The Oratory's NFL Picks for Week 4
by John Canton(NFL)
Posted on October 2, 2009, 12:01 PM
John: Welcome to week four of the Oratory's NFL Picks. I am John Canton joined as always by my fellow prognosticators James "on fire" Deaux and Matt "let's just forget about last week" Henry. I had a very solid 11-5 week in week three although I really felt like I should have hit 13 or 14. I guess that's my fault for picking home dogs like the Raiders and Seahawks. I am going to suggest that you pay close attention to James' picks because the dude is on fire (79% right so far!). My parts won't be as long as normal this week because I'm exhausted and need to be sleeping right now, so I'll apologize in advance for none of my usual more detailed thoughts.
James: No lengthy intro from me this time since Iíve been absolutely hideously busy this week. My predictions arenít going to be very wordy, either, this time. But I will say I am doing quite well in the predictions department. Woo!
Matt: Week Three is in the books. Four teams; the Eagles, Falcons, Cards and Panthers get a week off. For the Eagles, it is a chance to start working the starting QB back into the rotation. For the Falcons, a chance to recover from a loss and prepare for a cross country trip to face the 49ers. The Cards and Panthers get some time to regroup after their disappointing 1-2 and 0-3 starts.
Last week's results:
The standings after week two:
James 38-10 (.792)
Matt 31-17 (.646)
John 29-19 (.604)
The following teams have byes this week: Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina and Philadelphia.
All game times are Eastern.
Detroit at Chicago 1:00 PM James: Detroit had their moment last week. Now itís time to come back to Earth and remember that they are, in fact, still the Lions. Bears 28 Ė Detroit 14
Matt: The Lions were able to stop the skid and finally win a game. Detroit was a hot pick for many people last week due to playing the piss poor Redskins and I just couldnít get on the bandwagon. This week, Detroit is once again overmatched and should be outplayed on both sides of the ball. The Bears send another thank you to the Broncos. Bears 24-17
John: I like the attitude that coach Jim "use the" Schwartz (Spaceballs reference, people) has instilled in the Lions by saying they shouldn't be happy with just one win. That doesn't mean they're winning. I just like the attitude. Bears 23-10
Cincinnati at Cleveland 1:00 PM James: Cleveland is the worst team in the league, as far as Iím concerned. Derek Anderson might inspire a few of these guys to play better, but it still shouldnít be enough against an emerging Cincinnati team. Bengals 28 Ė Browns 21
Matt: The Bengals shocked everyone except the Bengals last week by taking a last minute win from their division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals are now sitting one game back in the AFC North with a very good shot at grabbing a share of the division lead with a win here. I really thought that the Browns would be the favored team this season. Beyond that, I have nothing positive to say about Cleveland. Bengals 38-10
John: The Browns are the worst team in the NFL, in my opinion. Can't run, can't throw and defensively they are nothing special. For Cincy, Carson Palmer's back to being an elite QB, Ochocinco is less of a douchebag this year and Cedric Benson is playing at the level a lot of us thought he would out of college. Plus, they can stop people, which is always a good thing. Bengals 24-7
Seattle at Indianapolis 1:00 PM James: Seattle is mediocre in every facet. Jim Moraís rant on Olindo Mare was an absolute disgrace. Indianapolis should win this easily. Colts 31 Ė Seattle 17
Matt: Seattle will be playing this week without their starting QB. Not that it really matters when you consider that their one win came by beating the Rams. The Colts are starting to remind me of the Steelers from last year by winning the close games against teams that match up well against them and walking all over teams that donít. The Colts are playing like they want to be the top team in their division again. Not that it is going to take much this year. Colts 28-6
John: The Colts have really impressed me especially the last two weeks winning primetime games against playoff teams from a season ago. Peyton Manning is playing as well as he ever has. I still don't love their rush defense, but the Seahawks have too many injuries right now to pose a real threat. Colts 27-10
NY Giants at Kansas City 1:00 PM James: Kansas Cityís schedule is absolutely brutal. Giants win this in a laugher. Giants 33 Ė Chiefs 10
Matt: This is going to be one of those extra bye week games for the Giants this year. Iím betting most of the starters donít play at all in the last quarter. Itís gotta hurt to be in last place in the AFC West, but at least they have the Redskins in week six. Then again, KC lost to the Raiders so they might be trying to out ďDetroitĒ the Lions and the Rams this year for that draft pick. Tough draw getting Philly, the Giants and the Cowboys in consecutive weeks. Giants 36-3
John: This won't be pretty. The Giants defense hasn't skipped a beat from last season while the offense is certainly doing enough to win. The Chiefs have way too many problems to win a game like this. Giants 24-3
Baltimore at New England 1:00 PM James: Baltimore has really wowed me so far, and New England still has plenty of offensive issues. I think Baltimore wins this in a very entertaining game, and further cements themselves as one of the elite teams in the NFL. Ravens 28 Ė Patriots 27
Matt: Division leader Baltimore is going to be facing the Patriots this week in their first major test of the season. Weíve seen Baltimore evolve from a defensive team with an offense that was just barely good enough, to being a team averaging 34 points per game this season. The Ravens are second to the Saints in scoring this year? Can they outscore the Patriots? There is no way I would have predicted this game to come down to the ability of the Patriots defense prior to the start of the season. To be honest, I hope to watch these teams maul each other into OT. Patriots 27-24
John: The problem with the Pats offense so far this year has been the health of Wes Welker. He is so valuable for them and with his knee still bothering him the offense is going to have hiccups again. The Ravens are still an elite defensive team that can move the ball down the field fairly well although they haven't been in a tough environment like this yet. Still, I like them to overcome the Pats with a close victory maybe on a last minute drive to add to the growing legend of Joe Flacco. Ravens 24-20
Tampa Bay at Washington 1:00 PM James: The only reason Iím picking Washington to win this is because Tampa Bay has looked utterly terrible through the first three weeks, and theyíre starting a new quarterback. It isnít because Washington is fundamentally better or anything. (That was proven last week.) This one is going to be awful. Redskins 19 Ė Buccaneers 9
Matt: If this is your early game, sleep in. These two teams could lose in the XFL. Washington is the better team, although thatís like stating that Peter from Family Guy is smarter than Homer Simpson. Redskins 10-3
John: This game will be ugly. Washington's not very good either, but they can probably piece together a drive or two to win. I am not really picking for Washington. It's more like a pick against Tampa. Redskins 17-6
Tennessee at Jacksonville 1:00 PM James: Jacksonville at least showed me that they arenít going to roll over and die every week. Tennessee cannot possibly be this bad, though, and I think they finally get a win here. Titans 27 Ė Jacksonville 20
Matt: The Titans are the best 0-3 team in football right now. That compliment out of the way, an 0-3 team gets that way for a reason. Tennessee has played some strong teams this year, and a divisional rivalry game always has room for an upset. This is a must win for this team because things do not get much easier going forward. The Titans have the Colts, and Patriots coming up before a bye week and the second game against the Jags. Jacksonville, did much better against the only common opponent so far this year, and they did it on the road. My gut says to go with the Titans here, but my brain is picking the Jags. Jaguars 24-20
John: I was impressed by the Jags last week. They fed Maurice Jones-Drew the ball and he delivered for them. However, it won't be as easy against the Titans. Plus, I get the feeling that Tennessee is going to unleash Chris Johnson on the Jags and they won't let up until the victory is secure. Titans 30-20
Oakland at Houston 1:00 PM James: Houston just cannot get any kind of rhythm or consistency. But at least they arenít the Jamarcus Russell-led Raiders. The Raidersí running game will keep them in this because Houstonís rush defense is the worst in the league, but it wonít be enough. Texans 30 Ė Raiders 24
Matt: Houston wins here because the Raiders still canít throw the ball. They donít run well enough to get away with it either. This is also on my list of games Iíd rather not watch. Texans 17-7
John: I think I picked the Raiders twice this year. Never again. Jamarcus Russell is the worst starter in the NFL. I am going against the Raiders, not really for the underachieving Texans. Texans 23-6
Buffalo at Miami 4:05 PM James: I really feel bad for Chad Pennington. His career effectively ending from another shoulder surgery is really a damn shame. Miami is in rebuilding mode now, and Buffalo should be able to take advantage. Bills 24 Ė Miami 7
Matt: I canít keep track of it anymore. Are the Bills supposed to be good or bad this year? How about the Dolphins? I canít see them doing much this year with Pennington sitting out for the remainder of the season. Then again, sometimes a starting QB injury can do wonders for a team. The Steelers and the Patriots can attest to that fact with the combined 5 Lombardi trophies won with two former backups. Henne hasnít impressed me much with his NFL numbers so far. TO doesnít do much here again, but he keeps his mouth shut with the win. Bills 24-13
John: I'm not sure what the Bills ever did to be favored on the road. The defense has been decimated by injuries while offensively they're already having Terrell Owens complain about things. In the Dolphins I see a team that can run the ball consistently and in having to play Chad Henne they might take some shots deep considering he's got a big arm. I think they'll do enough to get the win, carried by the run game. Dolphins 20-17
NY Jets at New Orleans 4:05 PM James: Probably the Game of the Week, and I figure it should be a lot of fun. I donít think Mark Sanchez is going to be able to do much, though, and I see the Jetsí defense being picked apart by Drew Brees. Saints 30 Ė Jets 13
Matt: Can the Jets stop the Saints fast track O in the Dome? They shut down the Patriots, but I donít think they are good enough to do it again against this team, in this stadium. Itíll be fun to watch them try. Saints 30-20
John: I love these games featuring a top offense against a top defense. I have gone both ways on this one. After thinking about it, though, I'll go with the team that has the more experienced QB in Drew Brees. I've been impressed with Mark Sanchez and there's no question that he can definitely have a good game here, but at some point he's going to struggle a bit in the fourth quarter of a close game. Maybe it's here. Maybe not. I just like the Saints a little bit more. Saints 24-21
Dallas at Denver 4:15 PM James: Neither of these teams particularly impresses me. I am actually going to pick Denver to win because Dallasí running backs are injured, and Denverís rush defense is actually really good so far. Tony Romo canít be relied on to win this game. Broncos 24 Ė Dallas 19
Matt: The Broncos may be the worst 3-0 team in the NFL. That will be determined for certain when this game is played. Dallas should have no trouble bursting this bubble. Welcome to reality Denver. Cowboys 28-10
John: There's this perception out there that Dallas has this great offense. They don't. Maybe two years ago. Not anymore. The Denver defense has proven themselves to me. They are tough against the run and it's very difficult to throw against them. With an accomplished coordinator in Mike Nolan and a true leader like Brian Dawkins, they are absolutely legit. To me, they'll be the story of this game. Broncos 23-17
St. Louis at San Francisco 4:15 PM James: This should be the perfect game for San Francisco to rebound from that gut-wrenching loss last week. 49ers 28 Ė Rams 10
Matt: The loss last week has backed many people off of the 49er bandwagon. They have played well and won the games they should win. They also came close to winning one they were expected to lose last week. I feel pretty good picking the 49ers this week for Survivor. 49ers 27-13
John: The Rams have had the misfortune of playing three of their first four on the road, which is never an easy thing for any team, much less one with an entirely new coaching staff. I know it comes off as an excuse from a homer, but what can I say? What I'm happy about is that unlike the last two years, the team is playing hard for the coach. It should lead to results soon. Just not now. The Niners can run the ball too well and shut the terrible Rams passing game down. Oh, how I miss the days of Bruce and Holt. Niners 24-7
San Diego at Pittsburgh 8:20 PM James: I donít even know what to make of Pittsburgh. Theyíve looked completely apathetic since Polamalu went down, and their running game is abysmal. San Diego hasnít won in the regular season in Pittsburgh since the Mesozoic Era, but I think that will finally change here. Chargers 21 Ė Pittsburgh 20
Matt: The Steelers are losing the close games they were winning last year. Part of it is the missed kicks, but an even bigger part is the total lack of ability to run the football. This team needs to develop someone who can run in the middle of the field. Parker cannot be expected to do that behind that line. If the Steelers canít run this week, they lose this game. Iím thinking they do just enough to get by for one more week without Polamalu. The return of LT is cause for concern as well. Steelers 21-18
John: Tough one. I think we've seen the value of Troy Polamalu in these last two weeks with the Steelers struggling without him. He's the quarterback of that defense and the guy that makes plays when it doesn't appear like anybody can make a play. Thatís what special players do. It's a tough game for me to pick because Phil Rivers is playing so well right now, but I lean more towards the Steelers due to the fact that they HAVE to win this game. They can't go 1-3 and they know it. They've got a big game QB that's going to elevate his game when the team needs it most. Steelers 27-20
Green Bay at Minnesota 8:30 PM (Mon) James: This would have been so much better if it were in Green Bay. But, as it stands, itís in Minneapolis, so you take what youíre given. Green Bay has largely been a disappointment this year, and one big reason is their offensive line has been a piece of Swiss cheese. When you have Jared Allen on the other side staring you down, thatís not a good thing. Minnesota wins this. Vikings 28 Ė Packers 23
Matt: Forget the Farve vs the Packers talk for a bit, this is an important divisional game without all of that hype. I donít figure the Packers D is going to be able to make the stops they need here to take the game away from the Vikes at home. I also think that a close game favors Minnesota. While not an epic blowout, I see the Vikings having a comfortable win here. Vikings 24-14
John: Brett Favre. Brett Favre. Brett Favre. Brett Favre. Brett Favre. Brett Favre. Annoyed? Wait till we get to Monday. The story of the game will not be the dude wearing number four in purple. It will be on #28, Adrian Peterson. I think that the best RB in the NFL will have a monster night leading to a rather convincing win for the Vikes. I am still sticking with the Pack as my NFC Super Bowl pick, but I think the VIkes are the more complete team right now. Vikings 29-17
JC's Money Picks John: Every week I'll pick four games against the spread or using the over/under. Last week I went 3-1 again to put me at a very good season record of 8-4. I can live with 3-1 every week although I'm really hoping to go 4-0 one of these weeks. These odds come from pinnaclesports.com on Friday morning as I write this.
Giants/Chiefs UNDER 42 due to the Chiefs being so inept offensively.
Niners -9.5 over the Rams. My team sucks right now. I know it better than anybody.
Broncos +3 over the Cowboys. Dallas is overrated, Denver is underrated still. I like it.
Vikings -3.5 over the Packers. Tough environment for Green Bay and I don't think they'll slow AP down.
Thanks for reading. We'll see you next Friday for week five.