Week 12 of the NFL season comes to a lousy conclusion tonight with perhaps the worst MNF matchup of the year: Ravens & Browns. Let's review some QB props to add to our Monday Night Football NFL picks.
ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico told fellow analyst Jon Gruden that his love for football will be tested in tonight's ugly matchup. Me too, Mike! The Ravens and Browns have a combined .250 winning percentage, which is tied for the third worst for an MNF matchup at least 10 games into a season.
Frankly, the loser here might be the big winner in that it could earn the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft. Right now, Tennessee (2-9) would pick at No. 1 with Cleveland at No. 2 and Baltimore at No. 3. Entering Week 12, the Browns were favorites on NFL odds to get the top pick at BetOnline. The Browns and Ravens are among 12 teams with seven or more losses. Would the Browns take another first-round quarterback? They might have to because 2014 first-round pick Johnny Manziel clearly isn't the answer as he can't stop his partying ways. He had been named Cleveland's starter during the team's bye week but that was revoked when a video of Manziel partying with his boys in Texas went viral. The former Heisman winner then made things worse for himself by lying to the team in saying that video was months old. He's now third string and doubtful to see the field the rest of the season barring injury. And speaking of injury, no team has been hit harder than the Ravens. Their starting quarterback (Joe Flacco), running back (Justin Forsett), top receiver (Steve Smith), 2015 first-round draft pick (receiver Breshad Perriman) and best defensive player (Terrell Suggs) are all now out for the season. At least we can put those John Harbaugh to USC rumors to bed as the Trojans hired interim coach Clay Helton full-time on Monday in somewhat of a surprise.
Josh McCown 'Over/Under' 22.5 Completions, 260.5 Yards, 1.5 TD Passes, .5 INTs
McCown gets his starting job back because of Manziel's immaturity. "You never want to regain a job this way," McCown said. He last played on Nov. 1 in a loss to the Cardinals, going 18-for-34 for 211 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. But McCown hurt his ribs in that game and didn't play the next two, with Manziel getting the call. McCown is healthy now. He's a solid 13th in the NFL with a 95.2 rating and No. 1 in the league 137.3 rating on third downs. In a 33-30 overtime win in Baltimore on Oct. 11, McCown threw for a franchise record 457 yards and two scores in earning AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Baltimore ranks No. 24 in the NFL in allowing 257.0 yards per game. The Ravens have surrendered 19 touchdown passes and picked off only four.
Free NFL Picks: 'Under' all but interceptions.
Matt Schaub O/U 22.5 Completions, 250.5 Passing Yards, 1.5 TD Passes, .5 INTs
As recently as 2012, Schaub was one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, throwing for 4,008 yards and 22 touchdowns for Houston in being named to the Pro Bowl. But the wheels have fallen off for him since as he prepares to make his first start in 23 months. Over the previous two seasons, Schaub has thrown a total of 10 passes. Two went to the other team (one was returned for a touchdown). Schaub has thrown four TDs and 13 picks since his last win as a starter in September 2013. Schaub is on a one-year deal with the team so if he plays well the rest of the season, then the team is likely to bring him back to be the No. 2 behind Flacco again in 2016. Schaub will have perhaps the worst group of receivers in the NFL around him with all those injuries at the position. Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman says he's not going to change the game plan much if at all. Schaub could catch a break in not having to face Browns cornerback Joe Haden, who is still dealing with effects from his second concussion of the season. Haden is one of the best corners in the NFL. Cleveland ranks 26th against the pass in allowing 269.0 yards per game. The Browns have allowed 21 TD passes and intercepted six. Keep that in mind for your NFL picks.
Free NFL Picks: 'Over' TDs and picks, 'under' completions and yards.