Thanks to the fiasco that was week 3, including a loss I HAVE to count – thanks to the scabs on the Packers/Seahawks Monday Night game that forced Roger Badell to make nice with the NFLRA – I entered this week with a 28-20 record picking winners so far. Happily, I turned things back around. Let’s have a look:
Carolina at Atlanta – Prediction: Falcons by 17
The Panthers outplayed and out-everything’ed the Falcons. Cam’s butterfingers cost the Panthers the game, but then again without his play they otherwise wouldn’t have been in position to win in the first place.
Result: Falcons by 2
New England at Buffalo – Prediction: Patriots by 6
New England went to Buffalo where they’ve been known to struggle at times but always win. The only thing they struggled to do was climb over that 50-point mark in scoring. So much for the “new and improved” Bills’ defense.
Result: Patriots by 24
Minnesota at Detroit – Prediction: Vikings by 4
Maybe this one will hush the haters (for a week anyhow) for my placing Detroit too low in my power rankings and Minnesota too high. The Lions needed help defensively in the draft, yet they didn’t do it early. Defense is still necessary to win in the NFL, hello.
Result: Vikings by 7
Tennessee at Houston – Prediction: Texans by 21
No surprise here as you can see in the pre-vs-post point spreads. Jake Locker re-injured his shoulder and had to come out, or they might have only lost by 21 instead.
Result: Texans by 24
San Diego at Kansas City – Prediction: Chiefs by 11
History didn’t help the Chiefs in this one. Everything had pointed to them doing the thrashing beforehand – not the other way around. The Chargers are looking pretty good, and the Chiefs pretty bad.
Result: Chargers by 17
San Francisco at New York Jets – Prediction: 49′ers by 12
There must be some mistake, I think the Jets were on their “bye” week.
Result: 49′ers by 34
Seattle at St. Louis – Prediction: Rams by 6
I’ve been saying the Rams are better than people give them credit for – just like the Vikings. Any way you want to slice it, I did have this particular contest nailed.
Result: Rams by 6
Miami at Arizona – Prediction: Dolphins by 3
I knew I stuck my neck out with this call, but it took a 4th down TD pass by Kevin Kolb with 22 seconds left to force overtime – the second consecutive overtime game for the Dolphins. The Cards won, but I trust my point was made even if I have to score this one as a loss. 431 yards from rookie Ryan Tannehill and 253 yards receiving for Brian Hartline didn’t quite do it. Ouch.
Result: Cardinals by 3
Oakland at Denver – Prediction: Broncos by 20
No shock here. Denver blew away the AFC’s worst team but I just didn’t have the guts to put a larger margin of victory on it a few days ago. Oh well, I’ll have to make a 30+ margin game if I really feel strongly enough about one in the future. And look even that much sillier when it turns out to be a loser straight-up when I do.
Result: Broncos by 31
Cincinnati at Jacksonville – Prediction: Bengals by 11
Another decent call…and another obvious one. The Bengals don’t beat the good teams, but they don’t lose to the bad ones, either. Jacksonville has been a doormat for years and it’ll be years before they aren’t one any longer.
Result: Bengals by 17
New Orleans at Green Bay – Prediction: Packers by 13
The “real” refs weren’t any more favorable to the Packers than the scabs were Monday Night. Remember the axiom that “possession is 9/10ths of the law?” Last week, the Pack should’ve had the ball and the scabs took it away; this week the professional officials did it when Sproles fumbled a 4th-quarter kickoff return when the officials AND replay ruled him “down by contact.” He was no more “down by contact” when he coughed it up than Cam Newton was when he fumbled the game away in Atlanta. At least this time it didn’t cost ‘em the game.
Result: Packers by 1
Washington at Tampa Bay – Prediction: Bucs by 4
I can’t say I’m surprised here. Lots of moving parts with a horrible ‘Skins defense, the Bucs offense is dead last, so I figured I’d just go with the home team. With all the upgrades on offense, it’s difficult to fathom – especially with an apparently skilled and progressing QB in Josh Freeman. Kudos to RG3 for doing what he had to do after the D blew the big lead he had helped engineer.
Result: Redskins by 2
New York Giants at Philadelphia – Prediction: Giants by 12
The Giants were a Ramses Barden mugging of Ndamni Asomugha away from a last-second FG and a 1 point win…even if Andy Reid’s fashionably-late timeout call (it was too late, but the officials blew that one too) gave Giants’ kicker Lawrence Tynes a second chance after a miss. He missed again, the Eagles won despite Andy Reid’s best try, and Miami coach Joe Philbin is still talking to himself over last week.
Result: Eagles by 2
Chicago at Dallas – Prediction: Cowboys by 17
It was Romo who had 5 interceptions…even if one of those was a fumble and another hit Kevin Ogletree in the chest on a perfectly-thrown pass. It just wasn’t their night, and they couldn’t get the running game going once again. That’s a sure sign of an offensive line that has a lot of issues.
Result: Bears by 16
10-5 for the week, taking me to 38-25 overall.
Houston over Tennessee
San Francisco over New York Jets
Tampa Bay over Washington – a “steal” game
Denver over Oakland
Kansas City over San Diego – another bit of a “steal” game
Notice I missed on both my “steal” games…I hope this illustrates the folly of trying for a “steal” game early in the season, especially. The best strategy for the Eliminator is to take the obvious lopsided matchups early on, and let time work for you. For instance, who would have thought the Cardinals might be a good pick to win ANYTHING before the season began? Or that the Saints would have an 0-4 start?
The non-steal games I all got correct. Hey, at least I warned you about the two picks that were “steal” picks. I guess crime doesn’t pay.