NFL football dreams abound in a land of fantasy

Steve Brownlee

OK, I have this fantasy.

It’s not a fantasy because it has unicorns or Skittles-flavored rainbows in it.

No, it supposed to be based on reality. Except that it’s impossible for it to happen.

I know that sounds strange, but it’s my answer to the ineptness of the Detroit Lions.

In four words: Let them be inept.

Fire head coach Dan Campbell, but only from his position as head coach.

And only for the rest of this season.

Instead, send him upstairs to sit next to new owner Sheila Ford Hamp, where he can talk in her ear about what he sees during games.

Then bring back Matt Patricia to coach the Lions for the rest of this season, letting them go on to such levels of ineptness everyone will almost forget the 0-16 2008 season.

Well, they’ll only forget it if they go 0-17.

Which is fine; it’ll get them the No. 1 overall draft pick and their choice of a professional quarterback, as opposed to the amateur they have now, Jared Goff.

Once a few more intelligent personnel moves are made — I know, that’s a BIG assumption — bring Campbell back to coach in 2022 so that his brand of getting every ounce out of his players will make a difference in the win-loss column, not just in how close the team comes when it loses.

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest this week.

Now onto the picks:


Today, 8:20 p.m.

Denver at Cleveland — Speaking of inept, though this is because these teams are losing players left and right. Cleveland has quarterback Baker Mayfield, its top two running backs and both starting offensive tackles on injured reserve, from what I hear. Actually, a dozen players on the IR.

But Denver, I was told on TV Wednesday morning, actually has 15 on that list. And the Broncos’ only wins are over one-win teams — both New York squads and Jacksonville. Still gotta take the Browns, 17-12.


Sunday, 1 p.m.

Cincinnati at Baltimore — There’s people making the case that this is upset week in Baltimore. I’ll believe it when I see it. Ravens, 27-23.


Washington at Green Bay — I heard of some really paltry numbers out of the Football Team’s offense last week. Basically what Aaron Rodgers would produce if he only used the pinky finger to throw passes. Packers, 31-19.


Atlanta at Miami — The Dolphins might become the Lions of the AFC — the team you get better against. They already chalked up a loss to Jacksonville last week in London. Falcons, 26-19.


New York Jets at New England — Back to Bill Belichick vs. a rookie QB. Apparently the Super Bowl-winning coach will be eating hearty this weekend. Patriots, 24-14.


Carolina at New York Giants — Two teams trending in the wrong direction. But it seems like the Giants started from such a lower position that they’ll get to the sub-basement faster. Panthers, 20-13.


Kansas City at Tennessee — Tennessee’s defense may not be bad, but is it good enough to slow down KC? Here’s thinking not. Chiefs 33-26.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

Detroit at Los Angeles Rams — Did you have to ask, what with Matthew Stafford playing his old team? No, I didn’t think so. Rams, 37-24.


Philadelphia at Las Vegas — I remember they used to say teams got a one-week “bounce” when a coach got fired or resigned. That week was last week. Eagles, 27-23.


Houston at Arizona — So we actually have two total mismatches at 4 p.m. How thrilling. Cardinals, 35-20.


Chicago at Tampa Bay — It’s not a mismatch, but if the Bears aren’t careful, it could look like one. Buccaneers, 28-18.


Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Indianapolis at San Francisco — I bet this matchup looked like a doozy back in August. It may still be if you like your defenses to make offenses 1 out of 14 on third-down conversions. And San Fran is coming off a bye while Indy is coming off a 28-point win — over Houston. Too much overconfidence. 49ers, 31-22.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

New Orleans at Seattle — No Russell Wilson, but maybe more importantly, no defense put up by the Seahawks. Evidence: a Seattle blogger said a week ago that his team’s defense is 31st against the run AND 31st against the pass.

Sounds like a career night for New Orleans QB Jameis Winston. Saints, 40-27.


Last week — 10-4, 71 percent. Season — 63-31, 67 percent.

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


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