Steelers, Ravens will battle in Baltimore; Browns head west
Hard to imagine another Steelers’ loss will have the Black & Gold staring at a 6-6 record.
That possibility seems more than likely considering Mike Tomlin’s club faces a difficult rematch with the AFC North-leading Ravens at Baltimore.
Exactly half of Pittsburgh’s losses have come vs. inferior opposition including the Browns (3-8), Raiders (3-8) and Titans (4-7). With or without Big Ben, the Steelers figure to rebound from last weekend’s mistake by the lake. But even their ‘A’ game may not be enough to avenge a 13-10 reversal against Baltimore at Heinz Field.
Cleveland, meanwhile, seeks a rare two-game win steak when the Browns go west to battle Oakland. The suddenly-revived Bengals are also on the west coast taking on San Diego’s 4-7 Chargers.
Last week, this column fashioned a 10-5 ledger while going belly-up on our ill-advised upset special projection of Kansas City knocking off Denver. It won’t happen again.
NEW ORLEANS AT ATLANTA. Falcons living the high life at 10-1 with Drew Brees and company retaining slim postseason hopes. Thus, our Upset Special. SAINTS, 30-24.
ARIZONA AT NEW YORK JETS. Cardinals look to halt seven-game losing streak in a bland matchup of 4-7 combines. JETS, 23-17.
JACKSONVILLE AT BUFFALO. Not exactly game-of-the-day material, though Jags have played considerably better the past two weeks. BILLS, 33-16.
NEW ENGLAND AT MIAMI. Pats own three-game lead over runnerup Fish in AFC East. Brady Bunch possess way too much firepower. PATRIOTS, 37-17.
INDIANAPOLIS AT DETROIT. Rookie Andrew Luck and Colts headed for postseason. At 4-7, men of Motown not so fortunate. COLTS, 24-21.
HOUSTON AT TENNESSEE. Texans (10-1) have serious Super Bowl projections. They may overlook 4-7 Titans before prevailing. TEXANS, 27-20.
SEATTLE AT CHICAGO. One of weekend’s best matchups where we foresee a mild upset in the windy city. SEAHAWKS, 20-16.
MINNESOTA AT GREEN BAY. Pack smarting from Sunday night blowout by Giants. They should take it out on defenseless Vikes. PACKERS, 38-20.
SAN FRANCISCO AT ST. LOUIS. Rams improving. At 4-6, this likely must serve as their playoff game. 49ERS, 21-20.
CAROLINA AT KANSAS CITY. In the can’t-bear-to-watch game of the weekend, KC wins its second game. CHIEFS, 20-17.
TAMPA BAY AT DENVER. Stakes much higher for 6-5 Bucs who must find a way to knock off Peyton Manning in the Mile High City. BRONCOS, 30-23.
PITTSBURGH AT BALTIMORE. Expect Black & Gold to make amends for last Sunday’s disaster at Cleveland. But will it be good enough against a Baltimore team which is lights-out on the homefront? RAVENS, 23-20.
CLEVELAND AT OAKLAND. Brownies should have legitimate chance to cop second straight win against inferior Oakland outfit. BROWNS, 24-17.
CINCINNATI AT SAN DIEGO. This is no time for Cincy to falter against Chargers’ team adept at finding new ways to lose each week. BENGALS, 31-26.
PHILADELPHIA AT DALLAS. Absolute must-win scenario for 5-6 Cowpokes. Philly officially playing out the string. COWBOYS, 33-21.
NEW YORK GIANTS AT WASHINGTON. Redskins not out of playoff picture but will be required to pull off upset of defending Super Bowl champs. GIANTS, 27-21.
LAST WEEK: 10-5; SEASON: 104-67. UPSET SPECIALS: 3-9.
Gibson can be reached at email@example.com