By Ryan Wooley.
We’re nearly a quarter of the way through the season and I have to admit, I’m very surprised with my 24-21 record in pick’em games, as I continue to get off to hot starts but falter down the stretch.
Last week was no exception as I quickly jumped out to 5-0 and finished going 3 and 7, but in fairness, had the replacement refs not botched the Seattle/Green Bay game, I would have been 4 and 6, bringing my total from last week to 9-6, but alas, that is not what happened and I went 8-7.
I guess as long as I stay on the plus side of the games, that is something to cling to until we get this turned around. In any event, feel free to follow me on Twitter @WooleyMammoth85 and let me know if my picks have helped or hurt you in your survival pools or with your local bookie.
Week four NFL action: (minus Thursday’s game between Baltimore and Cleveland)
Panthers @ Falcons—Are the Falcons as good as their 3-0 record indicates and are the Panthers as bad as they played against the Giants last Thursday? The answer to both of those questions is yes. The Falcons look like the real deal and an early Super Bowl contender while the Panthers have the look of a team still struggling to get last year’s magic back. I say with this being a home game, the dome will be rocking and Atlanta wins.
Bills vs. Patriots—Depending on whom you ask, they will tell you the Patriots should have won last week as Baltimore’s kick looked to go over the right upright. Of course, it was ruled fair and the Patriots are under .500 for the first time since 2003. No fear New England fans, all will be well after this one. Patriots win.
Chargers @ Chiefs—Talk about two teams heading into this game in opposite directions. San Diego looked great the first two weeks and were rolled last Sunday while the Chiefs couldn’t do anything right the first two weeks and did the unthinkable, by handing the Saints their third straight loss last week. I don’t think Kansas City has it in them to put up back to back weeks of such a high performance as San Diego will return to form. Chargers win.
Rams vs. Seahawks—Has anyone told Steven Jackson the season has started yet? He is not only killing many owners in Fantasy Football, but he is also killing his team from being relevant this season. Seattle meanwhile is riding high after their fluke victory over the Packers on Monday night. I think with the short week and the trip across the country, I give the edge to the Rams. They move to 2-2.
49ers @ Jets—Did anyone see the 49ers losing last week? Anyone? I didn’t think so. Then I will roll the dice and say San Francisco comes back down to earth after being penciled in as the NFC’s representative in the Super Bowl, as they lose their second straight game as they take on the Jets in the Meadowlands. Crazy for thinking that? Maybe. But New York, even without Revis is still a quality team and as long as Santonio Holmes continues to be Mark Sanchez’s favorite target, no reason they can’t win this game.
Texans vs. Titans—If there has been one team all season long that has lived up to the hype of a “Super Bowl” team, it clearly is Houston. I see no reason why they should struggle with the Titans, despite Tennessee’s victory over Detroit last week. Texans win.
Raiders @ Broncos—Three games into the season and Peyton Manning has shown flashes of his former self but still looks rusty, while Oakland has struggled this season but are coming off an emotional win over Pittsburgh in the Black Hole. I think with this game being at home the Broncos do have a slight edge and with that, I give them the victory.
Cardinals vs. Dolphins—Talk about a surprise team! Arizona was given a little praise coming into the year after finishing 2011 strong, but to start the season 3-0 and do it against one of the better defenses in Philadelphia sends a very strong message that they’re for real. Miami meanwhile has been in almost every game and had chances to win like last week, but with the injury to Reggie Bush, I say Arizona has no problem. Cardinals win.
Bengals @ Jaguars—I called it last week that Jacksonville would pick up their first victory and they really looked like a complete football team against the Colts. The Bengals meanwhile looked very impressive against the Redskins themselves and clearly have a good strong nucleus of players in Cincinnati. I really consider this a tossup game but I think MJD will be the “x” factor. Jaguars win.
Packers vs. Saints—For the last three weeks I must have been giving New Orleans the kiss of death by saying they will not only win, but roll in the game—or that Drew Brees would have a breakout game. Well, Brees did have three touchdowns, so not quite a breakout game, but did look good. The Packers meanwhile are seething after their loss to the Seahawks on the final play of Monday Night Football. Can the Saints really start the year 0-4? I don’t think so. Saints win their first and send Packer fans into a tizzy.
Redskins @ Bucs—Washington has looked good in all three of their games and very easily could be 3-0 instead of 1-2, while Tampa had every opportunity to beat the Cowboys last week, yet failed to do so. Because of that, Tampa has proved they’re not at the level where they can beat the upper tier teams while the Redskins need to just get their defense in check and they will be alright. Washington wins.
Eagles vs. Giants—Talk about a big game for both teams, but more importantly for Michael Vick and the Eagles. Vick has been a turnover machine and Andy Reid had to do some damage control this week after his words were “taken out of context”, when he said Vick was his quarterback “for now”. There is no way I see Philly moving away from Vick, even with the turnovers because of his $100 million contract, but Reid is coaching for his job this season and this game goes a long way to cool that hot seat he is sitting on. Eagles win, and all is well in Philly—for now.
Bears @ Cowboys—Dallas has shown so far this season that they’re not the team many thought they would be as they just barely escaped a 1-2 start after beating the Bucs, while Chicago rolled St. Louis and sits atop the NFC North with the Vikings. This game should be a close one and will prove what team is for real. I have a hard time believing in Dallas, so I’m going with Chicago.
Lions vs. Vikings—Well, here it is. The perfect trap game for the Lions and one that will either make fans happy going into the bye week, or have them worried that Detroit was over-hyped this season. Minnesota is coming off a huge win over the 49ers while the Lions lost in overtime to the Titans. Reason why the Lions should be worried?
Their front four is still yet to show up and Matthew Stafford is yet to toss a touchdown to Calvin Johnson. Reason why they shouldn’t be? If it wasn’t for special team’s blunders last week, the team would be 2-1.
The Vikings meanwhile have a lot of confidence after their victory over San Francisco and have not only the best running back in the league in Adrian Peterson, but Percy Harvin has been on a tear this year and seems to be in lock-step with Christian Ponder.
However, with all that said, I do think Detroit is the better team and even though I mentioned it being a kiss of death when talking about the Saints game, I see the Lions rolling in this game and Matthew Stafford having a coming out party. Lions win.