We are one quarter of the way through the NFL season, and the San Francisco 49ers are 3-1. And Alex Smith is still their quarterback. The
biggest reason for their success is that they play in unarguably the
worst division in professional football. The NFC West is abysmal, with
three of the four teams sitting at 1-3. The 49ers already have a two
game lead, and possibly have the division already wrapped up. I don't
see any reason to believe that the three other teams will make any sort
of run at all. Yes, it is still very early and anything can happen, but
I don't see much from the other three teams in the division to make me
change my mind.
The Tennesee Titans are also surprisingly 3-1, and
it looks like new Head Coach Mike Munchak is allowing people to forget
about Jeff Fisher. Matt Hasslebeck is actually playing pretty decent,
but there is still a long way to go. I don't think the Titans can keep
this up, but it looks like they aren't going to lie down for anybody.
I went 7-9 against the numbers last week, dropping me to one
game below .500 for the year. There are some big games this weekend, so
let's get right to it.
As always, home team in CAPS.
New York Giants 10 Seattle
It looks like the Giants could now be the team to beat in the NFC East.
The Seahawks will continue to be doormats for the rest of the league. I
don't know why the spread is only 10, but I like the number.
SAN FRANCISCO 2 1/2 Tampa Bay
This was a contender for Game of the Week, and it should be a pretty
good game. I am still not sure how good San Francisco is, but I know
Tampa is pretty good. If the 49ers can win this game, perhaps they are
for real. But I don't think they will. I like the Buccaneers here.
Houston 6 Oakland
The Texans are playing well, but with Andre Johnson out other players
will need to step it up, including Matt Schaub. The Raiders really
aren't very good, especially if Darren McFadden is contained. I think
Houston will be fine here even without Johnson, but it's a good thing
Oakland is the opponent this weekend.
San Diego 4 Denver
The Chargers have actually slipped under the radar a bit, but that's
because they play in the AFC West. And Denver is in the AFC West. I
don't see any problems here for the Chargers, who likely will cruise
through their division.
New Orleans 6 1/2 CAROLINA
Cam Newton is on pace to break Dan Marino's record for most yards in a
season. I think he will get a lot of yards this week too. Expect a
shootout with the Saints, who can score like crazy. I actually think
the Panthers will keep this game pretty close. They have been playing
decent even though their record doesn't show it. I think they will
Minnesota 3 Arizona
The Vikings remain winless, and Arizona isn't much better. This was a
serious candidate for Stinker this week. The Vikings have to win
sometime. It might as well be this week.
Green Bay 5 1/2 ATLANTA
I am not sure what is going on in Atlanta, but they have not looked
that good. I can't say that for the Packers, who are one of only two
teams that are still undefeated. It is hard to trust the Falcons right
now, and Green Bay is rolling. Even in Atlanta, I like the Packers here.
JACKSONVILLE 1 1/2 Cincinnati
There might be 1,000 people watching this game, and I will not be one
of them. But it must be played, and I must pick a winner. I'll go with
Philadelphia 3 Buffalo
Oh pity the poor Eagles. The NFL's Dream Team has been more of a
nightmare. And the Bills have been living out a fantasy. I think losing
last week will bring Buffalo back to earth a bit. The Eagles are better
than they have been playing, and they better get their act together if
they want to contend for the post season. I think this is their chance.
Buffalo has been a surprise but they aren't that good. This is almost a
must win for the Eagles.
Pittsburgh 3 1/2 Tennessee
The Steelers are struggling a bit, and Ben Roethlisberger is getting
killed with his offensive line. Their injuries are killing them. I know
Tennessee is 3-1, but I don't think they offer much. The Steelers need
this win very badly. I think they get it.
DETROIT 5 1/2 Chicago
The Lions are still undefeated after their miraculous come from behind
win last week. They are in fact for real. The Bears are a real team,
but not for real. I don't see Chicago stopping the Lions this week. If
Calvin Johnson isn't the best receiver in the NFL than I am not paying
GAME OF THE WEEK
NEW ENGLAND 9 1/2 New York Jets
Not sure how or why this game has such a big spread. The Patriots have
the 32nd ranked defense in the league ( that's last by the way ) and
the Jets can likely contain Tom Brady and Wes Welker. Mark Sanchez is
struggling a bit, but I don't see how the Jets do not cover here. In
fact, I think they win outright.
STINKER OF THE WEEK
INDIANAPOLIS 1 1/2 Kansas City
The Colts are off to a horrendous start, but they are playing hard and
their defense is still pretty decent. The Chiefs have problems all over
the place. Even without Peyton Manning, the Colts are not this bad.
They have to win sometime. This might be their best chance.
Record For Week Four: 7-9 ( 11-5 without the spread )
Record Through Week Four: 30-31-3 ( 42-22 without
the spread )
Game of Week Record: 4-0
Stinker of Week Record: 1-3
Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:
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