Originally posted on Cleveland Frowns  |  Last updated 12/18/11

“What if coach Pat Shurmur’s points-challenged offense — ranked 30th in the league with 13.6 points per game — suddenly erupts and the Browns defeat the red-hot Cardinals, who’ve won five of their last six?”

What if a giant flying anteater that was also a time machine showed up at your doorstep and let you take it far back enough in time for you to make enough wagers to get enough money to buy the Browns from Art Modell before Al Lerner shooshed him and the real Browns off to Baltimore in ’95?

But still:

“While Sunday’s game in Arizona is a trial for Colt McCoy in absentia,  if Wallace suddenly directs an efficient, productive offense, such a performance would give Shurmur a boost … creat[ing] the impression that he could’ve done better in his inaugural season with a veteran hand steering his offense, especially after a lockout killed the off-season.”

While Colt McCoy might in fact be objectively mediocre at very best, Pat Shurmur could very well be the same thing, or worse. Seneca could well be pretty bad, too. Anyway, who can even wait to sort this out? Who can see this team as finishing anything but 4-12 after all that’s happened here in the last year?

Cardinals -6 over Browns (10 units).

As for the rest of today’s action:

Rams +7 over Bengals (7 units): We told you the Bengals were in bad shape when they let the Browns cover the spread against them and Cincy hasn’t covered the spread themselves in the two weeks since. It would be too easy if they were to get off that skid against the Rams today. Plus there’s a secret Kellen Clemens/Josh McDaniels connection here that nobody’s talking about. (NOTE: If you come here before kickoff and the picks aren’t up yet, check Twitter.)

Eagles -2.5 over Jets (5 units): The Jets three game win streak has come against the Bills, Redskins and Chiefs. Tough spot for them in Philly with a big one against the Giants up next Sunday.

Now for the big one, Pats v. Broncos at Mile High: As much as Tim Tebow’s off-key droning of contemporary Christian classic “Awesome God” featured throughout ESPN’s “miked-up” piece on last week’s Broncos/Bears game has us itching to jump on board with #TeamCrazyPeople again this week, here’s the list of QB/head coach combos that the Broncos have faced on this six-game win streak:

Hue Jackson/Carson Palmer (Palmer’s second game back);
Todd Haley/Matt Cassell/Tyler Palko (Cassell led the Chiefs in this one with 93 yards passing on 28 attempts);
Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez (Sanchise 24-40 with a pick-six here);
Norv Turner/Philip Rivers (Norv!)
Leslie Frazier/Christian Ponder (Who had plenty of help from a thoroughly decimated Vikings secondary here);
Lovie Smith/Caleb Hanie (Take a bow, Marion Barber).

Can’t help but think Belichick/Brady will have better luck here. Our god is an awesome god doot doot doot this is the jam.

Patriots -7 over Broncos (15 units)

Finally, Chargers +2.5 over Ravens (5 units). Norv! We know. But Marshawn Lynch, Cedric Benson, Beanie Wells and Rashard Mendenhall have all enjoyed big days against this Ravens D, which looks to be coming in inflated after having had its way with the likes of Donald Brown and Chris Ogbonnaya. Ryan Matthews is healthy today and Phil Rivers will have his full complement of weapons healthy and available today.

Which is all for today. Hope everyone enjoys. We’ll be back tomorrow as always to see about how it went.


We’re 38-23-2 (+76 units) picking NFL games against the spread here so far in 2011. 1 unit = one percent of your bankroll for the season.

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