The Sports Guy’s Thursday NFL Pick

BROWNS (-4) over Bills

The case for Buffalo: Football Outsiders has the Bills ranked no. 10 overall, a whopping 14 spots ahead of Cleveland (no. 24) … Cleveland fans are still reeling from last night’s season-ending Indians loss and will go into full deer-in-the-headlights mode the moment Buffalo takes a lead in this game … if the Browns win, they take sole control of first place in the AFC North (and how ridiculous would that be?) … we’re always one hit away from the words “Here comes Brandon Weeden” … if any city can host two consecutive home games that knock them out of the MLB playoffs AND blow their chance to take control of an NFL division in the span of 24 hours, it’s Cleveland.

The case for the Browns: 2-0 since the T-Rich trade (Junior Ewing Theory alert!) … 2-0 since Brian Hoyer turned into Brad Johnson 2.0 … 2-0 since Josh Gordon came back to stretch out their passing game … Cleveland’s D (ranked eighth in DVOA) hasn’t played a bad defensive game yet (and shut down Cincy last week) … meanwhile, Buffalo is starting a rookie QB who (a) played four days ago, and (b) looked shaky in his only other road start … Baby Mama Uncle Jordan Cameron is one more two-TD game away from becoming a household name … Buffalo’s secondary is still banged up … Leodis McKelvin, Jairus Byrd and 2013 All-Pro Fantasy Team Murderer C.J. Spiller are game-time decisions … there’s a chance that God hates Buffalo more than He hates Cleveland … the 0.009 percent chance of a Willis McGahee revenge game … these sloppy/unwatchable/despicable Thursday-night games favor quality defenses at home … can you think of a better night for Barkevious Mingo to grab control of the Defensive Rookie of the Year race from Buffalo’s Kiko Alonso? … and couldn’t you see a fired-up Browns defense forcing four or five turnovers as their delirious fans go bonkers in the stands?

I actually love the Browns in this one. Sorry for spraying you with the skunk, Cleveland … but it’s not going to matter tonight. You have to trust me. The pick: Cleveland 27, Buffalo 9.

The Half-Assed Power Poll for Week 5

THE ROD MARINELLI DIVISION
32. Jacksonville, 0-4

LITERALLY, NOBODY BELIEVES IN US
31. Pittsburgh, 0-4
30. N.Y. Giants, 0-4

DEAD MAN SMEARING
29. Tampa Bay, 0-4

THE ROMEO CRENNEL DIVISION
28. Oakland, 1-3
27. Minnesota, 1-3
26. Philadelphia, 1-3
25. St. Louis Rams, 1-3

MATHEMATICALLY UNELIMINATED
24. Washington, 1-3
23. N.Y. Jets, 2-2
22. Arizona, 2-2
21. Buffalo, 2-2

COMPETITIVELY FORGETTABLE
20. Carolina, 1-2
19. Baltimore, 2-2

THE KARDASHIANS
18. Dallas, 2-2

THE JUNIOR EWING THEORY
17. Cleveland, 2-2

LEAVING EVERYONE COLD
16. Atlanta, 1-3
15. Houston, 2-2
14. Cincinnati, 2-2

POSSIBLE HEADLESS HORSEMAN ALERT
13. Tennessee, 3-1

THE ENTERTAINERS
12. Chicago, 3-1
11. San Diego, 2-2
10. Green Bay, 1-2

LINGERING, NOT LURKING
9. Miami, 3-1
8. San Francisco, 2-2

THE UNREGRESSOR
7. Indianapolis Colts, 3-1

THE SLEEPER
6. The Lions of Detroit, 3-1

ALLIGATOR BLOOD
5. New England, 4-0

THE CONTENDERS
4. Kansas City, 4-0
3. New Orleans, 4-0

THE FAVORITES
2. Seattle, 4-0
1. Denver, 4-0

Filed Under: Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, NFL

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Bill Simmons is the editor-in-chief of Grantland and the author of the New York Times no. 1 best seller The Book of Basketball. For every Simmons column and podcast, log on to Grantland.

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