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NFL Picks. Week 4, 2014

Updated on September 24, 2014

Woo!

Huzzah! I've finally lifted my record over .500 and I'm sitting... well... Not pretty, but prettier at 26-22.
Now that I'm really starting to understand who is who and what makes who tick, I don't expect to have another bad week.

New York (Giants) @ Washington- Washington.

This is a weird pick too.
I can not figure out the freaking Giants.
If the game is solely in Eli's hands, the Giants are in for a bad time, but if they can get Jennings and the ground game going, then they have a chance to beat anybody.
Kirk Cousins has been lighting up the scoreboard since he took over for RG3 two weeks ago against the Redskins, and with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon facing off against a secondary that was helpless against Calvin Johnson... That looks to continue.

I have to pick the Redskins here.
Their defense may not be all that great, but they did a pretty good job containing LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles last week, and they'll look to do the same against Jennings.
In a shootout, I'm not sure I trust Eli Manning without the run game.

Buffalo @ Houston- Houston.

It was fun while it lasted Buffalo, but all that goes up must come down.
The Bills didn't even look competitive last week as the Chargers coasted to an easy win.
This week, I think it'll be a close game, but ultimately the superior talent of the Texans will lead to a win.
J.J. Watt has been quiet lately, and this team needs to win to reassure themselves that they're not about to have a terrible season.
Neither team will break twenty points and whichever team has the most turnovers (I'm guessing the Bills) will lose.

Green Bay @ Chicago- Chicago.

This game is gonna be a good one!
I don't know what's wrong with the Packers, but it's hard to keep a good team down, and the Cheeseheads have a ton of potential.

Part of me wonders if maybe Rodgers is having a hard time rebounding from his injury.
Another part wonders if the offensive system they have works anymore.

I'll take it a step further
Matt Flynn played well with the Packers.
He went and got beaten out by Russell Wilson, Terrelle Pryor, and Jeff Tuel.
Came back to green Bay.
Played well again.
It makes you wonder how much of Rodgers' success is based on him, and how much is his system.
I'm not saying he needs his system to be successful, but if we have to wonder about Tom Brady, we have to wonder about Rodgers as well.

The Bears have been more consistent than the Packers, and against that defense? with those receivers? I'll take DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Bears.

Tennessee @ Indianapolis- Indianapolis.

SNoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooozeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Boring.
The Titans are dreadful, they are completely devoid of talent on the field or on the sideline, and the Colts are finally getting to prove how good they are against mediocre teams.

The Colts win big and Peyt-I mean Andrew Luck adds 4 more TDs and continues to lead the league.

Carolina @ Baltimore- Baltimore.

The Panthers come to town off an embarrassing upset loss to the Steelers on National Television and they run into a luke-warm Ravens fan featuring their all-time leading receiver, Steve Smith.
This game concerns me because it features two wildly inconsistent teams.
If the Ravens can run against Kuechly and the Panthers great front seven like the Steelers were able to, they won't have a problem.
This Panthers offense has passed the ball seventy-six percent of the time this year. They don't have the talent to run that kind of offense and this is the wrong team to try and balance that out against.

Detroit @ New York (Jets)- Detroit.

The Jets have been close to winning every single game they've been in this year.
They had to fight off the Oakland Raiders in week one, almost upset the Packers in week two, and just couldn't finish the drive against the Bears in week three.
Or at least, that's how it feels.
As long as Geno Smith is the quarterback, this Jets team will not be taken seriously.
He's had at least one turnover in every game, and they have not been pretty.
He has god awful efficiency statistics and I don't see why they don't try Michael Vick.
If you're going to have a bad quarterback, why not try one who has won in this league before?
The Lions are the streakiest team in the NFL, but it's hard to pick against Calvin Johnson facing that secondary.

Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh- Pittsburgh.

I don't think Pittsburgh is all that good...
But they did manage to upset the Panthers last week, and his Tampa Bay team isn't going to upset anybody but the fans who would rather watch the game at home then pretend to hear cannon fire.
The more film I see of Pittsburgh's Bell, the more I like him. I don't think the Bucs will share that opinion this week.
I will say that I don't think the Bucs are as bad as their film from last week showed.
There is a ton of talent on this team, but I don't think Josh McCown is the answer at QB.
Somebody has to get Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson the ball down the field...
However...
Steelers win big.

Miami @ Oakland- Miami. (In London)

I wanted to pick my Raiders. I really did.
But if I know them, they won't continue to play as well as they did against the Patriots last week.
I know the Dolphins have QB concerns.
I know there will be more Raiders fans than Dolphins fans.

But the Raiders need to prove to me that they've got what it takes.
They've got to prove to me that they can win the winnable games.


Jacksonville @ San Diego- San Diego.

At this point, the Jags, Bucs, and my Raiders are already focused on draft positioning.
Every single team that has gone up against the Jaguars has had an offensive field day and run away with the win, I don't foresee Rivers having a problem duplicating that.
As for Bortles taking over for the Jaguars, I don't see him being able to generate too much consistency on offense.
He's no Derek Carr after all.
The Chargers win big and even their fans change channels before halftime.

Philadelphia @ San Francisco- Philadelphia.

This game is very interesting for me.
Two teams with tons of potentials and a bunch of holes.
Nick Foles has played well this year, but he's come down to earth and hasn't really met the expectations set for him after last year.
And as somebody predicted, the 49ers have begun to fall apart.

I think that the Eagles have a ton of weapons offensively and uh...
If Drew Stanton can lead a rag-tag group of players to a win, I think the Eagles can.
E-A-G-L-E-S BAGLES!
Wait.

Atlanta @ Minnesota- Atlanta.

This one is easy for me.
Unless Teddy Bridgewater can get the ball to Flash Patterson on every single play, the Vikings just aren't good enough to contain the Falcons.
I don't think that Atlanta is as good as their blowout win over the Bucs suggests they are, but they're easily good enough to put up 30 on a sorry Vikings squad.

It would be great if Hester wanted to bring back another return.
I dunno, I just miss the days when Hester would return kicks every week.

New Orleans @ Dallas- New Orleans.

Because I always insist on attacking Drew Brees and his ability to play football on the road, I considered picking the Cowboys for a second.
Tony Romo and Dez Bryant versus a suspect secondary? DeMarco Murray exploiting the front even just like the Browns did?
Tempting.
Very tempting.
Then I remembered that this Cowboys team just barely came back against the St. Louis Rams, a team starting their third string quarterback.
And it wasn't like "Oh it was 10-6 the whole game and the Cowboys couldn't find their footing", it was like "Oh my God, the Rams are blowing out the Cowboys, what is Romo doing?!"
The Cowboys defense is a lot better than we thought they were going to be, but still not good enough to turn the tide in this game.

I think the Saints win a shootout when Romo throws to the wrong team.

Are we sure this wasn't a hold?
Are we sure this wasn't a hold?
How about this?
How about this?

New England @ Kansas City- New England.

I actually thought pretty hard about this pick.
At first it seems like a slam dunk Patriot pick.
And why not?
The Chiefs aren't half the team that they were last year.
The once "explosive" defense is in the bottom ten of most categories and the offense has been stagnant.
When healthy, Jamaal Charles has barely gotten the ball and when he did, he's racked up fewer rushing yards than his QB, Alex Smith.
I'm looking for a bright spot on this team, and while back-up back, Knile Davis has played well, they've also been playing some shoddy defenses.
So why was it a hard pick?

Because the Patriots barely defeated the Oakland Raiders last week.
And even then? It was in part to some of the very worst officiating I have ever seen.
This is an Oakland team that couldn't outscore the New York Jets.
This is an Oakland team that got blown out by the Houston Texans.
This is an Oakland team that shut down Tom Brady and his offense while humiliating "star cornerback" Darrelle Revis.

Let's be real.
The New England Patriots will win the AFC East.
Not because they're a good team, but because they're lucky enough to play in the worst division in the NFL.

If they want to prove me wrong, they need to blow out the Chiefs on Monday night.

Fleegle's Picks.

You're 27-21 Fleegle...
Watch your back...

I was looking pretty decent last week, and then the late games happened. However, I feel like a genius, because didn't I say the Giants would win and Eli wouldn't throw a pick? Eh? Eh? Eh?!? Anyhow, onto this week.....

NY Giants @ Washington: The Giants did what they had to do to beat an overrated Houston team last week. And I love what Kirk Cousins has done with the DC offense in the absence of RGBadKnee. The defense just couldn't quite keep up with a more potent Eagles offense last week. I don't think Eli can have two mistake free weeks in a row and I think the Washington offense will be able to take advantage of the extra possessions. Washington wins, in a relatively close game.

Carolina @ Baltimore: Carolina really disappointed me on Sunday night. I expected the offense to have a much better effort, and in NO WAY did I see the Steelers offense putting up 37 points. Meanwhile, the Ravens had to get lucky and overcome some questionable coaching decisions to eek out a win against Cleveland. This week, I expect Carolina to show a much better effort than they did a week ago. Likewise, I expect the Ravens to do the same. Not to mention, Steve Smith is gonna be fired up to face off against his old team. Put it all together, plus with the home crowd behind them, and I see the Ravens getting the W, in a tough, hard fought game.

Green Bay @ Chicago:
I can't figure either one of these teams out. Green Bay has one of the best quarterbacks in football in Aaron Rodgers, yet he didn't challenge Richard Sherman week one, barely squeaked out a home win against the Jets week two, then went to a turf field last week against Detroit and scored 7 (7!) points. Meanwhile, Chicago loses at home to Buffalo, has to pull a miracle comeback against the non-impressive 49ers, then had struggles on both sides of the ball against the Jets, but still found a way to win. On this day, I give Da Bears the edge, being at home. And if/when the Pack drop to 1-3, it might be panic time in Chessehead country.

Buffalo @ Houston: Intriguing game. The Bills proved they could win on the road earlier this season, but they laid a clunker at home against the Chargers last week. Houston, well, the REAL Ryan Fitzpatrick (3 INT's) showed up against the G-Men. Does somebody have to win this game? Can it end in a tie? Can I predict a tie? No? Well, then I guess I'll go with the Bills to win, in a minor upset on the road.

Tennessee @ Indianapolis: This game has absolutely zero intrigue for me, other than can Andrew Luck have another performance like he had against Jacksonville last week (370 yards and 4 TD's, YOWZA) against another bad team? Colts roll at home.

Detroit @ NY Jets: This could be interesting. The one time we saw the Lions go on the road this year, they played terribly down at Carolina. But at home, the Lions dominated the Giants in week one and the defense shut down Aaron Rodgers last week. The Jets, on the other hand, are sitting at 1-2, but could easily be 3-0. I think this game could be a nail biter to the end, but when it's all said and done, Calvin Johnson will be a matchup nightmare for the Jets, and the Lions eek out a close one.

Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh: Tampa Bay is by far the WORST team in football. The way they got embarrassed by Atlanta last week was borderline sad. And Pittsburgh looked much better against Carolina than I thought they would. I have nothing really insightful for this game because I think the Bucs are going to get steamrolled again. Steelers win.

Miami @ Oakland: This is the week! Oakland has been close in 2 of their first 3 games, including holding Tom Brady to just 16 points last week. Miami laid an absolute egg at home against Kansas City last week, which was surprising to me. I think this is the week Oakland finally breaks through. Combine all the travel factors, plus, Derek Carr hasn't looked too bad even though he doesn't have a win to show for it. They just have to find a run game. But I trust them this week more than Miami. Rrrrrrraiders win at home.

Jacksonville @ San Diego:
This game has LOL written all over it. Although, I'm curious to see what Blake Bortles can do, now that he'll get to play all 60 minutes for the Jags. That's about the only halfway interesting thing about this game. I see the Chargers rolling behind a big day from Philip Rivers.

Atlanta @ Minnesota: Could be a potential trap game for the Falcons. Might they be riding too high after their 56-14 blowout over the Bucs last week? And Minnesota, although aside from the beatdown of the terrible Rams, hasn't looked great at all this year so far. They're due for a statement game and a win.....BUT, it won't be this weekend. I see a slow start for Atlanta, but eventually the Falcons roll to a win.

Philadelphia @ San Francisco: This could be the most interesting game of the weekend. Philly's offense looks unstoppable so far. 101 points in 3 games? Explosive, no doubt. The 49ers, on the other hand, have looked rather below average after the first half of the Bears game in week two. They blew a game they had in hand at home then went out and had a head scratcher of a game last week in Arizona. No turnovers, over 300 yards of offense, but way too many untimely penalties. This is a team that needs a win bad. But guess what? They won't get it this week! I love the Eagles in this game. That big play offense will be too much for the 49ers to handle. Can Kaeperchoke come from behind for a W? This might be the week we have to find out.

New Orleans @ Dallas: I don't care how much Ryan wants to make fun of me, I'm riding the Drew Brees train until it crashes! Actually looking forward to this game. Brees should have a nice game against the Cowboys D, but DeMarco Murray has been a nice surprise this year for Dallas. That being said, how the hell do the Cowboys fall behind 21-0 to St. Louis?!? I know they came back and won, but damn that's terrible. Plus, the Cowboys are due for a national TV collapse. Saints go to 2-2 in style.

New England @ Kansas City: For some crazy, unknown reason, I really really wanna pick the Chiefs to win this game. Everything feels right for them to pull off an upset on MNF. But, I just can't pick them this time. Yes I know, Tom Brady and the Pats offense has looked downright terrible so far this year, but they have to break out of it at some point. And I think this is the game they do it. Pats win.

Do your worst, Ryan. I feel a big swing week coming!

Fleegle vs. Ryan.

A friend (who for some reason, follows my competition with Conner), suggested that I list the matches that we disagree about.
And here they are.
Remember. Fleegle is +1 at the moment.
I picked the Texans while he picked the Bills.
I picked the Dolphins while he picked my Raiders.

Only two disagreements!
Will Fleegle increase his lead?
Will I take the lead?
Will my Raiders ever win?
Find out this sunday...

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