28 September 2011

2011 NFL Week 4 Picks

Two of the league's top trash talkers face off on Sunday night when the New York Jets visit the Charm City to take on the Ravens. When you factor in that it's Rex Ryan's first return to Baltimore, where he gained a reputation of being one of the elite defensive minds, this has the making of an exciting showdown.
Who do I think will win that showdown as well as all other games this Sunday? Let's take a look at my week four picks.
Last Week: 8-8
This Season: 28-20

Sunday, October 2
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS, 1:00)
I'm probably really going to regret this pick in the long run. The Bills have been so impressive this year, culminating in last week's epic victory over New England. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been awesome this year and his receiving unit has been tremendous as well plus Fred Jackson has looked very good running the ball. The Bengals do not have the offense to engage in a shootout with the Bills. The Bills (this may be a first) are my Lock of the Week
Bills 31 Bengals 10

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (CBS, 1:00)
Matt Hasselbeck has been marvelous this year for the Titans, and when you consider the fact that Chris Johnson has done nothing this year, it is even more impressive. But Hasselbeck will be without budding star wideout Kenny Britt and he will struggle to throw the ball towards his receivers with another budding star, Joe Haden, at corner for Cleveland. I've been impressed with Colt McCoy's moxie and the guy has proven he just wins. I like him to come out the winner in this one.
Browns 19 Titans 14

Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans (CBS, 1:00)
It was a really tough game to watch as the Steelers just barely defeated the Colts on Sunday night as both offenses were very inconsistent all night. But they showed a way to win thanks to an awesome defensive performance. This the type of game that the Texans need to start winning but we have not seen them win those big games. I think Matt Schaub and co. will score their points and put up their yards but the Steelers defense will step them just enough.
Steelers 31 Texans 28

Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams (Fox, 1:00)
The Rams are really struggling this year as their tough schedule, Sam Bradford's inconsistent play, and the injuries of Steven Jackson, have left them in bad shape. However, I think they have a good chance at victory this week. The Redskins did play well in their loss to Dallas on Monday night but Rex Grossman looked more like the Grossman of old with his inconsistent play. I think Bradford will have a bounce-back game and give his team their first win of the year.
Rams 20 Redskins 17

New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars (Fox, 1:00)
Man, was the Saints' offense cranking on Sunday against Houston? It was a classic shootout but it was Drew Brees and friends who came out victorious. The Jaguars have not shown much proficiency in slowing down the passing game of their opponents and I do not think that Blaine Gabbert is at the point where he can handle a guy like Brees in a shootout. 
Saints 30 Jaguars 9

Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs (Fox, 1:00)
Both of these clubs are winless but the Vikings have actually looked good at times while the Chiefs have been consistently awful. I've never seen a team like the Vikings start off games so well and finish them off so poorly this year, putting the pressure on Leslie Frazier to ponder starting Christian Ponder. However, I think that the Vikings will play well enough to get by the woebegone Chiefs, although the Chiefs will make it interesting in the second half. 
Vikings 17 Chiefs 13

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (Fox, 1:00)
Surprisingly, the 49ers have looked like the most impressive team in that pitiful group of clubs known as the NFC West. And they could have an opportunity with a less than 100% Michael Vick starting for Philadelphia. But we have to keep in mind, Alex Smith is starting for San Francisco plus he's playing a defense that could chew him up, especially in the secondary.
Eagles 23 49ers 9

Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears (Fox, 1:00) 
Interesting that Cam Newton got his first win in his worst game as a pro (the field conditions and the weather did affect him). But he has not played a defense as good as the one in Chicago all year and I think he will make his fair share of mistakes. For the Bears, I think offensive coordinator Mike Martz realizes that he has to run the football more to be more effective and I think you will see Matt Forte have a good one.
Bears 14 Panthers 6

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (Fox, 1:00)
Neither of these teams can defend the pass that well as both of their secondaries are substandard. Both Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford are always capable of putting up big numbers and especially should do so. But I do not think that Romo is 100% healthy and he could certainly be feeling some pain after he gets clubbed into the turf by Ndamukong Suh a couple times. Edge goes to Detroit for that reason. 
Lions 35 Cowboys 28

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks (Fox, 4:05)
Don't be surprised by anything in this one. Atlanta has not looked like the club that most, notably myself, thought they would look like because of Matt Ryan's inconsistent performance, and the Seahawks are coming off a solid win and they always play well at home. But let's be honest, the Falcons are the better team and they shouldn't have any problems with this young Seattle club. 
Falcons 20 Seahawks 10

New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals (Fox, 4:05)
The Giants and Eli Manning got a lot of confidence last week as they took care of the Philadelphia Eagles while wearing down their opponents with their physicality. I think that Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs as well as Manning have been drooling at this matchup against the awful Cardinal defense. Kevin Kolb will get  hit a lot and the Giants will have their way in the desert.
Giants 31 Cardinals 13

Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers (CBS, 4:15)
No team consistently plays down to their opposition than the San Diego Chargers. Hell, they nearly lost to Kansas City last week. Fortunately for them and Philip Rivers, the Dolphins' pass defense is a sieve so Rivers should have no problems putting up nice passing stats on Sunday. I do not think that Chad Henne can keep up with.
Chargers 24 Dolphins 10

New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders (CBS, 4:15)
Both of these teams are coming off surprising performances last week. The Patriots choked away a 21-0 lead to Buffalo while Tom Brady threw four interceptions (as many as he threw all of last year). Meanwhile the Raiders rode Darren McFadden to an upset victory over the Jets. I think that the Raiders are going to keep this one close by pounding the Pats D will Run-DMC but I don't think they can slow down Brady.
Patriots 30 Raiders 27

Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers (CBS, 4:15)
The Packers have really struggled to defend the pass this year but they are going up against the mediocre Kyle Orton. John Fox always wants to get the running game going but the Packers have been tremendous against the run. And the Packers' offense has been firing on all cylinders while the Broncos' defense...has not. You know where this is going.
Packers 31 Broncos 6

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens (NBC, 8:20)
The Jets showed last week that you can pound their defense with the running game as that is what the Raiders precisely did. You know that the Jets want to run the ball and not force Mark Sanchez to have to carry the offense but they were forced to do that last week and I think the Ravens will do the same against them. I'm expecting a big game for Ray Rice for Baltimore to get the slight victory.
Ravens 23 Jets 21

Monday, October 3
Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN, 8:30)
The Colts quarterback situation is just a nightmare. Both Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter are obviously not the answer and they have not been able to get any support from a running game either. Now can their defense keep them in the game this week? I think that they can but I believe the Bucs will come at Indy with a balanced offensive attack and get the victory. 
Buccaneers 21 Colts 10

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