C’mon, stick to your guns!

Steve Brownlee

I’m figuring if I’d only listen to myself, I might get a decent number of these NFL predictions correct.

My big theory I tout is “reverse momentum,” as in if you won last week, you’re fat and happy and ripe for the picking — in other words, for someone to beat you.

And just the opposite, if you’re mad about that loss last week, you’ll bear down, you’ll study all the tape closely, or whatever — and come out like a grizzly bear against next week’s opponent.

Doesn’t that seem to apply to last week’s Miami at Buffalo game?

The Dolphins run up 70 points on Denver the week before. Sounds like champagne wishes and caviar dreams, to quote Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Uh, yeah, didn’t think I’d ever bring that up in ANYTHING I’d ever write.

So Miami was like a plumped-up Thanksgiving turkey (that’s sounds a lot more mouth-watering) and Buffalo I’m sure got tired of hearing how the Dolphins were going to roll up 50 points on them.

And boom, Buffalo almost gets to 50 on Miami, 48 to be exact, while the Dolphins scored exactly the number of points that their opponent did the week before — 20.

So I’m going to try to be a little more disciplined with that strategy this week, especially because I get the feeling it’s going to become less and less effective as teams separate themselves one way or the other from the pack.

It might be because of injuries, infighting in locker rooms us fans might not be privy too, or just teams learning to play together — or learning they can’t.

So it’s a brave new week, if not world, in Week 5, the first with byes. Four teams are off this week:


Today, 8:15 p.m.

Chicago at Washington — I’ve heard that a heartbreaking loss can rip out a team’s soul, like the Commanders’ overtime loss at Philadelphia last week after head coach “Riverboat Ron” Rivera didn’t go for the win with a 2-point conversion at the end of regulation. But considering who they’re playing, I’m thinking this could bring this team together if Washington rallies around its coach. Commanders, 33-19.


Sunday, 9:30 a.m.

Jacksonville vs. Buffalo — A second straight week for Jacksonville in London as maybe the Jags will wear those Kings’s Guard red uniforms with the ridiculously tall hats. Ah, let’s hope not. Both teams coming off decisive wins, so “mo” is a wash. Plus Buffalo may be getting all-world defender Von Miller back. Bills, 29-20.


Sunday, 1 p.m.

Houston at Atlanta — Here’s a good “mo”-er (you know, a mower, like on your lawn) — the Texans had a great win against Pittsburgh while the Falcons laid an egg in London. Except that Falcons coach Arthur Smith is digging in and sticking with his struggling QB, Desmond Ridder. Sorry, but I have to abandon this sinking ship. Texans, 23-11.


Carolina at Detroit — The Lions are 0-1 at home after a loss two weeks ago to Seattle, so I’m hoping that’s the game Detroit head coach Dan Campbell reminds his team about for the reverse momentum. Plus the Panthers can’t protect rookie QB Bryce Young, or something like that. Lions, 34-23.


Tennessee at Indianapolis — The Titans are perfect with their alternating lose-win-lose-win for reverse mo. Indy has gone to overtime the past two weeks, splitting those games. I’ll try it here with the Colts, 27-20.


New York Giants at Miami — The Giants have played about one half of a game of good football so far. They’re not in reverse momentum, they’re just in reverse. And this is supposed to be the week Miami gets its mojo back. Dolphins, 55-27.


New Orleans at New England — Two teams in free fall. For the Saints, after they blew their 17-point lead against Green Bay in the fourth quarter two weeks ago, they did nothing afterward in a 26-9 loss to Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Pats did nothing last week vs. Dallas, but did beat the only team it should’ve really had a chance against, the New York Jets two weeks ago. Patriots, 21-17.


Baltimore at Pittsburgh — I’m torn on this one as the Ravens haven’t looked so impressive in their wins are over struggling Cincy and currently struggling Cleveland, though they did look good in a Week 1 win over Houston. They also lost in OT at home to Indy. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has a QB with a messed-up knee, Kenny Pickett. It’s either him or Mitch Trubisky. Hmm, I’ll have to take the Ravens, 24-20.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

Cincinnati at Arizona — Wow, the new worst team in the league against the one that thought it had the market cornered by not keeping around either of its two best QBs. The Cardinals have shown life when they’ve had no reason to. Just for that reason, Cardinals, 24-16.


Philadelphia at Los Angeles Rams — Both teams coming off wins, but it seems that Philly seems less satisfied with what it’s doing — as if they just lost! So can I coin another new term? Hypnotic reverse momentum — that’s when you won but feel like you lost. I’m thinking someone has to hypnotize you to get you to believe that. Eagles, 33-25.


New York Jets at Denver — Perfect! The Broncos are coming off a win, and that doesn’t even get to Sean Payton dissing Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hacket in the preseason. Gotta take the Jets, 34-20.


Kansas City at Minnesota — This is just like a meteor hurtling through outer space — it’s the Chiefs speeding at 25,000 mph and there’s no air resistance (the Vikings’ defense) to slow them down. Remember what they say: In space no one can hear you scream. Sounds like a boring Halloween, actually. Chiefs, 41-23.


Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Dallas at San Francisco — Could this be a preview of the NFC Championship game? It might be if no one invites the Eagles or even the Lions — the Lions? — to the party. Reverse momentum right out the window, and considering that Arizona showed you can run right down the Cowboys’ throats, that’s what San Fran should and probably will do. 49ers, 27-13.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Green Bay at Las Vegas — Both teams coming off upsetting losses, and with the Raiders having a good running game, it might spell trouble for Green Bay. Except that Vegas may stick with fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell at QB after their loss to the Chargers and Jimmy Garoppolo still in the concussion protocol. Sacrifice another win in the early stages of a developmental project. Packers, 31-20.


Last week — 10-6, 63 percent. Season — 39-25, 61 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 552. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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