Saturday, September 22, 2018

Ravens-Bengals could be significant in AFC North

Considering what happened in the rain at Cleveland last Sunday, the rugged AFC North looks like it will be wide open.

So Thursday night's visit to Cincinnati by Baltimore takes on an extra bit of importance, even in mid-September, after the division-favorite Steelers stumbled and bumbled to a 21-21 tie against the Browns.

The Ravens were all over Buffalo from the start as Joe Flacco recaptured some of that 2012 championship form and the defense destroyed the Bills. The Bengals fell in a big hole at Indianapolis and showed far more gumption than usual by climbing out of it to win.

Two teams many projected as also-rans for 2018 delivered some impressive opening performances.

"That game is behind us," Ravens safety Tony Jefferson says. "Although it's great to have momentum, it's over with. It's a new week. This is a division opponent; they know us very well and we know them very well."

Perhaps. But these Bengals seem to have a resilience not seen often in recent seasons, though Cincinnati did show such moxie in the previous meeting with Baltimore.

The Ravens ended the season hosting the Bengals and fell 31-27 on Andy Dalton's 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with 44 seconds left. That eliminated Baltimore from the playoffs and sent Buffalo into the postseason.

The Ravens, ranked No. 9 in the AP Pro32, and No. 16 Bengals are pick-em at Paul Brown Stadium. It's hard to fathom that Pro Picks is predicting Cincinnati will start the season 2-0. But that's where we'll go.

BENGALS, 21-20


We warned everyone last week that we aren't very saintly in these things, and New Orleans' flop proved that. We're obligated to keep trying and will go with the LA RAMS.

No. 28 Oakland (plus 6) at No. 14 Denver

Not exactly Orange Crush defense, but Broncos will put Mile High hit on Jon Gruden's Raiders.


No. 3 Minnesota (plus 1) at No. 6 Green Bay

No miracle finishes for A-Rod and Pack this time, though this isn't much of an ...


No. 1 New England (minus 2) at No. 5 Jacksonville

AFC championship game rematch — and perhaps harbinger for January. No revenge for Jaguars.


No. 7 Kansas City (plus 5 1-2) at No. 11 Pittsburgh

Steelers fall behind even more in AFC race and Chiefs prosper.

CHIEFS, 26-24

No. 19 Los Angeles Chargers (minus 7) at No. 32 Buffalo

Bills can't possibly be as bad as they looked in opener. Or maybe they are.


No. 31 Arizona (plus 13) at No. 4 Los Angeles Rams

Cardinals can't possibly be as bad as they looked in opener. Or maybe they are.

RAMS, 26-10

No. 30 Detroit (plus 5 1-2) at No. 23 San Francisco

Lions can't possibly ... you get it.

49ERS, 20-17

No. 18 Miami (plus 3) at No. 17 New York Jets

Battle to keep pace with Patriots in AFC East — at least through two weeks.

J-E-T-S, 23-21

No. 8 Carolina (plus 5 1-2) at No. 10 Atlanta

Red zone scares Falcons, strange occurrence for a team wearing that color.

FALCONS, 20-17

No. 2 Philadelphia (minus 3) at No. 15 Tampa Bay

If Buccaneers win this, time to re-evaluate.

EAGLES, 21-20

No. 29 Indianapolis (plus 5 1-2) at No. 12 Washington

Redskins were as pleasant a surprise as Bucs last week. Revival continues in DC.


No. 27 Cleveland (plus 8) at No. 13 New Orleans

Who thought Saints would be more embarrassed team in opener than Browns?

SAINTS, 27-15

No. 24 New York Giants (plus 3) at No. 25 Dallas

NBC and NFL love this as prime-time matchup. Hey, they both are 0-1, guys.

COWBOYS, 17-16

No. 21 Seattle (plus 3) at No. 22 Chicago, Monday night

Bears need to put Lambeau collapse behind them.

BEARS, 20-16

No. 20 Houston (no line) at No. 26 Tennessee

Tough start for banged-up Titans.

TEXANS, 23-13


2018 RECORD:

Last Week: Against spread (8-7-1). Straight up (10-5-1)

Season Totals: Against spread (8-7-1). Straight up: (10-5-1)

Best Bet: 1-0 against spread, 1-0 straight up

Upset special: 0-1 against spread, 0-1 straight up


More AP NFL: and

Review: Niall Horan, Maren Morris shine in unequal spotlights at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Review: Niall Horan, Maren Morris shine in unequal spotlights at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

It was a big ol' pop show Saturday night in Tampa, as a Grammy-winning singer behind one of the year's most unkillable singles got the whole MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre singing.Oh, and Niall Horan was there, too.The Grammy winner, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Swiss vote on bids to improve food quality, protect farmers

Swiss voters are deciding on two separate proposals aimed to ensure that food from both domestic and foreign farmers and producers is healthier, more environmentally sound and animal-friendly, and protect Swiss farmers more too
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 2:22 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 2:22 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
No. 10 Washington holds off rally, beats Arizona State 27-20

No. 10 Washington holds off rally, beats Arizona State 27-20

Jake Browning threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first quarter, added a third TD toss early in the fourth quarter, and No. 10 Washington outlasted Arizona State 27-20
Updated: 1 hour ago
UK's Labour party ponders supporting new Brexit referendum

UK's Labour party ponders supporting new Brexit referendum

Britain's Labour Party is facing a huge choice at its annual conference _ whether to back a new referendum that could halt the country's departure from the European Union
Updated: 1 hour ago

100 years ago, US fought its deadliest battle in France

A remembrance ceremony is taking place Sunday for the 1918 Meuse-Argonne offensive, America's deadliest battle ever that cost 26,000 lives but helped bringing an end to World War 1
Updated: 1 hour ago

Utah State holds off Air Force for 42-32 win

Jordan Love threw for a career-high 356 yards and two touchdowns to help Utah State rally for a 42-32 win over Air Force
Updated: 1 hour ago
Saturday's best

Saturday's best

Saturday's best
Updated: 1 hour ago

Saturday's Scores

Saturday's Scores
Updated: 2 hours ago
Details of Thursday hearing for Kavanaugh accuser to be set

Details of Thursday hearing for Kavanaugh accuser to be set

The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual assault has accepted a Senate committee's request to tell her side next week, according to her lawyers
Updated: 2 hours ago