Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sportszilla's NFL Picks: Week 4
By Zach

So we're back for picks again this week. Neither Ben nor I had a good week last week, but at least I managed to get half my picks right, going 7-7. Ben was 6-8. We'll try to do better this week, we promise. As always, home teams are bolded.

Patriots (-6) vs. Chargers

Ben takes: Chargers. I hate big lines. I really do. I think the Pats will win, but they never seem to win big. San Diego meanwhile seems to have rediscovered a back by the name of Tomlinson. They’ll run the ball enough to keep it close, especially with a run stopper like Rodney Harrison out. Right.

Zach takes: Patriots. This is a totally gut pick. Everyone thinks the Chargers should be able to throw the ball against the Patriots, but I have a feeling their front four is going to hound Drew Brees. Where the Patriots will miss Harrison is trying to cover Antonio Gates. But this Patriot team always seems to be up to major tests, and while most of New England will be focusing on Fenway, this is another big game for the champs. Wrong.

Jaguars (-4) vs. Broncos

Ben takes: Jaguars. The most physical team in the NFL takes on the worst front four. The Broncos are probably better than I gave them credit for, but they have a short week and are on the road against a better team. Remember they lost to Miami on the road. Jacksonville will control the tempo of this one and win it going away. Wrong.

Zach takes: Jaguars. While Ben is wrong about the Bronco front four (since Trevor Price is very good), the true test is going to be what kind of havoc the Jaguar front four can wreck with the Bronco line. It's clearly not what it was, and I expect a turnover-laden game from Senor Snake. Wrong.

Bengals (-9.5) vs. Texans

Ben takes: Bengals. Like I said, I hate big lines. Two score ones are usually an automatic dog pick. But the Texans are that bad. The top turnover generating team in the first two weeks goes up against the worst offensive line the NFL. Feel for David Carr and his stat line after this one. Wrong.

Zach takes: Bengals. Let's see. The Bengals lead the NFL in takeaways. David Carr throws plenty of picks, and Dominick Davis has been known to put it on the ground a few times. Furthermore, the Texans just fired their offensive coordinator and have the worst offensive line in football history. I agree with Ben, the big spread is scary...but sometimes you gotta take the chance with much better team. Wrong.

Titans (+7) vs. Colts

Ben takes: Colts. Road TD favorites are dangerous picks. Just look what happened to the Cowboys last week. The Colts are good enough to beat a bad Tennessee team by more than a TD though. The Titans have been helped by teams beating themselves. The Colts won’t do that this week. I mean Peyton Manning can’t continue to struggle like this; can he? Right.

Zach takes Titans. I'll admit it, I'm not a Colts fan. Further, I've been impressed with the Titans so far this year. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Titans pull a big upset. It's awfully hard to lay seven points to a road team, and I'm not doing it. Wrong.

Chiefs (-1.5) vs. Eagles

Ben takes: Chiefs. Basically a pick 'em game, I’ll take home field here. The Chiefs blew a major opportunity last week, but it was in Denver. Arrowhead is still one of the toughest places to play and the Eagles haven’t looked impressive enough to warrant being picked on the road against a solid team. An injured McNabb can solider on all he likes; but with I like the Chiefs to pull this one out. Wrong.

Zach takes: Eagles. Boy, I really don't like either of these teams. The talk about how good the Chiefs' defense was has died down, and the Eagles have all kinds of injury problems. Plus, they haven't looked good. I really don't know who to pick, but I'll disagree with Ben for the sake of argument. Oh, and because Brian Westbrook is going to kill the Chiefs. Right.

Buccaneers (-6.5) vs. Lions

Ben takes: Buccaneers. Turnover prone Joey Harrington on the road against one of the league’s best defenses? Sorry Joey. Even if it were you and the Lions offense against just the Bucs D, I would still give up a TD and take Tampa. Wrong.

Zach takes: Buccaneers. How long until Joey Harrington takes his rightful place as one of the biggest busts in football history? I'm thinking no more than a few more weeks. For all the talk of the weapons the Lions have at wide receiver, only Roy Williams has proven to be any sort of a consistant threat in the NFL. Plus Kevin Jones is struggling. And they're on the road against a great Tampa defense? All this means blowout to me. Wrong.

Giants (-3) vs. Rams

Ben takes: Giants. The Giants have the makings of a mediocre NFL team. They’ll be tough at home and struggle on the road. The Rams have the makings of a mediocre NFL team. They’ll be tough at home and struggle on the road. The Giants secondary is terrible but front four are good. The Rams skill offensive players are good but their o-line is miserable. Like I said, mediocre. Go with the mediocre home team. Right.

Zach takes: Rams. Ben's wrong. The Giants aren't mediocre. Their defense stinks. Their offense is still lacking playmakers at wide receiver and Eli Manning still has plenty to learn. Plus, with both Will Peterson and possibly Corey Webster out of the lineup this week, I expect Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, and Co. to have a monster game. I'll gladly take the points, since the Rams will win. Wrong.

Saints (-1) vs. Bills

Ben takes: Bills. Okay, J.P. Losman is bad. He’s one player. I just don’t think New Orleans as a team is any good, no matter where they play. There I said it. Wrong.

Zach takes: Bills. Clearly, we'll look back on this Saints season and realize that what they're undergone is unprecedented in sports history. And while it makes the Saints a feel-good story, that this point the combination of their inconsistant play and unknowable mental state makes me awfully hesistant to pick them. While the Bills aren't very good, the Saints defense sucks, which means that Willis McGahee should be able to run wild, and take pressure of Losman. Heck, I've almost talked myself into starting Lee Evans at wide receiver this week...I'd better stop. Wrong.

Redskins (-2) vs. Seahawks

Ben takes: Seahawks. They never beat anyone good on the road. But luckily the Redskins are the worst 2-0 team in the NFL. The Skins will have trouble playing ball control against one of the NFL’s top backs in Shaun Alexander. Expect the Seahawks to buck the trend; not only winning on the road, but winning it late. Wrong.

Zach takes: Seahawks. Two years ago, the Seahawks went into Washington 6-2 with a one-game lead in the NFC West. They lost the game on a pair of ridiculous plays, a pass from Rod Gardener to Trung Candidate and a ball that Darrell Jackson bobbled right into the hands of Fred Smoot. Instead of being 7-2 and in great shape to win the division and maybe earn a bye for the first round, the Seahawks would lose heartbreaking games to the Ravens and Rams, forcing them to go on the road to Green Bay in the first round. We all know how that ended. The point being, the Seahawks have never been the same team since the loss to the Redskins. A win against them tomorrow would help make up for that game, and give them some much-needed momentum heading into yet another visit to their personal house of horrors, the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. They'll beat the Redskins because the Redskins can't move the ball, and while everyone talks about how great their defense is, yet they've faced Chicago and Dallas, neither one an offensive juggernaut. Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram should have big games, and Shaun Alexander will romp as well. Wrong.

Ravens (-7) vs. Jets

Ben takes: Jets. Ledges around New York were so crowded you had to have reservations to jump off them Tuesday morning. Of course since Jet fans are naturally pessimistic, they already had booked them back in July. Still giving up points is something that has to be earned by a team. In other words, before the Ravens can be favored by a TD, they have to score one. Figure this one to be a 10-6 type affair. Wrong.

Zach takes: Ravens. Ben's right. The Ravens shouldn't be giving a TD. Yet, I can't fathom how the Jets will even manage to cross midfield, let alone score. I think the Jets D will play well, but wilt late, since they'll be on the field for 35-40 minutes of the game. Plus, Jamal Lewis has to play decently one of these days, doesn't he (at least for the sake of my fantasy team)? Right.

Falcons (-5.5) vs. Vikings

Ben takes: Falcons. Let me just say this. The lines this week are terrible. Everyone’s a home favorite and usually by a lot. Anyway, the Vikings are one of those classic mediocre teams I was talking about before. The Falcons however, are a good team, with a good defense. They’ll give the Vikings line problems. An injured Vick was able to score points against a good Buffalo D despite being on the road. At home, they’ll be fine against a mediocre Vikings D. Right.

Zach takes: Falcons. So the Vikings beat the Saints at home. Wow. Their offensive line will struggle to stop Patrick Kearney, and their defense will be shredded by Vick and Co. Daunte Culpepper won't be doing that rolling motion with his hands this week. Wrong.

Raiders (-3.5) vs. Dallas

Ben takes: Raiders. The Raiders have been a lot better than I’ve thought. They’re a tough 0-3. Dallas has been about what I expected. The Raiders have the offensive talent to exploit Dallas’ porous secondary. The Cowboys don’t have the personnel to do the same. Right.

Zach takes: Cowboys. Wow, who knew Drew Bledsoe was still alive. Since Oakland has no pass-rush, he'll have plenty of time to throw against that porous Oakland secondary. Meanwhile, Oakland won't be able to run the ball, and until Kerry Collins starts looking for other guys down field besides Randy Moss, their offense will be too predicatable to beat a good defense. Wrong.

Cardinals (-3) vs. 49ers

Ben takes: 49ers. This match up was better last year when the Cardinals actually had an outside shot at a division title and the Niners might have become the first NFL team to go winless in a 16 game season. This technically is a home game for the Cardinals, but it’s in Mexico City. Too bad the Broncos can’t play in this one; they’d feel right at home. Take the Niners; the only team they beat last year was ‘Zona. Besides they have played decently so far this year. Wrong.

Zach takes: 49ers. Ben should be ashamed of himself. He picked the Cardinals to win the NFC West, and he's already picking them to lose at home against what he thought was the worst team in football. Boy, he jumped off that bandwagon mighty quick. The Cardinals suck. They have always sucked, and always will. Meanwhile the 49ers look fiesty enough to even their record at 2-2. Wrong.

Panthers (-7.5) vs. Packers

Ben takes: Packers. Like I said, I hate two score lines. Technically it’s one score, I know, but when a TD isn’t good enough to push you start to run into problems. The Packers aren’t good but this has all the makings of a Brett Farve 4 TD, 3 INT Monday Night. Figure the Panthers win, but don’t cover. Right

Zach takes: Packers. The Panthers are supposed to be my pick for the Super Bowl from the NFC. We'll see. Meanwhile, the Packers are bad. Really bad. But Brett Favre can still muster up some magic for Monday Night Football, can't he? again, for the sake of my fantasy team, he'd better. Correct answer: Thankfully, yes. Right.

This Week

Ben: 6-8
Zach: 3-11 (ugh)

Season Records

Ben: 12-16
Zach: 10-18


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