Week 4 proved to be one of the wackiest weeks thus far in the NFL and this guru was feeling the pain when upset after upset resulted in a 7-7 record in Week 4. The Browns (10% picked), Broncos (15% picked), Jaguars (3% picked) and Redskins (16% picked) won their games, broke thousands of hearts in Long Island Press’ Football Picks contest while pushing the minority upset picks closer to the grand prize of a trip for two to Hawaii. (For more details, visit LIPressPicks.com) .
Luckily, your worst four weeks of picking games at LIPressPicks.com get thrown out the window so not all is lost. What we’ll try to gain from our Week 4 blunders is this: we were terrible last week but ironically enough, they’ll continue to play football every Sunday until January so we have a few more weeks to make this right.
Week 5 should offer some more insight into distinguishing the contenders from the pretenders while allowing teams with talent that have stumbled out of the gate to get back on track. Hopefully as the NFL teams work their kinks out in practice, we here at the Press will work towards presenting you with picks that will transcend the mediocrity from Week 4’s .500 performance.
Percentages taken from fan voting on LI Press Picks Football Pool. Picks indicated in bold.
Survivor Pick of the Week
Jaguars (84% picked) (2-2) @ Buffalo (16% picked) (0-4)
Nothing was safe from the grips of the upset last week. Last week, Green Bay was anointed the safe Survivor Pick of the Week and all indications heading into the game against Detroit pointed toward smooth sailing. Yeah, Week 4 reared its ugly head even this game with Green Bay squeaking out a 28-26 win at home against the Lions. This week, I’m returning to pick on the Bills after my fancy upset selection against the Jets fell flat on its face. Irony of the week: The Bills have allowed on average, 174 yards per game on the ground while the Jaguars ran the ball for exactly 174 yards last week in their upset of Indy. Maurice Jones-Drew fantasy owners are in for a big day. Take the Jags and scratch them off your survivor pick list if you’re still in it and if you’ve been following our picks, you should be in good shape.
Tampa Bay (14% picked) (2-1) @ Cincinnati (86% picked) (2-2)
The Bengals disappointed last week with a shocking loss to the then winless Cleveland Browns despite a strong showing from QB Carson Palmer (25/36 371 yards, 2 TDs) and WR Terrell Owens (10 receptions, 222 yards, 1TD). Tampa comes off a bye week and is facing a Bengals team that could be closer to finally realizing their full potential through the air with Chad Ochocinco and T.O. on each end of the field. You fail me once Bengals, shame on me. Fail me twice? Shame on you.
Sleeper Pick of the Week
Atlanta (92% picked) (3-1) @ Cleveland (8% picked) (1-3)
The Browns burnt me last week so naturally on jumping on board for back to back upsets. If that isn’t reason enough to select these Browns to win, the boys from Cleveland are undefeated against the Falcons in the two meetings they’ve had in history. Not sold yet? I wouldn’t be either. The Falcons game doesn’t travel well, suffering from a 3-5 road record last year while their lone loss on the year coming on the road against the Steelers in OT Week 1. Browns HB Peyton Hillis is channeling his inner Jim Brown, ripping off back to back 100 yard games against the Ravens and Bengals.
St. Louis (49% picked) (2-2) @ Detroit (51% picked) (0-4)
The Lions inspiring near victory against the Packers has swayed nearly half of you to determine Detroit’s first victory will come this weekend against the Rams. Beware, this is a vastly improved St. Louis team from the 2009 edition which only brought home one victory last season. With rookie QB Sam Bradford slinging the ball all over the field and premier back Stephen Jackson carrying the load despite a sore hamstring, the Rams will push their record over .500 just as your LI Press Picks guru will do with the help of St. Louis this week.
Kansas City (18% picked) (3-0) @ Indianapolis (82% picked) (2-2)
Judging by the 82% of you that think the Colts will hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season, Kansas City hasn’t completely sold you on the idea of be a contender. While the Chiefs are an improved club, picking against Peyton Manning at home coming off a disappointing loss is hard to look away from. If the Chiefs play well enough to beat the defending AFC Champion Colts, a serious reevaluation of the Chiefs will be in order. Until then, I’m still not a believer.
Green Bay (73% picked) (3-1) @ Washington (27% picked) (2-2)
While glancing over the games this week, this game of all has disappointed me the most thus far. While escaping with a two point victory at home against the Lions was bad for the Packers, it surprises me that the faith has been shaken to the tune of 27% of you out there picking the Skins to pull out the W this weekend. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have yet to turn in a performance that is warranting the attention of a Super Bowl contender but look for that to change this weekend in Washington through the air. Rodgers will shred a Skins defense that has allowed 300 yards plus through the first four weeks following a week where he threw for 3 TDs and 2 INTs against the Lions. Keep the faith!
Chicago (70% picked) (3-1) @ Carolina (30% picked) (0-4)
The Bears were mauled last week against the G-Men and Jay Cutler will be the first to tell you that one. The Bears QB is expected to play against the winless Panthers after suffering a concussion from a savage Giants defense. The Panthers are to be without wideout Steve Smith and with Jimmy Clausen under center, dark days appear on the horizon for a rebuilding Carolina team.
Denver (11% picked) (2-2) @ Baltimore (89% picked) (3-1)
Time for our weekly math session: The Broncos rushed for only 19 yards last week while QB Kyle Orton benefited by throwing for 341 yards against the Titans last week. The Ravens feature the best pass defense in the league, allowing just 119 yards per game while allowing QBs to complete just 55% of their passes. Something has to give and I’d put my money on the Ravens defense any day of the week.
NY Giants (24% picked) (2-2) @ Houston (76% picked) (3-1)
Math class part two: The Texans feature the best aerial attack with over 400 yards a game coming through the air while the Giants enter Sunday’s contest with the 2nd best pass defense with only a 139 passing yards allowed per game thus far. If the Giants can bottle up fantasy darling and Texans RB Arian Foster, the Giants could exploit a Texans defense that allows more than 408 yards passing a game.
New Orleans (95% picked) (3-1) @ Arizona (5% picked) (2-2)
Saints QB Drew Brees is completing 73.8% of his passes in one of the most dynamic passing attacks since the Rams greatest show on turf led by Kurt Warner at the turn of century. Drew Brees owners should be in for a treat this week as the dynamite passing offense is matched up against a Arizona D that’s allowing a shade under 400 yards a game through the air.
Tennessee (30% picked) (2-2) @ Dallas (70% picked) (1-2)
Chris Johnson, one of the best backs in all the land, is facing a Dallas D that’s surrendering only 84 yards a game on the ground. If the Denver defense had success stuffing Johnson for only 53 yards on 19 touches, Dallas should be able to do the same on their home turf.
Minnesota (28% picked) (1-2) @ NY Jets (72% picked) (3-1)
Even with Randy Moss joining the Vikes via a blockbuster trade that sent the beleaguered veteran from New England back to where he began his career and with Revis more than likely out with the hamstring, we won’t deviate from what we learned in Week 4: Thou shall not pick against the Jets and their defense. Sanchez has been spectacular and is blessed with a new number one receiver as Santonio Holmes returning from suspension.
Philadelphia (51% picked) (2-2) @ San Francisco (49% picked) (0-4)
A virtual coin toss but I’ll simplify this game for you: If Vick plays, the Eagles win. If Kolb plays, the Eagles lose. Simple as that.