NFL Week 4 Picks
A few points before picks.
1. The Chargers are one prayer and one awful call from being 3-0. Of course, they are actually 1-2, but this is a very good football team. Dating back to the playoffs last year they’ve played their last five games (at Indy, at New England, Carolina, at Denver, Jets) with limited amounts of LT and, most recently, no Shawne Merriman. They blasted the Colts, fought the 17-0 Pats tooth and nail, then carried that style of play into this season. When everything shakes out this year, San Diego will be a top-three seed in the AFC.
2. As opposed to the Chargers, their divisional rival Denver has benefited heavily from the “that’s football” adage. If Ed Hochuli doesn’t blow a monumental call and Martin Gramatica drills a very makable 41-yard field goal, the Broncos are 1-2. Instead of everyone salivating at the most prolific offense in the league, questions would be floating around about the Broncos spine (or lack thereof) and their ability to finish games. I’m just saying.
3. There was much debate over whether the Patriots needed a bye week or were better off putting the Miami disaster behind them immediately and getting right back to football. Here’s the deal. When you get “Madden 95’d” (my made up term for running the same play five times for a touchdown), you need to go back to the drawing board. In addition, when the paparazzi tailing Tom Brady thinks his backup shares a last name with an aging, alien backup point guard for the Celtics, it’s time for some adjustments to be made.
4. The NFC East is good. Really good. In my opinion this is the best division in football since the AFC East in the late 90s. Offenses that can put points on the board, defenses that pack a hurting and high caliber quarterback play. The Redskins are clearly going to play the spoiler role. Unless they take three or more divisional games, there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing three 10-plus win teams in the NFC East.
5. Speaking of the NFC East, the defending champs have looked pretty nasty — albeit against a Washington team they should beat, a horrendous St. Louis squad and the Bengals. Impressive first trio of games but not enough to convince me that the G-Men are headed for anything more than 10 wins and a third place finish. We’ll start to find out what the champs are made of beginning in Week 8, when they go at Pittsburgh, Dallas, at Philly, Baltimore. The good news is they’ll likely be 5-0 heading into the gauntlet.
6. For everyone heading to the bar Sunday to watch football, take note of the one Bills fan and one Dolphins fan in your establishment. I swear, it’s some sort of phenomenon: there are no more and no less than one of each in every sports bar in the country on any given Sunday. They fascinate me, these hardened supporters garbed in their Jim Kelly and Dan Marino jerseys. These days, with the Patriots suddenly mortal, they’ve ceased to sulk in the one corner of the bar where their game is being shown on a 12-inch flat screen. So this week, see what’s good with the one in your watering hole. Believe me, they have much to say.
Week 4 Picks (Home teams in CAPS)
NY JETS over
Cleveland over CINCINNATI
Last Week: 9-7