PREVIOUS WEEK’S RECAP

Week 3 of the 2015 NFL season is in the books and just a few quick notes of what I saw and learned about the teams up to this point in the season. The Colts squeaked out a narrow victory, 35-33 over the Titans, as they scored 21 points in the 4th quarter. Colts really should be 0-3, but they sit atop the AFC South at a blistering 1-2. Another thing I learned, never go against a healthy Aaron Rodgers at home. Just don’t, it’ll make you cry. And lastly, my Steelers…Big Ben out for a good portion of the season after a dirty hit by St. Louis Lambs Safety, Mark Barron, which left Ben a bone bruise and a sprained MCL. This might have broken the hopes of the Steelers season, as the fragile and not as agile (because he is old) Michael Vick steps up under center. Should be a rough and tough six weeks for the Steelers.

 

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

STRAIGHT UP: 13-3

AGAINST THE SPREAD: 11-5

 

SEASON RESULTS

STRAIGHT UP: 31-17

AGAINST THE SPREAD:28-19-1

1ST QUARTER: SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ON THURSDAY NIGHT

RAVENS (0-3) @ STEELERS (2-1)

Line: Baltimore – 2.5

This Thursday night matchup is going to be an interesting one. The Ravens are playing for their life and their season, as starting the year 0-4 does not bode well for their chances of making the playoffs. The Ravens have never started a season 0-3, and that in turn, that means they have never started a season 0-4 either. Flacco has played ever so well against his hated opposition, throwing for 746 yards and 4 touchdowns in the last two games. And when you extended his play vs. Pittsburgh, Flacco has thrown 13 touchdowns and two picks while winning six of the last nine vs Pittsburgh. Losing Big Ben and his 6’5″ frame, is something that the 6’0 Michael Vick cannot silhouette into, and they don’t expect him to be able to. What they do expect him to be though is a game manager. The plus side is that Vick, has a top 5 rushing and receiving attack at his disposal, but when push comes to shove, the Ravens NEED this win more in order to keep their season alive, and the Steelers are 1-6 vs the Ravens without #7 under center. Big Ben is an elite QB in this league, and Pittsburgh will miss him dearly.

Ravens cover and win, 24-21.

2ND QUARTER: SUNDAY MORNING & AFTERNOON

JETS (2-1) @ MIAMI (1-2)

Line: Jets – 1.0

Why the NFL continues to schedule these awful London games is beyond me, at least schedule some teams that are comparable in skill level. Though before the season started, the Dolphins were considered to be contenders in the AFC East (not by me though), and the Jets, well, I don’t think people had the Jets over 500 this season. But if you asked me, the Jets have played a lot better than expected and the Dolphins, or Dull-phins, have been just downright terrible this year. Miami shelled out a lot of money to Suh, who showed he can still knock people’s helmets off with his knees with ease, but that is pretty much it, as the defense has give up 145 yards per game rushing, which ranks 31st in the league. The Jets defensively are going to overpower the Dull-phins in this game at historic Wembley Stadium, in another terrible Long game. Cheers.

Jets cover and win, 20-17

TEXANS (1-2) @ FALCONS (3-0)

Line: Falcons – 6.5

Matt Ryan and the new look Falcons are flying high to start this year and don’t expect the Texans to slow them down. Matt Ryan at home, especially vs Ryan Mallet or Brian “Not the Destroyer” Hoyer should be a comfortable victory. Sure, J.J. will cause some problems, and thankfully, for Matt Ryan’s sake, the Texans didn’t clone him another 21 times to make a complete team. Falcons keep on winning, and the Texans keep on being the Texans.

Falcons cover and win, 28-21.

GIANTS (1-2) @ BILLS (2-1)

Line: Bills – 6.0

For some reason I am intrigued by this matchup. Could it be Salsa time in Upstate New York, as Victor Cruz makes his return? Having Cruz on one side and ODBIII on the other is going to make it tough for defenses to cover. The battle for New York starts and ends here, as these two franchises won’t be meeting up and squaring off in the Super Bowl anytime soon. Game should be close with the top two rush defenses and the bottom two pass defenses squaring off. That being said, I’ll take Little Eli over Tyrod any day of the week. Last time I said that it bit me in the butt, but Eli is no Tannehill. Eli > Tannehill < Tyrod. A little math for your Thursday morning.

Giants upset and win, 34-27.

RAIDERS (2-1) @ BEARS (0-3)

Latavius Murray - Akron Beacon Journal/Zumapress/Icon Sportswire
Latavius Murray – Akron Beacon Journal/Zumapress/Icon Sportswire

Line: Raiders -2.5

…Raiders vs the Bears, who are having a fire sale three weeks into the season. Raiders are going pillage Jimmy Clausen and the Bears, who continue to be the worst team in the league. This one won’t be close, the Bears are just awful, and the Raiders are improving week after week. Raiders will be on the opposite end of a blow out for once.

Raiders cover and win, 34-20.

 

CHIEFS (1-2) @ BENGALS (3-0)

Line: Bengals – 4.0

The Chiefs got the Monday night game close vs Green Bay, but couldn’t get over the hump. The hump being giving up five touchdown passes to the 2015 MVP Aaron Rodgers. The Bengals have put together another good looking regular season team, as they usually do, and one wonders how and why this can’t transfer into the playoffs year in and year out. Thankfully for them it is only week 4, so they have another 13 weeks to worry about that.

Bengals cover and win, 28-23.

JAGUARS (1-2) @ COLTS (1-2)

Andrew Luck - Greg McWilliams/Icon Sportswire
Andrew Luck – Greg McWilliams/Icon Sportswire

Line: Colts – 9.0

The Battle for first place comes to Lucas Oil Stadium, as the   1-2 Jags, who just got obliterated in Foxboro last week, come to Indianapolis. Will the team that wants to have a winning record this year please stand up, because apparently no one wants to win in this division. Nine points for the Colts to win is a lot especially for a team with a bottom third defense and a banged and bandaged up Andrew Luck. This is the worst division in the NFL this season, and one can only hope for a sub 500 team winning the division and making the playoffs. The Colts 1 game winning streak will improve to a numbing two, and put the Colts atop the AFC South…just barely.

Colts don’t cover, and win, 34-28.

PANTHERS (3-0) @ BUCS (1-2)

Line: Panthers – 3.0

The Panthers just took part of the Bears garage sale, getting Jared Allen to help them out on the battered defensive line, and doing so for one hell of a bargain. The Bucs, ranking in the bottom quarter of basically every category possible, comes home to host the division leading Panthers. Expect these numbers in every category to get worse, and the growing pains of Jameis Winston’s rookie season to continue.

Panthers cover and win, 20-14.

EAGLES (1-2) @ REDSKINS (1-2)

Line: Eagles – 3.0

Division rivals meet up here, as the Eagles finally got a slash in the win column, and I would expect Kelly’s crew to get another one against Sniders’ Skins. Kirk Cousins has proved why he should just be a second string quarterback, as he diminished his career record as a starter to 3-9. Another multi-interception game for Cousins last week, that give him eight multi picks game in his career, and in those games, he is 0-8! Kirk has a thrown pick in all but five games he has played, and when a pick isn’t thrown, he is 3-2. I’ll take the Eagles D picking off at least 1 on Sunday.

Eagles cover and win, 28-24.

BROWNS (1-2) @ CHARGERS (1-2)

Philip Rivers - Mark Lyons/Icon Sportswire
Philip Rivers – Mark Lyons/Icon Sportswire

Line: Chargers – 7.5

The Chargers host Josh McClown (as I have deemed him) and the Browns as Johnny Football has been designated to Johnny Clipboard once again. The Browns for what seems like forever, cannot get out of their own way and put together a decent team to take the field. They could have drafted Teddy Bridgewater, who is no super star, but is eons above the skill and talent of Johnny Clipboard. Johnny rides the pine, as the Browns get struck by lightning.

Chargers cover and win, 30-17.

RAMS (1-2) @ CARDINALS (3-0)

Line: Cardinals – 6.5

The Cardinals are looking strong to start the season 4-0 in back to back years, and barring any freak and nasty injury to Carson Palmer should make it at least to the second round of the playoffs, if not make it to the NFC Championship Game. Can they hold off the Seahawks, time will tell, but they will hold off the Lambs, as the Lambs season is quickly spiraling down the proverbial toilet that is Los Angeles. Lambs have offensive rankings of 32nd, 29th, 29th, 29th, and 29th in total yards, passing yards, rushing yards, points, and 3rd down conversion percentage, respectively. That will not win games no matter how good your defense is playing, and the Lambs defense is just average this year. It is about to get a lot worse this week because you can’t score if you don’t have weapons, and if Kenny Britt is your #1 receiver, you have problems.

Cardinals cover and win, 30-10.

VIKINGS (2-1) @ BRONCOS (3-0)

Line: Denver – 6.5

The Viking own the 3rd best rushing attack, with AP leading the way, and the 32nd (that’s last folks) passing offense, but they are going to have their work cut out this week with a vaunted Denver defense. Denver has an amazing defense this year, and that is what has got them to 3-0, not the noodle arm of Peyton Manning. The Vikings are going up against the 6th best rush defense, the top defense in yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and 3rd down conversion percentage, 6th against the rush, and 3rd in points allowed. Peyton’s years of 4000+ yards and 40+ touchdown seasons are memories of yesteryear, but what you get in him now is probably the best game managing quarterback, who has the ability to win a game for you, ever! This should be a snoozer of a game, as the Vikings don’t stand a change a mile up in the sky, and can’t wait for the flight home.

Broncos cover and win, 31-10.

PACKERS (3-0) @ 49ERS (1-2)

Line: Packers – 8.5

Randall Cobb - Mark Hoffman/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire
Randall Cobb – Mark Hoffman/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

The Packers are rocking and rolling, Aaron Rodgers and blistering hot, completing 74% of his passes to go along with a 10 touchdown to 0, yes, ZERO interceptions on the season. Rodgers coming off a tremendous game vs the Chiefs last week, throwing for 333 yards and 5 touchdown passes, and keep in mind, they are doing all this without Jordy Nelson! Colin Kaepernick had two touchdown passes of his own last week, unfortunately they don’t count, as they were interceptions returned for touchdowns by the Cardinals. He was pitiful last week, as he amassed a whopping total of 67 passing yards and four picks. The boy from Wisconsin doesn’t stand a chance against the boy from Northern CA. As the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers show why yet again why they are favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. Taking a huge spread by the road team usually doesn’t go too well, but Rodgers is on fire, and I’m riding this horse till the end.

Packers cover and win, 34-17.

3RD QUARTER: SUNDAY NIGHT

COWBOYS (2-1) @ SAINTS (0-3)

Line: Off – 0

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Brandon Weeden on Sunday night vs maybe Drew Brees but most likely Luke McCown. Not even America’s team could screw this up, could they? But how bad is this game going to be that there isn’t even a line on it from Vegas. Too bad NBC can’t flex this game for another one, or just replay some old movie.

Cowboys win 2-0. Okay, that would be a dream score. Let’s say Cowboys win 19-9. Lots of field goals in this one.

4TH QUARTER: MONDAY NIGHT

LIONS (0-3) @ SEAHAWKS (1-2)

Line: Seahawks – 9.5

The winless Lions head into the loudest and hardest stadium to play at, as the Seahawks, a team that is about to get things rolling again, and start using the big man Jimmy Graham. This one won’t even be close and the Lions look just terrible on every aspect of the game of football, except for running out of the tunnel, which I’m sure if you give them enough time, they’d screw that up. Has the Lions demise been all because of departure of Suh? If this was baseball, they’d have a curse thrust upon them, The Curse of the Suh! Or is the Lions just returning to form and becoming SOL, the Same Ole’ Lions, and playing for a better draft pick? Lions won’t go defeated this year though however, as they are forced to play the Bears twice, and will force fans to watch those travesties.

Seahawks cover and win, 34-14.

OVERTIME: THE WRAP UP

Well my week 4 picks are in, and I am very confident in a lot of them as we are finally starting to get a feel for what the identities of these teams really are. We are starting to see which teams are bottom feeders (Bears, Lions, Saints, Bucs, most of the AFC South) and which teams are contenders, Packers, Cardinals, Broncos, just to name a few. Also we have a better feel for which teams could be in trouble due to injuries, ala the Cowboys and Steelers. Should be another fun week with some great games, let’s see how we do with the picks this week.

Straight Up: Ravens, Jets, Falcons, Giants, Raiders, Bengals, Colts, Panthers, Eagles, Chargers, Cardinals, Broncos, Packers, Cowboys, Seahawks

Against the Spread: Ravens, Jets, Falcons, Giants, Raiders, Bengals, Jaguars, Panthers, Chargers, Cardinals, Broncos, 49ers, Cowboys, Seahawks.

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