Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5) @ Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns have been the darlings of the NFL offseason. They were the team showcased on this year’s Hard Knocks on HBO. They added star players like Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor. The defense has young budding stars in Myles Garrett, Jamie Collins and Jabril Peppers. There’s so much excited around Cleveland football.
This is a different team, yes, but there’s a lot still here from a team that’s won one game over two seasons. Hue Jackson is still the head coach. That locker room seems unstable. Todd Haley seems to be there to take over as interim when Jackson gets fired. Greg Williams is insane. The coaching staff seems volatile at best.
However, the Pittsburgh Steelers almost lost to the Browns last season. In week one, the Steelers squeaked away with a three-point victory. Ben Roethlisberger’s play on the road is nowhere near as good as it is at home. I can see the Steelers playing down to the competition again. Plus, they still don’t have Le’Veon Bell. He may miss this game entirely.
At the end, the Steelers will win this game, and they will cover, but it won’t be pretty.
Pittsburgh 26, Cleveland 20
Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts (-3)
Andrew Luck makes his long awaited return to the likes of non-injured quarterback. Last time we saw Luck, he was the man taking over for Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees once they all decided to hang up their cleats. He was well on his way to the Hall of Fame.
Now, he’s a question mark.
Speaking of question mark, that brings us to the Cincinnati Bengals. Who knows that this team is. Is Andy Dalton a good quarterback? Will they have a great defense? Is A.J. Green still a top-five receiver? Are they closer to first-overall pick or the Super Bowl?
This may be the hardest game to choose this week. The minus three that went to Indianapolis was the three-point home team bump. It shows Vegas thinks these teams are evenly matched. The Colts offensive line could ruin Luck again. Andy Dalton could forget how to throw a football. When in doubt, take the points.
Indianapolis 21, Cincinnati 20