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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


CINCINNATI over Cleveland by 10

The Browns have the look of a team rode hard and put away
wet. We found out why no team in the NFL had appeared
in fewer prime time games the previous 10 years than had
Cleveland. From visions of the playoffs to an AFC North title
scorecard that now reads: Steelers 8, Ravens 6, Bengals 2,
Browns 0 since the league last re-aligned the divisions in 1992,
Cleveland’s playoff drought has now reached 17 straight years.
And with it they take on the face of Tom Dooley as they prepare
to hang down their head and die. Many a good coach would be
up against it trying to get this pretender back up off the mat for
a meaningless season finale, let alone Freddie Kitchens, whose
team is leaking more oil (0-4 ITS) than a transmission repair
shop. Meanwhile, with last week’s overtime loss at Miami, the
Cincinnati Bengals are now on the clock as they have secured
the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft (can you say, hello
Joe Burrow). To their credit, Cincy rallied with 23 unanswered
points with just over six minutes remaining in the game to force
the extra session. They take the field today looking to avenge
a 27-19 loss at the Dawg Pound three weeks ago in a game in
which they outgained Cleveland, 451-333 in total yards. With
everything to gain and nothing to lose.

TENNESSEE over Houston by 14

Editor’s Note: Once again each team with NFL playoff
implications, and the particulars, is prefaced in this issue before
each write-up … Houston can become the No. 3 playoff seed if
the Chiefs lose to the Chargers and the Texans beat the Titans.
The Texans can’t catch the Patriots for the No. 2 seed, and if
the Chiefs win out, Houston will be become the No. 4 seed.
Meanwhile, Tennessee would clinch the No. 6 seed with a win
today. If the Titans lose today and the Steelers lose, Tennessee
would still be in unless the Raiders and Colts win, which would
make the Raiders the No. 6 seed and the Titans would be out.
Whew! Through it all, Houston head coach Bill O’Brien has
stated that he will play his regulars. Ironically, Nate Davis of
the USA TODAY reports that all four the AFC division winners
repeated in 2019, including the Texans. The truth of the matter
is, had the Titans taken care of business last week against New
Orleans, or two weeks ago in Nashville against Houston, they
would not be in this predicament. Nonetheless, they will look to
their bright spot, newfound QB Ryan Tannehill, to improve on
his 4-1 SUATS career mark in December when taking on foes
coming off back-to-back wins. With Houston just 2-4 ITS in its
last six overall games, and 2-5 ATS in Last Home Games, we turn
to THE CLINCHER: NFL teams playing with same-season
division revenge from a loss two weeks ago are 14-5 ATS

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