So, this week’s Thursday Night Game features the Bengals and the Browns, who announced today that they are starting Johnny Manziel for the game. Last year, Johnny football’s performance against the Bengals did not go well and, spoiler alert, I think that will repeat itself this week. Also for today is a look at one of my more unpopular opinions that I kind of believe in. I will get into that after the preview, but this might be a two part thing on the Colts or it might be a topic that I come back to at a later time. Who knows, but first lets preview some football!!

Bengals over Browns

This was a pretty easy pick, unless Andy Dalton makes seven weeks worth of mistakes and dumb plays on Thursday. I thought he would last week, and he almost did, but the Bengals were still able to pull that game out. The Browns, who sit at 2-6, need to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive. And by playoff hopes I mean the fact that they are still mathematically alive. If they were to win out, they might be in a playoff spot, but let me tell you a secret: The Browns aren’t winning out. The Bengals are one of the top five teams when it comes to total DVOA, led by one of the better passing attacks in the league. The Bengals can also run the ball with Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill if they need to. Oh their defense also got Vontaze Burfict back last week. He is a guy that is crucial to their defense, which is already one of the better ones in the league.

The Browns on the other hand, are a team that is just not good. Neither of their quarterbacks who have started a game for them this year have looked particularly good, not ranking in the top 20 in QBR. Although Peyton Manning is 21st, I would be willing to bet a lot of money that the Browns GM would love to have Manning as his QB even if its just for one season.

This game is an easy pick for me, the Bengals will be my eliminator pick for this week. The Bengals are one of the better teams in the league, and could be one of the more complete teams. The Browns are the opposite of such. There is some talent there and Manziel does give the Browns a little more potential on offense, but the Browns are just not a good team this year. Give me the Bengals!!

This week’s preview is short, but I omitted some stuff from the final thoughts stuff of the week 8 review:

First, holy crap is Steph Curry good at basketball. Before the season started, many NBA analysts predicted that this would be the season Anthony Davis made a huge leap and began a run of dominance like LeBron and KD have done recently. While it is still entirely possible the Davis could do that, it appears that Curry is in year two of such a run. Last year, he won MVP and led the Warriors to 67 wins and a title over LBJ and the Cavaliers. This year he has been just as good, and the Warriors look almost as scary as they did last year. I think many people ignored the fact that Curry could be on his own runoff dominance, and could be set up to play at this elite level for the next few years. It would be great to see KD in Golden State, but that almost feels like cheating.

Second, I feel like I am absolutely going to love Dusty Baker as the Nats manager. He seems like a fascinating guy.

Finally, Patrick Kane is not going to be prosecuted on rape chargers. That announcement was made today. While I believe that he is innocent after seeing the evidence, some of the responses to the case were appalling. The amount of victim shaming that took place was jaw-dropping. If you ever have to ask why some victims, especially in high profile cases, don’t come forward then all you have to do is look at this case to why. So was this idea of being pro-Kane or anti-Kane or that people had an agenda. This case made me disgusted, and lost some faith in humanity mainly based on the way people reacted to it. However, hopefully Patrick Kane can now fully turn his attention to the ice if he hasn’t already and just play. He has been playing pretty well so far this season, ranking third in points.

Ted Van Green(@TVG_5)

Spark Sports Analyst

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