2009 NFL Football Week Four Preview and Picks

Week Four Preview
Week Four Preview

Who Will Win Each Game, and More Importantly, Who Will Cover the Spread

Week three was a pretty good week in the NFL. There were a lot of back and forth games and several last second finishes. A certain team that I said might never win again managed to win. Things are really starting to fall into place this season and it's becoming very evident who the good, bad, and ugly teams are. Most of them are the usual candidates in the respective categories, but there are a few surprises thrown in there, too. After being so nervous about all the huge point spreads in week three, I was relieved that almost all of them covered. Of course, as the saying goes, just when I thought it was safe to go back into the sportsbook, I look at the spreads this week and they are even more lopsided. Hopefully, I will survive to bet another day again this week.

Last week, I ended up with a 10-6 record both straight up and against the spread. Which leaves me with an overall season record of 33-14 straight up and a 25-22 record against the spread. I finally got over the hump with my picks against the line and there's no looking back now.

NFL 2009 Week Three Highlights

Viking WR Greg Lewis' spectacular game winning catch vs. the Niners.
Viking WR Greg Lewis' spectacular game winning catch vs. the Niners.

Have Your Say

What did you like most about week three?

  • The last second drama in Minnesota
  • The Bengals looking like legitimate contenders
  • Kevin Kolb having a big day against the Cheifs
  • Seneca Wallace playing well in place of Hasselbeck
See results without voting

What I liked in Week Three

  1. The 49ers/Vikings Game - This was a great back and forth game with an amazing ending that both teams came out of looking good. My pick in this game pretty much went out the window when Frank Gore was injured, but the Niners still showed a lot and gave the Vikings everything they could handle. Barring a spectacular last second play Brett Favre and Greg Lewis, they would be the ones being heralded as the Saints and Giants main competition in the NFC. Moral victories aren't quite as valuable as the real thing, but for a young team playing on the road without their biggest offensive weapon it can be something to build on. San Francisco has officially established themselves as the frontrunner in the NFC West and neither Arizona nor Seattle looks like much of a threat to change that.
  2. The Bengals Second Half Rally Against the Steelers - Not only did the Cincinnati Bengals show that their week two win over Green Bay might not be a fluke, but they really exposed Pittsburgh in week three. Neither of those looked to be the case durng the first half when the Steelers started out with a 13-0 lead. But once the Bengals held on a fourth down attempt with 1:06 remaining until halftime and then scored a field goal, things began to turn around. Cedric Benson has finally started to run the ball like he had been expected to since coming into the league and the Bengals have been playing aggressive on both sides of the ball.
  3. Kevin Kolb - The Eagles might be okay until Mcnabb gets back after all. Granted it was just Kansas City, but Kolb played truly well last week for the first time. Last week, while he had a lot of yards, most of them came during garbage time and he also made some big mistakes. It still remains to be seen if he is the future in Philadelphia, but if he can play this way consistently he will at least be a capable back-up.
  4. Seneca Wallace - Similarly, Seattle may not have as much to worry about based on their back up quarterback's week three performance. It wasn't a spectacular performance, but he did enough to win and would have if Olindo Mare hadn't channeled Jeff Reed and missed two easy field goals. The Seahawks still are much better off with Hasselbeck, but if Wallace can play this good and Hasselbeck isn't out more than three or four weeks they will have a fighting chance this season.


The Detroit Lions Celebrating for the First Time in 20 Games.
The Detroit Lions Celebrating for the First Time in 20 Games.

Have Your Say

What did you like the least about week three?

  • The Redskins giving Detroit their first victory after 19 straight losses
  • The ugly game between the Cowboys and Panthers
  • Chad Pennington suffering yet another shoulder injury
  • The Bears terrible run game
See results without voting

What I Didn't Like in Week Three

  1. The Redskins - The Redskins  were terrible in just about ever aspect that you could measure against the Lions, especially in the first half. No running game, no passing game, no defense, and no passion whatsoever. By the time they went in at halftime they were down 13-0. Not only was Washington stopped on the goal line on fourth down, but they allowed the Lions to drive 99 yards and score a TD on the subsequent drive. Even though they managed to make it interesting late, this game along with their lacluster week two win over St. Louis says as much about how bad the Redskins are as it says about the Lions future hope.
  2. The Cowboys/Panthers Monday Night Game - As I stated last week in my predictions this game had shootout written all over it coming in. But it didn't quite work out that way and truth be told it wasn't exactly a defensive standoff either. Both teams were sloppy and ineffective in the first half, but the Cowboys managed to at least get their offense moving in the second half. There was no such luck for the Panthers. The defense did manage to get to Tony Romo a few times, mostly because Marion Barber was out, but the offense was just awful. What's more Jake Delhomme continued nailing his coffin closed by turning the ball over three times again killing any chance the Panthers had of winning the game.
  3. Pennington Out For the Season - Chad Pennington hasn't been spectacular, but he's been solid. Basically he isn't going to win a lot of games you shouldn't win, but he also won't cost you in games you should win. His injury takes Miami from a marginal but dangerous team to a rebuilding team with a ton of questions at quarterback. Chad Henne, who will be taking over for him, obviously hasn't inspired the Dolphin coaches or he would have already been playing in his second season.
  4. The Bears Run Game - After averaging 2.2 yards per carry in the first two weeks, Matt Forte did a little better against Seattle. Unfortunately, he didn't do a whole lot better with a 3.1 yard average. Considering that the Seahawks are ranked 25th in run defense and gave up 207 to Frank Gore the previous week, it's not necessarily a huge sign of improvement. Their saving grace has been that Jay Cutler has been playing better, but against a team that can shut down the passing game they will be very hard pressed to win.

The Philadelphia Eagles' 75th anniversary throwback uniforms
The Philadelphia Eagles' 75th anniversary throwback uniforms

Have Your Say

What is the most significant thing you learned in week three?

  • The terrible looking throwback uniforms teams use
  • Aaron Brooks is under pressure to perform well against the Vikings/Brett Favre
  • Several Coaches are already on the hot seat
  • Both Arizona and Pittsburgh are victims of the Super Bowl curse
See results without voting

What I Learned in Week Three

  1. Throwback Uniforms are Very Hit and (mostly) Miss - Throwback uniforms are one of those marketing ploys that went terribly wrong, but that for some reason keep rolling right along. Whenever they bring out the throwback uniforms it's usually an opportunity to learn why teams changed them, rather than to run out and buy a new jersey. For every great nostalgic looking uniform such as those of the Chargers and Falcons, there are two hideous ones such as those of the Jets, Seahawks, Eagles, and Steelers.
  2. The Viking/Packers Game is Huge for Aaron Rodgers - This game already had a million reasons to be the most dramatic game in history, being Favre's first game in Green Bay with another team. However after Brett Favre's miracle play to win the game over San Francisco, this game has risen to nuclear proportions. This is especially true for Aaron Rodgers. Losing this game would be bad enough, but if Aaron Rodgers plays badly and Favre plays well the criticism that Packers fans heaped on Rodgers after the week two loss to the Bengals will seem like the good old days.
  3. Dead Coaches Walking - As early as it is there are a couple coaches that are already well on their way to being fired. Eric Mangini is at the top of the chopping block for obvious reasons. Almost everything you could possibly consider in Cleveland is a disaster. They've yet to come even close to winning a game or even competing in a game. The team's employees hate him, the players are filing grievances against him, and agents are discouraging their players from signing with the Browns because of him. Barring some miraculous turn around he won't make midseason. Jim Zorn is the other coach whose head is already on the chopping block. As mentioned earlier, the Redskins earned the honor of being the first team in a ear and a half to lose to the Lions. And they truly earned it, too. They put forth absolutely no effort until well into the second half. Plus, Zorn was hired by Washington in large part because he was an offensive coach and it was expected that he could prepare Jason Cambell to be an NFL QB. hat idea has pretty much evaporated at this point. Zorn has a decent chance to make it past midseason, but a couple more losses like the one to Detroit and that might not be so assured either. The Chiefs, Bucs, Raiders and Rams haven't been particularly inspired either, but these teams all have first year coaches and will probably get some leeway, although you never know what might happen in Oakland.
  4. The Super Bowl Hangovers in Arizona and Pittsburgh - After week three, it is official that the Cardinals and Pittsburgh are both having off seasons. Arizona's troubles have come in large part because their offense is completely out of sync. Personally, I think that has a lot to do with Todd Haley having moved to Kansas City. Sometimes it takes time to adjust to a new system, so this may be fixable for them. Pittsburgh on the other hand, seems to have a recent tradition of playing badly the year after they win the Super Bowl. Part of that tradition seems to be Ben Roethlisberger getting caught up in some sort of controversy  just prior to the opening of training camp. On the field, they are having trouble running the ball and playing defense late, which has cost them in both of their losses. Both teams  have very easy schedules this season, so they have a chance to put things together late. However, the Steelers have a much tougher division fight with the Ravens and Bengals both looking like legitimate contenders early.

Get Your Popcorn Ready 'Cause He's Gonna Put on a Show!
Get Your Popcorn Ready 'Cause He's Gonna Put on a Show!

Have Your Say

What is the thing you were least surprised by in week three?

  • TO is getting ready to blow
  • The Texans are mediocre once again
  • Michael Vick doesn't look like he is ready to do much this season
  • Peyton Manning is playing better than ever
See results without voting

What I already Knew

  1. The Inevitable TO Meltdown is Coming - Terrell Owens wants everybody to know that he is just misunderstood. Of course the reason nobody can understand him is because he keeps doing crazy shit that doesn't make any sense. In hindsight, TO and Buffalo were a match made in sport tabloid heaven. A break away receiver with a history of turning on his quarterback and causing problems if he doesn't get his way paired up with a quarterback who doesn't have the ability to do much more than throw short check down passes. Buffalo might have been the worst possible team for Terrell Owens to sign with. It actually has many parallels to TO's first season in Dallas when Drew Bledsoe was QB. Unfortunately for Buffalo, there is no Tony Romo waiting in the wings to diffuse the situation. They have some winnable games in the next two weeks, so things likely will settle down a little bit, but the volcano will blow and soon. If I were to put a bet on it, I would circle week 6 against the Jets as D-Day.
  2. The Texans are Well on Their Way to Another 8-8 Season - As usual, Houston was the trendy pick to be the big breakthrough team this year. However, as usual they are marching toward a mediocre record again. Just good enough to be the trendy pick again next year, but not actually good enough to make that breakthrough. They do seem to be going about it a little different this year by alternating wins and losses rather than just losing until they are eliminated from playoff contention and then reeling off a bunch of wins. The combo of Matt Schaub, who has played better this year, and their run defense, which has been downright horrible, has combined for some excitement though.
  3. Michael Vick Will be a Non Factor - Michael Vick didn't do much in his first game to inspire hope that he would having much of an impact with the Eagles this season. Obviously, you wouldn't expect him to dive right in and be the focus of the team after missing so much time. However in a game the Eagles dominated early and had little chance of losing, you would think he would contribute more than seven rushing yards and two incomplete passes. The fact that he was in for only eleven plays in such a blowout and was only a decoy during the majority of them, tells you he isn't ready and won't be for some time. With Mcnabb coming back soon and Kolb playing well in his place, don't expect him to get many chances for playing time.
  4. Peyton Manning is Unstoppable this Season - I know it's not earth shattering news that Peyton Manning is playing well, but he's playing as good as he has played in a while. What's more impressive is the way he is doing it with a patchwork receiving corps. Week two against Miami was impressive, but the way he cut through the Cardinal's offense in week three was surgical in it's precision. He's having an MVP caliber season without several of his top weapons and with no running game to take the pressure off him.

Have Your Say

Which Prediction Do You Think is Most Likely to Happen?

  • Denver schedule is about to get significantly more difficult
  • Jeff Garcia won't be looking for a job much longer
  • The Jets are in for their biggest test yet against the Saints
  • The Chargers will finally win in Pittsburgh
See results without voting

Predictions for Week Four

  1. The Cakewalk is Over for Denver - In spite of the recent signs of life in Cincinnati, the Broncos have played an incredibly soft schedule in the first three weeks. Running up the score on the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders isn't the most impressive thing in the world. Their real test starts this week when Dallas comes to town. In the subsequent weeks they will play New England, San Diego, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Washington, San Diego again, the New York Giants, Kansas City, and Indianapolis. Even with that 3-0 start, they'll be lucky to come out of that stretch with better than a 6-7 record and they still have to face Philadelphia in their final three games. An 8-8 season or worse is not at all unlikely.
  2. Jeff Garcia Will Have a New Job Soon - He might have been the odd man out in Philadelphia, but Jeff Garcia won't be part of the monthly unemployment reports for long. Carolina is at the top of the list for immediate candidates. The way Jake Delhomme is playing he will be on the bench soon and the only that has prevented it from happening already is that they have no capable backup. Bringing Garcia in would solve that problem. The next most likely spot would be Cleveland where Mangini is under pressure to win and win soon and neither Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn have shown any potential to do that. As mentioned earlier, Jason Cambell and Jim Zorn are on some thin ice themselves in Washington. Tampa Bay and Miami are also dark horse candidates, but both of them have young QB prospects that need playing time, which would make it unlikely. Regardless, the always present injuries will open possibilities in the coming weeks for a guy that has shown he can step in and perform.
  3. It's a Bad Time for the Jets to be Shorthanded at CB -The Saints might be the one team best suited to beat the Jets. So far New York has lived by the blitz disrupting QB's rhythm by getting in their face and making them rush their passes. This week, though they just might die by the blitz. The most effective way to overcome a blitzing defense dumping the ball off on short routes before the pressure has a chance to get there. A team that can properly execute such a game plan creates mismatches in pass coverage due to the extra player(s) blitzing. Thus far the Saints have been excellent at running the short passing game. Reggie Bush coming out of the backfield and Jeremy Shockey at TE make great short targets and they have success with screen passes against blitzing teams like the Eagles in week two. Potentially making matters, Cornerbacks Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland have both been ruled out for the game. This will a big test for Ryan and could be a foreshadowing of their week 11 rematch with New England, when Wes Welker will be back and the AFC East title will likely be on the line.
  4. All Good Things Must Come to an End - San Diego hasn't won a game in Pittsburgh ever. In the thirteen games that they have played, they have lost every one. But there has to be a first time for everything and I think the Chargers are just good enough to take advantage of the fact that the Steelers are just bad enough this season. The usually strong Pittsburgh defense just isn't there this season. San Diego's defense hasn't been spectacular either, but their big weakness has been run defense. Pittsburgh has been mediocre rushing the ball all season and they will be missing Willie Parker this week, so there is no reason to believe that will change. It might be a bit of a shootout and even that plays to the strength of the Chargers, which is Philip Rivers.


My Picks for the 2009 Week Four NFL Games

Sun, Oct. 04
10:00 am (PST)
11:00 am (MST)
12:00 pm (CST)
1:00 pm (EST)
Favorite
Underdog
Point Spread
Straight Up
Against The Spread
Chicago
Detroit
10.0
Chicago
Detroit
Cincinnati
Cleveland
6.5
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Indianapolis
Seattle
10.0
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
New York Giants
Kansas City
9.0
New York Giants
New York Giants
New England
Baltimore
2.0
Baltimore
Baltimore
Washington
Tampa Bay
7.5
Washington
Tampa Bay
Tennessee
Jacksonville
3.0
Tennessee
Tennessee
Houston
Oakland
8.5
Houston
Oakland
Sun, Oct. 04
1:00 pm (PST)
2:00 pm (MST)
3:00 pm (CST)
4:00 pm (EST)
Miami
Buffalo
0.0
Buffalo
Buffalo
New Orleans
New York Jets
7.5
New Orleans
New York Jets
Dallas
Denver
3.0
Dallas
Dallas
San Francisco
St. Louis
9.5
San Francisco
San Francisco
Sun, Oct. 04
5:20 pm (PST)
6:20 pm (MST)
7:20 pm (CST)
5:20 pm (EST)
Pittsburgh
San Diego
6.5
San Diego
San Diego
Sun, Oct. 04
5:35 pm (PST)
6:35 pm (MST)
7:35 pm (CST)
8:35 pm (EST)
Minnesota
Green Bay
4
Minnesota
Minnesota
Teams with a Bye in Week Four: Cardinals, Falcons, Panthers, Eagles
The Final Results.
The Final Results.

The Aftermath

I should have known better than to pick Detroit to cover, but I figured that the aftereffects of their first win combined with what used to be a decent rivalry would allow them to keep it fairly close. I also have learned my lesson not to base a decision on any aspect of Oakland's offense. At this point, I think you could just bet against the Raiders every week, regardless of the point spread, and turn a profit. San Diego managed to keep their tradition of losing in Pittsburgh alive, despite the best efforts of the Steelers defense during the fourth quarter. And Tennessee has officially gone from first to a contender for worst in term of wins. In fact, I think you could add the Titans to that Raiders bet as a parlay and still make a good profit over the course of a season.

I didn't do terrible straight up, but I could have done better with a 9-5 record. I certainly could have done much, much better than my 5-9 record against the spread. Which means that my trip to the positive side of the dial against the spread was a bit short lived. Overall my season record now stands at 42-19 straight up and a 30-31 record against the spread. I'll be back next week to continue the battle and reclaim my winning ways.

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4 comments

ShyneIV profile image

ShyneIV 6 years ago from Montreal

Great Hub as usual. But damn you and your 33-14 record!! I'm 30-18, so you're gonna have to start dropping games soon in order to make it more competitive. Keep up the great work dude :o)


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Thanks Shyne,

I got a good head start in week one, but it's early still. I'm still figuring out a few teams and I could pull up lame one of these weeks and end up chasing you.


John Alan profile image

John Alan 6 years ago from Florida

Really good hub! You made a lot of excellent points, especially with your What I Already Knew section.

The Texans are horrible on D, T.O. just seems like he is inching away from a post game breakdown, and Peyton Manning is playing lights out.

Good job on predictions, too.


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Thanks John,

TO is always inches away from a breakdown, but this time I think it will come soon rather than later. If he hasn't gone off the deep end by midseason, I'll be very shocked.

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