Week 4 Quick Picks

Posted: 30th September 2012 by Jeff Plattner in NFL

With a good but not great 11-5 record in Week 2 and not enough time to get around to my Quick Picks in Week 3, we are back at it in Week 4. If this young NFL season has proved anything to us, it is that anything and I mean ANYTHING can happen. Oh, by the way, it’s good to have the regular officials back.

Cleveland (0-3) at Baltimore (2-1)

The Browns will keep this one closer than it should be, thanks to the ridiculously quick turnaround for the Ravens, from Sunday night to Thursday night. However, at the end of the day, even with a lack of rest and preparation time, Baltimore is just too good to lose to the Browns at home. Ravens 23 Browns 14 (this was written prior to the start of the Thursday night game, I promise. I’m just THAT good!)

Carolina (1-2) at Atlanta (3-0)

Eli Manning and the Giants shredded the Panthers secondary last Thursday. Expect more of the same in this one, by Matt Ryan and his good buddies, Roddy White and Julio Jones. To have any chance, Carolina needs to establish a ground game. Falcons 34 Panthers 16

New England (1-2) at Buffalo (2-1)

In losing two straight, Tom Brady and crew have looked like anything but the Patriots team we’re used to seeing, albeit against two very good defenses in Arizona and Baltimore. The Bills have lost three of their top offense weapons in the first three weeks (Fred Jackson, David Nelson, and C.J. Spiller), although recent reports say Jackson and possibly Spiller should be ready to go on Sunday. If the reports are false and neither Jackson nor Spiller are able to play, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will depend heavily on WR Stevie Johnson, RB Tashard Choice, and TE Scott Chandler. Patriots 31 Bills 17

Minnesota (2-1) at Detroit (1-2)

Minnesota shocked San Francisco last week, but that was in the comfort of the HHH Metrodome. Just 4-13 since 2010, the Vikings have been a bad road team. The Lions, owners of the top passing attack in the NFL, will use their bread and butter against a weak Vikings pass defense, which is misleadingly ranked 8th in the league. Lions 33 Vikings 27

San Diego (2-1) at Kansas City (1-2)

The Chiefs finally woke up versus New Orleans, scoring 21 straight points, late, to stun the Saints, coming back from a 24-6 deficit. Jamaal Charles (rushed for 233 yards and 1TD vs. New Orleans) and the NFL’s top rushing attack is the key to this one. The Chargers have taken 7 of the last 9 from the Chiefs, but have dropped their last two at Arrowhead Stadium. KC rides the momentum of last week to pull to .500. Chiefs 32 Chargers 27

Seattle (2-1) at St. Louis (1-2)

In one of the most controversial wins in NFL history, the entire nation seems to have forgotten about the horrible calls that went the Packers way during their go-ahead drive, before the Seahawks eventually won the game. Anyway, that’s old news, but Seattle is simply the better team here. Seahawks 19 Rams 16

San Francisco (2-1) at NY Jets (2-1)

The 49ers got a wake up call from Minnesota last week, so you can be sure Coach Jim Harbaugh will have his team focused this week. The loss of Jets CB Darrell Revis (ACL) will make things easier on the 49ers in the passing game, but they could also enjoy success in the running game, which New York has struggled defending thus far. The 49ers avoided the dreaded west coast team flying all the way to the east coast and then playing a 12pm EST game, by practicing in Ohio all week, at Youngstown State. May not seem like a big deal, but it is. 49ers 27 Jets 16

Tennessee (1-2) at Houston (3-0)

Somebody finally got it right, for the Titans; that somebody is NOT Chris Johnson. Through three games, Johnson has amassed a whole 45 rushing yards on 33 carries. On the other hand, after getting crushed in weeks 1 & 2, Jake Locker and the Titans passing game was excellent in an OT win over the Lions. Bad news for the Titans…the Houston Texans are not the Detroit Lions. Texans 36 Titans 17

Miami (1-2) at Arizona (3-0)

The Cardinals are a surprising 3-0 and they can thank their opportunistic defense that has 12 sacks and 6 takeaways through the first three games. With rookie Ryan Tannehill taking snaps for the Dolphins and a hobbled Reggie Bush, not 100%, the Cardinals should be licking their chops. Cardinals 23 Dolphins 13

Cincinnati (2-1) at Jacksonville (1-2)

Maurice Jones-Drew put to rest any conditioning questions, with a 177-yard, 1TD effort on 28 totes, against the Colts. The Bengals rush defense is even worse than Indy’s, so expect another hay day from MJD. On the other side of the ball, Cincy’s A.J. Green trails only Calvin Johnson in receiving yards. He should feast on a weak Jaguars pass D. Get ready for the MJD-A.J. show. Bengals 31 Jaguars 30

Oakland (1-2) at Denver (1-2)

With New England, San Diego, New Orleans, and Cincinnati to follow, Peyton Manning and the Broncos need to take the reigns and win this one or they could be digging themselves out of a big hole. It should be a good, old fashioned, Wild West shootout, but in the end, Peyton and the Broncos should expose a porous Raiders D. Broncos 32 Raiders 24

New Orleans (0-3) at Green Bay (1-2)

Could there possibly be a worse position for the 0-3 Saints to be in on Sunday?? Reeling after blowing a 24-6, late third quarter lead to the Chiefs last week, they stumble into Lambeau Field to not only face the Green Bay Packers, but a Packers team that is furious after losing to the Seahawks, last Monday night, on the last play, on an extremely controversial call that would wind up being the straw that broke the camel’s back. The call was so bad that the NFL and the regular officials magically reached a new collective bargaining agreement no more than 24 hours later, after reportedly “not being close” just days before. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack will roll over a Saints defense that hasn’t been able to stop a nosebleed this season.  Packers 42 Saints 27

Washington (1-2) at Tampa Bay (1-2)

Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3) has lived up to the hype and then some, so far this season. With two of the worst pass defenses in the league, most of the focus in this one will be through the air, so look for a big day from RG3 and Tampa QB Josh Freeman. The Bucs sneakily have the top rush defense in the NFL, but even that won’t be enough to hold off RG3 and the Redskins. Redskins 27 Bucs 23

NY Giants (2-1) at Philadelphia (2-1)

The Giants will again be without No. 1 WR Hakeem Nicks, so for the second straight week, Ramses Barden will get his chance to shine. He did not disappoint in the 36-7 drubbing of the Carolina Panthers last Thursday, finishing with 9 catches for 138 yards. My gut tells me the Eagles will try and stick to the ground game, not allowing Michael Vick to be exposed to so many hits, as he was beat up badly in last week’s whooping in Arizona. LeSean McCoy has a big game and the Eagles squeak out a close one. Eagles 23 Giants 21

Chicago (2-1) at Dallas (2-1)

Both teams are coming off wins, but neither looked overly impressive in doing so. The status of Bears RB Matt Forte could have a huge bearing on the outcome of this game. If he plays, QB Jay Cutler gets back his safety net, who he loves dumping the ball off to, when his receivers down field aren’t open. Entering the 2012 season, Forte had 223 receptions in his first four years in the league. In that same span, Bears backup RB Michael Bush had just 91 receptions. Forte will wind up playing Monday Night and his impact in the passing game will be the difference. Bears 24 Cowboys 23