2010 Weekly Predictions: Week 4

September 30th, 2010 - 6:48 pm

Another average week for me in Week 3, although I did better against the spread than I had done the prior week. My faith in the Chargers, Texans, and Packers were my downfall. A missed field goal by Sebastian Janikowski cost me another one. And a complete collapse by the Redskins against the Rams was just baffling.

Hopefully I can turn things around in Week 4.

Point spreads come from Vegas.com as of Thursday afternoon.

Last Week: 9-7
Last Week against the spread: 9-7

This Week: 8-6
This Week against the spread: 9-5

Overall: 37-25
Overall against the spread: 32-27-3

New York Jets (2-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-3)
The Bills hung with the Patriots for most of last week’s game so this isn’t a sure thing, especially not with the ups and downs the Jets have had. But Mark Sanchez has looked good the past two weeks and LaDainian Tomlinson has had a little bit of a resurgence. Plus, the Jets should be able to bring the heat on defense.
Prediction: NY Jets 27, Buffalo 16
Actual Score: NY Jets 38, Buffalo 14
Spread Pick: NY Jets -5 1/2
Actual Score: NY Jets 38, Buffalo 14

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-3)
The Ohio battle, always a spectacle. I’m being facetious, of course, minus the days of the 50-something to 40-something scores. The Browns usually aren’t good enough to make this cross-state rivalry any fun to watch, and this year is no different.
Prediction: Cincinnati 20, Cleveland 16
Actual Score: Cleveland 23, Cincinnati 20
Spread Pick: Cincinnati -3
Actual Score: Cleveland 23, Cincinnati 20

Denver Broncos (1-2) at Tennessee Titans (2-1)
I never thought I’d see the day when I’d write that Kyle Orton’s Broncos are the No. 1 passing team in the league. Even reading that back to myself looks odd. Unfortunately for them, the Titans have the No. 5 pass defense. The Broncos are ranked tenth against the run, but they haven’t faced a back like Chris Johnson yet.
Prediction: Tennessee 23, Denver 17
Actual Score: Denver 26, Tennessee 20
Spread Pick: Denver +6 1/2
Actual Score: Denver 26, Tennessee 20

Carolina Panthers (0-3) at New Orleans Saints (2-1)
The Panthers are one of the worst teams in football. They’ve scored the fewest points, too. Frankly, I don’t see how they can keep up with the Saints on the road despite New Orleans not being as explosive this year. As far as the spread goes, I think the Saints can cover, but I learned my lesson last week by laying 14 on the table for the Patriots.
Prediction: New Orleans 24, Carolina 13
Actual Score: New Orleans 16, Carolina 14
Spread Pick: Carolina +13 1/2
Actual Score: New Orleans 16, Carolina 14

Detroit Lions (0-3) at Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Reeling from a loss to division rival Chicago, and upset at themselves for committing so many penalties and gift-wrapping the game for the Bears, I expect the Packers to be explosive at home against the winless Lions. Like I said in the previous game, I’m not fond of laying that many points, and the packers may not cover anyway.
Prediction: Green Bay 31, Detroit 17
Actual Score: Green Bay 28, Detroit 26
Spread Pick: Detroit +14 1/2
Actual Score: Green Bay 28, Detroit 26

Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at St. Louis Rams (1-2)
The three combined wins by these teams have caught me off guard and if I were actually gambling on these games, I’d lay off this one altogether. I’m more convinced about the Seahawks than I am the Rams, and even though they’re playing on the road, I’ll take my chances with the veteran Hasselbeck than the rookie Bradford.
Prediction: Seattle 20, St. Louis 17
Actual Score: St. Louis 20, Seattle 3
Spread Pick: Seattle -1
Actual Score: St. Louis 20, Seattle 3

San Francisco 49ers (0-3) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
I’m done picking the 49ers. They’ve disappointed me every week and I’ve completely lost faith in them. Besides, I’m the one that picked the Falcons to upset the Saints last week. The Falcons are good, 49ers bad. Easy pick this week.
Prediction: Atlanta 27, San Francisco 13
Actual Score: Atlanta 16, San Francisco 14
Spread Pick: Atlanta -7
Actual Score: Atlanta 16, San Francisco 14

Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)
This is always an entertaining game to watch between two teams with nasty defenses. If Joe Flacco can minimize his turnovers, I think the Ravens can win this game. It’s so hard to pick against a Steelers team that’s on fire and is at home, though. I think Charlie Batch caught lightning in a bottle last week. He has a 4-1 record as a starter with the Steelers and his only loss was against none other than the Ravens.
Prediction: Baltimore 17, Pittsburgh 14
Actual Score: Baltimore 17, Pittsburgh 14
Spread Pick: Baltimore +1 1/2
Actual Score: Baltimore 17, Pittsburgh 14

Houston Texans (2-1) at Oakland Raiders (1-2)
The Texans’ hot streak was derailed by the Cowboys last week and the Raiders lost because they missed a field goal at the buzzer. Despite the Raiders’ No. 2 pass defense, I think the Texans win this game on the strength of their run game. The Raiders are 24th against the run.
Prediction: Houston 26, Oakland 20
Actual Score: Houston 31, Oakland 24
Spread Pick: Houston -3
Actual Score: Houston 31, Oakland 24

Indianapolis Colts (2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
Minus their opening week loss, the Colts are off to a hot start again this year. They have the No. 3 offense in the league and the No. 2 scoring offense. Their Achilles’ heel always seems to be their run defense and they rank fifth-to-last in that department. The Jaguars, who have the tenth-leading rusher in Maurice Jones-Drew, will need to exploit that part of the Colts in order to have a chance, but I don’t think it’ll be enough.
Prediction: Indianapolis 28, Jacksonville 17
Actual Score: Jacksonville 31, Indianapolis 28
Spread Pick: Indianapolis -7
Actual Score: Jacksonville 31, Indianapolis 28

Washington Redskins (1-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)
The first return of Donovan McNabb to Philadelphia will certainly create a buzz, but the Eagles fans are probably more concerned with the play of their current quarterback, Michael Vick. Vick has been playing as he was earlier this decade and has instilled life in this Eagles team. For as poorly as the Redskins played last week against the Rams, I have that much more confidence in Philly.
Prediction: Philadelphia 24, Washington 20
Actual Score: Washington 17, Philadelphia 12
Spread Pick: Washington +6
Actual Score: Washington 17, Philadelphia 12

Arizona Cardinals (2-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)
The Chargers always seem to play poorly at the beginning of the season and have a resurgence and I think that can start this week against the Cardinals. San Diego is No. 1 in total offense and No. 4 in total defense. I think they pound the road Cardinals this week.
Prediction: San Diego 27, Arizona 17
Actual Score: San Diego 41, Arizona 10
Spread Pick: San Diego -8
Actual Score: San Diego 41, Arizona 10

Chicago Bears (3-0) at New York Giants (1-2)
The Bears are underdogs this week, again, despite their record and how poorly the Giants have been playing. That alone leads me to believe that this will not be a trap game and the Bears will not be overlooking this team. Plus, it’s a prime time game. So far, despite the offensive line’s shortcomings, Mike Martz has not met a defense he couldn’t adjust to and defeat. The Giants turn the ball over a lot and that might provide the edge the Bears need.
Prediction: Chicago 24, NY Giants 17
Actual Score: NY Giants 17, Chicago 3
Spread Pick: Chicago +4
Actual Score: NY Giants 17, Chicago 3

New England Patriots (2-1) at Miami Dolphins (2-1)
I don’t know what to make of the Dolphins quite yet. I thought I had a grasp on them until last week’s loss to the Jets. What I do know is that the Patriots have scored the most points in the league and will be tough to bring down in prime time.
Prediction: New England 23, Miami 20
Actual Score: New England 41, Miami 14
Spread Pick: New England -1
Actual Score: New England 41, Miami 14