It's All Happening: Week 4 Picks
Week 4 is always a pivotal moment in the NFL season. This is when we start to see teams show their true colors. However, this year, there still are a handful of teams that are relative unknowns. There are very few teams that are definitively good like the Packers and the Patriots and there are a few that are obviously terrible(Chicago, New Orleans). So, despite my struggles projecting the unpredictable world of NFL football, I soldier on. Here are the picks.
Vikings at Broncos (-6.5)]
The Broncos defense has carried the team so far this year. After a week 1 embarrassment, the Vikings appear to have righted the ship. I think the Vikings were be able to harass Peyton Manning and keep Denver from getting a rhythm. The Vikings have some excellent players in their front seven and they should win up front against Denver. Teddy Bridgewater has been skittish so far this year and doesn't seem to trust his offensive line. DeMarcus Ware and friends should be able to rattle him. I don't think the Broncos will cover as I think this will be a close, one score game, but the Broncos will win.
Jets (-1 1/2) vs Dolphins (London)
I think this Jets team will be really scary when they get a quarterback. The ceiling is not high with Ryan Fitzpatrick as I detailed earlier this week. The Dolphins strike me as a team that will go 6-10 or 7-9, but have weeks where they will look unbeatable. I think the Dolphins will be able to win some of the one on one matchup's the Jets defense gives. I have a hunch the Dolphins win this one, but I think its a toss up.
Jaguars at Colts (-9)
I don't get this line. The Colts won last week, but I don't think any of their issues are fixed. Luck still has issues with decision making, the timing in the passing game is off, the offensive line can't protect him and the defense is still pretty damn weak up front. Jacksonville isn't a good team, but they have a solid front four that should get pressure on Luck and force him into mistakes. I don't know if the Jags will win, but they will definitely cover.
Giants at Bills (-5 1/2)
The Bills will be without Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy. I think the Giants will spread the Bills out and be able to work guys open. Tyrod Taylor has been a pleasant surprise, but I don't think he will do well without two of his best weapons. Giants win straight up.
Panthers at Bucs (-3)
This game is quite intriguing. The Bucs defense has improved since that week 1 fiasco, which enables them to play competitive football while Winston learns the ropes. The Panthers will likely be without Luke Kuechly again, but are still playing well. I think this will be a tough, low scoring game, but the Panthers pull away late and cover.
Eagles(-3) at Redskins
I have no idea what is going to happen in this game. So I'm picking the Eagles to cover.
Raiders (-3) at Bears
The Bears started cleaning house, which was much needed. Overhauling the awful roster Emery put together is going to take some time. Cutler is questionable to play, if it is Clausen again the Bears don't have a chance. The Raiders are above .500 for the first time since 2011 and appear to finally be putting together the young core they have been trying to build for the last decade. I am always hesitant to pick a young team to win on the road two weeks in a row, but I think the Raiders are too athletic and too quick for the Bears.
Lions at Seahawks (-9)
I went and rewatched the Lions the past couple weeks. Their offensive line is bad, the playcalling unimaginative and the running game mediocre at best. They are a team without a distinct identity. The Seahawks have the highest winning percentage on MNF of any team in the NFL. The Seahawks may be without Marshawn Lynch, but their depth at running game is the best its been for a few years now. WIth Kam Chancellor back, the defense settled after the first quarter against the Bears to their typically physical, dominant selves. I think the Seahawks win this going away in the fourth quarter as the Lions wilt.
Rams at Cardinals (-7)
The Cardinals are looking damn good right now. I still do not consider them a Super Bowl contender because I do not trust that Carson Palmer will stay healthy or their running game is good enough to get them through January. The Rams, once again appear to be a team with an outstanding defense and
Packers (-8) at 49ers
The 49ers have been completely destroyed the last two weeks. Kaepernick's decision making as been bad and the offensive line has been worse. The defense just doesn't appear to be gelling. The pass rush is nonexistent. As a fan of great football players, it brings a tear to my eye to see Navarro Bowman toiling away on such a bad team. Aaron Rodgers has been great this year and the Packers defense should put a lot of pressure on Kaepernick. Packers win and cover.
Rest of the picks:
Falcons over Texans
Chiefs over Bengals
Chargers over Browns
Saints over Cowboys