The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

Lions First, Bengals Last

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First of all, I don't think any of these teams is 0-16 bad. As we saw with last season's Dolphins, it's very difficult to be that bad.

Clearly, though, none is very good either. It all comes down to the schedules.

I'll take the Lions to win first, only because I think they have a winnable game this weekend. They face the Bears at home and I think that game has upset potential. It's not that the Bears aren't a pretty decent team. They are. But they probably won't score too many points, so the Lions should be in the game. The Lions are at home. And the Bears have had some disruptions to their week with Coach Lovie Smith's one-game suspension of three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris. The Rams have their bye this weekend while the Bengals play at Dallas and the Texans host the Colts. Two losses there.

I have the Texans winning next, a week from Sunday at home against the Dolphins.

I don't have the Rams winning until Nov. 2, at home against the Cardinals. That means losses to the Redskins, Cowboys and Patriots after this weekend's bye. It's not that the Rams don't have talent. They do, with Marc Bulger at quarterback and Steven Jackson at tailback. Interim coach Jim Haslett should be able to win back over the locker room that predecessor Scott Linehan lost. But when you're near the bottom of the league rankings in both total offense and total defense, something isn't right.

I have the Bengals going all the way until Nov. 30 before they win, with an upset over the Ravens at home. Wow. Too bad for Marvin Lewis, who's a good guy and, I still think, a good coach. But things have gone way off course there. I don't see the Bengals beating the Cowboys this weekend. Next comes a road game against the Jets; they won't be able to stop Brett Favre. Then they host the Steelers, play at Houston, host the Jaguars, have a bye, host the Eagles and play at Pittsburgh before the Ravens game that I've circled for a victory. There's an upset possibility or two in there, but nothing that I'd count on.

By Mark Maske  |  October 3, 2008; 10:16 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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