The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

September 29, 2013

SPORTVIEW: Can Browns pull another upset? Can Steelers get a win?

OPINION — WHILE MY eyes, ears and heart have been locked on the fate of the Cleveland Indians this past week, I did happen to notice the Browns won a game last Sunday after a prior tumultous week.

The turmoil surrounded the trade of running back Trent Richardson, which I stated was a good move for the Brownies. Let’s look at the facts. With T-Rich the Browns were 0-2; without T-Rich the Browns are 1-0.

Of course it looks like a good trade for Indy as well. On Richardson’s first carry for the Colts he scored a touchdown. Talk about a win-win situation.

The Browns rallied past Minnesota in the last minute on a perfectly thrown TD pass by Brian Hoyer, a hometown Cleveland product. While he looked very good at times, he also looked bad on three interceptions. But what inexperienced pro quarterback doesn’t struggle a little at times?

It will be interesting to watch as the Bengals come to Cleveland today to see how Hoyer fares against the Bengals’ defense which is far better than the Vikings’.

I would have said the Bengals were a huge favorite, but after seeing the determined Browns pull out the victory last week, things changed. Even the oddsmakers only list Cincy as a 4è-point favorite.

Still, Cincy is the best team in the AFC North Division and very well could go unbeaten against the Browns, Ravens and Steelers this year. Well, at least against the Steelers.

I see the Bengals topping Cleveland, 23-20, with the Browns putting up a fight.

Meanwhile the 0-3 Steelers will be playing in London against the 0-3 Vikings. What a thrill that must be for people in England who were expecting to see some NFL football.

To show how low the Steelers have sunk, they are only favored by 1-point over Minnesota. Can the defense stop Adrian Peterson? With Vikes’ quarterback Christian Ponder banged up with a rib injury, AP will probably carry the ball about 100 times. Then again Ponder may not be as good as his backup.

The Browns defense did a great job in shutting down Peterson, but Cleveland’s D is now better than Pittsburgh’s, so it will be fun to watch last year’s MVP go against the aging Steelers’ players.

Here are two key predictions on this one. The first prediction is that the Steelers will flop and lose, 20-10. The second prediction is that coach Mike Tomlin will make the team swim back to America!

Last week my predictions went 10-5 for a season mark of 35-11. Following are the rest of this week’s picks (betting line in parentheses just for fun):

Denver (-101⁄2) over Philly

Chicago (plus 21⁄2) over Detroit

Baltimore (-31⁄2) over Buffalo

Oakland (plus 3) over Washington

Houston (plus 3) over Seattle

New Orleans (-6) over Miami

Indy (-81⁄2) over Jacksonville

New England (plus 11⁄2) over Atlanta

Arizona (plus 3) over Tampa

Kansas City (-41⁄2) over NY Giants

Tennessee (-4) over NY Jets

Dallas (-11⁄2) over San Diego

Lynn Saternow is sports editor of The Herald. He can be reached at lsaternow@sharonherald.com.

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