Welcome to the AFC North weekly predictions!
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 One games:
Cleveland Browns (0-0) @ Philadelphia Eagles (0-0), 1PM
Buffalo Bills (0-0) @ Baltimore Ravens (0-0), 1PM
Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) @ New York Jets (0-0), 1PM
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) @ Washington Washingforeskins (0-0), 7PM
Jack Crawford’s Picks:
Browns @ Eagles
Browns @ Eagles
An outstanding matchup between the Eagles’ defensive ends and the Browns’ offensive tackles will be the highlight, but watching how the Browns older-than-usual rookie QB fares against an embattled coordinator… oh wait that was 2012… This year, the opening game features a QB the Browns decided to give up for a few draft picks, vs a QB that cost another team like a dozen draft picks before landing with the Browns. Wentz vs RGIII. A QB who is a starter by default, vs a QB who is…. a starter by default. RGIII may actually have the better supporting cast, at least at WR and the left side of the line. My prediction is that more than one Eagles fan will get ejected from the stadium, and the final score will be:
Browns 27 , Eagles 24
Bills @ Ravens
In what could almost be as exciting a game as Browns/Eagles (both should be bottom 10), the battle of former Ravens quarterbacks could be one for the ages. Neither put up numbers for the Ravens last year (and Flacco actually started 10 games), but this year could be different. The combo of Wallace, Smith, Perriman, and Pitta should be healthy for at least a half, and the Ravens defense actually looks ok as long as Suggs isn’t rushing the passer. T. Taylor will also put up an INT and fumble as he presses against his former team.
Ravens 31, Bills 21
Bengals @ Jets
Probably the funniest nickname I heard this off season was “Red Romo” describing regular season stat-man Andy Dalton. He again has the best 22-man talent in the AFC North if not the AFC, so lets see what he can do with it this year. My guess is that he will start strong and end the season early. This prediction is a stretch, I know, because it has only happened for about a half dozen straight years. With that said the Bengals win on the road against a semi-talented Jets team, but one that does not match up well against the Bengals strengths.
Bengals 30, Jets 17
Steelers @ Washington
The weight of Steelers success rests on the arm of Big Ben, and I do mean Big and Weighty. I think he asked Terrell Suggs what his offseason secret is. The Skins actually look decent on offense, very much so. With the addition of Norman, they may actually hold the Steelers to 30. Can the Steelers stop Reed, a bunch of above average WRs and a good RB? They haven’t recently. Expect about 100 combined passes between the teams and 60+ points. It might be a different result if the Steelers weren’t such cheaters, but the early season suspensions take them out on the road.
Washington 34, Steelers 31
Wernicke Korsakoff’s picks:
Browns 21, Eagles 17
Ravens 24, Bills 20
Bengals 26, Jets 24
Steelers 27, Washingtons 20