In a best-case scenario, the Browns will be half a game closer to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens following this Sunday.
While the Browns are nursing their wounds and doing everything to prepare for the New York Giants, everybody else in the AFC North has a pretty tough matchup this week. And, if you live in Cleveland, as of this moment, these are the four morning/afternoon/evening games you'll be able to watch on CBS/FOX/NBC:
- Tennessee at Baltimore - 1:00 PM on CBS
- Washington at Philadelphia - 1:00 PM on FOX
- Cincinnati at Dallas - 4:15 PM on CBS
- Pittsburgh at Jacksonville - 8:15 PM on NBC
So, if you have the pleasure of living in Cleveland, you'll be able to watch every single AFC North team besides the Browns play this week. If you live in other cities, check out the NFL coverage maps to see what games are being aired in your area.
Many people are picking the Ravens to hand the Titans their first loss of the season. That's a possibility, because as well as Tennessee has played, I still question their offensive potential against a high-profiled defense. Nonetheless, the Ravens should ultimately be considered underdogs against a team with a perfect 4-0 record.
The Bengals hung with the Giants two weeks ago, but I don't see any reason they should be able to hang with Dallas. Carson Palmer says he will be back, and Chad Johnson says he will kiss the Dallas star after scoring a touchdown. I'll get a kick out of seeing him do it when the score is 50-7.
The Steelers' Sunday nighter against Jacksonville should be one to watch. The Steelers are getting thinner and thinner on the offensive line and at running back, and I would love nothing more than for the Jaguars' defense to tear Ben Roethlisberger apart. David Garrard pulled the upset on the Steelers back in the postseason -- will he continue to be a thorn in Pittsburgh's side?
There's no doubting that our schedule is just as tough, if not tougher, than the rest of the teams in the AFC North. In order for us to get back into the division race, it's a given that we need to suddenly start exceeding our expectations against the top contenders. However, looking up at the scoreboard and seeing how well the rest of the teams in your division fare ultimately factor into your chances as well.
This Sunday, there won't be a Browns' game thread, but I'll have a special Bye Week game thread up-and-ready for everyone to comment on all of the week's action if they so choose to.