2011 Week Four NFL Predictions

30 Sep

I swear I’ll add up our results next week, just too busy right now! Let’s get to this week. 

Week 4
Sunday October 2, 1:00 PM Games

Detroit Lions at Dallas Lions

Andrew – Detroit. If it weren’t for the epic incompentances of Washington’s coaching staff, there is no way in hell Dallas would have won that game. But, Washington is Washington, and they performed down to the Cowboys in their dilapidated state. Dallas won’t be so lucky this week with a strong Lions defense and an effective offense. I think Dallas will still continue to improve on defense, but if Tony Romo has the same issues with the snap count and his receivers (especially if no one gets healthy during the short week), then I don’t think the Cowboys will get nearly as lucky as they did against the Redskins.

Greg’s Pick – Detroit. It’s not often that you win a game in the NFL without scoring a touchdown, but somehow the Cowboys pulled that one off. But now they have the crazed defensive linemen of the Lions coming into Jerrydome ready to dish out pain on (already hurting) Romo. With such an inept offense and all the injuries wearing them down, I just don’t see how the Cowboys will win this game. I still don’t think the Lions are as good as everyone is saying (see who they have played/how they have won) — but I think they have enough going for them to win in Dallas.

Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears

Andrew – Chicago. Despite a relatively pedestrian performance from Cam Newton, he was able to get the first win for them, so congratulations. I haven’t seen enough out of him to tell how he’ll end up (bust or great), but right now he seems to have energized a rather weak Carolina team. That being said, they are on the road and going up against a stout Chicago defense. That can never be easy to play against. Despite Jay Cutler’s own issues with ball security and turn overs, I think the Bears will handle their business at home.

Greg – Chicago. The Bears might have had the 3 hardest opening games in the NFL this season (Atlanta, New Orleans, Green Bay), but now that THAT is out of the way (1-2 in those games), they can focus on worse teams…like Carolina. Although Cam Newton is shredding defenses somehow, I still can’t picture the Panthers rolling into Soldier Field and stealing a win.

Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals

Andrew – Buffalo. Well, first off… the Bills are coming off a shoot out with the Patriots where a bit of luck helped Buffalo beat New England for the first time in 8 years/15 games. Secondly, despite the fact that on paper the Bengals should pretty much be one of the worst teams in the NFL, they have hung in games and even won one. Shows you why they don’t play on paper… Anyway, while the Bengals offense won’t put up the kind of fight that Tom Brady did, their defense has challenged offenses of all styles. It will be interesting to see how well Fitzmagic does against this tough defense and it could be closer than people think.

Greg – Buffalo. As much as it pains me to write that the Bills could be 4-0, it looks like it will happen. They just keep finding ways to win (unlike the last 8 seasons). I wouldn’t be surprised if Cincy won though.

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns

Andrew – Tennessee. The Titans have been surprising on defense, which has kept their lackluster offense in the game, while on the flip side the Browns don’t seem to have the same defensive luck that they had last year, placing any shot at a victory squarely on Colt McCoy’s shoulders. There is no better game than this for the Titans to help Matt Hasselbeck continue to gel with the offense and for Chris Johnson to get back on his feet. Sorry Cleveland, there is just more upside to the Titans at this point (and thus a higher probability of winning) than what I see from the Browns.

Greg – Tennessee Titans. Is Chris Johnson ever going to decide to play? I guess when you finally get your big contract, you really don’t care anymore. I still keep forgetting Hasselbeck is on this team too. Either way, I really don’t care about this game that much so I’m not going to spend much time on it.

Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs

Andrew – Kansas City. Total gamble, I know… but something tells me that Kansas City will be happy with their tough loss to San Diego, and just might make the final adjustments to find their first win against a similarly struggling Vikings team. I’m not saying the Chiefs will win a bunch of games, or even 5… but with both teams on the rocks, this could be one that they could win for their fans.

Greg – Minnesota. What an epic collapse last week. That one hurts Vikings! But now they get KC who just..cannot figure out what they are doing still. They played alright against the Chargers last week, but the Chargers turned it over in key situations to keep it that way. I think this game could be a score like 27-13 with a late garbage touchdown by the Vikings.

Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams

Andrew – Washington. I was going to pick the Rams out of pure spite for how Washington lost to Dallas, but after looking at just how bad the Rams really are on defense, I decided the Redskins can still take this win. But either way, this game is after an emotional loss to the Dallas Cowboys in a very, very winnable game, AND the Redskins are back on the road on a short week. That Dallas game told me that while the players are probably the best group the Redskins have had in years (with the exception being at quarterback), the coaching staff are still making some classic “Redskins” (aka terrible) decisions. I’m pretty sure the Redskins can bounce back and go into their bye week 3-1, but considering the Rams have consistently beat them in years past, when St. Louis was one of the worst teams in the league, I can see how this could end up being a trap game for the Redskins. Regroup in the bye week!

Greg – Washington. Man they looked awful on MNF — well both teams did, that game was horrible to watch for all of us. But the Redskins have a different attitude this year, and although they somehow lose to the Rams every year, this year is different! The Skins will win this one in a squeaker late.

New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars

Andrew – New Orleans. I’m not as confident as Greg is in this game, but I guess I would also be pretty surprised if New Orleans came out and laid an egg. The Jaguars slowed down the seemingly high powered Cam Newton… but honestly a) that was bound to happen, b) they still lost. Drew Brees and company are just too efficient on offense to not put up the points necessary to keep the Jaguars from winning.

Greg – New Orleans. I’m putting this one down as my lock pick for the week. Jacksonville has played pretty horribly in every game they have played this season, while New Orleans is a goal line stand away from being 3-0. New Orleans should run away with this one pretty quick.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans

Andrew – Pittsburgh. The Steelers have number two overall defense (just shy of the number one) and have the number one passing defense. I think the Steelers’ secondary will force the Texans to be one dimensional and then work from there to contain the run. Not that it’s an easy run to contain. If Arian Foster and Ben Tate are healthy, that will be a dangerous combination. I’m hoping for an uniquely high scoring affair.

Greg –  Houston. The Steelers defense is looking pretty old out there. Meanwhile the Texans offense is finally starting to get healthy and put up some points. And if this thing does turn into a shootout, can the Steelers offense really keep up?

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles

Andrew – San Francisco. The 49ers aren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be. I think their defense will cause some problems for the Eagles, and if they get a couple hits on Michael Vick, late or not, they could win this game. Also… what are the Eagles doing on defense? Certainly not tackling drills. And switching around their linebackers right before the game? Obviously that didn’t work. If anything, I just hope this game piles on the collapse of the Eagles, and they become the new Redskins with all their losing of games with high-priced off-season acquisitions.

Greg – Philadelphia Eagles. San Francisco is definitely starting to put things together, and while Vick might be Mr. Glass, he still forces defenses to plan for him — leaving other aspects open. The dream team is quickly starting to collapse though, but I still see them winning this one.

Late Afternoon Games

New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals

Andrew – New York Giants. I don’t know what to make of either team. Are the Giants THAT bad? No, probably not… and they played hard and well against a struggling but star studded Eagles defense. Should the Cardinals be better than their record suggests? Yes, probably… but after a terrible game against Seattle, I just don’t see the Cardinals bouncing back against the Giants. Maybe next week…

Greg –  Arizona Cardinals. The Giants are not very good. The Cardinals are not very good — but they have Fitzgerald, just throw it out there Kolb!

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks

Andrew – Atlanta. I honestly don’t know how the Seahawks won a game, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be the same against the Falcons. I just hope Sydney Rice continues to come back strong. I liked him in Minnesota and hope that he can become the exciting receiver he used to be (also because I just picked him up in FF).

Greg – Atlanta Falcons. While the game might be in Seattle, the Seahawks are just a jumbled mess — just as the Falcons are figuring things out…

Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers

Andrew – San Diego. Miami’s woes continue with a distant road game in San Diego. I mean they lost to the Browns! I don’t know what else to say other than if you have Vincent Jackson in Fantasy Football, enjoy the points!

Greg – San Diego. Neither team is very good, but San Diego has to eventually figure out how not to turn it over. On paper, the Chargers should be scoring 30+ points a game, their receiving corps is scary, yet Rivers keeps turning the ball over. That should stop against a weak Miami defense.

New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders

Andrew – New England. Luckily for the Patriots secondary, they are going up against Jason Campbell and 26th ranked passing attack. All the Patriots really need to do so stop the rush (which they’re pretty good at) and put the ball in Jason Campbell’s hands and this game will be cake. Oh, and! Don’t forget to keep a safety up top as Campbell can burn you with a deep ball to the speedy wide outs, (not particularly accurately though…).

Greg – New England. What an unbelievably frustrating collapse to witness. How can you let the Bills do that Brady!?…awful. HOWEVER, the Pats are great in games after a loss and you know Belichick will be working them this week to be better, especially after the Jets loss. And can we really expect Brady to throw 4 more interceptions? Especially to a Raiders defense who gave up 20 to the Broncos, 38 to the Bills, and 24 to the Jets. And hey — maybe a Patriots defense will show up!!

Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers

Andrew – Green Bay. Poor Kyle Orton. He definitely will never get the credit he deserves after Denver’s slow/awful start this year. Even though the defense I predicted to be awesome has improved a little bit, I don’t think it will ever be enough to slow Aaron Rodgers. This is my pick of the week, as the Green Bay Packers are just too good right now.

Greg – Green Bay. Doesn’t get any better for Broncos fans this season. It’s been a rough one, and it only gets worse from here..

Sunday Night Football

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens 8:20 PM

Andrew – Baltimore. Despite highs and lows for each team already this season, I still can’t help but think clash of the titans when I think of these teams going at it. I picture sumo wrestlers just slamming into each other in slow motion. That’s not to imply that these teams are the best in the NFL (like when the Colts and Patriots used to play every year), but both have stout defenses and kinks to work out on offense. It’s hard to pick which is the more complete team, so this is pretty much a home field advantage call for the Ravens.

Greg – Baltimore. These two teams always come out and play tough football (see the last 3 or 4 games). This time however, the Ravens look like they have progressed in their offensive production, while the Jets seem stagnant. Unable to run the ball and Sanchez looking like a rookie. I think the Ravens might have a chance to make this one ugly this year.

Monday Night Football

Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8:30 PM

Andrew – Tampa Bay. The Colts seem to be getting their game together under Kerry Collins…. just in time for him to suffer a minor concussion. If he isn’t 100% or if he gets taken out of this game, expect Tampa Bay to absolutely mop the floor with the Colts.

Greg – Tampa Bay. It’s been a while since MNF has rolled into Tampa Bay, so the crowd will be amped. And even though Indy hung with the Steelers last week, the emotional let down of losing that game (and Peyton for the season) will be too much to overcome.

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