Thursday, September 27, 2007

NFL 2007 - Week 4

Lots of home teams are underdogs this week. This should be interesting. Let's get to it.

[note: my picks will now be in caps instead of in bold. Deal with it]

TEXANS @ Falcons +3

Have the Texans ever been a three-point favorite on the road? Ever? Atlanta has to win at some point, you'd think, but, I'm not sure this is the week. I'll go with the ol' When In Doubt, Pick AFC Over NFC philosophy.

Jets @ BILLS +3.5

Buffalo's got to be sick of getting blown out, and the Jets really aren't that good (they barely held off a Dolphins team whose players have taken to freely admitting that they suck). I don't care who plays quarterback for the Bills (or the Jets, for that matter); these Jets aren't good enough to be favored by 3.5 on the road in a division game.

Ravens @ BROWNS +4

Recently, I heard someone say, "When in doubt, take the points." So I am. The Ravens haven't beaten anybody good yet. Not that the Browns are good. But still.

Rams @ COWBOYS -13

Why do they always have to do this? 13 points? Can anybody feel good about giving away 13 points to the Rams, even if they aren't really the Rams anymore? Steven Jackson is out for St. Louis, but won't that mean the Rams have to throw more? And isn't pass defense supposed to be Dallas's big weakness? Then again, isn't Rams quarterback Marc Bulger banged up? So many questions. Let's stick with the best team in the NFC over the 0-3 Rams, 13-point spread or no 13-point spread.

Bears @ LIONS +3

Yikes. The Bears can't score. They can change starting quarterbacks all they want, but they can't score. That's what I'm telling myself in order to talk myself into going with the Detroit Lions -- the Detroit Lions, people! -- over the defending NFC champs. At least if the Lions lose bad, we'll know they're not any good and we'll be able to go back to treating them like the Lions for the rest of the year.

Raiders @ DOLPHINS -4

I don't have a clue. You shouldn't even be reading this right now. Just go to the next one.

Packers @ VIKINGS +1.5

Once people get an idea in their heads, it can be incredibly tough to get it out. For instance, whenever Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers come to the Metrodome, you'll hear about how Favre always loses there (he's 5-10 in the building over the course of his career).

Of course, the Packers have won three of their last four in Minnesota (not coincidentally, the Vikings have stunk for about four years now). So that's out the window.

Still, won't the Vikings' offense have to score a few points eventually, even by accident? Last week in Kansas City they did everything a team could possibly do to avoid capitalizing on scoring chances, and they still managed to get 10. If anything -- anything -- goes right for them, shouldn't they be good for 21 or more? And their defense is really good, right?

(it's sad, I know. Try being a Vikings fan your entire life. It's always like this)

Anyway, I said I'd pick the Vikings every week, and I'm going to. At least until their offense becomes so inept that there's no excuse to pick them under any circumstances. The Vikes may get Chester Taylor, Troy Williamson and Tony Richardson all back on Sunday, so their offense could be at full strength. Or, more accurately, full "strength."

BUCCANEERS @ Panthers -3

You've got two 2-1 teams, neither of which have beaten anybody good, in an early battle for first place in the NFC South. How do you pick a team? Well, I'm picking the one that won't, under any circumstances, be starting David Carr at quarterback.

Maybe that's not entirely fair; Carr isn't that bad. Plus, he looks more like Superman than the guy who actually plays Superman. So there's that.

Still, let's take the Buccaneers.

SEAHAWKS @ 49ers +2

Two points? Do the oddsmakers think that the Seahawks are kind of bad, or that the 49ers are kind of good? Because I don't think either of those things.

STEELERS @ Cardinals +6

The Steelers haven't played a close game yet, and you figure they will eventually. Also, all three of Arizona's games have been won or lost by exactly three points.

But the Steelers look like one of the two or three elite teams in the NFL, so I'll wait until they actually do play a close one before I pick against them.

Broncos @ COLTS -9.5

You guys? The Broncos might be bad. And if they are, do you think the Colts won't beat a bad team at home by at least ten?

Chiefs @ CHARGERS -11.5

This is the week that the Chargers finally say, "Wait a minute... we're the Chargers." And LaDainian Tomlinson finally says, "Wait a minute... I'm LaDainian Tomlinson." Big, big, big win coming for San Diego.

Eagles @ GIANTS +3

The Eagles are going to think they're good now, what with the 56 points they scored last week. And maybe they are; we'll see. I still think the Giants are solid, and I'll take three points for a big Sunday night, national TV game. Even if you hate your coach, you can get up for a big Sunday night, national TV game.

PATRIOTS @ Bengals +7

The Patriots favored by only a touchdown? Yes please!

The five I feel good (or, if not good, better than the others) about:

SEAHAWKS @ 49ers +2
STEELERS @ Cardinals +6
Broncos @ COLTS -9.5
Chiefs @ CHARGERS -11.5
PATRIOTS @ Bengals +7

Suicide pick: Chargers

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