Hey, Antonio Brown: See ya’ later, unless I see you first
Now maybe we’ll be rid of the Antonio Brown saga, but I highly doubt it because of his ties to Central Michigan University.
Brown is the ex-Pittsburgh Steeler, ex-Oakland Raider and barely an ex-New England Patriot after he was let go by all three teams in the past year.
He forced his way out of Pittsburgh and Oakland, while New England gave up on him after one sexual assault/misconduct allegation turned into two in the last week or so.
I just read on Monday that he’s re-enrolled at CMU, though only online, thankfully, as that would probably create quite a stir if he showed up on campus.
Through the early part of this saga, I didn’t realize his Michigan connection until the first woman accusing him of rape said they knew each other at Central, where he played football from 2007-09.
Now he said he’s retired from the NFL. Good riddance, but such a waste of talent as a four-time Pro Bowl receiver.
Onto the picks, with just 15 games as the Jets and 49ers get the first byes of the season:
Today, 8:20 p.m.
Philadelphia at Green Bay — This will be similar to the reasoning for my Packers’ pick over Denver last week: if the Lions could go into Philly and win vs. these beat-up Eagles, Green Bay should be able to toy with them at Lambeau Field. Packers, 30-23.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Tennessee at Atlanta — Two teams on the downslide. The home fans can at least pick up Atlanta. Falcons, 23-19.
Cleveland at Baltimore — The Ravens’ revitalized defense will hound the Browns’ Baker Mayfield and his weak offensive line. Then there’s the issue of stopping Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson. Good luck with that. Ravens, 33-17.
New England at Buffalo — The only team that can even call itself a pretender in the AFC East gets handed its head. Patriots, 31-19.
Kansas City at Detroit — Speaking of pretenders, the Lions might intercept KC’s Patrick Mahomes a couple of times, but that won’t compare to five or six 70-plus-yard passes he completes. Chiefs, 35-27.
Carolina at Houston — With Kyle Allen looking like the better QB for the Panthers, the Carolina pass rush can pin its ears back trying to run down the Texans’ Deshaun Watson. Panthers, 24-19.
Oakland at Indianapolis — The collapse seems to have begun for the Raiders. Colts, 20-14.
Los Angeles Chargers at Miami — If the Dolphins are ever going to win a game, playing the Chargers at home seems like the perfect time. But who said the Dolphins are ever going to win a game? Chargers, 16-12.
Washington at New York Giants — With the Giants’ Saquon Barkley out, this would be the time the Redskins could also win a game. Despite a queasy feeling about Game No. 2 for New York rookie QB Daniel Jones, I’m not too sure about Washington ever winning either. Giants, 20-17.
Sunday, 4 p.m.
Seattle at Arizona — With the Seahawks already losing a game at home and winning a game on the road, is the world coming to an end? No, just Seattle’s big home advantage. Seahawks, 23-16.
Tampa Bay at Los Angeles Rams — If Tampa couldn’t beat the Giants at home, what should they expect to do in L.A. against that town’s better team? Rams, 30-17.
Minnesota at Chicago — The Bears’ defense is Super Bowl-ready, but Minnesota’s will look that way when facing Bears QB Mitch Trubisky. Vikings, 16-11.
Jacksonville at Denver — Bleah! is what I say to the Broncos, especially when you can’t pick them to win at home against a mediocre team. Jaguars, 23-20.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
Dallas at New Orleans — Certainly early in the season, Dallas seems to have everything going its way. We’ll see if that lasts. Cowboys, 33-24.
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh — I’m sure they’ll trot out some statistic like that the Steelers have won 20 of the last 24 games in this series.
But these aren’t your father’s Steelers, more like your grandfather’s — did you know that from the team’s founding in 1933 until 1971, Pittsburgh lost just one playoff game? Of course, they had an 0-1 playoff record over those 39 years. Bengals, 31-24.
Last week — 10-6, 63 percent. Season — 32-15-1, 68 percent.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.