Monday, Nov 20, 2017
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David Briggs

NFL picks: Are the Browns or Lions nearing Super Bowl?

David Briggs' Inexpert thoughts on the pro football season

  • Jets-Lions-Football-3

    Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones catches a touchdown during a preseason game. Can the Lions return to the playoffs for the third time in four seasons?

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Browns-Buccaneers-Football-11

    Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer, left, shares a laugh with tackle Joe Thomas during an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kizer will make his first career start Sunday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

We’ll answer the question in the headline first. 

Uh, no. 

OK, good talk! With that out of the way, here are our inexpertly expert predictions for the 2017 NFL season, which kicks off tonight in New England. 

Browns: Cleveland still remains on the first floor of a 50-story rebuild, with a staggering 42 of its 53 active players acquired since January, 2016. And the latest news on rookie defensive end Myles Garrett sure feels a lot like the same old star-crossed Browns. The team announced Thursday that the top overall draft pick will miss weeks with a dreaded high ankle sprain. Yet we’ll keep an open mind on The Process. At the least, the team should be more fun this season, beginning with DeShone Kizer. The rookie quarterback from Toledo has everything but experience. Season prediction: 3-13.

Lions: It felt like there was magic in Motown last year, with Detroit earning an NFL-record eight fourth-quarter comeback wins. Unfortunately, there was little else. The Lions needed the weekly resuscitation just to win nine games and sneak into the playoffs. This season, seven wins feels like their level, give or take a couple. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is healthy and primed for another big year, but Detroit still has way too many questions, including a mediocre — at best — defensive front seven. Season prediction: 7-9. 

AFC division winners: Patriots, Steelers, Titans, Raiders.

AFC wildcards: Chiefs, Texans.

NFC division winners: Giants, Falcons, Packers, Seahawks.

NFC wildcards: Bucs, Cowboys.

AFC championship game: Steelers over Patriots.

NFC championship game: Packers over Giants.

Super Bowl: Steelers over Packers.

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