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NFL Week 4 Predictions 2011-2012
A Look Back to Week 3
The Black Hole in Oakland continues to get stronger and stronger as they pulled the upset over the Jets by running the ball on them. Shocker, considering how the Jets pride themselves on running the ball and playing great defense while they haven't been great at anything so far this season. Mark Sanchez has been forced to put the ball up more than he is used to and he has done decent, but it isn't a part of the Jets game plan for him to be throwing the ball much more than twenty five times a game, if that. The NFC East continues to be anyone's guess as neither team looks dominant and all of them have issues. The Bills and Lions continue to impress as they have won all of there games over quality opponents. The Bills are more impressive when you considering how they don't have the talent on their roster that the Lions do. The Bills also can't count on consistently coming back on teams week in and week out.
My Picks Record:
- Week 3: 11-5
- Week 2: 13-3
- Week 1: 11-5
- Total: 35-13
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys
My Pick: Lions
With Miles Austin still sidelined, and Felix Jones banged up it will be tough to pick the Cowboys in this match up. The Cowboys could still win though, but they cant win by putting up six field goals again. Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson have this offense on a roll that seems incredibly difficult to stop. The Lions have made a habit out of coming back in games lately which they will need to change if they are to beat the better teams in the NFL. The Cowboys will ultimately have a hard time stopping the Lions passing game which has been firing on all cylinders so far.
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
My Pick: Bills
The Bengals have struggled to have an identity on offense, and because of it their offense has been abysmal. Andy Dalton hasn't been making the Bengals fans easily forget Carson Palmer by any means, in fact the Bengals would likely welcome him back with open arms if he would want to play for such a bad team. The Bills have one of the top rushers in the league in Fred Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick may not be one of the top quarterbacks but he does enough to get his team wins as of late. Fitzpatrick has done a terrific job in terms of decision making of the last three games, and that has the Bills sitting atop the AFC East.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
My Pick: Bears
Matt Forte struggled immensely to get anything going on the ground last week against the Packers and will likely have an easier time this week considering the Panthers have lost star linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis. The Panthers were destroyed on the ground last week by Maurice Jones-Drew and teams will likely follow in line with that method of attack. The Panthers rookie phenom will have tough time this week playing the Bears defense, and he also is at a disadvantage playing in Soldier Field where the grass isn't in great condition. Newton will have a good deal of pressure in his face on top of struggling with the grass.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns
My Pick: Browns
The Titans had an incredibly unfortunate go of things last week when budding star wide receiver torn his MCL and ACL after making a sideline catch. If Kenny Britt didn't have the injury the Titans outlook on the season would be brighter, and the same goes for this game. Peyton Hillis will be back for the Browns in this game which will help them move the ball on offense. It also seems likely that the Browns will split the carries between Montario Hardesty and Peyton Hillis. The Browns have struggled on offense ranked in the low 20s in each category while their pass defense ranks third overall which will benefit them against the Titans revamped passing offense under Matt Hasselbeck.
Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs
My Pick: Vikings
This could be the battle for Luck, Andrew Luck. Both teams outlook on the year is pretty bleak as neither team has been able to muster up anything on offense or defense. Both teams have solid pieces on their roster but as a collective unit they have been terrible this season. Adrian Peterson has also been complaining about a lack of touches in the second half of games and because of his displeasure with the playcalling expect the Vikings to start with Peterson and finish with him on the Chiefs twenty eighth ranked rushing defense. The Chiefs have the third best running game in the league but the Vikings defense has been very good in stopping the run all season thus far.
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams
My Pick: Redskins
The Redskins are coming off a tough loss in a game that they should have won, and the Rams are coming off of three straight losses that have all been bad. The Rams rank dead last in the league in stopping the run and Sam Bradford so far has been suffering from a sophomore slump. The Redskins defense has been very impressive this season as they clearly are much more comfortable now in the 3-4 defensive scheme. The Skins have managed to play great defense and play a ball control offense with a heavy running game led by Tim Hightower and Roy Helu. That spells trouble for the Rams as they could easily be looking at an 0-4 start to a season where expectations have been higher than in previous seasons.
New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars
My Pick: Saints
The Jaguars defense is ranked top ten in stopping the pass and run while Maurice Jones Drew has led their offense. The offense has been the issue as they've struggled to put points up on the board and against a high octane offense like the Saints, that will cost them. The Jaguars defense will be able to sustain Drew Brees for only so long, and Blaine Gabbert will have to make plays in crucial spots to be able to pull the upset, but I wouldn't count on it. Saints win by ten.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
My Pick: Eagles (sigh...)
The Eagles have had a rough go of it the past two games due to Michael Vick. Many people will blame his performance last week on the fact that he was probably rushed back to early for the big divisional game, I'm not one of those people. Vick has forced to many throws and has played a little scared and ultimately that is why the Eagles offense has struggled. Yes, the playcalling, the drops all factor into as well but Vick needs to be playing at a high level for this team to really get going. The defense also needs to step it up and start getting some turnovers from the big pickup in the off-season in Nnamdi Asomugha. All of this could come to fruition this week against the Niners who struggle to put points up on the board and struggle with speed on the offensive side of the ball.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans
My Pick: Texans
The Steelers will struggle against teams with a great passing attack until they address the defensive back situation, and that will continue in this game. The Texans will spread out the Steelers aggressive defense forcing them into coverage and rely on Matt Schaub to get the ball out of his hands quickly to his receivers. Andre Johnson will also have an easy time against Ike Taylor and the likely double coverage he will see. The Steelers offensive line will also struggle to keep Ben Roethlisberger upright from the aggressive defense of the Texans.
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks
My Pick: Falcons
The Falcons have not been impressive in their first three games of the season but they still have a talented team that can put it back together. The Falcons have one loss when Michael Turner runs for over 100 yards in a game so in order to get back on track, an increase in running the ball to Turner must happen. To often so far Matt Ryan has had pressure in his face as he has taken to many hits, a way to cut down on that could be the return of center Todd McClure but that doesn't seem likely right now. Ryan has been throwing the ball to often and forcing throws to Roddy White and Julio Jones. The Seahawks have struggled just as much, so look for the Falcons to get back on track here.
New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals
My Pick: Giants
The Giants are coming off of a big win against the Philadelphia Eagles and will likely have the same gameplan for the Cardinals. Kevin Kolb struggles against teams with a persistent pass rush like the Giants and defensive ends Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck have been on top of their games in the past few weeks. The Giants will struggle just as everyone else has in containing Larry Fitzgerald but the Cardinals do not have enough on either side of the ball to be able to beat the Giants.
Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers
My Pick: Packers
The Broncos defense is ranked in the low teens in stopping the run and pass but their offensive woes have forced them to lose games as of late. Kyle Orton has not been cutting it as the starter in Denver and one of the few bright spots of the offense has been Brandon Lloyd's play. The Packers have been very impressive on offense and they do not look like they have skipped a beat at all. The addition of Jermichael Finley back in the lineup has tremendously helped the team when they reach the red zone. The Packers are coming off of a big divisional win against the Bears and now get to play in comfortable surroundings in Lambeau Field against a lesser opponent. Expect the Packers to score and score frequently.
New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders
My Pick: Raiders
This is in incredibly intriguing and difficult match up to guess. My gut says the Patriots, because well they are the Patriots, and then when I see the way the Raiders are playing on offense it makes me believe that they can pull it off in beating the Jets and Patriots in back to back weeks. The Patriots ultimately struggle to stop anyone at this point and the Raiders speed on offense will give them fits (not a Ryan Fitzpatrick reference). Darren McFadden leads the league in rushing yards and will add to that lead in this game. The Raiders will have to depend on their exceptional running game to top the Patriots.
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers
My Pick: Chargers
The Chargers are a superior team than the Dolphins and the Dolphins lack something that the Chargers have, a franchise quarterback. The Dolphins will continue their losing streak as they continue to lead the talks of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. All of this talk may be a little disrespectful to Chad Henne as he does have the ability to play in the NFL, it's more of the system that may need to change. If the Dolphins do end up with the number one overall pick in the upcoming draft, don't expect Tony Sparano being the guy making the decision to go with Andrew Luck. Sparano has run his course in Miami.
New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens
My Pick: Ravens
The Ravens offense has been efficient in the bigger games they have played. They needed a win against the Steelers to get the monkey off their collective backs, and against the Rams they needed to come back strong from laying an egg in Tennessee. The Ravens need to win the game against the Jets this week, as the two teams are basically carbon copies of each other and the hatred between the two teams. The Ravens fans also do not like the Jets by any means. The Jets have struggled to stop the run, case and point last week against the Raiders, and they have struggled to run the ball. Those two points will be the main reason why they lose this weekend.
Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
My Pick: Bucs
The Bucs are coming off a huge win against division rival Atlanta Falcons and have an extra day to rest as they didn't need to travel. The Colts are coming off of a tough loss against the Steelers and the big part of their team's struggles continue to be on the offensive side of the ball. The Colts rank in the twenties in pretty much every major statistical category and that is will continue as the do not have enough on the defensive side of the ball and now that Peyton Manning is out for the season things look very bad for the Colts.