NFL Predictions - Week 4

Man, glad I’m not a bettor, as last week was a killer! This week looks easy, at least on the straight up end of the game. Six games with 10 or more points as the spread. 19 in the Oakland-Dallas game. I don’t recall EVER seeing such a line in the pro game.

On the fantasy front, those who stocked up on starting RBs are smiling. Jamal, Warrick, Ricky, Tiki, Fred, Terrell, etc., etc. All out for at least a game or two. The boys in the stud running back theory camp are smiling. For now. Lots of chances for big points this week:

Packers 24 at Buccaneers 20 (Bucs by 2 ½)
If the Bucs try to play Cover-2 all game against the Pack as they did against the Vikings they’ll get killed. I expect them to mix it up a bit this week, but still lose. The loss of Dunn is huge. Alstott is a nice full back, but he’s easy to stop if you don’t have the outside threat (Dunn) in the mix.
START: Favre, Schroeder, Franks, Gramatica.

Titans 9 at Ravens 16 (Ravens by 4)
Hard to set the Titans up at 0-3, but the Ravens proved the loss to Cincy was a fluke by dominating a talented Bronco team for about three-quarters. The Titans defense is still tough, but with Mason and McNair iffy, I just don’t think they can do it.
START: Nedney, Stover, Ravens Defense.

Redskins 6 at Giants 19 (Giants by 14)
The Redskins, as you know, are a mess. I still have faith in their defensive backfield, so I expect the Giants to take the early lead and just run Dayne to kill the clock.
START: Dayne, Andersen, Giants Defense.

Chargers 28 at Browns 13 (Chargers by 3)
Getting on the soapbox here for a second, but the Browns should be stricken of the win from last week. No doubt they played a good game and White did an admirable job in relief of Jackson. But the hit on Brunell was one of the worst examples of unsportsman-like conduct I’ve ever seen. Helmet to helmet on the QB after an interception. It was uncalled for, dangerous, and intolerable. How appropriate they get to face Rodney Harrison this week?
START: Tomlinson, Chargers defense/special teams.

Cardinals 6 at Eagles 30 (Eagles by 14)
If Duce was healthy, it would actually be a lower score. As it is, with little running game, the Iggles will have to keep pouring it on when they get the ball.
START: McNabb, Thrash, Lewis, Eagles Defense.

Bears 24 at Falcons 17 (Falcons by 3)
UPSET!!! The Bears defense is strong, especially against the run. The Falcons are beat up at RB and WR. Jim Miller and Marcus Robinson will exploit the Falcons defense.
START: Miller, Robinson.

Bengals 20 at Steelers 17 (Steelers by 6)
Takeo Spikes and the rest of the Bengals defense will handle Bettis without problem. That leaves Kordell and his WRs to win the game. In the words of George Bush (Sr.), “Ain’t gonna do it.”
START: Scott, Hines Ward, Rackers.

Vikings 21 at Saints 32 (Saints by 3 ½)
The Saints will lie back in the nickel and dime packages all day with a linebacker on “spy” duty against Culpepper. On offense, they match up well against the ‘queens at every position.
START: Brooks, Williams, Carney, Moss, Culpepper.

Patriots 10 at Dolphins 17 (Dolphins by 10)
The Patsies always have Manning’s number when they play in Foxboro, so don’t read too much into the win. The Dolphin defense will contain the meager offense of the Pats and play the clock-control game.
START: Lamar Smith.

Chiefs 27 at Broncos 34 (Broncos by 10) Chiefs-Broncos is always a thriller. Assuming that Alexander and Minnis are back, Green will have a nice day playing ping-pong with Greise.
START: Green, Gonzo, Alexander, Greise, RSmith, Elam.

Jaguars 24 at Seahawks 16 (NL, I expect it to be Jags by 1)
QBs hurt all around. Brunell, Hassellbeck, and Dilfer all were knocked out last week, add in the fact that Watters and Taylor are both out and this is a game with too many possibilities.
START: Mack, Jimmy Smith, Rian Lindell.

Jets 13 at Bills 17 (Jets by 4)
One of these days I really need to sit down and chart the overall record of home underdogs in divisional games. I’m not off the Moulds bandwagon yet, by the way, but I’m looking for a nice place to jump off while it’s slowing down.
START: Curtis Martin.

Cowboys 14 at Raiders 31 (Raiders by 19)
Raiders by 19!?!? Are you kidding me? Racking up the score isn’t a bonus in the NFL. This game is just odd. A spread I’ve never seen before, teams that played each other TWICE in the preseason (and split by the way)…
START: Gannon, Wheatley, Seabass.

Panthers 27 at 49ers 24 (49ers by 6)
The Jets pathetic tackling, I believe, has given the 49ers more faith in their running game than it deserves. They’ll try to run against the Panther attacking linebackers, and the next thing you know the Panther offense will pick them apart with a balanced attack.
START: Weinke, Muhammad, Garcia.

Rams 42 at Lions 13 (Rams by 11)
The Rams beat a tough Miami defense by 32 points. Their comments after the game were that it wasn’t a “perfect” game. The Rams are Super Bowl bound, and they have no intention of slowing down the offense.
START: Warner, Faulk, Bruce, Holt, Conwell, Richey.

Last week: 8-6 straight up, 7-7 against the spread.
Overall: 31-12 straight up, 24-19 against the spread.

Oh great Gazoo, some fantasy wisdom if you have the time (anyone else’s input is also welcome).

I need to start 3 wide receivers this week and I have Tim Brown, Mushin Muhammad, Bill Schroeder, and Keenan McCardell.

Now, I know the first 3 should all be starting, but if Brunell plays sunday he is going to pick apart Seattle’s secondary. Would you recommend sitting Brown, Muhammad, or Schroeder in favor of McCardell? I really want to say no but I have this nagging feeling Keenan is set for a big game. He’s finally healthy and the opposing defenses need to concentrate on Jimmy Smith…

Your choice may have been made for you. From -

Gazoo, would you change your mind on the Niners/Panthers game based on whether or not Muhsin plays this weekend?

POINT OF INTEREST froma Saints fan: The Saints will probably have six DBs on the field at all times against Minnesota – maybe even seven. The reason is that when a team requires a defensive player to spy, backup FS Chris Oldham gets the call. Oldham essentially lines up at linebacker in such situations! Oldham had some success spying against Marshall Faulk & Donovan McNabb last season.

Sheesh – tell me about it. I’m down to starting Priest Holmes and Tyrone Wheatly this week. And I had to sit Manning in favor of Flutie because of Indie’s bye. I’m gonna get my ass handed to me on a platter this weekend.

But if Longwell can just kick 12 field goals…

It would probably be enough to turn the straight up bet in favor of the 49ers, but I don’t think they cover either way.

Every week so far this season there have been 1 or 2 big upsets:

week 1: Carolina over Minnesota, possibly Miami over Tennesseee

week 2: Bengals over Baltimore, Chicago over Minnesota

week 3: Patsies over Colts, Cleveland over Jags, maybe Baltimore over Denver

so, what is this week’s big upset? My favorites (for defying all logic and reason) would be:
Lions over Rams

Skins over Giants

Dallas over Oakland
What do you think? If everything breaks right, who do you see as the “it never shoulda happened” upset of the week?

[sub]PS Thanks for picking the Pack this week, do you think you could change your pick to the Vikes over the Saints so the Vikes can go to 1-3?[/sub]

BUZZ… Sorry wrong answer. The OL carries the day against the Jets. Sure lousy tackling helped, but the OL of the Niners created huge holes for the RBs to exploit. That so called small line had the DL of the Jets on their heals all game.

Now consider the following. The Niners are 0-4 against the Panthers. But all of those games were won by the offense, not the defense. With scores of 31, 41, 38, and 34 points.
The Panthers haven’t shown the ability to put that kind of offensive firepower together this year (7 against green bay, 16 against Atlanta and 24 at Minnesota). Add to the the Niners much improved secondary and it’s a whole new ball game.

I won’t be betting on the game, but if I were I’d give this one to the Niners.

Speaking of fantasy, who would you start between Alexander vs. Denver or Schroeder vs. TB? Also, if you had to get rid of one of these WR’s in exchange for a RB, would you get rid of Horn, J. Smith, or Alexander? Or do you think I should keep the three and just stay weak at RB under the assumption that neither Schroeder, Ismail, nor Gadsen will be very productive this season.

Actually, small is a very good way to describe the Jets’ defensive ends of Abraham and Ellis. They are speed rushers who work to disrupt the passing game but rely heavily on their outside linebackers to make the stops in the running game. The Jets’ linebackers didn’t come through though, missing far too many tackles.

ShibbOleth - I don’t think any of those upsets will occur. Most likely between the three is Washington over the Giants simply because they are divisional foes.

BabaBooey - Go with Alexander. The Chiefs/Broncos tend to be high scoring affairs, and the Broncos’ defensive backfield isn’t as good as the Bucs’.

Gazoo - The biggest spread in the history of the NFL was, I believe, a Bengals-49ers game several seasons ago…23 1/2 points, something like that. And then of course you had Bengals giving the usual lines about not caring about gamblers and just wanting to win and yada yada.

However, I notice something about all these “insulting” or “way too big” spreads; the favored team ALWAYS covers or almost covers. In the aforementioned game, the 49ers won by 21 or 22. In the Bills’ last Super Bowl, they were 10-point underdogs to the Cowboys, then the biggest SB spread ever. Final score: Cowboys 30, Bills 13. The very next year, the Packers were favored by THIRTEEN AND A HALF over the Patriots. And won by fourteen.

Given how close the Cowboys kept it in week 1, yes, a 19-point spread is a little surprising…but there’s absolutely no reason to believe that they won’t get stomped.

(Whoever wants to “buzz” me on that, go right ahead. Don’t everyone get up at once. :))

Oh, yeah, and thanks for picking the Saints- that’ll be another beer I owe you when the Vikes go 2-2.

I think the final line was 14 points, because I remember a bunch of stories about how a bunch of gamblers and bookies were pissed that it was a push. And as for your contention that highly favored teams tend to cover, the year after the Packers won that Super Bowl they wound up being heavily favored in almost all their games, but only covered about half of them. And they lost to then-winless Indy when they were most heavily favored (I think) that year.

Like the Colts last week? :wink:

Oh, they’ll get stomped. I just don’t think they’ll get 19 point stomped. I do still have them getting beat by 17 afterall.

[sub]Bite me, Shibb[/sub]

No problem, just tell me where you want it! :slight_smile:

[sub]And were you pissed about the Pack or the Vikes?[/sub]

May the Green Bile Pukers aspirate.

And leave the Vikes alone. They have a hard enough time overcoming their own coach’s incompetence.

Gazoo - Somehow, I doubt that anyone had the Colts at -22. (And anyone who took that kind of bet is a chump. Although I guess it wouldn’t have mattered…)

Okay, so we have a common goal for the weekend: defeat the Packers. The Vikings can do what they can/want with the Saints, it’s up to them. That remark about Gazoo picking the Saints was just a carry over from last weekend, when the Vikings were finally picked to lose, so of course they finally won. I just like to watch lno and a couple of others squirm over this irrationality.

Ain’t it fun how the most rational and logical folks here on a board devoted to fighting ignorance can even jokingly believe that what some guy named Gazoo says about our team somehow influences the outcome of the games? :smiley: