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Battle of Ohio: Browns seek redemption Sunday in Cincinnati

November 23, 2011
By RICH GIBSON - Times Leader Sports Writer (rgibson@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

They are 4-6 but the Browns are actually a couple plays from owning a 6-4 mark.

One of two outcomes Pat Shumur's ball club failed to secure occurred opening week on the lakefront where the Bengals caught Cleveland's defense taking a fourth quarter siesta.

Andy Dalton fired a quick-strike to wide-open rookie A.J. Green who virtually breezed 40 yards to the end zone leaving Shurmur and his staff woefully embarrassed on the sideline.

The Browns also managed to let a week nine victory slip away when Phil Dawson's potential game-winning 22-yard field goal was botched resulting in a 13-12 loss to the Rams.

Not that they were ever a semblance of playoff contenders, but the Browns can make a statement of sorts Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in a rematch with Cincinnati and a Bengals' team reeling from consecutive losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

The Steelers, meanwhile, are Sunday night players at Kansas City, a difficult venue in past seasons for the Black & Gold.

This column got back into the playoff hunt last week, compiling a 10-4 mark. Turkey Day means an NFL tripleheader with the nightcap matching Baltimore and San Francisco on the NFL Network. Let the drumsticks fly:

THURSDAY GAMES

GREEN BAY AT DETROIT. At 10-0, Pack begins tough two-game stretch in Motown against Detroit and its fired-up fans inside Ford Field. Next week, GB plays at the New York Giants. Aaron Rogers and company carve out a win today. Packers, 31-24.

MIAMI AT DALLAS. What looked like a mismatch could turn competitive considering Dolphins are on a mini-roll. Cowboys, 24-17.

SAN FRANCISCO AT BALTIMORE. One of the season's best matchups with much more at stake for the dirty birds. Ravens, 20-17.

SUNDAY GAMES

BUFFALO AT NEW YORK JETS. A pair of 5-5 outfits with NYJ fans starting to get restless - not to mention their coach Rex Ryan. Jets, 27-20.

HOUSTON AT JACKSONVILLE. Even banged-up Texans should find a way to knock off disappointing Jaguars. Texans, 23-20.

CLEVELAND AT CINCINNATI. Offensively inept Browns must again rely on their better-than-average defense to avoid being swept in this Battle of Ohio, Part II. Bengals, 17-13.

TAMPA BAY AT TENNESSEE. Two teams struggling for consistency hook up in Music City where up and down Bucs prevail. Bucs, 24-20.

MINNESOTA AT ATLANTA. Falcons gearing up for playoff stretch run and could pull into first place NFC South tie with Saints by weekend's end. Falcons, 27-16.

CAROLINA AT INDIANAPOLIS. Two bottom feeders sporting combined 2-18 ledger. With Peyton, Colts remain missing in action. Panthers, 35-27.

ARIZONA AT ST. LOUIS. Battle for last place in the NFC West has fans counting down days to spring training. Cardinals, 23-17.

CHICAGO AT OAKLAND. Two teams seeking late-season playoff push. How will Bears fare without Cutler? The Upset Special. Bears,, 27-20.

WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE. No postseason plans for these two units playing out the string. Redskins, 27-23.

NEW ENGLAND AT PHILADEPHIA. Pats looking to establish AFC superiority against totally unpredictable Philly. Patriots, 30-28.

DENVER AT SAN DIEGO. Determining AFC West champ likely won't be decided till week 17. Chargers, 33-14.

SUNDAY NIGHT

PITTSBURGH AT KANSAS CITY. Black & Gold can't take night off coming off their bye week. Chiefs looked shaky at New England with back-up QB Tyler Palko calling the shots. Steelers, 28-14.

MONDAY NIGHT

NEW YORK GIANTS AT NEW ORLEANS. Matchup of conference frontrunners may be best game of the long holiday weekend. Edge here goes to Brees and NO's offense. Saints, 31-27.

LAST WEEK: (10-4). SEASON (95-64). UPSET SPECIALS 2-8.

Gibson may be reached at rgibson@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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