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One game does not an NFL regular season make

Steve Brownlee

Everybody seems to be making such a big deal about Tampa Bay’s lopsided loss to New Orleans on Sunday night.

Yes, it gave me pause to see the way the Buccaneers were dominated, but as just about every team other than 8-0 Pittsburgh and the 0-9 New York Jets can attest, everybody had a bummer of a game or two during this weird season.

If we believe a couple of scores, then the Green Bay Packers would lose by 63 points to New Orleans. That’s because the Saints bombed the Bucs by 35 points (38-3) while Tamps nearly turned the same trick on the Packers, winning by 28 (38-10).

That ain’t right.

I’m not saying ignore that result, but put it in some kind of context — maybe one team doesn’t match up well with the other or it was simply a bad day.

We’ll keep this short today, so onto the picks:

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Today, 8:20 p.m.

Indianapolis at Tennessee — I see Colts quarterback Phillip Rivers as being rather brittle when facing a tough defense. Isn’t that how Tennessee got so far in the playoffs last year? Titans, 27-20.

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Carolina — While the blowout may be an anomaly, the only way to prove that is by bouncing back right away. Buccaneers, 31-19.

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Houston at Cleveland — Baker Mayfield will be back at QB for Cleveland, while top running back Nick Chubb is also returning. That should be enough. Browns, 33-24.

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Washington at Detroit — If Detroit is ever going to win another game, it’s got to be now with the *@^%@’s (I thought Washington’s nickname was an unpronounceable symbol, kind of like what the singer Prince was for awhile) in disarray. Lions, 34-29.

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Jacksonville at Green Bay — What is the equivalent to a Jaguar? Try a depleted 49er, and you say how the Green & Gold handled them. Packers, 34-17.

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Philadelphia at New York Giants — Philly’s coming off the bye, which should help them against an improved Giants’ team. Eagles, 24-20.

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Sunday, 4 p.m.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh — I heard one pundit picking the Bengals. Must’ve been an ex-Cincy player. I’ve been burned way too often picking one of these Ohio teams to beat Pittsburgh. Uh-uh. Steelers, 33-26.

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Buffalo at Arizona — The Bills are coming off the high of beating Seattle, which is allergic to playing defense this year. Not so for Arizona. Cardinals, 26-23.

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Denver at Las Vegas — I’ll stick with my philosophy with Vegas — they can take advantage of “loose” teams. Count the Broncos in that category. Raiders, 22-19.

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Los Angeles Chargers at Miami — The Dolphins have one of the stingiest defenses in the league this year. Might make it tough on Chargers rookie QB Justin Herbert. Dolphins, 27-19.

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Seattle at Los Angeles Rams — Sometimes leaky defense of the Seahawks against the sometimes anemic offense of the Rams. Hmmm? Look at the other side of the ball, so I’ll take the Seahawks, 30-24.

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San Francisco at New Orleans — This would be a trap game for N’awlins, except all the 49ers nooses are frayed and broken down. Saints, 29-23.

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Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Baltimore at New England — Just on reputation, Baltimore should take this game seriously despite coming off a big win at Indianapolis. Ravens, 33-23.

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Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Minnesota at Chicago — The Bears’ two left feet on offense mean they can’t keep up with Dalvin Cook & Co. for Minnesota. Vikings, 29-19.

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Last week — 11-3, 79 percent (best week of the year!). Season — 84-48-1, 64 percent.

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

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