Week 5 – Keep on Rolling

12-3 Last week …

BOOM

Not to brag but sitting better on my picks this season than SI’s Peter King. The first three weeks were tough, but this past week I started 11-1 before Sunday night and went 0-2 on Sunday and Monday night. Let’s continue this strong showing.

THURSDAY

CARDINALS @ Rams- Last week I correctly predicted that the Rams would upset the Seahawks, although both teams should have been 1-2 going into that game. The Rams defense played much better than their offense as they seemed to be shying away from their #1 asset in Steven Jackson. This Rams defense is underrated and is flying under the radar more than these Cardinals. The Cardinals didn’t look like the same team in the first half against a less than average Dolphins team. The Cardinals had to make an emotional comeback and outlast the Dolphins in overtime to stay undefeated. That’s why I find this a very tough pick and think it might be the biggest toss-up game of the week.

SUNDAY

Browns @ GIANTS – The Browns are the only winless team left in the NFL and they will stay that way after this weekend. They haven’t looked great, but they’ve stayed in some games that they had no right to be in. Brandon Weeden has played like a rookie, unfortunately he’s seven years older than most rookies and has looked worse than a few of them. The Giants came within a 54 yard field goal of beating the Eagles and moving to 3-1 instead of the other way around. Still no Hakeem Nicks for the Giants, big blow to the offense, but Eli finds ways to get ‘er done and will continue Sunday.

Dolphins @ BENGALS – The Dolphins looked pretty solid in their almost overtime upset against the Cardinals Sunday, but they fell short, per usual these days. The Dolphins run defense has looked great, considering its #1 right now in the NFL, the problem is the Bengals have been throwing a lot, and for good reason, with weapons like stud receiver A.J. Green and dangerous slot man Andrew Hawkins, along with red zone threat in Jermaine Gresham. The Bengals defense hasn’t been the same as last year, but they should continue their winning ways this weekend.

PACKERS @ Colts – The Packers won a squeaker in which they were helped out by the referees (consolation for the Seahawks game?). Greg Jennings will not be playing yet again this week, which does hurt the Packers offense, but Rodgers will most certainly spread the wealth just fine. Andrew Luck will see a healthy dose of Clay Matthews in his face and he will not like it! The Packers will go into Indy and show Andrew Luck how it’s done.

RAVENS @ Chiefs – The Ravens have looked really good so far, but almost allowed the Browns to win that game on Thursday night. Flacco threw a bad interception but was pretty sharp after that and they seemed to keep the ball out of Ray Rice’s hands, chalk that up to the short week. That will change this week now that they’ve had a week and a half for rest. The Chiefs just won’t stop turning the ball over. They haven’t looked awful but their turnovers are head scratching with 15 of them, and the sledding won’t get much easier as they face the Ravens defense.

Eagles @ STEELERS – The Eagles played an offensive ugly game against the Giants until they started running the ball to the outside. They almost lost the game, but were able to pull it out after a bad offensive pass interference on Ramses Barden of the Giants. Vick looked better seeing as he didn’t turn the ball over. The Steelers are coming off of their bye, with a full load of healthy starters coming back: Polamalu, Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall. In state foes, but one needs the win more and that is the home team and that’s why I pick the Steelers.

I’M BACKKKKK

FALCONS @ Redskins – I don’t believe this will be an easy win for the Falcons and they can actually lose this game. The Falcons have looked like a complete team and Matty Ice actually lived up to his name because he was ice cold in that comeback win over the Panthers. The Redskins controlled the entire game against the Bucs until they let them take the lead by backing off the gas in the second half. Then, Robert Griffin marched his offense down the field and Billy Cundiff did what he couldn’t go all game long, hit a FG, and a clutch won at that. Falcons win here because of their weapons and the caliber of their defense right now.

Seahawks @ PANTHERS – The Panthers should have gone for it on Fourth down last week and the Falcons wouldn’t be sitting undefeated anymore, but hey that’s why they play the game. The Seahawks did not look good against the Rams, besides Lynch who has the most yards in the NFL this year. I think the Seahawks have a good physical defense, but it stops there, their offense is atrocious. The Panthers D looked good getting pressure on Ryan all day, but clearly they needed to double Roddy White, good thing is there is no one close to Roddy’s talent on the Seahawks.

BEARS @ Jaguars – I know everyone saw what the Bears did to Romo, imagine what they could do to Gabbert. The Bears defense was unstoppable and Romo is evasive, Gabbert is known for playing scared, so watch out. Cutler played pretty well in the Cowboys game against a good Cowboys defense. Maurice Jones-Drew is doing all he can, as usual, to carry this team, but it won’t be enough this Sunday.

Titans @ VIKINGS – Never thought I’d see the day where I was picking the Vikings while Christian Ponder was still their starting Q, but here I am. Adrian Peterson is going to have a field day and Ponder will continue his game managing ways. The Titans took step backward with Jake Locker’s shoulder injury and Kenny Britt’s setback. Chris Johnson had a good game against a tough Texans defense, but it’ll take more than one good game to get back to where he used to be, and the Vikings run defense has looked good so far.

Broncos @ PATRIOTS – I would like to pick the Broncos, but the Patriots can just light up a scoreboard no matter how good your defense is and how well your team has been playing. The Broncos Joe Mays will be coming back from a suspension and their defense is pumping on all cylinders now, but this is the wrong team to play when you start to. Peyton Manning has not thrown an interception since the first quarter debacle against the Falcons, not a bad stat. Tom Brady turned in a Tom Brady performance, but the biggest surprise was the explosion of the Pats run game, which we should all keep an eye on, because if they become two dimensional …. eek.

Bills @ 49ERS – The Bills had control of the Patriots in the first half forcing turnovers and not allowing Brady to slice ’em and dice ’em. Then it simply got ugly. The Bills have two solid running backs, possibly the best 1-2 punch in the NFL this year, but the 49ers don’t give up rushing yards to many. The 49ers looked great against the Jets, especially the defense and good news for them Fitzpatrick turns the ball over a lot. The 49ers defense are going to have their way with the Bills, but keep an eye on the other side.

Chargers @ SAINTS – The Chargers are playing quietly good and the Saints are playing noisily awful. Rivers has been carrying the team and Jackie battle bruised his way last week to a couple of scores. The Defense has looked good as well, but now they go into the Superdome, to play a battered Saints team. Here’s the difference maker, Sean Payton will be at this game. This will be one of those games where daddy shows up for the first time for little Johnny’s football game, and little Johnny goes HAM (Insert “Little Giants” movie quote here, please).

MONDAY

TEXANS @ Jets – Is there a team more depleted by the loss of two players, one on each side of the ball. The Jets looked like an FBS school against the 49ers last week and Santonio Holmes reaffirmed how selfish he is by throwing the ball into the hands of Carlos Rogers when he hurt his foot. HOLD ONTO THE BALL WHEN YOU GO DOWN! The Texans could be the most complete team in the NFL and they couldn’t have picked a better team to face to stay undefeated than the Jets. Tim Tebow might be looking mighty good after this game if Sanchez can’t do well with his now patchwork receiving corps after rookie Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller won’t play … OUCH.

 

UPSET ALERT – As I said be way of the Rams, (they already beat the Cardinals). Another upset to keep an eye on is the Redskins over the Falcons, just depending on how well the Skins defense plays. I’m not saying it’ll happen but let’s not forget that Arrowhead is one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL and the Ravens can falter just don’t expect it. I also wouldn’t call this an upset, but the Broncos CAN beat the Patriots.

To Survive!

SURVIVAL PICKTexans over the Jets is a lock, but most have already used the Texans I’m sure so the next best thing is the Bears over the Jaguars.. (If picked already: Vikings and Giants )

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Week 4 Picks: For the Love of Refs

Ladies and Gentleman … Welcome back to the Gun Show!!

So after another putrid week we take a look into Week 4, I won’t tell you my last record because I’m not proud of it. Rather I’ll speak of the referees coming back. Thank god because that Monday night game was atrocious and how they handled the Sunday night game was embarrassing. Welcome back Carrey, Hochuli, Green and all the other real Zebras! But I will miss the Referee Memes, I was addicted, but now I am cleansed. I am not saying these guys are perfect, but they are better. They get calls wrong, but it doesn’t take 15 minutes for them to decide and they know the rules and are not afraid of the players. These guys are the real deal!

Sad, Sad day

So let’s get this thing started:

THURSDAY

Browns @ RAVENS – I respect Torrey Smith more than anyone in the world right now as of Sunday. His brother passed away and less than twenty-four hours later he was on the field in Baltimore ripping apart the Patriots Secondary and was forced to answer constant questions about his brother directly after the game. Joe Flacco put together another very nice game and Ray Ray continued to play well despite this new pass first offense. Ravens are at home on a short week against the irrelevant Browns. Trent Richardson has looked pretty good so far as a rookie, but Weeden is meh and no Joe Haden means fantasy dream matchup for Flacco.

SUNDAY

Panthers @ FALCONS  – Scam Newton has come out and said that the Giants didn’t beat the Panthers, they beat themselves.  Listen, Mr. Newton (sighs) … you were embarrassed on NFL Network by Eli Manning and his backups, enough said. What a joke … and that is why when he goes to Atlanta this week, him and his team will yet again get rolled. Matt Ryan is looking like a top 5 quarterback and he has possibly the best 1-2-3 combo in the NFL with Rowdy Roddy, Julio (who likes oddly like the Predator, less now with no dreadlocks ) and the ageless Tony Gonzalez. Also be aware of Jacquizz Rodgers, the next Darren Sproles.

PATRIOTS @ Bills – Tom Brady and Bill Belchick would have been the embarrassment of the replacement referees until they did their work on the Packers game. Welker came alive when Edelman left the game with an injury, and it appears they stopped punishing him, for now. The Bills running game has looked great, no matter who has been in there, but now both running backs might be headed for an unexpected Week 4 return, which is good and bad. Who gets the majority of the carries? Not a bad problem to have! These Pats are angry after Belichick has been fined and couldn’t get a review on that awfully close kick.

Vikings @ LIONS – If not, for the Cardinals, the Vikings might be the biggest surprise at 2-1 in the NFL. They took down the mighty 49ers at home and didn’t get pushed to the end. They had them right where they wanted them the whole game. The Lions now have a legitimate running back it appears. Calvin Johnson is 3 games down 13 to go to beat the Madden Curse. Stafford might have avoided an injury that could cost him a game. Jim Schwartz allowed Shaun Hill to lose the game on 4th and 1 in Overtime last week, so they’re in need of a win. I see the Lions winning this and returning to last year’s form.

CHARGERS @ Chiefs – The Chargers have quietly been good. Rivers is playing alright and the Defense looks good. If Ryan Mathews stays healthy they could be a much better team. The Chiefs pulled off a ridiculous comeback win in Saint Louis as Jamaal Charles put up Madden numbers against a horrific Saints defense. Arrowhead is a very tough place to win a game and usually this is a very hard-fought game. I don’t see the Chiefs repeating their second half success from last week simply because they have been embarrassed by the Falcons and the Bills.

Seahawks @ RAMS – This is the definition of a letdown game. The Seahawks were just gift-wrapped a game by the replacement referees who were promptly returned to their shelves where they belong. The Seahawks defense has looked great but their offense is simply meh right now. The Rams have been in 2/3 games they have played, the only one they never seemed to be part of was in Soldier Field against the Bears, an outdoors game. But now they go back home to face the Seahawks. Seahawks are pretty high on themselves I’m sure right now.

49ERS @ Jets – If Revis was playing in this game I’d think about taking the Jets, but without him they’re a completely different team. Trying out Joe McKnight at corneback??? (Slaps hands against face) R-E-A-L-L-Y? The Niners are coming off a bad loss in Minnesota and yes they’re are traveling yet again, but last year they did well in 1 o’clock games on the East Coast. They could lose but simply because of the travel factor, but that defense is just something else and will probably make Sanchez look like a backup QB. I am taking the angry 49ers in this game.

Titans @ TEXANS– Is there a more complete team in the NFL right now? The answer is no. They look good running the ball, passing, special teams, and especially on defense. They almost let the Broncos back in the game when they fell asleep, but so did the Falcons. They sit at 3-0 and the Titans are coming off a pretty luck win where Jake Locker looked pretty solid. The Texans defense will feast on the pathetic likes of Chris Johnson who is still averaging 1.4 YPC and has less total rushing yards than Jake Locker. The Texans average 14.0 Points Allowed, enough said.

Raiders @ BRONCOS – The Raiders pulled off a comeback of their own against the Steelers, whose defense  did not look good at all last Sunday. The Raiders also benefited from a bad penalty call that moved them up fifteen yards enabling them to kick the game-winning field goal. The Broncos keep putting themselves in holes and almost digging themselves completely out. I don’t expect a hole this Sunday. No Heyward-Bey after he got demolished by Ryan Mundy means less of a vertical threat for the Broncos to watch out for. No Joe Mays because of his vicious helmet to helmet hit on Matt Schaub, which helps Darren McFadden.

Dolphins @ CARDINALS – Could the Cardinals get a better game to continue their roll and keep their confidence? The only issue they might suffer here is Darnell Dockett vs. Reggie Bush, because Darnell Dockett is doubtful and probably won’t suit up, but Reggie Bush will be. Tannehill is showing signs of readiness, but his weapons are seriously lacking. The Cardinals defense looks good and the Dolphins doesn’t look that bad either. Kevin Kolb is simply not turning the ball over, and last week did exactly what he should be doing, throwing the ball at Larry Fitzgerald. The home crowd was loud last week against the Eagles, and they shouldn’t be any quieter for a team looking to start 4-0.

BENGALS @ Jaguars – The Bengals offense has looked surprisingly good. They’re defense hasn’t looked great, but hey if you score more points that’s all that matters. AJ Green is filthy and could be better than Julio Jones this year after the way he torched the Redskins secondary last weekend. Maurice Jones-Drew doesn’t look like he missed training camp in the least bit, feasting on the Colts as he usually does. The Bengals will roll through these Jags and enjoy the nice Florida weather.

Saints @ PACKERS – Pissed off Packers vs. the Beat-up, beat-down, no hope Saints. Aaron Rodgers is licking his chops with how bad this Saints’ defense is. This game is also in Lambeau, where the Packers typically don’t lose games. The Saints have looked like a completely different team without Sean Payton and have become a joke to the rest of the NFL I’m sure after Roger Goodell made an example out of them during the offseason. Aaron Kromer, the interim to the interim, is clearly in over his head and should just let Drew Brees call all the plays, maybe even on defense. Has anyone noticed how bad Steve Spagnuolo has been since he left the Giants by the way. Let’s not forget how Brees plays outside and it’s always cold in Lambeau.

ANDDDD …. THEY’RE BACK!!!

REDSKINS @ Buccaneers – RG3 continues to play very very well especially for a rookie. He fought them back into a game in which the Bengals were torching the Redskins defense, which does not look the same without Orakpo and Adam Carriker. The Buccaneers suffered another ugly loss, this team by the hands of the Cowboys. Josh Freeman was an abysmal 10/28 last game and hopes to improve on this. Both rookie running backs have looked strong in their first three games. The Bucs are at home but I like RG3 to carry his team to victory in this one as Freeman struggled to find his accuracy.

GIANTS @ Eagles – The Eagles offensive line showed its real worth last game as Michael Vick was torn to shreds by the Arizona Cardinals front 4, which is not as talented as the Giants’. The Giants embarrassed the Panthers last Thursday and have had a lot of time to rest, but will still be without star receiver Hakeem Nicks (damn my fantasy team). Ramses Barden stepped up nicely in the absence of Domenic Hixon and Nicks, and will need to build off that game if the Giants have a shot. Andre Brown and Ahmad Bradshaw will be splitting carried out of the backfield. Michael Vick must simply not turn the ball over if he wants to control this game and it should be easier with his best receiver, Jeremy Maclin returning to the lineup. If Shady McCoy goes off it’ll be a W for the Eagles, but if the turnover woes continue, expect Eli Manning to lead his Giants to victory.

MONDAY

Bears @ COWBOYS – Both teams played ugly offensive games last week. Don’t expect that to continue for Tony Romo as he takes his Cowboys back to the Big Stadium. His offensive line is still playing like a D-3 college team, but luckily for him the opponents’ line isn’t any better. Both teams should be playoff contenders, but have played pretty bipolar football so far. Cutler keeps turning the ball over and Romo can’t seem to score with a high-powered offense that Jerry Jones has presented him with. This should be a good game for MNF though.

UPSET ALERT – The Rams are my upset alert. This is your letdown game after the Seahawks are flying high and think they’re God’s gift Jeff Fisher’s feisty team will bring them back down to earth. (Honorable Mention: Chiefs vs. Chargers – As I said, Arrowhead is a tough place to go in and win a game, and this matchup is always a tough game, period. Jets )

SURVIVAL PICK  – Last week I suffered a heartbreaking loss because of the Raiders. This week I am still picking against them as I will be choosing the Denver Broncos. I don’t see Peyton Manning’s team going 1-3 and the Raiders are not as good of a team simply put. The Broncos’ defense, although lacking Joe Mays, are still a solid group. (If Picked Already: Cardinals)

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony (T-Catz)