Older AFCE

AFC North Week 4 Predictions

AFC North Week 4 Predictions
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There is something missing in what is normally NFL’s fiercest rivalry.
Ravens @ Steelers gets our reluctant nod as the AFC North game of the week, but has not generated the usual buzz for a host of reasons
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.
Its Ravens (0-3, minus Suggs) Steelers (2-1, minus Roethlisberger) week, so that should be exciting, especially with Phil Seeeems doing the commentary on CBS. “This is old school football: Run it and know you aren’t going to get a lot”. Also, the 3-0 Bengals host the underachieving 1-2 Chiefs, and the 1-2 Browns head west to take on the depleted 1-2 Chargers.
On to the games:
Jack Crawford (record 7-4):
Ravens 23, @Steelers 27
While the quarterback-depleted Steelers sort out their offensive changes, their defense continues to grow up in shutting down the Ravens’ barely-there offense. Expect heavy rushing by both teams to alleviate their besieged passing games.
Chiefs 24, @Bengals 27
The Chiefs will struggle trying to rebound from their Monday night humiliation in Green Bay. Andy Dalton isn’t Aaron Rodgers, but he should be able to exploit a suddenly-weak Kansas City defense, who will have real trouble staying with WR A.J. Green and TE Tyler Eifert.
Browns 16, @Chargers 24
Expect to see a lot of rushing in this game, as the Browns must establish the run to have any success. The Chargers will ultimately take control behind RB Melvin Gordon, who’s one of the few rookies living up to his preseason hype.
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Paul Johansson (record 6-5):
Ravens 16, Steelers 13
This might be a homer pick… The Ravens are big up front but slow to react in the defensive backfield. As Phil Simms would say, “When you’re a slow team or a big team, you wanna get bigger cause then we’ll be better against a fast defense”. I think that sums up what the Steelers will try and do against the Ravens. What Phil was saying is that IF the Steelers can get keep the Ravens’ big guys from disrupting the play, the Steelers shouldn’t have problem moving the ball if facing the Ravens DBs. That’s a big “if” after watching Pittsburgh’s offense last week. Expect the Ravens to load the box and stop the run, while disrupting the pass, forcing the turnover-prone Vick to make quick decisions. The Steelers return the favor for a classic Vick vs Flacco matchup. Flacco wins by an eyebrow.
Chiefs 17, Bengals 31
The Bengals are flying high after jumping out of the gate at 3-0 and hosting a struggling Chiefs team. The Chiefs have a depleted secondary, and may have lost a starting wide receiver for the game. The Bengals did show some weaknesses last week, but overcame them by taking advantage of favorable match-ups. Expect more of the same on Sunday, as KC has even fewer play-makers than the Ravens.
Browns 16, Chargers 19
The Chargers may have the thinnest offensive line in the league, which means no running game and a hurried passing attack. This game’s outcome will be based solely on which Philip Rivers shows up. The confident dart thrower with a quick release, or the rattled tantrum thrower who lets his emotions take control. Luckily for the Chargers, the Browns coaching staff or front office doesn’t know what to do with their QB situation, and they just extended their 3rd string QB for $4.14M through 2017? The Browns can certainly win this game, but not with such QB uncertainty.
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Michael Thompson (record 7-4):
Steelers 23, Ravens 20
The depleted Steelers overcome the struggling Ravens despite having to overcome turnovers by Vick in Ben’s absence. Tomlin will have his tripping foot prepared for another Thursday night showdown.
Bengals 27, Chiefs 17
Chiefs have to travel on short rest on the heels of a poor performance against Green Bay. The Bengals seem poised to seize the division and are actually playing like it for once.
Browns 14, Chargers 31
Chargers take out their frustrations on an Cleveland team that already looked overmatched on paper and has not even taken advantage of the limited opportunities that its relatively easy early season schedule provided.
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Wernike Korsakoff (record 5-6):

Steelers 24 Ravens 20
As always, this game will come down to which team can outlast the other. Even without their star QB, the Steelers have enough weapons to outmatch the Crockett-less Ravens, whose offensive line and secondary have been struggling. Flacco will have to force throws, and we all know the importance of turnovers in these games.
Chiefs 24 Bengals 17
It’s absurd to pick against the Bengals in a 1 pm, unexciting home game (it might have something to do with their high level of play, too), but I’m behind in the standings.
Cincinnati’s defensive line should handle struggling Chiefs RB Jamal Charles, and Kansas City’s anemic passing game isn’t a great matchup for the Bengals’ secondary. “Any given Sunday.”
Chargers 27 Browns 18
Yes, I’m calling a successful two point conversion for the Browns. Cleveland has been incapable of stopping the run so far this season (>150 ypg). Even with San Diego’s patchwork offensive line, the Chargers will grind out enough yards to control the tempo after jumping out to an early lead. Carr and company bounce back a bit, but the Ravens rebound and win a game that was never in doubt.

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