Football Footnotes: Browns could continue downslide, 49ers-Rams a marquee matchup in Week 6
The Steelers play Sunday night in Los Angeles against the Chargers. So let’s fill up your plate with NFL viewing before the Black and Gold kickoff at 8:20 p.m.
And maybe beyond.
Here’s what to watch as you get ready for — and recover from — the latest Steelers game.
1 p.m. window
The more the Steelers struggle, the more important it is to derive enjoyment from the Cleveland Browns’ and Cincinnati Bengals’ pain.
You’ll be able to do that Sunday.
After getting trounced 31-3 by the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Browns have to turn around and host another strong NFC West team when the Seattle Seahawks visit Northeast Ohio.
As you may recall, the Seahawks won another 1 p.m. eastern start earlier this year at Heinz Field. This week, I bet they get another “W.”
The Browns will lose this game. Then they will lose next week against the New England Patriots to fall to 2-5.
Don’t be stunned if they still win at least nine games, though, given that ridiculously easy second-half schedule they have.
As for the Bengals, it is fun to see their descent back into putridness continue. For a few years, they were annoying — and good.
No longer, though. The Bengals will fall to 0-6. Sadly, the Baltimore Ravens will be the team that gets the win at their expense. The Ravens will easily improve to 4-2.
Then there is the AFC game of the weekend.
The Kansas City Chiefs look to bounce back at home against the Houston Texans after their surprising 19-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. My hunch is they win at home. But the Texans seem to be kicking it into gear after a 53-32 whitewashing of the Atlanta Falcons last week. They are starting to look like the squad many of us felt would win the AFC South after Andrew Luck retired.
So it wouldn’t shock me to see them get the upset. The Chiefs are currently a four-point favorite. I think the smart play is to take Houston with the points. But my gut tells me the home team pulls out a narrow win at Arrowhead Stadium.
4:25 p.m. window
The must watch here is the San Francisco 49ers visiting the Los Angeles Rams.
Clearly, Steelers vs. Chargers is “the other” game Sunday in L.A.
The Rams (3-2) are the defending champs in the NFC West. But the Niners (4-0) and Seahawks (4-1) are both threatening to dethrone them.
I expect the Rams to rally after two straight losses. And the Niners are overdue to take a step back off a short week. Take the Rams 32-28.
The most curious game of the weekend is Monday night between the Green Bay Packers (3-1) and Detroit Lions (2-1-1).
In the NFC West, I think it’s pretty clear the Seahawks, 49ers and Rams are legitimately good. All decent, deep playoff contenders.
However, I’m not sure about the NFC North. I think the Packers are playoff worthy. I think.
I doubt the Minnesota Vikings are. But I can’t say that for certain.
I’m half sure about the Chicago Bears — at least on defense I know they are.
And I have no idea about the Lions.
So Monday night is really going to hold my interest. I like Green Bay, 27-25.