"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

NFL WEEK 4 PICKS

Last Week: 11- 5
Overall: 26 - 22

Thursday Night:

Baltimore (0 - 3) 17 @ Pittsburgh (1 - 2) 20: (From a previous post): The Ravens are playing fro their season, a loss putting them at least three games behind the Steelers and the Bengals. They will be playing desperate football against a rusty QB Michael Vick who is making his first start for injured Ben Roethlisberger. Usually the short week is big disadvantage for the visitors, but in this case, it has definitely limited Vick's ability to get comfortable with starting unit. If they can come up with an effective game plan,  I think he can be effective, especially with Bell at RB, Brown at WR and Miller at TE giving the veteran a lot of weapons to target and the Ravens defense to have to shut down.

On the other hand, the Ravens have had a lot of success against the Steelers and they really do have their backs to the wall in a big way. Their three losses were tough ones, and the opening defeat in Oakland isn't looking quite as bad now that the Raiders have opened 2 - 1. But the Steelers, while all of the attention is on Big Ben's injury, have a terrific defense. They held the Patriots to a season low 28 points in the first game and have only allowed 24 points since. The Ravens aren't exactly playing the level of defense they have in the past, so Vick might be able to manage the game well enough as long as he doesn't turn the ball over.

I haven't been too good on my Thursday night picks, but I'm going a little against the grain and taking the Steelers to bury their rivals in a tight one. There's no way Baltimore can make the playoffs if they drop to 0 - 4, and I'm sure that's a point Mike Tomlin and his staff have repeatedly made this week.

Sunday:

New York Jets (2 - 1) 23 @ Dolphins (1 - 2) 16 (in London): I'm astounded that the NFL schedules a division game in Europe. These are two teams that were considered to be on the rise this season and the Dolphin fans lose a home game to the London faithful. It makes no sense to me. But let's get to the action on the filed. The Dolphins can't score and have trouble stopping people. That's not exactly a recipe for success in the NFL. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill has been ineffective and the defense is underperforming. New Jets' head coach has the Jets playing well and I think it will continue today.

Jacksonville (1 - 2) 24 @ Indianapolis (1 - 2) 27 : The Colts haven't been great with Andrew Luck and now they'll have to face the Jags without him. Neither of these teams is very good right now, but someone will need to win.If Hasselbeck can manage the game, Indy should be able to move the ball on the Jags.This is a tossup for me.

New York Giants (1 - 2) 20 @ Buffalo (2 -1) 23: Buffalo is giving up a lot of yards per game, but most of that is due to their loss to the Patriots, where they gave up over 500 yards to Tom Brady's offense. The Giants defense is giving up even more yards than the Bills, but primarily through the air. The Bills want to run the ball, but these defenses rank first and second in rushing yards allowed. I'm sure Eli Manning will look at the tape of Brady's ability to shred the Buffalo secondary. But I still like the Bills' chances today.

Carolina (3 - 0) 27 @ Tampa Bay (1 - 2) 21: I'm not sure the Bucs can gain a lot of yardages on the Panthers' defense and it will put pressure on rookie Jameis Winston to make some big plays. Probably not going to happen.

Philadelphia (1 - 2) 20 @ Washington (1 - 2) 24: The 'Skins had a frustrating night against the Giants on a short week in their last game, but I look for some improvement today. The Eagles have struggled and Washington's defense is actually pretty good, despite giving up 32 to the Giants.

Oakland (2 -1) 30 @ Chicago ( 0 - 3) 27: The Bears are without starting QB Jay Cutler, but they should be able to score some points despite his absence. The Bears are vulnerable against the run, but the Raiders are in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards. I can't seem to get a Raiders game correct, so I'll stay with them here, which will guarantee a Bears' victory.

Houston (1 - 2) 16 @ Atlanta (3 - 0) 27: The Falcons are playing well and the Texans are improving. Houston gets back Arian Foster, which should improve their chances today. But I like the roll Atlanta is on.

Kansas City (1 - 2) 20 @ Cincinnati (3 - 0) 27: The Bengals can take control of the AFC North with a win against a hard luck Chiefs team. The Bengals are just a better team than Kansas City right now.

Cleveland (1 - 2) 17 @ San Diego (1 - 2) 27: The Chargers are one of the better 1 - 2 teams in the league. Statistically, they look like a 2 - 1 or 3 - 0 team. I don't think the Browns have a chance here regardless of who starts at quarterback.

Green Bay (3 - 0) 31 @ San Francisco (1 - 2) 21: After an opening win, the 'Niners have not looked very impressive. They need to run the ball today to have any chance at victory. Aaron Rodgers has to be licking his chops at the prospect of going up against the league's 28th best pass defense.

St. Louis (1 - 2) 13 @ Arizona (3 - 0) 28: The Cardinals can continue to roll as long as Carson Palmer can stay healthy. I like the defense of the Rams, but unfortunately Arizona boasts one almost as good. It could be a long day in the desert for the Cards.

Minnesota (2 - 1) 16 @ Denver (3 - 0) 20: Adrian Peterson will need to be at his best against the top rushing defense in the league. The Broncos have eked out three wins, a scary thought for the rest of the league as Peyton Manning gets more comfortable in Gary Kubiak's offense. This will be another close one.

Sunday Night:

Dallas (2 - 1) 24 @ New Orleans (0 - 3) 27: Are we witnessing the end of the Drew Brees area in the Big Easy? Probably so.  The Saints have to take a huge hit to their salary cap if the veteran QB is on their roster next season. However, do they have enough to defeat a depleted Cowboys team? Perhaps. I'll go with the home team to break into the win column.

Monday Night:

Detroit (0 - 3) 13 @ Seattle (1 - 2) 30: The Seahawks are still trying to recover from a brutal opening schedule. The Lions have no running game and are dealing with personnel losses on the defensive side of the ball. Seattle should be back in the playoff hunt by midnight Monday.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.