I decided I was going to pick the Browns to beat the Seahawks when I picked the 49ers to beat the Browns last week.
Sure, the NFL is about matchups and talent. It’s also about trends.
The Browns were 2-0 on the road and were due for a loss at San Francisco on Monday night. Conversely, they’re 0-2 at home and a better team than that indicates.
The 31-3 loss to the 49ers certainly gave me pause. When a team looks as bad as the Browns did — coaching, offense and defense — it’s impossible to have full confidence in it.
But I’m convinced the Browns will bounce back. They did after the two previous losses and understand the magnitude of the game against the Seahawks. If the Browns win, they’ll be 3-3 heading into the bye week. If they lose, it’ll be 2-4 and a long two weeks before a trip to New England.
“We’ve done it before. After every loss, we came back harder, and that’s what I expect this team to do every time,” running back Nick Chubb said. “I know when we do face adversity, we bounce back harder.”
The Seahawks (4-1) are a tough opponent, especially with quarterback Russell Wilson playing at an MVP level and their last game Oct. 3. But the cross-country trip is difficult, they’ve played a lot of close games and Wilson is due for an interception or two after a streak of 174 passes without one.
And I expect a big day from Odell Beckham Jr. to jump-start the offense.
The crowd should finally go home happy.
THE PICK: The Browns team that showed up Monday night in the Bay Area would lose by 50 to the Seahawks. But this team is best when backed against a wall, and it’s time for the roller coaster to head back up the hill. Browns 27, Seahawks 26.