Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week Four Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on October 2, 2010

Last Week: 8-8 Season: 26-22

Well we’re hovering above .500 by thread, filling victim to a couple of misfired upset specials (although I got Atlanta’s win at the Superdome last week), but more than anything we get more proof every year that the NFL is incredibly unpredictable, and that’s what makes the league so great.  On to the week four selections:

– Jets over Bills: This should be a blowout win for the visiting Jets, but something tells me this might be a close game.  The Bills somehow managed to drop 30 points on the Patriots on the road last week, and although it remains to be seen if they can do it again, the home field advantage should at least help them stay competitive.  The Jets have picked up two big division wins, so a letdown is possible.  Darrelle Revis is also going to sit another game with a nagging hamstring injury.  Despite all that, I think the Jets will win, but it may not be pretty.  Say what you will about Rex Ryan, but the guy manages to win games.

– Steelers over Ravens: I can already see what my biggest error was in preseason predictions.  I picked the Steelers to miss the playoffs.  Now, after a 3-0 start without Ben Roethlisberger, that doesn’t seem possible.  Pittsburgh’s offense broke out last week (albeit against a bad team), and the defense has been easily the league’s best through the first three games.  If the Steelers’ defense keeps shutting down teams as they have, they’re not going to lose many more games.  The Ravens were my preseason Super Bowl winner and I think they can still get there, but they scraped by last week against a Browns team they should have destroyed.  This should be a fantastic game, and a win by the visitors wouldn’t surprise me, but I have picked the Steelers to lose their first three games and was wrong each time.  For that reason I have to go with Pittsburgh.

– Browns over Bengals: UPSET ALERT.  This just seems like too much of a trap for Cincinnati.  The Bengals defense has been outstanding yes, but their offense hasn’t exactly been fulfilling its complete potential.  The Browns, despite their 0-3 record, have been competitive in each game.  They are running the ball extremely well and the defense is keeping them in games.  With the home crowd behind them, I think the Browns have an excellent chance to control the clock and play keepaway from the Bengals’ offense.  This will likely be  a low scoring game, and I think the Browns are unlikely to fall behind big in this game.  Call it a gut feeling, but I think the Browns will control the running game and will figure out a way to win this game.

– Texans over Raiders: This is certainly an intriguing game from the standpoint that the Raiders tend to show up at home, even if their fans don’t (another blackout is likely).  Houston blew a big opportunity to make a statement when they lost to the in state rival Cowboys at home last week, but at 2-1 they still find themselves in a nice position in the AFC South.  The Raiders let a win slip away in Arizona last week with a missed field goal, so both teams come in looking to rebound.  I think the Texans have playoff talent, and in spite of last week their two wins were impressive.  The Raiders have a good running game with Darren McFadden, but the quarterback play with Jason Campbell still is woefully inconsistent.  I think Houston rebounds and wins this game fairly easily.

– Colts over Jaguars: This is interesting only in that the Colts sometimes don’t play well in Jacksonville.  Last year the Jaguars dropped 31 points on the Colts in their Florida meeting, but Indy managed to win anyway.  I do think Jacksonville will be able to run the ball with Maurice Jones-Drew, who ran much better last week than he did in the first two games.  The difference is going to be that their lack of a passing game will prevent them from keeping up with Peyton Manning and company this time.  The Colts’ defense has played extremely well the last two games and I think they will play well again.  Offensively, the Colts didn’t run the ball well last week, but they sure passed the ball effectively when they needed to.  I think while it’s possible the Colts may not light the scoreboard up for 30 points in this game, I do think they’re going to score more than Jacksonville.

– Titans over Broncos: This really pains me to think that Denver is likely to be 1-3, but I don’t like the way things are looking for my Broncos right now.  Knowshon Moreno is out again due to his hamstring injury, and that means Laurence Maroney and Correll Buckhalter are going to have to carry the load.  This is not a good prospect against a Titans defense that has been extremely effective in stopping the run.   On the flipside, Tennessee has Chris Johnson, and while the Broncos have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this year, Johnson is almost a given to hit that mark against any defense.  I do think the Broncos passing game has a chance to be effective, but as we saw last week, that doesn’t matter if they can’t run the ball with any effectiveness.  In any case the Titans defense has played very well, and I think that will continue for Jeff Fisher’s crew at home.

– Chargers over Cardinals: This pick has lot more to do with the ineptitude of the Cardinals than it does the Chargers.  Arizona won last week, but they were very lucky to do so.  Derek Anderson is still mediocre at the quarterback position, and the defense has been very shaky.  The Chargers looked awful on special teams last week in their loss to Seattle, and their offense hasn’t looked much better.  Ryan Mathews returns this week so that will help the running game, and the Chargers usually play very well at home.  I think they will get well against a mediocre opponent this week, but Philip Rivers and company need to show a lot more consistency to play with the rest of the AFC’s elite.

– Eagles over Redskins: In the first three games, the top quarterback in the league has not been Brady, Manning or Brees.  It’s been Michael Vick.  Vick accounted for four touchdowns last week against the Jaguars, and if he keeps up this play you’re talking about a potential league MVP candidate.  His play is overshadowing Donovan McNabb’s return to the city of brotherly love, so that should tell you how well Vick is playing.  The Eagles offense looks like it can now score 30 points at any time, and if the defense duplicates last week’s effort they have a legitimate contender.  The Redskins got stunned last week in St. Louis, and it now it appears that the week one win over Dallas may be a fluke.  The Washington defense has been awful the last two games, and the running game has been so-so as well.  The Eagles will win this one, and frankly this may not be close.

– Packers over Lions: Green Bay will be hopping mad after the Bears stole one on Monday night at Soldier Field.  The Packers committed 18 penalties, yet still had the game in their grasp.  They cost themselves two interceptions with penalties alone.  The Lions haven’t won a road game in nearly three years, and that’s not about to change at Lambeau Field.  Jahvid Best is the real deal, but the Lions don’t have much else going for them at the moment.  The Packers defense is among the best in the league and the offense can score points at will with Aaron Rodgers at the controls.  This is my eliminator selection this week, and I think the Packers roll.

– Falcons over 49ers: Atlanta is flying high after their win in New Orleans, while the 49ers have to rank as the league’s biggest disappointment after an 0-3 start and an embarrassing defeat in Kansas City last week.  This should be a relatively easy win for the Falcons in the Georgia Dome, but I think this could actually be a close game.  If the 49ers have any pride whatsoever, they need to come out with a great effort and they need to do it now.  I think the 49ers defense will pose an interesting matchup for the Falcons’ offense, particularly if Michael Turner has a hard time getting going.  I also think Frank Gore could be in line for a big day.  In the end, I like Matt Ryan and Roddy White to hook up for one big play, and I think that will be the difference, but this will be close.

– Saints over Panthers: The defending champs are back at home after their loss last week, and perhaps the biggest drama for New Orleans is that Drew Brees has been practicing with a brace on his knee this week.  He says he is fine but it will be interesting to see if that is actually true on game day.  The Saints are already without Reggie Bush and the feeling of coming off a loss is rare for them.  Fortunately for them, the Panthers appear to be in for another long day with Jimmy Clausen’s first start on the road.  Their only chance is to run with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but the Saints defense will stack the line to stop it.  I think the Saints rebound for what should be a fairly easy win at home.

– Seahawks over Rams: Both teams are coming off wins last week, but is pretty shocking in itself being that both teams were expected to be awful in preseason.  The X-factor here is that Steven Jackson left last week’s game with a groin injury, but he says it is just a tweak.  He’s listed as day-to-day so it unknown if he will play in this game.  Even if he plays, this is they type of injury that can linger and make Jackson less effective than usual.  Sam Bradford has been playing well, but a lack of a running game would certainly be a detriment to the rookie quarterback.  The Seahawks are 2-1 with surprising defense in their wins and great special teams play.  Call it a hunch but I think they will steal this one on the road.

– Giants over Bears: Chicago is 3-0, but I think they are lucky to be in that position due to the horrible call on what would have been Calvin Johnson’s winning TD catch in week one and the 18 penalties the Packers committed on Monday night.  The Giants have looked horrible in their last two games particularly on defense, but I have a feeling the home crowd on Sunday night will pump them up.  Jay Cutler should have thrown multiple picks last week, but two were wiped out by penalty and another two were dropped by Packers’ defenders.  I think Cutler will not be so lucky this time on the road.  I also think Ahmad Bradshaw will run well and that will help the Giants.  As long as Eli Manning gets out of his funk and doesn’t throw multiple picks himself, I think the Giants will win this physical contest at home.

– Dolphins over Patriots: Miami let one slip away at home in a division game and now must turn around and play another home division game.  Once again the Dolphins will have the home crowd in a night game, so the atmosphere should help them.  Brandon Marshall has really helped the passing game, but Miami will need to run a lot better than they did last week.  That also seems to be the theme for the Patriots, who are battling injuries at running back and will likely start BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who did play well last week against Buffalo.  New England struggled at home against a team they should have blown out, while Miami knows a win can help them keep pace in what should be an amazing division race.   Tom Brady usually comes to play in big games like this, but I don’t think Miami will lose two division home games in a row.

BYE: Chiefs, Cowboys, Vikings, Buccaneers

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