There's quite a few intriguing Week 4 matchups in the National Football League. Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore, and New England vs. Miami headline the AFC encounters. In the NFC, Philly vs. Washington, NYG vs. Chicago, and SF vs. Atlanta all promise to be good.
Home team in CAPS
STEELERS (-1.5) over Ravens
TITANS (-6.5) over Broncos
Bengals (-3) over BROWNS
Lions (+14.5) over PACKERS
SAINTS (-13.5) over Panthers
49ers (+7) over FALCONS
RAMS (+1) over Seahawks
Jets (-5.5) over BILLS
Colts (-7) over JAGUARS
RAIDERS (+3) over Texans
CHARGERS (-8) over Cardinals
Redskins (+5.5) over EAGLES
GIANTS (-4) over Bears
Patriots (-1) over DOLPHINS
And like last week, four games I think I feel confident in. (Though let it be known that four 'locks' is an absurd notion in and of itself.) My picks in bold.
Indianapolis Colts (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Who cares if a touchdown is a lot to lay on the road....there isn't much of a home-field advantage in Jacksonville these days anyway. The Jaguars do have a history of playing the Colts tough, and this could be the week that Maurice Jones Drew gets going for fantasy owners across the country. But at the end of the day, it's hard to see Payton Manning and the Colts not get past a Jags team that's looked downright miserable the past two weeks.
Denver Broncos (+6.5) at Tennessee Titans
- What to think of Denver at this point? On the one hand, they've looked outstanding moving the football. From the 20 to the 20 that is. Once they get in scoring position, things have shut down in a hurry for Kyle Orton, the league's leading passer through three weeks. After deploying a very conservative offensive gameplan last week - likely to try to get Vince Young's confidence back up a notch after the fiasco against the Steelers - I'm expecting the Titans to open things up some offensively and find the end zone on a few long plays to get the win and the cover.
Carolina Panthers (+13.5) at New Orleans Saints
- Maybe if the Panthers were starting Matt Moore. Hell, 13.5 points is a huge line in the NFL, and it's not as if New Orleans has been gangbusters to start the year. Shouldn't really matter though with Jimmy Clausen starting again this week for the Panthers. He's just flat out not ready to play. Something also tells me Drew Brees has a big game and gets the Saints' offense kick-started a bit.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) @ Cleveland Browns
- If only the Bengals had a quarterback.... Who would have thought that Carson Palmer's play would progressively deteriorate to the point where he's now one of the team's most glaring liabilities at this point. The Bengals are pretty darn solid in many of the game's most important facets - controlling the clock with the run, defending the pass, stopping the run. Yet for most all of last season, and through the first part of this season, there passing game hasn't been able to muster much at all. That's got to be frustrating to Bengals fans, as Palmer has plenty of weapons to throw to. No, I'm not just talking about Ocho Cinco and T.O. Palmer also has a legit tight end in rookie Jermain Grisham, and what might turn out to be one of the absolutely steals in this year's draft in slot-receiver Jordan Shipley. Maybe the Bengals should play the other Palmer brother and see what happens. Oh yeah, the Browns game. Well, the Browns are desperate, that's for sure. Still, I don't think they can win with Seneca Wallace, or with a gimpy Jake Delhomme.
Who do you like this week?
Last week: 7-9
Last week's 'locks': 2-2
Season: 7-9 (started last week)
Season 'locks': 2-2