After a miserable Week 2 showing that had your Long Island Press guru pick only 9 out of 16 games, Week 3 offered better results and optimism heading into Week 4. While we’re still on the pursuit of perfection here at the Long Island Press, 11 out of 16 games for Week 3 is definitely a step in the right direction. The key to continued success in LI Press Picks Football contest is to never get too high after a good week and never get too low after a toilet bowl week. When analyzing the best picking philosophy, I turn to Brooklyn native and rap mogul, Jay-Z.
Don’t be mad at me when it’s on to the next one.
It’s this idea of moving on to the next week that is crucial in building a consistent tree of picks, week in and week out that could net you weekly prizes through LI Press Picks Football contest. If you haven’t signed up for free already, what are you waiting for? For more details regarding registration and prizes, visit LIPressPicks.com to try and best the other 220,000 players battling it out for the Grand Prize trip to Hawaii.
Looking to build off of the success established in Week 3, here are my picks for which teams can bring home the glory in Week 4. With only 14 games on tap this weekend in the NFL, this week’s margins should be better.
Percentages taken from fan voting on LI Press Picks Football Pool. Picks indicated in bold.
Sleeper Pick of the Week
NY Jets (95% picked) (2-1) @ Buffalo Bills (5% picked) (0-3)
Isn’t it ironic that only one of these teams’ plays in New York while the other plays in New Jersey is still a New York team? The Bills have been picked on as the prey for the last two weeks as the team to beat in our Survivor Picks of the week but after their strong performance against the Pats last week and the Jets coming off a tight win in Miami, this could be a trap game for the Jets. The Jets split the season series 1-1 with the Bills last year with the lone win for the Bills coming at home 16-13.
Survivor Pick of the Week
Detroit (5% picked) (0-3) @ Green Bay (95% picked) (2-1)
In the past 18 meetings between the Lions and the Packers, Green Bay has won 16 of those contests with Detroit’s last win coming five years ago. Combine those harrowing statistics with the Lions injured QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson and this game has the making of a blowout at Lambeau Field this weekend.
San Francisco (5% picked) (0-3) @ Atlanta (95% picked) (2-1)
New 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson will have an opportunity to get the San Fran offense on track against a Falcons defense that is allowing the most yards per carry (5.1) and 4th most yards per passing attempt (7.9). While the offense for the Niners might be on track this week, it’s their defense that raises the most eyebrows against the Falcons this week. Hotlanta has pounded out 160 yards a game through the first three weeks and the 49ers have looked horrible on the road this year, losing two of their road games by the combined score of 62-16. Atlanta runs away with this game and improves to 3-1.
Cincinnati (92% picked) (2-1) @ Cleveland (8% picked) (0-3)
While 92 percent of you out there agree that the Bengals will pull this game out, this should be a closely contested game as the Browns have lost some tough games while playing well, which doesn’t reflect their 0-3 record. The Browns defense has defended the run extremely well in the first few weeks of the season, holding RBs Ray Rice, Cadillac Williams and Jamaal Charles to no touchdowns and less than 4 yards per carry. Carson Palmer will have to improve his play if the Bengals are to avoid a loss on the road in Cleveland.
Denver (15% picked) (1-2) @ Tennessee (85% picked) (2-1)
Denver enters Week 4 with nearly 350 yards through the air per game while the Titans counter with one of the best pass defense in the league, allowing just 178 yards of passing per game thus far. The difference? Chris Johnson. CJ2K has allotted 100 yards in each of his first three games and look for that trend to continue despite a Denver defense that is only allowing 3.7 yards per carry.
Seattle (65% picked) (2-1) @ St. Louis (35% picked) (1-2)
With star RB Stephen Jackson questionable for Sunday with a groin injury, a large chunk of the offense now will rest on QB Sam Bradford and that might be a good thing for the Rams. Seattle’s defense could be without top CB Marcus Trufant due to an ankle injury and the secondary with him has surrendered 762 yards through the air in the past two games. Look for Bradford to light up the Seattle defense and continue his exceptional play in his first season with the Rams.
Carolina (1% picked) (0-3) @ New Orleans (99% picked) (2-1)
The people have spoken on this game. Long Islanders predict that the Saints have 99 problems but the Panthers ain’t one.
Baltimore (42% picked) (2-1) @ Pittsburg (58% picked) (3-0)
The Ravens pass defense ranks among the best in the league, surrendering only 116 yards per game through the air. While Charlie Batch’s resurgence in the Steel City in the absence of Big Ben has been a nice story, I expect the Ravens to squeak out a knock ‘em out, drag out contest between two AFC North rivals. If you like ground and pound football, be sure to check the Ravens and Steelers lock up in what could be the game of the week.
Indianapolis (98% picked) (2-1) @ Jacksonville (2% picked) (1-2)
The Jags are 29th in passing yards allowed with over 400 yards of offense coming through the air for their opponents. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, the Colts have some guy named Peyton Manning. Laser rocket arm…
Houston (92% picked) (2-1) @ Oakland (8% picked)
Oakland is allowing nearly five yards a carry this season and this could spell big things for fantasy football darling Arian Foster. With Oakland’s top cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha covering Houston’s WR Andre Johnson, I expect the Texans to try and run the ball to open up better matchups in the secondary as the game wears on.
Arizona (17% picked) (2-1) @ San Diego (83% picked) (1-2)
Arizona’s QB Derek Anderson has thrown 3 picks in his last two games while being held under 200 yards during that stretch. With the Cardinals facing a San Diego defense that has recorded 6 sacks, 5 INT’s and allowed roughly 55 percent of passes to be complete. Derek Anderson will struggle against this Chargers defense and expect Philip Rivers and company to cruise with a thrashing of the Cardinals.
Washington (14% picked) (1-2) @ Philadelphia (86% picked) (2-1)
There will be no shortage of drama in this one folks. Donovan McNabb returns to the city that exiled him to face the QB he embraced with open arms, Mike Vick who is experiencing a revival for the ages. After disrespecting Vick last week, I’ve established a new rule for Eagles game: Thou shall not underestimate the talent of Michael Vick again. Vick’s rocket arm and Desean Jackson’s blazing speed make for one of the most dynamic combinations in all of football. Vick and the Eagles spoil McNabb’s return to Philly in one of the most captivating games on the schedule this week.
New England (65% picked) (2-1) @ Miami (45% picked) (2-1)
If Miami’s running attack of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams can keep Tom Brady and the Patriots offense off the field, they have a shot of upsetting the Pats at home this weekend. Miami’s WR Brandon Marshall offers terrible matchups in the secondary for the Pats and expect double coverage to open up slot receivers down the middle of the field.
Chicago (59% picked) (3-0) @ NY Giants (41% picked) (1-2)
The Giants enter this week with the third-worst scoring defense (28.3), a far cry from what Giants fans are used to from Big Blue. The Bears come into the Meadowlands on a high note, defeating the Packers in a Monday night thriller with Jay Cutler excelling in Mike Martz’s new offense for the Bears. The Bears are currently riding a five game winning streak dating back to last season and will look to extend the streak to six against the Giants this weekend.