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NFL Picks. Week 4, 2013
San Francisco at St. Louis- San Francisco.
The 49ers need a win to stay relevant this season, and despite their past failures versus the Rams, I think they have the firepower to win a close games, but they need to get back to basics.
They need to run the ball more and stop pretending that Colin Kaepernick will ever be one of the best QBs in the league, let alone history, and then get after the quarterback on defense.
Baltimore at Buffalo- Baltimore.
The Bills offensive line is terrible. We saw that last week when they gave up 8 sacks to the New York Jets. I don't think that EJ Manuel is going to be able to expose holes in the Baltimore secondary like Peyton Manning could and I'm not sure C.J. Spiller can carry this team. Baltimore wins big on the road.
Cincinnati at Cleveland- Cincinnati
Despite a shockingly strong showing from Brian Hoyer last week, I don't expect to see an encore. The Bengals are much better than the Vikings on defense and through the air on offense. The Bengals will be able to cover Josh Gordon, apply pressure up the middle, and simply outscore the Browns.
Chicago at Detroit- Chicago.
The Lions are too inconsistent. They were last year, and they have been so far this year. They've shown a little improvement, but not as much as this Bears team, who is trying to build a strong lead in the division before Green Bay gets situated on the ground or on defense. Head coach Mark Trestman and Quarterback Jay Cutler seem to have really hit it off this year and are playing very well.
Seattle at Houston- Seattle.
Before last week, I would have picked the Texans to win this game.
Seriously, I would've.
They're incredible balanced, and the game isn't taking place in Seattle.
But... Then they just got embarrassed by the Ravens.
They couldn't score, and they had issues containing on special teams.
If defense, and the run game are all it takes, then I can look past the fact that the game isn't in Seattle. The Hawks have the best defense in the NFL, and as they keep getting players back from injury and suspension, they get better and better.
The Seahawks only need to win half of their road games to win the division, and I think they get win # 2 right here.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville- Indianapolis.
I don't think I'm going to pick Jacksonville this season.
Seriously. I don't know of any team in the NFL that I think Jacksonville has the edge on. Even if they played a team resting their starters towards the end of the season, I've gotta believe they would have more talent. Being in Jacksonville doesn't help either.
New York (Giants) at Kansas City- Kansas City.
Does this pick make sense? I mean, last season... This wouldn't even be feasible. The Chiefs won two games last season, and this season, they're 3-0. A stout pass rush and a conservative offense keep other offenses off the field. I'm just not sure that I can trust this Giants team, meanwhile the Chiefs are extremely careful and predictable.
I'm gonna take Kansas City and their pass rush this week, and I'm gonna stay away from the Giants until they can prove that 38-0 whooping the Panthers game them was a fluke.
Pittsburgh at Minnesota- Minnesota.
Jeez. What an ugly game.
This is one of those match-ups that nobody really wants to win.
A combined 0-6 record for teams that have both played in the post-season relatively recently.
In fact, the only reason that I'm picking the Vikings is because I think they are a little more sure of their offensive identity than the Steelers are.
Arizona at Tampa Bay- Arizona.
I don't feel comfortable about this pick.
My gut wants Tampa Bay, but my brain knows that a dysfunctional Bucs offense doesn't improve much with an untested rookie starting at QB.
The Cardinals have been surprisingly competitive this season, and my faith in the Tampa Bay secondary was shaken last week when the younger receivers in New England were allowed to have such a big game.
New York (Jets) at Tennessee- Tennessee.
The Titans are making small-ball work this season. It won't take them very far, but it got them a win over the Chargers, and have prevented them from being blown out this season. I hate this rookie QB class. I mean, I would rather have Matt Cassel than Geno Smith or EJ Manuel, and that's saying something.
I think the Titans edge out the Jets.
Philadelphia at Denver- Denver
Ya know. If anybody is going to beat the Broncos, it might have to be the Eagles. The Broncos are going to light up that pathetic Eagles defense... But realistically, who aren't they going to light up?
The one thing the Eagles have going for them is a fun offense that can score a lot of points if they avoid turnovers. Now, that's not an easy task. Especially for Michael Vick.
However, I don't believe they'll be able to keep up, or avoid turnovers.
Though it could make for good TV.
Washington at Oakland- Oakland.
All Raider fandom aside, the Redskins look terrible this season. I put some faith in them last week, thinking they could beat a wildly inconsistent Lions team, but they didn't even give me that.
You could say that "Oh, RG3 is 5th in the NFL in passing yards!"
But I would say that only Sam Bradford has more passing attempts than Griffin, and according to what I call the "Carson Palmer Rule", if somebody throws a lot of passes, they're going to have a lot of yards, and that doesn't necessarily mean that they're very good.
He also is 5-5. Meaning he has 5 touchdowns and 5 turnovers this year. Your QB shouldn't be a wash.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are... almost consistent.
Despite getting beat by Denver on monday night, Terrelle Pryor looked pretty good. Despite his offensive line breaking down seconds after the play started, he was moving around well in the pocket and making some pretty completions. Not that he remembers, after a nasty hit by Wesley Woodyard left him concussed..
Oddly, the Raiders are the more consistent of the two teams, and if Terrelle Pryor is healthy, I think they get a big win in Oakland.
Dallas at San Diego- Dallas.
This actually figures to be a really good game. These teams are pretty evenly matched offensively. It's the shaky Chargers defense that makes me pick Dallas here. The Chargers are 31st in total defense and the Cowboys are extremely talented and if they can avoid turnovers, I think they can win big.
New England at Atlanta- Atlanta.
For the very first time in a long time... I think somebody can simply outscore the Patriots.
Last weeks blowout of Tampa Bay doesn't hold much water with me, and I think it's about time the NFL world found out how good the 2013 Patriots really are. The Falcons have far too many weapons, and the game is in Atlanta. I think they'll just blow out the Patriots.
Miami at New Orleans- New Orleans.
Miami is pretty good.
A lot better than I gave them credit for.
But New Orleans is gonna score a lot of points, and I don't trust anybody on the Phins offense to keep up.