Saturday, October 3, 2009
WEEK 4 SELECTIONS
Here are my selections for Week 4's games in the NFL:
LOCKS OF THE WEEK:
New York Giants (-9.5) @ Kansas City - The Chiefs got manhandled by the Eagles, minus McNabb, Westbrook, and Curtis, and they will get manhandled by an even better team this week. The Giants offensive and defensive lines will be too much for the young and inexperienced Chiefs. This game will be over early, the defense of the Chiefs is too week to stop Brandon Jacobs and the play-action passes of Eli Manning. Giants over KC 27 - 6.
Indianapolis (-10.5) @ Seattle - Playing at home or on the road, it just doesn't matter for Peyton Manning and the Colts offense. Defensively, the Colts took a hit with ProBowl DE Dwight Freeney's quad strain, but I love how they played against the high-powered offense of the Cardinals. Matt Hasselbeck won't be playing for the Seahawks, Julius Jones won't be enough either, Colts over the Seahawks 30 - 10.
Oakland @ Houston (-9) - Houston is 10-4 SU in their last 14 home games. After a pathetic defensive effort against the Jaguars in Week 3, look for the Texans to come out with more fire and force. The Raiders beat the Texans last season, in Oakland, by 11 points and embarrassed the Houston franchise. The Texans will come to play this week, Houston will run and pass against the Raiders defense that is allowing 366 total yards per game. Texans run away with this one, Houston over Oakland 27 - 13.
Cincinnati (-6.5) @ Cleveland - The Browns are not a good football team. They have no consistency at the quarterback position, they aren't able to establish a run-game, and defensively they are allowing 183 yards per game on the ground. This all adds up to another Browns loss, and another great day for Cedric Benson. With the Bengals defense playing the way they are, and Coach Marvin Lewis having a tight grasp on his players, this is a good football team. Cincinnati is playing very well, utilizing Benson's ground game, and creating big plays with Palmer to Ocho Cinco. The Bengals are tied for the league lead in sacks with 10, and that number could get a lot higher after this week. Cincinnati over the Browns 31 - 13.
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Green Bay @ Minnesota (-4) - The game of the week, is on Monday night as the Packers travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Brett Farve will be going against his old team, his backup quarterback (rumors floating around that Farve and Rodgers haven't spoke in 2 years), and his history. Everything about Brett Farve's history will be remembered as a Packer, so this is a special game for Brett as he will want to play exceptional against his old teammates and coaches. That being said, the x-factor in this game is Adrian Peterson. Peterson is a beast, hands down the best running back in the NFL, and the Packers run defense is suspect allowing 129 yards per game. If the Vikings have success running the ball, Farve may only need to pass the ball 20-25 times. Expect the Packers to bring blitzes and show different packages at the line prior to the snap to keep Farve guessing with where everyone will be. For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers loves playing in the big games and loves making the big plays. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver will have a tough test against the Vikings secondary that ranks 11th when playing at home (allowing only 188 yards per game). The Vikings will control the ball for a large portion of this game, so the Packers will have to be successful in their limited time on the field. I think Peterson will be too much for the Packers to stop, and Percy Harvin will have another score to help seal the victory to the home team. Brett Farve will play well, but won't have eye-popping numbers as the Vikings will be handing it off to AP all game. Vikings make it 4-0 against the Packers, Minnesota over Green Bay 30 - 20.
Tampa Bay @ Washington (-7.5) - Tampa Bay is allowing 243 yards per game through the air, they only have 1 interception and 3 sacks in 3 games. With a new quarterback starting, Josh Johnson, this could get ugly for the Bucs. I think the Skins will turn it on in this game, after a dismal performance in Detroit last week. Losing to Detroit and then the Bucs in consecutive weeks would definitely get Head Coach Jim Zorn fired. Doesn't happen. Skins over the Bucs 24 -10.
Detroit @ Chicago (-10) - Don't get your hopes up for another Detroit win. Chicago is playing too well to lose at home to Detroit. Jay Cutler is a beast and Matt Forte will have his breakout game against the Lions run defense that is allowing 111 yards per game. I think the difference maker in this game will be turnovers. Chicago will put a lot of pressure on Matthew Stafford, if he can protect the ball and limit his mistakes, the Lions could keep it close. I don't see it happening, I think the Bears are too good of a football team to slip up here. Chicago over Detroit 27 - 13.
Tennessee (-3) @ Jacksonville - Too much is at stake for the Titans to lose this game. The Jaguars had an impressive win against Houston last week, but Tennessee's defense is much better than Houston's. Chris Johnson and LenDale White should both find the endzone against a poor run defense, while Kerry Collins should have success throwing the ball against a secondary that allowed Matt Schaub to go off last week. It is shocking to me that the Titans are only giving 3, even though they are on the road, I expected 5.5 or 6. Neither here nor there, the Titans won't allow Maurice Jones-Drew to have a huge day. Tennessee over Jacksonville 24 - 16.
Baltimore (+2) @ New England - Baltimore will force the Patriots to be one-dimensional and have to throw the ball with Tom Brady. The Ravens boast the NFL's top ranked run defense, and the Patriots will go away with their run game very early. For the Ravens offense, Joe Flacco faces a pretty good Patriots secondary that is ranked 6th in the NFL only allowing 174 yards through the air. Flacco's arm won't be the key for the Ravens, the ground game with McGahee and Rice will be. If the Ravens have success running, and with their huge offensive line I don't see why the NFL's 5th ranked rushing attack will struggle, they will win this game. Tom Brady is not himself this early in the season, and if Wes Welker is not 100% (which he won't be), Brady will struggle. The Ravens win this game and establish themselves as the AFC contender. The Ravens are legit, the can run, they can pass, and we know they can defend. Ravens over the Patriots 24 - 17.
Buffalo @ Miami (+1.5) - Chad Pennington is down for the year, so Chad Hanne will be making his first career start for the Dolphins. Fortunately for Henne, the Bills are not a great team, they do not stop the run well, and against the pass they are ranked 28th in the NFL. The Dolphins defense is shaky against the pass as well ranked 26th in the NFL. Against the run they are ranked 3rd only allowing a meager 66 yards per game. This will be a tight game on both sides, the Bills get RB Marshawn Lynch back from his 3-game suspension, and the Dolphins will be dinking and dunking the ball with Henne. I don't expect Henne to do great, but I don't think he will struggle as much as the public believes he will be. Buffalo is notorious for playing bad on the road and I believe it continues that way. Miami gets their first win, Dolphins over the Bills 24 - 20.
St. Louis @ San Francisco (-10) - The 49ers are without Frank Gore, but backup RB Glenn Coffee will be just fine against the Rams. Quarterback Shaun Hill will be ready to put up good numbers to lead his team to a home victory. It looks like Kyle Boller will get the start for the Rams, this bodes well for the 49ers. Even with Marc Bulger, the Rams won't have enough offense to get through the 49ers terrific defense. San Francisco over the Rams, 20 - 6.
Dallas @ Denver (+3) - This is a big game for the Cowboys, and I don't like Tony Romo when he plays in big games. Romo has made a career out of playing extremely well against bad defenses and struggling against the good ones. This Denver defense is very good, they lead the NFL in points allowed (5.3 per game), 7th against the run (78 yards per game), 2nd against the pass (136 yards per game), and tied for 1st in sacks. Tony Romo will struggle this week. The Cowboys defense will need to put a lot of pressure on Kyle Orton in the hopes of creating turnovers. With Moreno and Buchhalter anchoring the running game for the Broncos, and Brandon Marshall catching passes from Orton, the Broncos have a great opportunity to make it 4-0 this week. I believe Romo will struggle, fumble, throw interceptions, and lose another big game. Denver gets the win at home over the Cowboys, Denver 24 - 17.
New York Jets @ New Orleans (-7) - This will be a classic battle and will be a great test for both quarterbacks. On the Jets side, you have Mark Sanchez, the rookie who is defying all the odds and playing like a seasoned veteran. On the Saints side, you have Drew Brees, the seasoned veteran who is playing like a man on a mission. The edge goes to the home team as the Saints will have their home crowd behind them. The Jets defense will be a very tough test for Brees and his fantasy-football offensive unit. I think Shockey will have a big game for the Saints, as well as any success Thomas/Bell/Bush can have running the ball against the Jets ferocious defense. The gameplan for the Saints will be the same as always; spread the field, hit the open receiver, and utilize the ground game to open up the play-action passes. The Jets game plan is simple as well; succeed on 3rd downs, and win the battle on the line of scrimmage so that Thomas Jones and Leon Washington can run the ball effectively. I think winning this game on the road will be too much to ask of Mark Sanchez, I go with the Saints at home. Saints over the Jets 30 - 20.
San Diego (+7) @ Pittsburgh - The Chargers are struggling defensively, the Steelers are struggling running the ball on the offense. The Steelers win at home, they have always won at home. With Big Ben running the offense, the terrible towels in full affect, I do not see the Steelers losing 3 straight games. This is a tough spot for Phillip Rivers & Co. to get a win. Rivers and Jackson should have big days against the Steelers secondary, but I think the Steelers will perform offensively with Moore and Mendenhall on the ground and take down the visiting Chargers. Pittsburgh over San Diego 20 - 17.