That "new-thinking" Cleveland Browns front office that includes a former MLB "Moneyball" executive isn't off to a good start. Maybe the team's trade of the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft for a haul of draft picks from the Eagles will work out in the long run. But for now, it looks like a mega-bust with how good Carson Wentz has been in Philly. Yet the Browns didn't even have the North Dakota State QB among their Top 20 prospects. And now that Eagles' first-round pick next year might be middle-of-the-pack at best. How did relying on Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown work out?
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Then came the news Thursday that electric but troubled receiver Josh Gordon decided to enter inpatient rehab. This was to be the final week of his suspension. There's pretty much no chance he will play this season or ever again in a Cleveland uniform. Just a shame as that guy was spectacular in 2014. I say the Browns' front office blew it on Gordon too because it has had several chances to trade him -- including back in training camp when he was reinstated to the NFL and told he had to serve only four more games of suspension. Several teams called Cleveland. Yet the Browns decided to get nothing for a guy who clearly has a drug problem. That's short-sighted.
Cleveland, which also remains without receiver Corey Coleman, the team's 2016 first-round pick, for at least a few more weeks due to injury, is +7.5 this week at Washington. This Gordon news makes it slightly more likely the "Factory of Sadness" finishes as the second 0-16 team in league history, although that's a long shot. Bovada has a yes-only prop on that at +2000. At that price, it's worth a $100 bet. You can also get the Browns at +170 that they get the No. 1 overall pick in next year's draft and no they don't at -250. I would certainly take yes there. Cleveland likely won't win this week as it also is probably without top cornerback Joe Haden, who was inactive Week 3 with a groin injury.
Here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 4.
Titans at Texans (-4.5, 40.5): The biggest news in the NFL this week was that Houston star defensive end J.J. Watt had to have another back surgery for a disk problem and is done for the season. That's absolutely devastating news for the Texans, who were hoping to be the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium. Watt isn't just the best defensive player in the NFL -- an unprecedented three-time Defensive Player of the Year -- but arguably the most valuable non-quarterback in the league. Watt also had surgery in July to replace that herniated disk in his back and missed all of camp and the preseason. Some are asking if the team rushed him back for Week 1, but his recovery time was in that window. Watt had never missed a game in his career and had had 74.5 sacks in his first five seasons from 2011 to '15. Only Hall of Famer Reggie White had more (81). Watt is the first player with 20 sacks in two different seasons since sacks became official in 1982 (20.5 in 2012, 20.5 in 2014). I would be very worried about this game if you bet on Houston as those players have to be pretty down right now. This line has dropped from an open of 6.5. One more bit of Texans news: Coach Bill O'Brien is taking over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator George Godsey. The Texans are last in the NFL in red-zone success.
Cowboys at 49ers (+2, 45): The line and total have dropped a point, probably because it's unlikely that top Dallas receiver Dez Bryant will play. An MRI this week -- which Bryant originally skipped because he reportedly was scared to hear the results, earning him a fine -- showed a slight hairline fracture in his right knee. It's clearly not too bad as Bryant played through it Sunday night vs. the Bears, but he's expected out at least one week with it. Bryant has 11 catches (on 23 targets) for 150 yards and a TD. Assuming Bryant can't play Sunday, Brice Butler, who has one catch for 16 yards in three games, would move into the starting lineup. But it surely means rookie QB Dak Prescott will target Cole Beasley and tight end Jason Witten even more than he already has. The Niners are sticking with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback even though he's No. 30 in QB rating. Coach Chip Kelly said Colin Kaepernick wasn't perhaps physically ready yet after offseason surgery and missing the first few preseason games. In my mind, this is the toughest game on the board to handicap. Seems like a trap for Dallas but the Niners also stink.
Seahawks at Jets (+2.5, 40): Speaking of a trap, Seattle might be walking into one here; this has the lowest total on the board. It's one of those 10 a.m. Pacific time kickoffs, and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is battling through ankle and knee injuries. If I'm Pete Carroll, I sit him one week with the bye up next. But Wilson says there's "no doubt" he is playing Sunday. Mobility is a big part of Wilson's game, and it's hard to see how much he will have. Wilson said he will play with a knee brace, something he said he also did for a bit while playing at NC State. Meanwhile, tight end Jimmy Graham is questionable with a knee injury after not practicing Thursday. And guard Germain Ifedi, the team's first-round pick, should make his NFL debut and start on the right side. He has been out with an ankle injury. That Seattle O-Line needs all the help it can get. Bovada offers a prop on how many interceptions Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has this week against that excellent Seattle defense. The "over/under" is 1, with the under a -160 favorite. He tied a franchise record with six picks last week vs. the Chiefs, also without a TD pass. Pro Football Focus gave Fitzpatrick the lowest grade it has ever handed out to a quarterback. I wish Bovada had this at 0.5 or 1.5 as it might push at 1, but I'd go over at +120.
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