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AFC North Week 3 Predictions

AFC North Week 3 Predictions
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Bengals @ Ravens gets our nod as AFC North game of the week

 

 

Welcome to the AFC North predictions page!

Each week, one of 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.
Interesting week in store.

We’ll be treated to our first AFC North divisional game, which could determine the fate of the Ravens for the rest of the season.  The NFL will see how far the Rams have actually come.  And we’ll finally witness the Browns’ starting quarterback for the rest of the season…whoever it might be,

To the games:

 

 

Jack Crawford (record 6-2):

 

@ Browns 24, Raiders 21

The Browns, despite their annual QB shuffling, have enough on defense to effectively silence the Raiders.  Expect CB Joe Haden to rise to the occasion and shut down Raiders rookie WR and future all-pro Amari Cooper, which will limit everything else the Raiders attempt on offense.

@ Ravens 26, Bengals 20
Desperation sometimes breeds a win, and no team is more desperate than the 0-2 Ravens, who find themselves in unfamiliar territory with a winless start.  Expect a concerted effort to harass Bengals QB Andy Dalton into making well-documented mistakes.
Steelers 31, @ Rams 17
The Rams have been an offensive disaster in 2015, and the defense has suffered crucial letdowns at the worst times.  This week will be no different, as the Steelers will have this one wrapped up by halftime.
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Paul Johansson (record 6-2):

 

@ Browns 27, Raiders 24 
With the game starting at 9am Pacific, the Raiders sleepwalk through the first half but come on strong late. Expect both Browns quarterbacks in this one. Just a gut feeling.

@ Ravens 24, Bengals 23
Bengals should win this one with better early season offense and defense. However the Ravens will deploy the “backs against the wall”, ” do or die”, or dare I say “us against the world” card, and will be in desperation playoff mode at home. It’s not a must win, but its a must win (RIP Yogi Berra).

@ Rams 31, Steelers 27
The Rams had a classic letdown week after taking out their divisional rival the week before. Although the Steelers will have all of their top playmakers this week, the Rams pass rush will disrupt the Steelers offense just enough to squeak out a win.

 

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Michael Thompson (record 5-3):

 

@ Browns 20, Raiders 17

Browns return to a more methodical offense led by veteran quarterback Josh McCown results in fewer explosive plays, but more consistency.  I suspect the first team that scores over 17 points will win this game.  The Raiders have to make the brutal east coast trip to play in the middle of the morning for them.  We all saw how well that went for the 49ers and Chargers last week.  That swings it in favor of the home team for me.

Bengals 28, @ Ravens 17
Ravens are an early season mess, with the offense doing very little against a stout Denver defense and the defense collapsing against a suspect Raider offense in the last two minutes.  I expect the Bengals to win this game comfortably, though the Ravens may perform something of a comeback in the late stages of the game.
Steelers 31, @ Rams 20
Rams are a tough team to call so far.  After beating the team many considered to be the best in the NFC, they laid an egg against the one most considered to be the weakest in the NFC East.  Since the Steelers are not a division rival, I suspect the Rams will not really get up for this one the same way they would if it was an NFC West team.  With RB Le’Veon Bell returning, the Steelers have the ammunition to put up big points.

 

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Wernike Korsakoff (record 4-4):

 

@ Browns 23, Raiders 17

The Raiders are capable of putting up points, but look for them to start slowly as they travel east. McCown will lead the Browns and limit turnovers, letting the Browns’ D the chance to control the game.
@ Ravens 27, Bengals 20
The Ravens typically bounce back exactly when they need to, and their first home game of the season is the perfect opportunity to get back on track. The Ravens lack receiving options, but showed that they can spread the ball around and put up points las week.
Steelers 24, @ Rams 21
The high flying Steelers’ offense will slow down just a bit against a stout defensive front in St. Louis. The Rams play well at home, so don’t be surprised if the Steelers are upset.
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