Home > Uncategorized > Week Four Picks

Week Four Picks

October 2nd, 2005

More inaccurate picks just for the fun of it.

Buffalo (pick ’em) at New Orleans
Finally, after three straight weeks on the road (a stretch that included a “home opener” in the decidedly hostile confines of Giants Stadium) the Saints get an honest-to-god home game (or as close as they’re gonna get to that this season). And they only have to travel 540 miles from New Orleans to San Antonio to play it. Oh, well, at least one can expect the crowd at the Alamodome to include a few more Saints fans than Bills fans. So that’s something. Look, this game gets down to two things: Will the Saints offense be rested enough to get something done against the Bills defense? And will the Saints D find a way not only to stop the Bills O, but to put points on the board. Offensively, the Saints probably can’t expect much, because Buffalo’s D is mighty tough. But if they can score 10-14 points, and the D can somehow add another 6 or set up 3, it should get the job done. I like New Orleans, mostly because I don’t like Bills quarterback J.P. Losman. If you believe in Losman, bet it the other way.

Denver (+3.5) at Jacksonville
The Jaguars ought to win this game, but I don’t think they will. The Broncos are coming off a Monday night contest, albeit a fairly easy one against a sinking Chiefs squad. The Broncos aren’t the same team on the road as they are at home (for the latest evidence of this, see week one’s 24-10 loss at Miami). And last season, when the Broncos went to Jacksonville a week after manhandling Kansas City at home, they took a beating. Still, the Broncos have been played outstanding defense in the last six quarters they’ve been on the field. Their run D has been able to at least keep guys like LaDainian Tomlinson and Priest Holmes from killing them. And, more important, their pass rush has been remarkable. The former should keep Fred Taylor (who’s back in form but who was never quite as good as those other guys) from taking command. And the latter should give Byron Leftwich and the Jags’ porous O line major problems. And yes, Jacksonville’s got rather a powerful defense itself, probably a tad better than Denver’s in fact. But I’ll take the Broncos offense’s chances against the Jaguars D over the Jags’ offense’s odds of beating the Denver D. Take the Broncos and the points. Even if Denver loses, it won’t be by four.

Detroit (+6.5) at Tampa Bay
Cadillac, Cadillac. Open up your engines, let ’em roar. Tearing up the gridiron like a big old dinosaur. Cadillac Williams should be on cruise control by halftime as the Bucs race to 4-0. Welcome back to the hunt, Coach Gruden. Go ahead and give the points.

Houston (+9.5) at Cincinnati
You think Dom Capers sees the handwriting on the wall? This way, after all, the season when the Texans were supposed to finally put it all together. So far, you’ve got no wins and a change at offensive coordinator two games into the season. That ain’t putting it together. Enjoy your final season, coach. (Though I think that might be a bit tough to pull off. The enjoy part, I mean.) I sure do wish I had Carson Palmer on my fantasy team right now. Four touchdowns this week? Hard as it is to believe I’m saying this with a spread this big, but give the points. It’s a done deal.

Indianapolis (-7) at Tennessee
Is Peyton Manning ever going to have the kind of day he had on a regular basis last season? I’m not sure. I keep reading and hearing that it could happen this week, but you know what? I’m not so sure. The Titans may suck, but their defense is OK. And it’s not too hard to see that what other teams are doing to stop Peyton (dropping eight into coverage; constantly changing looks at the line of scrimmage) is at least keeping him from winning games in the first half, even if it is giving Edgerrin James the opportunity to have the best season of his career. Ultimately, the Colts probably win again and get to 4-0, but will it be Peyton or Edge who gets them there? Until something changes I’m betting on Edge. And the defense. (But I’m taking the home underdog to keep the visitors’ margin of victory to less than a touchdown.)

San Diego (+5) at New England
Oh, boy. Did ya see what Tomlinson did to the Giants Sunday night? That wasn’t nice at all. So the Patriots, who have lost yet another leader on D (Rodney Harrison, whose career is probably over), are in trouble, right? Eh, maybe not so much. This is, after all, the same Chargers team that lost to Dallas at home to open the season then dropped one in Denver a week later. And I think the Pats D, with or without Harrison, has more in common with the Cowboys, and, more to the point, the Broncos, than with the Giants (whose defense, let’s face it, isn’t all that good). Like the Broncos, the Pats rely more on the rush than the secondary when it comes to pass D. And, sure, they’re gonna give up yards to LaDainian Tomlinson, because you can’t not give up yards to Tomlinson. But they won’t give up the kind of yards the Giants’ did. They will work hard to stop Tomlinson and make Drew Brees throw. And when the Chargers are in passing situations, those linemen are gonna be all over Brees, forcing him to make the kinds of mistakes that give DBs the chance to score touchdowns. Keep in mind, too, that San Diego’s D hasn’t fared well this season against opponents’ running game. Julius Jones had a big day in the opener. Mike Anderson and Ron Dayne coupled for close to 100 yards in Denver (despite that the Broncos were playing with a deficit most of the game). Only Tiki Barber could be said to have had a so-so game against the San Diego, and his team was so far behind most of the game running simply wasn’t an option. (Plus, Tiki had 60 yards on 15 carries, for an average of four yards per touch, which is all you need. And in the Giants’ opening drive, when there was no deficit to make up, Tiki ran for 28 yards on five carries — do the math — so it’s not like the Chargers shut him down or anything.) I see Corey Dillon finally breaking out of his funk and having a big day. And, when you’re running well, you can call play fakes and screens, the kind of plays Tom Brady will kill you with. I’m taking the Pats and giving the points.

Seattle (+2) at Washington
How the hell are the Redskins giving points (any points) to the Seahawks? The Skins barely got by the Cowboys two weeks ago. In fact, if it weren’t’ for downright stupid play by the secondary on two ridiculous plays, the Cowboys would have won that game. The Redskins just aren’t that good. Which isn’t to say the Seahawks are any great shakes. But still. Seattle’s receivers are catching some balls. Shaun Alexander’s playing well. I’m taking the upset here. Hell, I’d give three.

St. Louis (+3) at NY Giants
I so love to watch the Rams melt down. Look for Eli Manning to have a massive, massive day against the non-existent St. Louis defense. Tiki, too. Go ahead and give the points.

NY Jets (+7) at Baltimore
I’m willing to bet that Brooks Bollinger turns out to be a much better NFL quarterback than anyone expects. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see old Brooks starting for the Jets on opening day next season. As for this game, though, I’m expecting Curtis Martin to get a lot of carries for not a lot of yards (since everyone is gonna know who’s getting the ball when the Jets line up in anything but a must-pass situation) and Ed Reed to get at least one pick as the Ravens finally find a way to win a game. I’m giving the points, too.

Dallas (+3) at Oakland
The fucking Raiders had better find a way to win this game. That’s all I can say. That, and bet the over, ’cause this one’s gonna be all offense. (Oh, and I’m taking the Raiders and giving the points, but don’t ask me why and don’t follow my lead.)

Minnesota (+5.5) at Atlanta
The Vikings’ one-game winning streak comes to a brutal end as the Falcons’ DBs explain by example why Minnesota should have held on to Randy Moss.

Philadelphia (+2) at Kansas City
Here’s another one where I can’t understand the spread. I don’t care about Donovan McNabb’s sports hernia. I don’t care about how good the Chiefs defense is supposed to be. What I care about is the fact that Kansas City has looked second rate to me this season. (They beat the Jets, who sucked before they lost Pennington, and the Raiders, who quite obviously had no interest in playing to win; and then they got blown out by Denver. That doesn’t say good team to me.) The Eagles may or may not be on their way back to the Super Bowl, but from what I’ve observed this season, they’re a better team on both sides of the ball than the Chiefs. I’m picking the upset.

San Francisco (+3) vs. Arizona (at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City)
Take away the controversy over playing this game in Mexico City (and really, sure, it’s wrong to take a home game away from the Cardinals, but it’s not like they win much in Arizona anyhow), and you don’t have a whole lot to talk about here. Seems like the 49ers should be able to win it. They beat St. Louis in week one and played Dallas tough a week ago. So as long as everyone runs the plays they way Mike Nolan calls them this time out, they should be able to best the Cardinals, who haven’t played well against anyone. Thing is, the Cards have Josh McCown rather than Kurt Warner under center this weekend, and I think that makes them a better team. So I’m going with the Cards on pure gut. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I turn out to be wrong. And against the spread, I think it’s a push.

Green Bay (+7.5) at Carolina
Call this one the disappointment bowl. And call it a Carolina win by default. Take the Panthers and give the points.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
Comments are closed.