Pulling a Flores: Week 4 NFL Picks
Week 3 was one of those weeks where I could have had my kid make the picks and it probably would have turned out better. We pulled a Tom Flores (6-10), the upside is, teams are starting to revert to their natural form, and the season may gain a measure of predictability from here on out.
Bears at PACKERS (-7)
I'm having trouble reading the Bears so far this year. Are they competitive or do they suck? One thing is certain, Aaron Rodgers owns the Bears. He is 15-4 in his career against Chicago. Green Bay is the better team, at home, on a short week. Easy.
Saints (-3) at DOLPHINS (London)
The Saints blew out the Panthers in Carolina last week and the Dolphins wet themselves against a bad Jets team. I figured the Saints offense would explode at some point, but a long trip across the pond and playing on grass should slow them down a bit. The Dolphins will be better this week, and should win a close game.
PANTHERS at Patriots (-9)
This feels like a Vegas overreaction to the Panthers last week. This will be a one score game, although I don't think Carolina has any chance to win. Keep a wary eye in the direction of the New England defense. Two out of three weeks they have given up 30+.
Detroit at MINNESOTA (No Line)
The Vikings play at home this year is reminiscent to their years playing on the Astroturf of the Metrodome. They are averaging 30+ at home and in their lone road game, on grass, they put up a miserable 9 points. On a brief aside, how great was the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome? In the 90's, in all its Teflon inflated glory, the Vikings sported some of the most exciting and fast teams in all of football. It was also the one place where Brett Favre and the great Packers teams of the 90's simply could not win. The Metrodome was so great it almost made you forget that the Vikings gave up one of the greatest homefield advantages in football to play in it. When January comes, the Vikings should be playing outdoors. They made four Super Bowls when teams had to venture to frigid Metropolitan Stadium in winter, and haven't made it back.
RAIDERS at Broncos (-2.5)
One of the AFC's classic rivalries. These games historically were violent, physical wars. The competitive nature of this series took a hiatus from 2003 through 2014. Now the Raiders are talented, tough and undisciplined, as they should be. Denver seems to be suffering through the inconsistencies of their third coach in four years and a changing roster. Both teams are coming off a loss, but I think the Raiders grind out a wind in Denver.
Titans (-1.5) at TEXANS
The Titans ground the Seahawks defense into a fine dust in the second half last Sunday. The fatigued Seahawks seemed unable to adjust to the multiplicity of the Titan running and passing attack. The TItans offense isn't a mystery to Houston, and the Texans defense should be far more successful in this one.
JAGUARS (-3.5) at Jets
Are the Jags actually a decent team? The talent has been there for a couple years, but they couldn't seem to develop any kind of consistent identity. Doug Marrone should work them into being consistently mediocre for a couple years and will be heralded for it. Jets aren't fooling anyone with last weeks victory, or at least, they aren't fooling me.
BENGALS (-3) at Browns
I admit, I was fooled. I picked the Browns to win a road game. The Bengals offense showed signs of life against Green Bay. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bengals right the ship enough the rest of the way to go 7-9, like those old Jeff Blake Bengals teams of yesteryear, saving Marvin Lewis' job for another year. Hue Jackson is trying his best in Cleveland, but all of his clever scheming aren't resorting in victories.
STEELERS (-3) at Ravens
What the hell happened to the Ravens last week? When was the last time Jacksonville beat anyone like that? This game is a coin flip.
BILLS at Falcons (-8)
The Bills aren't getting any love in this one. The Falcons continue to impress with their speed on defense. The Bills have a lot of unique talent and should be able to move the ball against Atlanta. I see this being a close win for Atlanta.
Colts at SEAHAWKS (-13)
The Seahawks haven't shown me anything to indicate that they are capable of blowing out an opponent. Much of the blame has been on the offensive line, but last week was a festival of dropped balls and errant throws. Is Russell Wilson hurt? Did his injuries last year permanently affect his throwing mechanics? Has running for his life for much of his career resulted in David Carr syndrome? Wilson used to be a guy that could put the ball anywhere he wanted on a football field, watching him pull a Mike McMahon and miss open guys this year has been troubling. His receivers haven't helped either. That said, the Colts are awful, its at night, in Seattle.
REDSKINS at Chiefs (-7)
I don't think Washington wins this, but they are going to make the Chiefs sweat. Chiefs have a 2004 Eagles vibe to them. Everything is clicking right now, but an injury could throw them off kilter at any moment.
Other Picks(Home team in CAPS):
GIANTS at Bucs (-3)
Eagles at CHARGERS (-1)
49ERS at Cardinals (-7)