• Bills, Browns forreal? We’ll see
     | October 03,2013

    Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin (80) avoids Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones on a 39-yard pass reception in the first quarter last Sunday in Cleveland.

    The Browns might be for real. So might the Bills.

    Or neither of them should be believed.

    Hard to tell, and regardless of their credentials, Cleveland and Buffalo enter Thursday night’s game with 2-2 records and off impressive victories. The Browns (No. 19 in the AP Pro32) beat division favorite Cincinnati last Sunday, while the Bills (No. 20, AP Pro32) stunned defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore.

    Cleveland — which got both of its victories after trading away its best offensive player, running back Trent Richardson — is a 4˝-point favorite. Credit a stingy defense that ranks third overall for the Browns’ turnaround.

    The Browns are allowing just 2.9 yards per carry, a league low.

    “No one is going to be able to run on us this year,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “As long as we stay healthy and continue to grind the tape out and do what we need to do on Sunday, I don’t think anyone will be able to run on us.”

    Buffalo might not be the best test. Starter C.J. Spiller is battling an ankle problem and fellow running back Fred Jackson has a knee injury.

    That should be enough to give Cleveland a third straight victory.

    BROWNS, 20-17

    No. 1 Denver (minus 7)

    at No. 17 Dallas

    Can’t see the Cowboys slowing down Peyton and gang.

    BEST BET: BRONCOS, 33-23

    No. 4 New England (plus

    1˝) at No. 15 Cincinnati

    Shouldn’t the Patriots be favored?


    No. 3 New Orleans (pick ’em)

    at No. 9 Chicago

    Great at home, Saints must show they are at least good on road.

    SAINTS, 31-26

    No. 2 Seattle (minus 2˝)

    at No. 6 Indianapolis

    Delicious matchup of Luck vs. Wilson, but defense decides this one.

    SEAHAWKS, 20-16

    No. 12 Houston (plus 7)

    at No. 7 San Francisco

    First Seahawks beat Texans, now Niners match it.

    49ERS, 23-20

    No. 5 Kansas City (minus

    3) at No. 13 Tennessee

    Chiefs need to be better than in last week’s win.

    CHIEFS, 20-19

    No. 16 Baltimore (plus

    3) at No. 10 Miami

    Don’t like how Ravens have played away from Baltimore.

    DOLPHINS, 21-17

    No. 23 New York Jets (plus

    9˝) at No. 18 Atlanta

    A loss here makes Falcons an also-ran. They aren’t.

    FALCONS, 24-13

    No. 8 Detroit (plus 7)

    at No. 11 Green Bay

    Back from bye, time for Pack to assert itself in division.

    PACKERS, 37-34

    No. 21 Carolina (minus

    2) at No. 22 Arizona

    Back from bye, Panthers do not assert themselves.

    CARDINALS, 17-13

    No. 16 Philadelphia (plus

    2) at No. 30 New York Giants

    Giants have to win at some point ...

    GIANTS, 24-21

    No. 14 San Diego (minus

    4˝) at No. 28 Oakland

    Baseball playoffs force change in kickoff time. Not in result, though.

    CHARGERS, 30-13

    No. 32 Jacksonville (plus

    11˝) at No. 27 St. Louis

    Rams were awful last week. Jaguars wish they could get to awful.

    RAMS, 27-9


    2013 RECORD:

    Against spread: 8-7 (31-29-3). Straight up: 7-8 (40-23).

    Best Bet: 3-1 against spread, 4-0 straight up.

    Upset special: 1-3 against spread, 1-3 straight up.


    AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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