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The less said the better with last week’s NFL prognostications

Steve Brownlee

Yikes, I don’t know if I talked myself out of some obvious picks or what, but a 3-10 record last week doesn’t exactly make me a persuasive pigskin prognosticator, does it?

So back to the drawing board with these picks. As I’m spending so much time on research, there won’t be a long intro to today’s column.

Actually, it’s more about being so distraught over it I really don’t have the ambition to try to be funny here.

I’ll save the humor for the actual picks today — I can only hope.

So without further ado:

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Today, 8:20 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland — The losses by these teams don’t look so bad with this Week 11 review of their schedules. That’s particularly true for Pittsburgh, who was blitzed right away by New England and lost close games to Seattle, San Francisco and Baltimore before going on their current four-game winning streak.

These two teams play again in 2 1/2 weeks, too. Steelers, 27-20.

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

Houston at Baltimore — Again looking back at their results so far, it seems like the Texans were more solid early in the season, which is how Baltimore looks lately. I’ll take the current momentum with the Ravens, 33-27.

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Atlanta at Carolina — The Falcons had their one bright ray of sunshine winning at New Orleans. Now it’s time for Carolina to get back to work after losing in the snow in Green Bay. Panthers, 30-20.

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Dallas at Detroit — Even when quarterback Matthew Stafford’s status hasn’t been in doubt, I sure feel burned picking the Lions, then watching them lose. Their defense seems like a bigger problem, since QB Jeff Driskel did a decent job for just taking the reins of the team the night before the game.

Here’s watching Ezekiel Elliott drive his Mack truck through the holes in Detroit’s defense. Cowboys, 34-24.

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Jacksonville at Indianapolis — The Colts seemed to have taken a wrong turn on the way home, with vet kicker Adam Vinatieri missing kicks left and right — literally — and the team missing its QB and top receiver. In a close game, I’ll give the nod to the Jaguars, 23-22.

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Buffalo at Miami — They must be panicking in the front office of the Dolphins — two wins in a row? We can’t even tank it the right way! — The panic should be over when the Buffalo defense outscores the Miami offense. Bills, 20-7.

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Denver at Minnesota — Sure, Denver has improved. But enough to win on the road against a team with its offense really humming? Vikings, 35-23.

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New Orleans at Tampa Bay — Reverse momentum better work for the Saints, especially away from home. Saints, 24-16.

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New York Jets at Washington — When teams this bad clash, throw out the analysis and just figure who wants to show up. Let’s see — Washington is at home coming off a bye, while the Jets are still celebrating their win that gives them the title of least worst football team in all of New York City. Redskins, 23-19.

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Sunday, 4 p.m.

Arizona at San Francisco — I didn’t get to mention this with the Packers pick, since Green Bay is on the bye this week, but did you see that the Packers-49ers game on Nov. 24 has been moved to Sunday night? San Fran has more pressing matters right now, like avoiding the start of a losing streak. 49ers, 29-20.

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Cincinnati at Oakland — A year ago, this would have been the Ineptitude Bowl, but now Oakland’s hangin’ out in the penthouse, just a half-game behind the AFC West-leading Chiefs.

Like the Vikings’ offense, Cincy is just humming along, waiting for the Jets once and the Browns twice to come along in December for the win that gets them to 1-15. Raiders, 33-17.

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New England at Philadelphia — Ya gotta like Bill Belichick coming off the bye. All that time to scheme and plan and … take the air out of the footballs? Nah, that joke was just too easy, I couldn’t help myself. Patriots, 24-19.

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Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Chicago at Los Angeles Rams — Battle of the wrong-way QBs. I’m not giving much credence to the Bears’ offense waking up vs. the 31st-ranked Lions defense, so Rams, 17-16.

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Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Chargers, at Mexico City — They gave them a year, so I’m assuming they’ve fixed the field so they can now play a game south of the border. The Chargers had their one bright, shining moment vs. Green Bay; now it’s back to reality. Chiefs, 34-20.

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Last week — 3-10 (gulp!), 23 percent (double gulp!). Season — 96-51-1, 65 percent (not so bad).

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.