Well, it appears my day has been planned for me again so my plans for blogging today are shot to hell. The things I want to do have to be finished during the overnight hours including this post, my NFL picks for Week 4. Last week, my picks improved to 12-4 bringing my overall record to 27-19 for a winning percentage of .587. With the Patriots, Giants, Dolphins, Seattle, Detroit and Indy having byes, we three fewer games to pick this week.
Atlanta at Carolina – Fox, 1 p.m.
The Falcons have a bit more hope with this season as Matt Ryan looked really good, but both of his wins were at home. In week 2, the Bucs were ready and made Ryan look like the rookie he is. And now that the Falcons will be in Charlotte for this week, expect the excellent Panthers D-Line to crowd the line of scrimmage. Carolina will make Ryan beat them and I don’t think he will this week. Atlanta will try to control the ball, but with the Panthers allowing less than 4 yards a carry, don’t expect that to happen. I like Carolina to win, 23-17.
Arizona at New York Jets – Fox, 1 p.m.
The Cards want to throw, throw, throw. But Jets coach Eric Mangini has a chance to show what he has learned under Bill Belichick by shutting the Kurt Warner-led offense down. With Brett Favre wanting to show the last two weeks were aberrations and not signs of slippage, I do believe the Jets will rebound after two straight losses and take this game, 19-6.
Minnesota at Tennessee – Fox, 1 p.m.
Now that Gus Frerotte is guiding the Vikings, the team has a decent shot at winning. The Titans D will be crowding the line to stop the run and since Frerotte has a better arm than Tavaris Jackson, he will take shots down the field to loosen the defense. The Titans will also have a challenge in trying to run against the Vikings who stuff the ground game so well. And now that Kerry Collins has replaced the depressed Vince Young, the Titans have been focused on offense. This is going to be a bruising game. I’ll choose the Titans to win on a late second figgy, 23-21.
Cleveland at Cincinnati – CBS, 1 p.m.
Both of these teams were expected to be better than 0-3. I’ll choose my Browns to win this because someone has to. Final, Brownies 27-17.
Denver at Kansas City – CBS, 1 p.m.
Denver can’t stop anyone, but since the Chiefs are in contention for worst team in the NFL, the Broncos won’t have to. Broncos win, 31-0.
Houston at Jacksonville – CBS, 1 p.m.
Believe it or not, Houston has won five in a row on the road. They’re not going to win in Jacksonville. Jags, 28-20.
San Francisco at New Orleans – Fox, 1 p.m.
Mike Martz is doing wonders for the 49ers offense and it will pose problems for the Saints. I think Drew Brees will have another good day against San Francisco. Last year, he threw for 336 yards against the Niners. Take the Saints, 29-17.
Green Bay at Tampa Bay – Fox, 1 p.m.
The Bucs will offer a challenge to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. While Brian Griese threw for 67 passes last week in Tampa Bay’s win over Chicago, don’t expect him to throw that much this week. I’ll take the Pack to win 23-20.
Buffalo at St. Louis – CBS, 4:05 p.m.
The Rams have benched Marc Bulger in favor of Trent Green causing some controversy. Expect the Bills to run over the Rams, 30-3.
San Diego at Oakland – CBS, 4:05 p.m.
Just when is Lane Kiffin going to be put out of his misery in Oakland? Al Davis hates him, but lets him twist in the wind every week. Perhaps Al will take action after the Chargers run the Raiders out of the park. This game will be close for 3 quarters, but then the Chargers will run down the Raiders, 33-20.
Washington at Dallas – Fox, 4:15 p.m.
Dallas is favored by 11, but with this NFC East battle, I like Washington to make this game a bit closer. Plus, with the Redskins getting its offense in sync, the Redskins could keep this close. In its last visit to Texas Stadium, I’m going to take the Redskins in an upset, 24-21.
Philadelphia at Chicago – NBC, 8:15 p.m.
The Eagles hope that Brian Westbrook will play on Sunday night. I keep wondering if the Bears win at Indy was an aberration because they haven’t met that same intensity on defense in their last two games. Take the Iggles to win at Soldier Field, 28-13.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh – Monday, ESPN, 8:40 p.m.
The Ravens offense is improving, but rookie QB Joe Flecco has yet to face a defense like the Steelers. Last week, Pittsburgh’s and Philadelphia’s defenses pounded each other to a pulp, leaving both teams running to the whirlpool. And with the Ravens punishing defense coming into Heinz Field, there could be more blood this week. I’ll take the Steelers only because they’re at home. This will be a battle of attrition. Take Pittsburgh to win, 13-6.
And those are your picks for Week 4 in the League Where They Play for Pay.