Bold predictions: Browns to upset Ravens in gritty win

Week 2 of the NFL season is upon us, and that means it's time for another round of bold predictions. As always, this week's edition of fearless prognostications includes a macho helping of audaciousness and abandon as we head into Sunday and Monday's contests. Warning: these predictions are not for the faint of heart.

Browns right the ship sooner than expected vs. Ravens

Coach Hue Jackson and the Browns are coming off a rough week. Fried in the opener by Carson Wentz, the quarterback they bypassed in the draft, Cleveland's team-building strategy has been openly questioned. Members of the media are talking about an 0-16 finish with no chance to compete for years to come. This won't be a fun season for Browns fans, but I see no downgrade from Robert Griffin III to Josh McCown, the backup passer who played adequately over eight starts for Cleveland last season. The Browns are littered with young players on both sides of the ball, but I'm calling for a strange, gritty team win over the Ravens led by 2.5 sacks and a key late-game turnover from promising rookie Carl Nassib.

If this doesn't happen, fellow NFL Media correspondent Chris Wesseling will wear an authentic Webster Slaughter jersey over his work clothing for the entire month of October. -- Marc Sessler

Eli torches undermanned Saints

Eli Manning threw for 350 yards and six touchdowns in last season's meeting with the Saints. Entering Week 2, New Orleans' secondary looks even worse after losing top corner Delvin Breaux. Manning won't throw that many touchdowns -- an improved Giants D will keep it from being a shootout -- but he'll increase his passing yards, torching the undermanned Saints for 398 yards passing. With Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz at his disposal, Manning will have the luxury of picking his weapon of choice each play Sunday. -- Kevin Patra

Dez Bryant bounces back with two scores -- on Josh Norman

Much has been made about Dez Bryant's lone catch in the Cowboys' season-opening loss to the Giants. Are Dak Prescott and Bryant on the same page? Will Josh Norman cover Dez Bryant? To that we can probably answer yes, especially after all of the fire Norman received in the media after largely not covering Antonio Brown in Week 1. But where the narrative turns, and where this prediction becomes bold, is in this matchup. Bryant bounces back from the one-catch game last week by ordering a full-course meal, tightening the napkin in his collar and feasting on Norman. Prescott finds Bryant close to 10 times, and two of them go for touchdowns. Bryant utilizes his big frame to go up over Norman to catch a jump ball inside the red zone for six, then breaks a big one later in the game as Dallas proves Week 1 was nothing to fret about. Terrance Williams doesn't have to worry about getting out of bounds this week as Bryant gets back on track and the Cowboys roll to an emphatic Week 2 win over Washington. -- Nick Shook

Marcus Mariota, Titans reclaim exotic smashmouth form

Titans bounce back with a win: Exotic smashmouth is not dead yet. After puzzling the Vikings for a half in the season opener with their ever-shifting rush offense, the Titans will do some serious damage against the Lions this weekend, upending a team riding high after their Week 1 upset of the Indianapolis Colts. Marcus Mariota will recover from an uncharacteristically sloppy afternoon and reclaim his crash course to become a top 10 NFL quarterback. -- Conor Orr

Rams fans start 'The Wave' before first two-minute warning

With the Rams' first home game on the horizon -- against a perennial division power, no less -- Angelenos, always desperate for attention, will make their voice heard if things go as poorly as they did against the Niners. So when Case Keenum leads six straight three-and-outs, Russell Wilson dances on coach Jeff Fisher's flip flops and the home opener gets away from the Rams early, the 90,000-plus in the cavernous Coliseum will do two things. First, they'll throw support behind former USC skipper Pete Carroll and the rival Seahawks, just for ol' time's sake. Then, bored, angry and distracted, they'll launch a pulsing wave that successfully makes it around the stadium 11 times before the two-minute warning in the second quarter. -- Jeremy Bergman

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content