Week 4 Recap:
Last Week: 8 - 7.
Season: 38 - 25.
Some road teams let me down, some home teams let me down, but basically I let me down. The lesson from week 4 is that the NFL is hard to predict on a week to week basis, which is why it's so unusual to have any unbeaten and winless teams come the end of the season. Because no matter how bad a team's record is, they still have good football players that have been used to succeeding on their way to the NFL.
San Francisco (1-2) 27 @ St. Louis (1-2) 17: The Niners went into St. Louis and won a game they should have won and desperately needed to win. We're also finding out that the Rams aren't making the progress most had thought they were. Correct. 35 - 11.
Seattle (3-0) 28 @ Houston (2-1) 24: The Texans let this one get away from them. Of course they'd stolen a couple earlier in the season. They've played like a 2 - 2 team and that's what they are. Correct. 23 - 20 OT
Chicago (3-0) 30 @ Detroit (2-1) 24: Jay Cutler seemed to take a step back and the Bears' defense was lit up for the first time this season. No. 32 - 40.
Cincinnati (2-1) 27 @ Cleveland (1-2) 17: Just eleven days after trading Trent Richardson and looking as if they may be tanking the season, the Browns captured their second consecutive win. Who would have figured that was possible? 6 - 17. No.
Indianapolis (2-1) 27 @ Jacksonville (0-3) 14: The Jaguars are bordering on being uncompetitive and it appears they may also be the leading candidate to be the franchise that relocates to Los Angeles to put a team in the second largest television market in the country. Correct. 37 - 3.
NY Giants (0-3) 21 @ Kansas City (3-0) 27: Talk about uncompetitive. The Giants are just playing awful football with really no relief in sight. Of course, Andy Reid has taken a squad that was full of individual talent and created a very strong team. Correct. 7 - 31.
Arizona (1-2) 17 @ Tampa Bay (0-3) 20: It doesn't appear that the QB change in Tampa changed much for the Bucs' offense, although they still should have been able to hold on for victory, giving up 13 points in the fourth quarter to stay winless. No. 13 - 10.
Baltimore (2-1) 24 @ Buffalo (1-2) 20: Ravens' QB Joe Flacco throws five interceptions and they were still in position to be able to win this game on the road. No. 20 - 23.
Pittsburgh (0-3) 23 @ Minnesota (0-3) 28: The Steelers 0 - 4? The Giants 0 - 4? What's going on here? A lot of it has to do with offensive lines. Correct. 27 - 34.
NY Jets (2-1) 23@ Tennessee (2-1) 20: The Jets aren't for real yet, as their rookie quarterback finally played like one. The Titans look like the ones that are for real. No. 13 - 38.
Washington (0-3) 27 @ Oakland (1-2) 24: The 'Skins finally broke through but they face a tough schedule following their bye week. Correct. 24 - 14.
Philadelphia (1-2) 27 @ Denver (3-0) 38: Okay, I said the Broncos might put up 60. They got close. All of a sudden the NFC East isn't looking all that tough. Correct. 20 - 52.
Dallas (2-1) 30@ San Diego (1-2) 21: Once again, the Cowboys look like a 12 - 4 team one week and a 6 - 10 team the next. Meanwhile, Chargers' QB Philip Rivers is having a terrific turnaround season. I picked the score, just not the right winner. No. 21 - 30.
New England (3-0) 27 @ Atlanta (1-2) 28: I don't know quite how they're doing it, but the Pats just keep on winning. Meanwhile, the Falcons are in a big hole in the NFC South. No. 23 - 30.
Miami (3-0) 20 @ New Orleans (3-0) 27: The Saints have always been tough at home, but this revived defense under Rob Ryan to go with the high scoring Drew Brees-led offense makes them almost unbeatable. Miami should recover. Correct. 17 - 38.
WEEK 5 PREDICTIONS:
There are a number of compelling games this weekend, beginning tonight. Five undefeated teams are in action, all on the road, making the picks especially difficult. I'm coming off a couple of mediocre weeks, so the pressure's on.
Buffalo (2-2) 17 @ Clevelend (2-2) 20: I like Cleveland to keep it going at home. Their defense is playing very well and QB Brian Hoyer is playing well enough to keep the Browns moving the football. The Bills got five interceptions from Joe Flacco last week and still only won by a field goal.
New Orleans (4-0) 27 @ Chicago (3-1) 31: The Bears are coming off an ugly game at Detroit, while the Saints looked like world beaters Monday night. A short week and going on the road is not such a great combination in the NFL. I'm sure the momentum is with the Saints, but I'm going to pick the Bears in an upset.
New England (4-0) 27 @ Cincinnati (2-2) 21: The Patriots have been finding ways to win. I'm going to stick with them against a talented but inconsistent Bengal squad.
Detroit (3-1) 27 @ Green Bay (1-2) 30: The Packers face a must win situation in a divisional matchup at home. Detroit looked very good with Reggie Bush back in the lineup, but Aaron Rodgers usually finds a way to win at home as Green Bay had two weeks to get ready for this one.
Kansas City (4-0) 24 @ Tennessee (3-1) 20: The Titans have been steady, but Alex Smith doesn't gift wrap many games the way Geno Smith of the Jets did last week. The Chiefs are very tough defensively and Tennessee QB Jake Locker is out of the lineup.
Seattle (4-0) 24 @ Indianapolis (3-1) 28: There were more than a few people who picked this as a Super Bowl matchup. The Seahawks have looked beatable on the road with close, maybe even lucky wins, against the Panthers and the Texans. The Colts fans should give Seattle a taste of their own medicine in a loud, dome atmosphere.
Jacksonville (0-4) 17 @ St. Louis (1-3) 24: This is a good chance for the Rams to put some window dressing on a poor record, but this is the NFL and even bad teams can play a good game now and then. But I'll stay with St. Louis to rebound from last week's poor performance.
Baltimore (2-2) 17 @ Miami (3-1) 27: Both these teams are coming off road losses, but Miami gets to go back home on a short week. I think the Dolphins are for real and the Ravens are still trying to find their way.
Philadelphia (1-3) 30 @ NY Giants (0-4) 20: Oh brother, talking about two train wrecks meeting each other. Someone is going to have to win, so I'll give the nod to the Eagles, who at least are scoring points.
Carolina (1-2) 20 @ Arizona (2-2) 27: Arizona went into Tampa Bay last week and escaped with a victory while the Panthers are coming off a bye week. I think the Cardinals will show steady improvement this season while the Panthers will continue to struggle.
Denver (4-0) 35 @ Dallas (2-2) 27: There's medication available to treat schizophrenia, but apparently Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hasn't come across the right prescription. The Cowboys certainly have the kind of team to take down the undefeated Broncos, especially if they can get DeMarco Murray untracked in the rushing game. But until Peyton Manning shows signs of slowing down, I have to stay with Denver.
Houston (2-2) 20 @ San Francisco (2-2) 27: Houston, after a crushing loss to Seattle, has to go on the road where the 'Niners had an extra three days to prepare. After a rough start, San Francisco needs to hold serve at home to try to keep from falling too far behind the top teams in the NFC, including Seattle in their own division. Look for the 'Niners to prevail.
San Diego (2-2) 27 @ Oakland (1-3) 24: The Raiders are a decent team and the Chargers are improving under new coach Mike McCoy and a resurgent Philip Rivers. I'll go with the road team in an AFC West rivalry game.
NY Jets (2-2) 17 @ Atlanta (1-3) 27: The Falcons are in a deep hole in the NFC West, not to mention the conference as a whole. The Jets are coming off their worst game of the season where the Titans were able to totally expose the weaknesses of rookie quarterback Geno Smith. I look for Atlanta to play with a fair amount of desperation in front of the home crowd.