Hard to believe, but in a week from now the 2013 NFL season will be at the quarter pole. And, after three weeks of facing mediocre at best competition, the Patriots will deal with back to back road games against Atlanta and Cincinnati, before returning home to face the Saints and Drew Brees...who has seemingly had the Pats' number for years. Yes...the Pats' defense has looked good thus far. But, let's see how they do against much better competition.
Here are my Week 4 picks, with the "Game of the Week" being:
1.) (3-0) Seattle Seahawks @ (2-1) Houston Texans (+3): Currently, the Seahawks appear to be the best team in the NFC. They have beaten a rugged Carolina team on the road, crushed what appears to be an overrated 49ers team at home, and blugeoned the hapless Jaguars at home. The Texans were supposed to be a serious AFC contender. But, they were lucky to beat San Diego on the road, retained their horseshoe in edging Tennessee at home in OT, before being pounded by the Ravens in Baltimore. Its put up or shut-up time for the Texans, and their SB starved fan base: PICK: Seahawks;
2.) (1-2) San Francisco 49ers @ (1-2) St. Louis Rams (+3): What has happened to the once feared 49ers? After being pounded by divisional rival Seattle, they were embarrassed at home by the Indianapolis Colts. The Rams looked terrible last week in Dallas, as Cowboys' RB DeMarco Murray gashed them for 175 yards. Look for the 49ers to attempt to ground and pound the Rams with Frank Gore. The Rams outplayed the 49ers last year, beating them in St. Louis, and tying them in San Francisco. The 9ers are without DE/OLB Aldon Smith (in alcohol rehab), and may be without stud ILB, Patrick Willis: PICK: Rams;
3.) (0-3) Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) @ (0-3) Minnesota Vikings (in London): What looked like a good game between two good teams has disintegrated into a yawn. Still, RB Adrian Peterson is always worth watching. The Steelers are completely falling apart: PICK: Vikings;
4.) (2-1) Baltimore Ravens @ (1-2) Buffalo Bills (+3.5): After being humiliated in Denver by the dreaded Horseface, the Ravens have bounced back nicely with impressive defensive efforts against Cleveland and Houston. Though rookie QB E. J. Manuel has shown potential, the rest of his teammates are the same old Bills: PICK: Ravens;
5.) (2-1) Cincinnati Bengals @ (1-2) Cleveland Browns (+5): Though the Bengals fought back and beat the defenseless Green Bay Packers last week, I'm still not sold on their QB, Andy Dalton. Cleveland has a good enough defense to keep them in this game. The question is, whether Cleveland native and ex-Patriot QB Brian Hoyer can string together back to back solid games: PICK: Browns:
6.) (2-1) Indianapolis Colts @ (0-3) Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5): The Colts shocked the football world by going into San Francisco and physically manhandling the 49ers. The Jaguars are terrible...and appear to have a legitimate chance at an imperfect (0-16) season: PICK: Colts;
7.) (1-2) Arizona Cardinals (+3) @ (0-3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs keep shooting themselves in the foot via a combination of poor QB play, dropped passes, and dumb penalties. Arizona is going nowhere, again: PICK: Buccaneers;
8.) (3-0) Chicago Bears (+3) @ (2-1) Detroit Lions: This game received some consideration for "Game of the Week" honors. These are two explosive offensive teams colliding, in what should be a track meet: PICK: Bears;
9.) (0-3) N.Y. Giants (+4) @ (3-0) Kansas City Chiefs: The Giants looked beyond awful last week, getting blown out, 38-0, in Carolina. The Chiefs are rolling under Andy Reid, and sport the NFL's sack leader, in OLB Justin Houston. With the problems that the G-men are having protecting Eli Manning, and pressuring the opposing passer, it could be another long afternoon for my poor beleaguered pal, good ol' Jints: PICK: Chiefs;
10.) (2-1) N.Y. Jets (+4.5) @ (2-1) Tennessee Titans: The Jets are playing better than expected. But, so are the Titans. In what should be a low scoring, 3 point game: PICK: Jets;
11.) (2-1) Dallas Cowboys @ (1-2) San Diego Chargers (+2): This appears to the the Cowboys' year in the NFC East. The Chargers have been in every game, and, with a break or two, could easily be (3-0). Dallas looked impressive last week in dismantling the Rams: PICK: Cowboys;
12.) (0-3) Washington Redskins @ (0-3) Oakland Raiders (+3): How can the Redskins be favored over anyone, especially when playing on the road?: PICK: Raiders;
13.) (1-2) Philadelphia Eagles (+10) @ (3-0) Denver Broncos: The Horseface continues to have his fun in the regular season: PICK: Denver;
14.) (3-0) New England Patriots (+1.5) @ (1-2) Atlanta Falcons: Judging by the spread, not many are impressed with the Patriots and their (3-0) record. In truth, who have they played? The Falcons can ill afford to lose their third game in a row. Both teams have offenses that are running at far less than 100%, due to injuries to some key components: PICK: Patriots;
15.) (3-0) Miami Dolphins (+6) @ (3-0) New Orleans Saints: Another game that drew consideration for "Game of the Week". The 'Fins have beaten Cleveland and Indy on the road, and the Falcons at home. Miami could pose a threat to the Patriots in the AFC East. Other than edging the Falcons at home, the Saints haven't beaten any team of note. It will be interesting to see just how good the Miami Dolphins are, in a real "measuring stick" game for them: PICK: Saints;
BEST BETS: Seahawks, Colts, Bucs, Chiefs, Cowboys, and Broncos.
I concerned! I'm confident about too many games! This usually spells disaster for me!
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome...particularly on the games involving the Pats, and the other AFC East teams.