Friday, September 29, 2006

NFL Week 4 Preview and Picks

Stop by anytime Sunday for my weekly NFL Tailgate -- comment on the games before they happen, while they happen and after they happen. Get the first jump on the upcoming week's storylines and trends!

Bears over Seahawks
: Game of the Week 1 is in primetime on Sunday night. The NFC's best team proves it against its Alexander-less reigning champs.

Bengals over Pats: Game of the Week 2. Odell Thurman at his sloppiest could see that the Bengals are too strong on both sides of the ball for the suddenly declining Pats.

Now, here comes my crazy string of picking the road team to win:

Chargers over Ravens: Game of the Week 1, the only matchup featuring two AFC unbeatens. You saw my Power Rankings: The Bolts are the best team in the league right now. Don't let the Week 3 bye lull you.

Jags over Redskins: Hope Mark Brunell enjoyed his record-setting 22 straight completions last week; against this Jags D, it's back to shitting the bed.

Cards over Falcons: Warner falters, Leinart steps in and leads Arizona to a huge road win -- and Mr. Virility is the new starting QB.

Vikings over Bills: It's too early in the fall for a dome team to be concerned with Buffalo weather. Plus, the Bills stink.

Cowboys over Titans: Precisely as foreshadowed by a non-suicide attempt and consequent media frenzy, T.O. scores 2 TDs.

49ers over Chiefs: Yes, you should have drafted Frank Gore over Larry Johnson. (Yes, I know Gore is coming off a Week 3 injury.)

Colts over Jets: Reggie Wayne goes nuts on the Jets secondary to honor his late brother.

Dolphins over Texans: Even the struggling Daunte Culpepper is going to be able to find his game against that Houston secondary.

Saints over Panthers: I refuse to pick against the Saints until they lose. I don't care if it costs me a nick in my picks record.

Lions over Rams: Jon Kitna had 342 yards passing last week with 2 TDs; the Rams' top scoring threat is turning out to be kicker Jeff Wilkins.

Browns over Raiders: This would be the worst game of the week (if not the year) if not for the HUGE draft-order implications.

Count that up: That's 11 (out of 14) games where I'm taking the road team. I'm either genius or headed for my Worst. Week. Ever.

MNF: Eagles over Packers. "We come not to praise Brett Favre, but to bury him." (More on Monday)

Last Week: 7-7

'06 Season: 31-15

-- D.S.


Steve said...

Arizona front 4 against Cards O-line?

You haven't watched the Bills play, have you Dan? Finally looking like the team people hoped they would. And with lots of youth.

nyc-steelers fan said...

falcons, bills, chiefs, panthers, rams (and maybe titans and raiders, belive it or not) will make you rue the day you picked 11 road teams...

CMFost said...

Watch out this is the type of game that the Patriots always win, evertone counts them out and then boom they win.

CMFost said...

Dan, Are really going to be posting during Yom Kippur?

Brian in Oxford said...

Could the Bengals, conceivably, give Thurman a seat in the crowd, front-row on the Patriots side-line, and then have him cell-phone over anything he can pick up amidst the conversations?

Oh, and here's another question, why don't football teams stream video from an "All 22" camera down to laptops on the sideline? Why the black and white polaroids at this point?

WuzUpG said...

Get over it Dan, this isn't the BCS rankings where every undefeated team has to be ranked ahead of teams with one loss (albeit, you do have the Jags ahead Seattle and Ravens). The Saints will lose because they're are coming off an emotional win, a short week, and have to travel. The Saints aren't a top 5 team.

Mega said...

I like that you picked Da Bears to win it Sunday night but Seattle is still a very good team. It will be an interesting matchup of the Bears secondary versus Seattle's veeerrrry deep receiving corp. I bet the running game will be almost non-existant on both sides.

Badass Of The Year said...

No way the Cards win, Atlanta is gonna bounce back big time after letting the Saints get their warm fuzzies on last week on national television.

I also think the Panthers are gonna be the team to hand the Saints their first lost.

The Colts will beat the Jets, but NY will put up a surprisingly good fight.

My brain tells me Philly's got it in the bag Monday night, but my heart, gut, Gladwell, tells me don't discount Farvrah on Monday Night.

I don't post my picks because I play a survivor league and pick ems in my fantasy league, but last week I was 12-2.

Tweedledopey said...


Pretty sure there is a rule against having live images be looked at by the team. Those black and white polaroids are actually printouts taken from sideline and endzone cameras (used to work as an assistant to the film guys for one of the teams). They're actually pretty useful, but more importantly, they're easy to use and cheap. Even if it were allowed, you'd still have the coaches sitting there going back and forth trying to find the exact video they need, when all that can really be gleaned during the games can pretty much be learned right from the pictures.

Sheldiz said...

somebody big has to lose this week.... i just hope its not the ravens.

i like most of your picks... i do think that the redskins, as much as i hate to say it, may surprise the Jags.

for a second i forgot that the bills even existed. my bad.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Seattle couldn't score against the Lions, even with S-H-A-U-N.

Sure, they've picked up Branch since then, but if Dre Bly and co. contained the rest of the receivers, I don't know what to tell you.

By the way, I'm just really excited about the fact that Bly was stiff-armed into submission on every play I saw from the Packers game last week.

Ah, well. I knew our regular-season-record Grand Slam could never be. But why have I not heard anybody (but me) mention it, ever? Aren't the Red Wings/Pistons/Tigers(pleeaaase) and their mutual regular-season dominance freaking interesting? The Tigers were leading all of baseball for months after those other two won their regular seasons, and this never came up?

john (east lansing, mi) said...

So, essentially, I'm taking the Bears too.

Charlie (Seattle) said...

I'm really looking forward to Seattle Chicago. It's going to be one of the best of the week. I'm rooting for da bears even though I have Jackson on my fantasy team. It will be worth it to hear everyone crying on Monday!

Chargers Ravens should be a good one too. I agree with your pick. I know that SD has only played against shitty opponents, but I don't think they're as over-rated as everyone thinks.

49ers Chiefs was a bold pick. I don't agree. I predict Huard comes up with a huge game throwing to Kennison and Gonzalez and that he's the #1 fantasy waiver wire pickup next week. LJ should also have a good game.

Wayne does go off against the jets. How many times have we seen this type of thing? Favre after his dad died is the latest example. Players play up when they're playing on emotion.

I have to argue that Dolphins Texans is the worst game of the week. At least with the Raiders you have Moss and Jordan just waiting to have their one good game of the season. You have Art Shell who will inevitably do something stupid. What do you have with Dolphins Texans???

Brian in Oxford said...

I agree, tweedledopey, that there's probably something in the NFL by-laws preventing live images....heck, they'd have SOMEBODY watching the network feed live on the sidelines, if that were the case.

I wonder if there are similar rules for colleges, or even high schools. And does the old "our headsets aren't working, you have to take yours off" rule would apply. A high school with a good AV department could capture images during a game, and easily time-code them for indexing (rather than it being so difficult to sort through the images to find what they want).

jhawkjjm said...

What I don't really understand is why there's so much emphasis put on the Patriots receivers not being named Givens and Branch. Neither of these two were big names coming out of college. Hell, Givens was out of ND when it was a run first, second, third down team. Yes Branch had a great super bowl and Givens has a string of 8 or so consecutive playoff games with a TD. But neither one was a big name or a true #1 receiver. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY to much is being made about the lose of these two, and it makes me puke that the Patriots seem to be using that as an excuse.

The Chiefs will beat the 49ers. In arrowhead the Chiefs are always tough and rarely lose, and never to "low quality" teams. (or high draft pick teams if you prefer) I can't stand Edwards, but the Chiefs are coming off a bye week so they should beat the niners.

I also think Carolina over Saints. Saints coming off an emotional victory in a short week.. perfect setup for a let down.

Tweedledopey said...


Not sure if this is what you are asking, but every college (or every college worth its salt in football), has a video department, and these guys do make copies of the games.

Up until recently, I don't think it was common for teams even in the NFL to timecode each play. Scoreboards are shot in between each play, so you could look for each play that way. As the technology has gotten better, they now digitize every play of every game (at least in the NFL). Makes it a lot easier to get from play to play. As for the sideline printouts, they are used for a couple of minutes and then discarded. After all, they get the actual video after the game.

As for your first question about Odell Thurman, there are three independently adequate responses:
1. Odell would probably get too drunk to actually relay any useful information
2. Odell probably couldn't hear anything useful from the first row
3. Even if Odell heard something, and told the Bengals, it probably wouldn't matter. Players make the plays.

Plus, I don't think he's allowed to have any contact with the team for the rest of the season.

Anonymous said...

People are making a big deal about the Patriots' ex-receivers because THE BEST QUARTERBACK IN FOOTBALL is making a big deal about them. If he says they're good, I'm taking his opinion over yours, Shanoff's, Simmons, Jerry Rice, Bill Belicheck and Mike Martz. The ghost of Lombardi could appear and it would take some serious persuasion to counteract Brady's judgement!

So you've got a Bills' fan calling Brady the best QB, a hall of famer, easily, and his team just threw him under the bus. Explain that! It can't be done!

Or, more appropriately, they threw Brady under a 400lb. lineman, which is where Brady will spend this year, doing his best Drew Bledsoe imitation, looking for open receivers that don't exist while getting sacked by defenses loading up on the run (which means he can't scramble).

Belicheck just jumped the shark. This is a "I'm Keith Hernandez" moment. Even Belicheck can't win close games with no wide receivers and no reliable kicking. If the Bills had been any better (which they will be by the end of the season) they wouldn't have closed them out in that first game.

Anonymous said...

When did the NFC turn into the National League? I mean, how weak is the NFC looking right now?

And for the incredibly interesting Bengals/Patriots match-up, don't underestimate The Belicheck Effect. Not the effect of his coaching, but the effect opposing coaches and players get from wanting to beat him. It's like they're super bowl champions, even though they aren't. I'm picking Bengals here.... and Vegas agrees!

Jay said...

I think the Chargers are pretty good, but let's not rush to anoint them top team status until after they've played some good teams. They're 2-0 vs. the lousy Raiders and Titans.

As for their game this Terrence Kiel was recently arrested for trying to make Sizzurp, but that doesn't mean the Chargers won't "lean" on Baltimore this week. (Zing!)

Seriously, it's refreshing to see how the Bengals and Chargers have finally surpassed the Ravens for run-ins with the law. Parity in the NFL works!

-- Jay
Da Sports Authority

doowats said...

"We come not to praise Brett Favre, but to bury him." C'mon - give us a Iggle fans a little credit (just a little). Knowing (hoping?) it's Brett's last trip to Philly he'll likely get a spattering of applause. Right before we make him bend over and remember why he's going to retire.

Chuck G said...

A. Chicago is my pick of the week. Seattle does not play well on the road (Great example, week 1 against shitty Detroit). The Bears, at home, prime time giving a field goal. Love it.

2. Jeff Wilkins is the man. Everyone in my league was taking Vinitieri and Vandrjagt and I nabbed Wilkins - the guy I wanted.

and D. Matt Leinart, if he plays, going up against DeAngelo Hall equals Falcons romp. We're not in the pass-happy PAC 10 anymore, prettyboy.

chiefs fan in charlotte said...

Dan I have not yet participated in the weekend football blogs (but soon will), but I'm curious how you get away with watching football all weekend long. Either your wife is really cool, you are not married, or living in NYC and not having yard work is really paying off. Please let the rest of us know.