LINE: Bengals by 4 1/2
THE SKINNY: The Bengals and Browns will meet in a key AFC North matchup after both came away with thrilling Week 3 comeback wins.
Cincinnati won a wild 34-30 game over Green Bay by scoring the game's first 14 points, allowing 30 unanswered and then rebounding to reel off 20 consecutive points. The Bengals are one of only three teams in NFL history to win a game after allowing 30 unanswered points (1951 Packers and 1999 Dallas Cowboys).
"This win is no bigger than next week," a tempered Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. "That's what the NFL is -- a lead in to the next game. This is all for nothing if we don't take care of business the next week and the next."
The Browns, meanwhile, recorded their first victory of the season with a 31-27 come-from-behind win at Minnesota. Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner from seven yards out to tight end Jordan Cameron with 51 seconds remaining. It was Cameron's third touchdown of the game.
Hoyer is the first player since Hall of Famer Otto Graham to throw at least three touchdown passes in his first NFL game with Cleveland.
"This group responds to any challenge," said Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski. "They really take to heart and work on the things we're coaching them to do. It's one game and we're looking ahead to the next game."
PREDICTION: Bengals 30. Browns 17
Chicago (3-0) at Detroit (2-1), Sunday, 1 p.m.
LINE: Lions by 2 1/2
THE SKINNY: The top two teams in the NFC North standings will meet at Ford Field on Sunday.
Chicago's opportunistic defense forced five turnovers and scored twice in a 40-23 win at Pittsburgh in Week 3. Safety Major Wright had a 38-yard interception-return touchdown and defensive end Julius Peppers returned a fumble 42 yards for a score. Since the start of 2012, the Bears have scored 12 touchdowns on defense (10 interceptions, two fumbles), the most in the NFL.
"We emphasize taking the ball away," Peppers said.
The Lions, on the other hand, finally ended a 21-game streak of misery inside the Beltway, winning for the first time in Washington (27-20) last weekend. It was Detroit's first road victory over the Redskins since Oct. 13, 1935 when the 'Skins were based in Boston. Quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 385 yards and two touchdowns, and wide receiver Calvin Johnson had seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.
"NFC North games mean an awful lot," said Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz said of his upcoming tilt. "It's a chance for you to win a game and a chance to put a loss on one of your opponents without having somebody else have to help you do it. They're certainly important."
PREDICTION: Lions 23, Bears 20
Seattle (3-0) at Houston (2-1), Sunday, 1 p.m.
LINE: Seahawks by 3
THE SKINNY: Seattle has been the most dominant team in football early on, but this is a stern test. The Seahawks have won eight regular-season games in a row dating back to last season and have outscored the opposition 279 to 87 in those encounters, an average final score of 34.9 to 10.9. Second-year QB Russell Wilson has passed for 1,112 yards with 12 TDs and just one pick in his last four tries against AFC foes, compiling a gaudy 117.5 passer rating over that span. Houston, though, has won five of its past six home games in September and needs a win after falling flat in Baltimore last week.
PREDICTION: Texans 27, Seahawks 24