Here is a look at the rest of the NFL games beyond the Pats at Buffalo. Most of the nation will get the 49ers at the Jets (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston) early on Fox, followed by the Saints at Packers (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman) late. Week four wraps up with two more NFC games: Giants at Eagles (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth) on Sunday Night Football and Chicago at Dallas (Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden) Monday night. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf are the announcers for the Pats game.
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1-2 Patriots at 2-1 Buffalo Bills
DTV channel 708
Much of the Pats game is predicated on ball security and forcing turnovers, but how does that happen with a shaky offensive line and no pass rush? Pats may find a way to win with Welker, Gronk and Lloyd creating mismatches, but I would take Buffalo and the points in this one.
Bills +4, over 50
2-1 Minnesota Vikings at 1-2 Detroit Lions
DTV channel 705
The Lions are coming off a very tough overtime loss on the road and Mathew Stafford has a bad hip, which will affect his throwing. I’m hesitant to place much faith in Minnesota until they show they can play well consistently, but on the other hand the Lions defense continues to underwhelm (31.3 points per game) despite all the early draft picks on that side of the ball; Adrian Peterson could be in for a very big day.
Vikings +4½, over 48½
1-2 Carolina Panthers at 3-0 Atlanta Falcons
DTV channel 704
Carolina is allowing 139 rushing yards per game. Once Atlanta gets its running game going that will set up play action passes to Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez.
Falcons -7, under 48½
2-1 San Francisco 49ers at 2-1 New Jersey Jets
DTV channel 706
The 49ers have already shown that they are very capable of traveling east across three time zones and winning – though I don’t like the fact that they are on a long road trip for the second straight week. Harbaugh’s crew will have a very large chip on their shoulder after being upset last week. The Jets defense is not what they were a couple years ago; they rank 28th in the NFL against the run and can’t get off the field on 3rd down; that plays right into San Francisco’s style of play.
49ers -4 (3 units), under 41½
2-1 San Diego Chargers at 1-2 Kansas City Chiefs
DTV channel 710
The Chiefs lost center Rodney Hudson to a season ending knee injury, which is quite significant. Of course nobody knows about that because the only injuries the media reports are those that affect players who score points in fantasy football. San Diego lost to a very good Atlanta team last week which is no big deal; the fact that the Chiefs don’t get to face the Saints defense again is a big deal. Look for the San Diego offense to click against a KC defense that is allowing 33 points per game.
Chargers -1 (1 unit), over 44½ (1 unit)
1-2 Tennessee Titans at 3-0 Houston Texans
DTV channel 709
Jake Locker looked good last week, but there is an enormous difference between the Lions defense and the Texans defense. On the other side of the ball Tennessee is giving up 313 yards passing per game and a league worst 38 – 38! – points per game.
Texans -12 (2 units), over 44½
2-1 Seattle Seahawks at 1-2 St. Louis Rams
DTV channel 707
The Rams are still without three starters on their offensive line and Steven Jackson has become unproductive due to a groin injury. Danny Amendola alone is no match for the Seahawks defense, even without the benefit of their loud home stadium.
Seahawks -2½ (3 units), under 39 (2 units)
1-2 Miami Dolphins at 3-0 Arizona Cardinals
DTV channel 711
One of the league’s best teams is getting less than a touchdown at home against one of the league’s worst teams? Yes, I know that the Cardinals have a mediocre offense and that the Dolphins have a decent defense, but I just don’t see Miami keeping this within six points.
Cardinals -5½ (5 units), under 39
1-2 Oakland Raiders at 1-2 Denver Broncos
DTV channel 713
Oakland lost week one because of their long snapper and lost week two in an early east coast game in humid Miami. Last week Darren McFadden got untracked and they beat a good steelers team. These AFC West games are usually hard fought; I think the Broncos will win but it will be close, by about a field goal.
Raiders +7, over 48
2-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 1-2 Jacksonville Jaguars
DTV channel 712
Since being blown out in Baltimore in week one the Bengals have quietly won two straight. Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert has completed just 50.6% of his passes (40 of 79), ranking him 31st in the NFL in that category; he completed just ten passes last week against a crappy Colts defense. Cincinnati has scored 72 points in the last two games; Jacksonville has scored an AFC-low 52 points this season.
Bengals -1 (3 units), under 43½
0-3 New Orleans Saints at 1-2 Green Bay Packers
DTV channel 714
While many think the Packers will win easily due to a huge chip on their shoulder after the debacle in Seattle, I can’t help but wonder if they are appropriately focused: all week long they have been talking about last week’s game rather than this week’s game. The thing is, the Saints are a mess because of their coaching situation. They are giving up an inconceivable 215 rushing yards per game, rank next to last in the NFL allowing 34 points per game, and look to be confused on defense with players not knowing where they are supposed to be or what their assignment is.
Packers -7½ (2 units), over 53
1-2 Washington Redskins at 1-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DTV channel 715
Tampa Bay’s best defensive player, Adrian Clayborn, is on IR with a knee injury. Washington is without Brian Arakpo and Adam Carriker. Brandon Meriweather is back for the Redskins, which wouldn’t be a big deal if not for how bad his replacements have played. Greg Schiano has been overly conservative and predictable on offense in the play calls for the Bucs, while at the same time too risky with play calls on defense.
Redskins +2½ (3 units), under 47½ (2 units)
Sunday Night Football
2-1 New York Giants at 2-1 Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have committed a league worst nine turnovers and Michael Vick is taking way too many hits. That’s a bad combination with a front four like the Giants have coming to town.
Giants +2 (3 units), under 47½
Monday Night Football
2-1 Chicago Bears at 2-1 Dallas Cowboys
The Bears have the most sacks in the NFL (14), and the Dallas offensive line is inconsistent. On the other hand the Dallas defense is strong against the run and should be able to harass Jay Cutler against another mediocre offensive line.
Bears +3½, under 41½
2-Team Teaser: Ravens -6 and Texans -6 (2 units)
2-Team Teaser: Bengals +5 and Giants +8 (3 units)
3-Team Teaser: Ravens -6, Bengals +5, Giants +8 (3 units)
Last week did not go well as I was on the wrong side of all three of my top picks (Steelers -3½ at Oakland, Colts -3 vs Jacksonville, and Chiefs-Saints over 53); that was partially offset by getting Chicago -7 vs St. Louis, Bills -3 at Cleveland and Houston -1½ at Denver correct.
Straight Up: 9-7 last week, 27-21 for the season
Against The Spread: 8-8 last week / 20-28
Over/Under: 7-9 last week / 27-21
1 Unit Plays: 1-1 last week / 6-7
2 Unit Plays: 2-0 last week / 10-2
3 Unit Plays: 0-3 last week / 6-5
4 Unit Plays: 0-0 last week / 0-1
5 Unit Plays: 0-0 last week / 1-0
2-Team Teaser: 0-0 last week / 1-0
3-Team Teaser: 0-0 last week / 1-0
All Confidence Picks: 3-4 last week / 24-15
Week 3 Total: -600
Season Total: +2100
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September 30, 1947:
Mark Feld – later to be known as Marc Bolan – was born in Hackney, London, England.
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