Saturday, September 29, 2012

NFL Picks - Week 4

Week 3 Results (8-7) – Overall (26-19)

Back down to 8-7 again last week.  In my defense, I did predict the Cardinals and Bengals upsets and got hosed with Green Bay.  I did really well with Top Performers predictions.  Matt Ryan (30/40-275-3-1), Calvin Johnson (10-164-1) and JJ Watt (2.5 sacks and 6 tackles) were standouts.  Michael Bush did score but was held to 55 yards.  On to the next one…

Panthers @ Falcons
Carolina is 1-2 and facing one of the league’s better teams for the second week in a row.  Atlanta scored 31 in both games last year against Cam’s Panthers.  Expect to see another down week for the Panthers as the Falcons prove to be far too much offensively.  Atlanta again puts 31 on the Panthers. 

Patriots @ Bills
The Patriots have owned the Bills over the years, but things aren’t exactly what they used to be.  Another loss will give the Patriots their first three game losing streak since 2002.  I expect to see a very focused Patriots team and a determined Tom Brady.  Can Buffalo get enough stops defensively?  I wouldn’t count on it. 

Vikings @ Lions
These two teams had two close contests last year, with Detroit winning both by a total margin of 9 points.  The Lions have looked sloppy of late, and the Vikings are clicking as one of the NFC’s surprise teams.  The key to this one will be if Minnesota can get to Matt Stafford early and often or whether Stafford will prey on a weak secondary.  No one expects the Lions to drop to 1-3, but Christian Ponder and the Vikings pull off the division road win.  Jerome Simpson makes an impact in his first game of the year.

Chargers @ Chiefs
I’m not sure which is the better team at this point, but public opinion is on the Chargers.  These teams split with the home team winning last year’s matchups.  I want to see what Jamaal Charles can do against that tough Chargers dun defense.  Kansas City isn’t an easy team to play, and I just don’t believe in the Chargers.

Seahawks @ Rams
This one has low scoring, helmet-cracking defense written all over it.  The Seahawks are the better team, but they’re coming off an extremely emotional MNF win.  I also think karma is going to punch them in the mouth at some point for that unearned win.  Maybe it happens Sunday.

49ers @ Jets
Even with the loss at Minnesota last week the Niners are still one of the best teams in football.  The Jets aren’t, especially after losing their best player, Darrelle Revis, for the rest of the year.  San Fran gets back on track.

Titans @ Texans
I don’t think the Titans are anywhere close to the Texans from a talent standpoint, but this one has a little bit of an upset alert to it.  The Titans have some playmakers on offense and can win this game if the Texans let them hang around.  Houston has been scoring consistently this year (30, 27, 31 in games 1-3), and as long as they’re focused, Tennessee isn’t going to stop them.  Arian Foster runs wild.  

Raiders @ Broncos
This should by far be the easiest game so far for the Broncos.  Atlanta and Houston rank 7th and 4th respectively against the pass, while Oakland ranks 26th.  Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker both score as Denver cruises to 2-2.

Dolphins @ Cardinals
Arizona heads into this one 3-0, and Miami doesn’t have the look of a team that’s going to give them their first loss.  I don’t think this one matches up well for Miami offensively.  Reggie Bush is banged up, and this Cardinals defense is one of the better in the league so far.  They destroyed Michael Vick last week and get to feast on the rookie Ryan Tannehill. 

Bengals @ Jaguars
This one is tough.  The Jags suck, but Andy Dalton and the Bengals on the road aren’t an autopick.  The Bengals haven’t stopped the run this year, and MJD is still one of the better runners in the business.  Look for that to be the matchup all afternoon.  Jacksonville moves the ball well enough to create just enough scoring opportunities as they win an ugly one where neither team scores 21. 

Saints @ Packers
I don’t think New Orleans is turning this thing around.  They’re 0-3 and heading to Green Bay to face a team that just got jobbed worse than possibly any other team in NFL history.  The pissed Packers put up a plethora of points.  Aaron Rodgers has a huge game, and the Saints go home 0-4.

Redskins @ Buccaneers
On paper this looks like a game where RGIII should have his way and name his score.  Something tells me this one is close, despite the Bucs struggles to consistently move the ball and their loss of Adrian Clayborn.  The Bucs win on a Connor Barth FG with less than a minute to play. 

Giants @ Eagles
Even without Hakeem Nicks, I think the Giants are the better team in this one.  Michael Vick just continues to make too many stupid decisions with the football.  The better team may not win this one, but I almost always go with the more reliable QB.  There’s no question who that guy is in this one. 

Bears @ Cowboys
I’ve got a feeling this one is going to be ugly with a lot of penalties and mistakes.  I expect Rob Ryan to confuse the Bears up front leading to at least 4 sacks of Cutler.  The Cowboys are weak up front too, and I expect Julius Peppers to get AT LEAST 2 sacks of Romo.  I trust Romo more than I do Cutler, and I’m getting Romo at home.  Dallas’ defense is the key in this one as they get to Cutler often, and the secondary does a good job on Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. 

Biggest winners (highest margin to lowest) –
1) Texans
2) Packers
3) Falcons
4) Giants
5) Broncos

Closest calls (lowest margin to highest) –
1) Buccaneers
2) Jaguars
3) Rams
4) Vikings
5) Chiefs

Top Performers –
QB – Aaron Rodgers v. Saints
RB – Arian Foster v. Titans
WR – Larry Fitzgerald v. Dolphins
Defense – Julius Peppers @ Cowboys

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