Older AFCE

AFC North Week 10 Predictions

AFC North Week 10 Predictions
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Haden and company will need to step up this week. The Browns may stack the box and force the Ben-less Steelers to throw.
 
 
 
Welcome to the AFC North predictions page!
 
Each week, our AFC North feature writers will list their picks for that week and be forced to explain why they voted as they did. Keep in mind that these picks are for entertainment purposes only, and in no way should be used to influence gambling or illegal activity, unless you’re smart enough to recognize that we know more than you because we publish things.
 
Week 9 AFC North games:
Cleveland Browns (2-7) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4), Sunday 1pm CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) @ Baltimore Ravens, Sunday 1pm CBS
Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals, Monday 8:30pm ESPN
 
Steelers/Browns gets the “eh” *shoulder shrug* as the AFC North game of the week. It is a divisional matchup, and will give the Browns something to play for, but will be lacking star power. Then again it may not (see Ben sort of practicing, Manziel potentially starting). The Bengals/Texans game does have some story-lines such as a 3-5 team looking to move into first, but didn’t make the cut. Ravens/Jags? This game has MAJOR draft implications… which isn’t exactly what one looks for in a game-of-the-week.
 
STOP THE PRESSES. Last week the writers went 6-2 as a group, the third straight week batting at least .667. Michael Thompson forged his way into a tie for the lead with solid performances over that 3-week span.
 
On to the games:
 
 
Jack Crawford (record 17-12):
 
Browns 26, Steelers 24
Stop blinking; yes, I said that. The Browns will prevail based on their quarterback, whichever one it may be, having more experience than the Steelers former third-stringer Landry Jones. Expect the Browns to blitz Jones relentlessly all day in an effort to remove all-world wideout Antonio Brown from the equation.
 
Jaguars 28, Ravens 16
The improved Jaguars will rely on their passing attack to beat the Ravens, as so many have successfully done this season. The Ravens’ secondary just isn’t capable of keeping pace with strong-armed quarterback Blake Bortles and his favorite target, second-year wideout Allen Robinson.
 
Texans 20, Bengals 34
The Bengals will easily sprint to 9-0 with a schedule-making gift of the woeful Texans. While there’s always the possibility of a recurrence of the Bengals’ well-documented issues in primetime games, the talent disparity between these teams is just too much for the Texans to overcome.
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Paul Johansson (record 17-12):
 
Browns 23, Steelers 24
This is a tough one to call. Steelers at home, but missing key pieces. The Steelers offense showed how they could perform without Le’Veon Bell, but their defense did not help the cause. The Browns defense will stack the box much differently with Landry Jones under center, and are much more consistent on offense if McCown plays. Unfortunately he may not or will be playing hurt if he does. Advantage Steelers.
 
Jaguars 31, Ravens 34
This is going to be a shootout. The Ravens issues on defense are well documeted, but the Jaguars aren’t getting any better as the year progresses. They have given up 128 points in their last four (53 in the 4th quarter), and have scored 118 again despite middle of the pack yardage numbers. Turnovers have been the key to the Jags success and failures recently. While the Jags like giving up the ball, the Ravens don’t like taking it (last in the NFL). In the end, the Jags late game struggles lead to a Tucker game winning field goal.
 
Texans 20, Bengals 34
The Texans have shown flashes of being a competitive team, and are 1/2 game out of first, But of the 22 positions on offense and defense, they may get the nod in 3 or 4 against the Bengals. This should be a breeze for the Bengals despite the constant reminder of primetime and big game struggles. So far this season when a key Bengal has struggled, the effects haven’t reverberated throughout the entire team as it has in the past.
 
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Michael Thompson (record 17-12):
 
Jaguars 17, Ravens 27
Ravens have enough at home to defeat a struggling Jaguars team to solidify their climb out of the AFCN basement. Expect Joe Flacco’s numbers to look respectable against the Jaguars’ inferior secondary.
 
Texans 14, Bengals 31
Bengals severely outmatch a Texans team that was expected by many before the season to challenge for a playoff spot, which technically they still do in the depleted AFCS. Bengals may eventually fall from the ranks of the unbeaten, but not at home and not against this team.
 
Browns 17, Steelers 27
Steelers win comfortably against a team that has all but given up on Coach Pettine, no matter which quarterback happens to start. Steelers are still fighting for a playoff spot, while the Browns are looking forward to another off-season full of changes and organizational upheaval.
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Wernike Korsakoff (record 13-16):

 
Jaguars 24, Ravens 31
This game will be a close, hard fought game throughout. Jaguars WRs Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson will torture the Ravens’ weak secondary. Look for Baltimore’s tight ends to make an impact.
 
Texans 16, Bengals 34
These two teams are heading in opposite directions at the moment. The Texans continue to struggle to move the ball and score points, while the Bengals continue to shed the label of impostor week after week. The Bengals are too talented for the Texans to keep up.
 
Browns 26, Steelers 20
Browns QB Josh McCown practiced Wednesday and is slated to practice again today. He’s consistently shown an ability to keep the Browns’ offense moving and scoring points, unlike backup Steelers QB Landry Jones. Former backup, now starting RB DeAngelo Williams isn’t enough to stay in the game. Credit the Steelers’ ailing defense for keeping this a close game.
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“League Sources” (3-4):
 
Picks may not happen soon

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