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This Week in the AFC North


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Last week, The Great Zomboni saved the Browns season by using the rare, and fail-safe, Great Zomboni Guarantee to get the team off the schneid. Now the Browns are back on their own this week ... but I don't think that will be a problem, I like what I see from this team.


Yes, we have to get our wide receivers much more involved. Yes, our secondary got torched by a big, physical star receiver two weeks in a row. But this team is different from recent Browns teams that have disappointed us, and I will tell you why:


Ths is the best offensive line the Browns have had since their return to the NFL, and one of the best in the league right now. When the Browns got the ball back with just over four minutes left and the Bengals with just one timeout last week, I felt very confident that we would run out the clock because we only needed two first downs and our line was dominating the line of scrimmage each and every week, even against the Ravens and Bengals.


And behind that line we have a battering ram, Peyton Hillis, the likes of which we haven't seen since Kevin Mack. Boom! Boom! Boom! They can't stop him even when they know he's going to run right at them ... when have we seen a Browns offense impose their will on another team in recent memory?


And, of course, the other big difference is the defense. Much improved run defense, forces the other team into throwing situations, and while that has burned us some, I think we are going to start seeing more sacks and more mistakes by opposing offenses. I thought our pass rush was much-improved last week, they are getting close, and a couple guys in the secondary look like they are getting inches away from pick six's.


Then there is T.J. Ward. We have waited forever for another punishing safety since they took our Eric Turner away. And now, finally, the football gods have delivered a bonafide, lights-out, punshing beast in the secondary ... and the good news is ... he can cover too!


No this isn't your uncle's Browns team. The one that pulls off an occasional upset and then gets punished three weeks in a row ... this team is different. It is stronger. And it is improving every week.


Denver at Baltimore 1 PM

I still don't know why people mock Kyle Orton. He gets better every season, he certainly has been a better QB than Jay Cutler the past two seasons. Denver's not bad. But they're not good enough to win in Baltimore. I see a big day for Ray Rice. RATBIRDS 24 BRONCOS 16


Tampa Bay at Cincinnati 1 PM

I still can't believe we lost to Tampa ... what a missed opportunity that was. Even though we beat Cincy, they are twice the team Tampa is, in fact I am taking the Bungles in the Survival Pool this week. Call me crazy, but I think the TO / Ocho show is going to have some fun in front of the home crowd today. BUNGLES 34 BUCS 17


Atlanta at Cleveland 1 PM

I chuckled to myself when I saw guys worried that Peyton Hillis had an injury this week in practice. Do you think there is anything that could get him off the football field right now? Hell no. He is having the time of his life and the Browns will pound him again this week ... but if we get Jake Delhomme back, that means some nice play actions and audibles ... a balanced offfense and some big plays downfield. The Falcons have a solid team but they don't have a chance today, because the Browns are taking off in a big way. BROWNS 31 FALCONS 20



--Everybody wins!


Oh ... except the Steelers. They lose their dignity and everything their franchise supposedly stood for by allowing Ben Roethlisberger back this week.

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I'm surprised you didnt say something homo like 'plate of falcon', or some other gay shit. You get points for that, keep a tally.


You guys are close to being a solid team. Your D looked solid, and capable of becoming dominate. You guys have some nice pieces to build off of on O, but need a franchise QB badly. I doubt McCoy is going to be the longterm answer. Oh, you gotta love the heart that Hillis plays with. The dude is a beast.


Overall, you guys are better than your record. Good luck with the rest of the season.

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