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My picks were as bad as the replacements

September 27, 2012
By STEVE BROWNLEE - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

There's plenty I want to say about the replacement refs fiasco in the Green Bay Packers' loss on Monday night.

What I'd rather not rant about is how brutal my picks were last week. They may have been worse than the replacements - Maybe.

If you don't believe me, check today's last paragraph.

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The NFL and NFL Referees Association finally reached a tentative agreement at midnight to settle the lockout and the regular officials will be back for tonight's NFL Network game.

Now if the two sides could figure out how to get my picks back on track, I'd be golden. Here's this week's take:

Tonight, 8:20 p.m.

Cleveland at Baltimore - Sum up each team with the immortal words of ex-Vikings coach Dennis Green: "They are who we thought they were." Not common this season. Ravens, 27-15.

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Minnesota at Detroit - In case he has to play, Detroit's Shaun Hill is the best backup in the league among QBs who never had a shot at a starting job this season.

Minnesota has shown some real moxie in two home games, but this one's on the road. Lions, 30-24.

Carolina at Atlanta - The Georgia Dome crowd will pump up the Falcons even if they have a letdown after three nice wins. And it's not like the Panthers defense will stop anyone anytime soon. Falcons, 38-27.

New England at Buffalo - Whether or not Patriots' coach Bill Belichick is suspended after his ref grab Sunday night, his imprint will be all over this game. Patriots, 27-19.

Tennessee at Houston - With my preseason worries about the injury bug decimating Houston, the Texans dodged a bullet Sunday even though QB Matt Schaub will only play with 1 7/8 ears for the rest of his life. As long as they stay upright, Texans, 34-20.

San Diego at Kansas City - The Sunshine City vs. the Sunshine Band. Chargers, 26-19.

San Francisco at N.Y. Jets - This would not be a good week to play Jim Harbaugh's 49ers after their debacle in Minnesota. 49ers, 30-13.

Seattle at St. Louis - Seattle coach Pete Carroll can use Monday night's controversy to egg on his team into proving it deserved that win, even if it didn't. Seahawks, 19-13.

Sunday, 4 p.m.

Miami at Arizona - Among several strong contenders, Arizona's still my pick as surprise of the season. Cardinals, 27-14.

Cincinnati at Jacksonville - Jaguars' QB Blaine Gabbert isn't nearly as dynamic as the Redskins' Robert Griffin III, so Cincinnati should be able to put up a real defense. Bengals, 21-13.

Oakland at Denver - Throw a mediocre defense at Peyton Manning and watch him shine. Broncos, 34-24.

New Orleans at Green Bay - Anger management is this game's theme. I'll take the team without an interim coach for the interim coach. Packers, 39-27.

Washington at Tampa Bay - "Thank you, Dr. Jekyll." "Your welcome, Mr. Hyde." With a polite English accent, that's how I sum up this pair. While holding my breath, I'll say Buccaneers, 26-24.

Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia - Let the Eagles pick their poison: Will Michael Vick get creamed by New York's D-line or picked apart by the secondary? Either way, Giants, 23-13.

Monday, 8:30 p.m.

Chicago at Dallas - Dallas had better feel a sense of urgency, because three of its next four games are vs. Baltimore, the Giants and Atlanta. Cowboys, 28-24.

Last week - 4-12 (really!), 25 percent. Season - 25-23, 52 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.



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