Week 4 marks the first week of byes. The first week of fans screaming for their coach’s head. The first week of fantasy owners scrambling to pick up the likes of Tony Scheffler and Deion Branch. The first week of less football. With Tampa, KC, Dallas, and Minny taking the week off, its time to dive into my Week 4 NFL Picks, which I guarantee to do better then last week. Home teams in CAPS.
FALCONS (-6.5) over Niners
Could this Falcons team really be a Super Bowl contender? They have a great young quarterback, a workhorse runningback, and two exceptional receivers. Add in an underrated manager and over-performing defense, and this team looks great. Curtis Lofton has stepped up into a Pro-Bowl quality linebacker and the key piece to Atlanta’s defense. I think they’re definitely in the conversation with New Orleans and Green Bay for tops in the NFC.
Jets (-5.5) over BILLS
As terrible as Shonn Greene has looked this year, doesn’t this just smell like a 120 yard game for the second year back? The Bills are garbage in Buffalo, Toronto, or anywhere else they play and with any runningback they start. I don’t love the Jets this year, but this line is just to sweet to pass up. Sweet, that is, like a Bojangles’ Sweet Tea Lock 0f the Week!
Bengals (-3.5) over BROWNS
Carson Palmer is not a good quarterback. He is really just bad. His stats may not say so, especially in his game versus New England, but he is BAD. He has all the weapons anyone could ever ask for, but that can’t hide the fact that he is not a good quarterback. That being said, Cincy is playing Cleveland. I’ll take the Bengals and dumb Carson Palmer.
Lions (+14.5) over PACKERS
When is the last time a division game was decided by 15 points? Week 1….oh. Well, I can’t give the Lions more than 2 touchdowns when they’ve clearly demonstrated that they can and will pile up the junk time points.
TITANS (-6.5) over Broncos
The Broncos are impossible to guess. Do they have a good offense? Their top three receivers include a 22-year old and two journeyman veterans. Is the defense even okay? The answers to both questions are irrelevant because they don’t have Chris Johnson and they don’t even have Vince Young.
Seahawks (-0.5) over RAMS
Seattle has one of the few true home field advantages left in the league. At the same time, they are one of the worst road teams of the past decade. But there road troubles weren’t against a team featuring the immortal Kenneth Darby, Billy Bajema, and Danny Amendola.
Panthers (+13.5) over SAINTS
Carolina has won seven of their last games in New Orleans. Carolina needs this game. Carolina needs its rookie quarterback to step up. Carolina needs Double Trouble to show up. Carolina will lose. Carolina, however, will cover in a surprisingly close divisional fight.
Ravens (+1.5) over STEELERS
This is the hardest game of the week to pick by far, and its gonna be intense. They both have ferocious players who will fight until the end to scrap out a victory. But in the end, two factors make me lean to Baltimore: Charlie Batch and the spread. Batch is essentially a coach with a helmet. The 35-year old hasn’t started more then a handful meaningful game since he got to Pittsburgh. Also, I see this game being won by three or less, so I’ll take the Ravens and the points.
Colts (-8.5) over JAGUARS
The Jaguars are the very definition of an average team. David Garrard is is the epitome of an average quarterback, Mike Sims-Walker is incredibly inconsistent, and the defense is filled with no-names, has-beens, and never-wills. Unfortunately for them, you can’t win in this league being average, especially against the Colts.
Texans (-3.5) over RAIDERS
So what, the Texans lost a game to the Cowboys when Dallas and Wade Phillips desperately needed a win. That doesn’t lower them them to the same level as the Raiders. I can’t put any faith in Tom the Cable guy or Bruce the Plumber even if Andre Johnson does’t play. This one is too easy.
Cardinals (+8.5) over CHARGERS
Haven’t we already figured out that the Chargers don’t show up until around Week 4 or 5 every year? Norv Turner’s teams are historically slow starters, but somehow flip the switch around December. I think they take this game, but it’ll be close. Larry Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells will have field days against San Diego’s unspectacular D, but Arizona can’t overcome the fact that they have Derek Anderson at the helm.
EAGLES (-6.5) over Redskins
Donovan McNabb’s return to Philly won’t be a smooth one. He thinks he’ll receive a standing ovation, but Eagles fans aren’t really known for their generous hospitality (see Claus, Santa). Philadelphia’s secondary knows every one of McNabb’s tricks, and Michael Vick has all the weapons at his disposal he could ever ask for. Eagles by a touchdown sounds just about right to me.
Bears (+3.5) over GIANTS
Who chose this game to be in prime time? I’d love to see Ravens/Steelers on Sunday night.
Patriots (-0.5) over DOLPHINS
What is scarier then a motivated Randy Moss? Normally the answer to this question is nobody, but here it is Tom Brady in prime time. Tom Brady doesn’t lose in prime time. He just doesn’t do that.
Last Week: 5-11
Bojangles’ Lock o’ the Week: 2-1