected this matchup of 4-2 combines. We’ll go with the home folks. VIKINGS, 26-20.

BALTIMORE AT HOUSTON. Perhaps, week seven’s premier matchup. For the sake of their fellow AFC North rivals, we see the Ravens coming up short. TEXANS, 24-17.

NEW YORK JETS AT NEW ENGLAND. All four AFC East residents at 3-3. New England rebounds from last weekend’s last-minute road loss at Seattle. PATRIOTS, 35-17.

JACKSONVILLE AT OAKLAND. Plenty of good seats available for this battle of 1-4 clubs. In our Upset Special. JAGUARS, 20-16.


PITTSBURGH AT CINCINNATI. A rare poor season appears in the cards for Black & Gold. 3-3 Bungles should play inspired in front of the partisans on national TV. BENGALS, 34-24.


DETROIT AT CHICAGO. Black & Blue division special in prime time. Give an edge to Monsters of Midway defense. BEARS, 23-21.

OPEN DATE: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego.