Friday, October 01, 2004

NFL: Week 4 picks (10/3, 10/4)

Hopefully my Week 4 picks are better than my Week 3 ones. I haven't tallied the numbers officially, but I don't think I got more than four games correct.

I'm adding a new designation for confidence level. 3 signifies the highest level of confidence, 2 is for a moderate level, and 1 for the lowest.

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins... Jets (3)
I wrote in detail in my Week 4, Dolphin preview post.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers... Bengals (1)
I'm not sold on either team. Pittsburgh was entirely mediocre in last week's game versus Miami. I like Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson, and the boys in Cincinnati. Rudi Johnson was able to run for nearly 100 yards against the vaunted Ravens defense. Look for a similar effort in Pittsburgh.

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars... Colts (2)
I've gotten in trouble picking against Jacksonville before. I think I've picked against them each time I've picked games and lost each one. Nevertheless, Jacksonville has won in low scoring, ugly affairs. Indianapolis has enough offense in Manning, James, and Harrison in order to defeat this upstart Jacksonville team.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills... Patriots (3)
After 18 straight victories, the Pats are bound to lose sooner or later. But it won't be this week vs. Buffalo or next week against Miami. Look for New England to cruise to a 3-0 start. Think the Dolphin offense is bad. Buffalo's offense, led by Drew Bledsoe, is ranked #29. Very unlikely that Buffalo can make this one close.

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears... Eagles (3)
The Eagles are very hot. Led by new addition Terrell Owens, their offense is among the elite in the NFL. Chicago already pulled off one upset versus Green Bay. I can't see it happening against Philadelphia, especially considering that they lost star QB Rex Grossman for the season.

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers... Packers (1)
One of the most intriguing games of the week. Since his lackluster Week 1 performance against Philadelphia, Kurt Warner has been a solid, everyday QB. Still, I can't pick the Pack to lose another home game this early in the season. Ahman Green's steady play at RB carries GB to a close victory.

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans... Raiders (1)
This is another very tough game to pick. I'm not sold on Oakland, but neither am I on any AFC West teams. That division is full of shitty teams like San Diego and the underachieving Broncos and Chiefs. Oakland has lost QB Rich Gannon, but some say that Kerry Collins is the better QB anyway. I'm not sure what to say about this game. I don't have any great insight. Based on Collins enthusiasm to be the starter, Oakland edges Houston.

Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns... Redskins (3)
Since Week 1, Joe Gibbs certainly hasn't had much luck. His team turned the ball over seven times vs. the Giants. Last Monday night, Gibbs made some mistakes indicative of his long absence from the NFL. This game is tailor made for the Redskins. Cleveland is 28th in the league in offense, while the Redskins are playing great with the 3rd best defense. Even on the road, Clinton Portis will demolish the 25th ranked defense in the NFL. Gibbs will not allow his team to fall to 1-3, essentially forcing them to compete for the NFC's wild card. Redskins take this one handily.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers... Panthers (2)
I'm going with the home team in this tilt. Carolina's had two whole weeks to prepare for Michael Vick. As much as I like Vick, I have confidence that Carolina returns to their Super Bowl form. This team's defense is enough to severely disrupt the Falcons fragile offense, ranked only 20th.

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals... Saints (3)
Dennis Green is a great coach, but even he hasn't been able to make up for the Cardinals lackluster talent. Emmitt Smith isn't the RB that he once was. I don't like either of these teams. Arizona is averaging only 8.3 points a game. We all know the only team that has scored less. Arizona can't stop anybody on defense. As much as the Saints worry me, if they aren't overconfident from last week's St. Louis victory, they will advance to 3-1.

Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers... Titans (2)
Going with the favorite in this game. San Diego has three QBs, but nary a one can play worth a lick. Tomlinson gives them a formidable rushing attack. There are both very mediocre offensive teams. Besides McNair, Tennessee doesn't have many weapons at the skill position. Tennessee needs this game desperately to keep pace in the AFC South. After Week 1, some people were impressed with San Diego. I remain unconvinced. Somehow, Air McNair leads the Titans to victory.

Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers... Broncos (2)
Picking the Bucs has proven to hurt me the last two weeks. I remember this team as the one who defeated Oakland in the Super Bowl two years ago. This team is entirely different. Warren Sapp and John Lynch are gone on defense. Brad Johnson remains Brad Johnson, while Keenan McCardell is holding out and Warrick Dunn is gone. Free agent acquisition Charley Garner is done for the season. Michael Pittman was enough at RB when he was surrounded by good players, but the O-Line is very weak. Denver's #1 ranked defense vs. Tampa's #26 rated offense is all I need to go. I won't get burned by Tampa for a third straight week.

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers... Niners (1)
This is my biggest upset pick of Week 4. I don't like what Mike Martz has done to this team. His past-first mentality ignores the great RB play of Marshall Faulk. San Francisco gets QB Tim Rattay back, removing former UM QB Ken Dorsey from the starting lineup. St. Louis still hasn't learned how to defend anybody. I like this 49ers team to get on the board in prime time. They have played very close versus New Orleans and Atlanta. Last week, Super Bowl contender Seattle Seahawks shut them out. This game marks the beginning of the end for coach Mike Martz.

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens... Chiefs (2)
The oddsmakers are way off on this affair. There's no way that Baltimore is a 6 point favorite. People are ignoring the fact that, even though 0-3, Kansas City is still a formidable team. Baltimore's defense has struggled a bit this season. Last week, they allowed Rudi Johnson of Cincinnati to have a 100 yard rushing performance. Priest Holmes will break out and QB Trent Green utilizes Tony Gonzalez and Dante Hall in order to break their winless streak. Mainly, this is a game where I ask myself "Who needs it more?" A Baltimore loss puts them at 2-2. A Kansas City loss places them at 0-4 and in grave jeopardy of missing the playoffs. Dick Vermeil has his Chiefs ready for this Monday Night Football showcase.


Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

Hate to say it but as of now you are 5-8 on the week. You might have a serious shot at winning the Monday Night game though. The Chiefs just aren't a bad enough team to go 0-4!

October 4, 2004 at 1:57 AM  
Blogger tsias said...

This was a very bad week on my part. It puts me at below .500 for the season.

I got burned on the Texans/Raiders, Bengals/Steelers, and Giants/Packers. I thought they were all toss-up games, but each of them went against me.

I am proud of my Indianapolis/JAX pick. Jacksonville isn't good enough to be 4-0.

October 4, 2004 at 12:57 PM  

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