Schedule Expansion Looms as We Take a Look at the Week 4 NFL Picks
2. You actually need the four preseason games to find depth for your team. Guys need a chance to show their skill and that won't happen when the starters are playing most of the two preseason games. Arian Foster may never have found a job if he hadn't looked good in the preseason last year. We sure as hell wouldn't have known he was such a stud for fantasy purposes after this preseason, that's for sure. It's the same reason why Nascar has problems developing drivers these days after they let all their superstars Busch-wack the young kids out of the Busch Series.
3. The NFL is already having issues with blackouts and it will only get worse with 18 games. You think fans in Cleveland are going to come out for extra games in January to watch a shitty team in cold weather? It ain't f*cking happening.
It's all about raising more money, so there's not much anyone can do at this point. The 18-game season is going to happen. I can only hope that the product doesn't suffer too much.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
New Orleans over Carolina
The Packers would be the easy choice for this week, but I already used them once this season. Instead we'll lean to New Orleans this week, although Atlanta or San Diego (if you can trust them since they've ass-raped survivor contestants for years now) aren't bad choices either. Jimmy Claussen in his first road start and a Saints team coming off a loss are a perfect recipe for a survivor victory. Now get me a Hurricane…
Survivors already used:
Tennessee, Green Bay, and New England.
Locks of the Week:
All Lines via BoDog.com…
ATLANTA -7 over San Francisco
I'll admit I was wrong when it came to the Falcons. Their offense is clicking a lot better than last year and their defense stepped up by making a couple big plays against the Saints last week. Now they have the lowly 49ers coming into town fresh off the firing of Jimmy Raye, the inept offensive coordinator who just will not quit. Take a look at his coaching resume on Wikipedia. It's become a running joke at RexQB.com. The guy just keeps getting hired for OC positions, then gets fired and finds a lower position in another coaching staff, and then somehow ends up back as an OC. What happened to three strikes and you're out?
Indianapolis -8 over JACKSONVILLE
Public perception had the Jaguars being a little resilient this year. They weren't supposed to be one of the worst teams in the league. They were supposed to hold their own in a couple games and end up with about six wins. We're all starting to realize they might be much worse than expected and Jack Del Rio has a good chance to get canned by mid-season. Their players can't even keep their act together off the field as special teams star Kassim Osgood found out over the weekend when he had to jump out of a window to avoid getting shot. It’s the fastest anyone on the team has moved all season. Things couldn't get much worse down there right now.
SAN DIEGO -8.5 over Arizona
The Chargers forgot how to play quality football on the road this year, but home cooking is always a good remedy. Especially when Derek Anderson rolls into town. I had trouble picking a third lock this week, but when in doubt, look to Derek Anderson…
Trap Game of the Week:
MIAMI +1.5 over New England
Monday night's affair stacks up as the most intriguing game of the week. The Patriots can't stop anyone's passing attack right now, which was highly evident by the fact they gave up 28 points to the f*cking Bills last week. What happened to the defensive genius named Bellichick? How can he run a bunch of dicks like this secondary out onto the field? Miami couldn't necessarily stop the Jets last week either, but they've at least shown some defensive competence at times this season. P.S. Vonte Davis is a rising star at the cornerback position.
Rest of the Picks:
GREEN BAY -14.5 over Detroit
I asked Michael J. Cox to hear me out on something as a fellow compulsive gambler. Could he ever back a Shaun Hill–led Lions team again to cover a spread of two touchdowns after what we saw last week? Hill had two red-zone opportunities to get a backdoor cover in the last five minutes and threw interceptions on both drives. After hearing myself ask this question out loud, I realized I already had the answer.
CLEVELAND +3 over Cincinnati
The Bengals aren't good. They're just not. Carson Palmer should be leading the league in interceptions right now. He had a lower QB rating than Jimmy Claussen last week in Claussen's first start ever. We're four games away from the inevitable shouting match between Palmer, Ochocinco, and T.O. on the sidelines. Week 8 vs. Miami: write it down. That will allow Ochocinco to focus on his phone sex line.
N.Y. Jets -6 over BUFFALO
The Jets didn't have the best luck with Buffalo last year. Their 16-13 loss against the Bills in the Meadowlands was one of the biggest debacles of the season. As we fast forward to this season, Mark Sanchez has found his inner–Glen Foley to string together a couple strong games for the offense. Buffalo, meanwhile, blew their load last week and I refuse to believe Ryan Fitzpatrick can really spark the offense for more than one week.
PITTSBURGH -1.5 over Baltimore
So much for Ben Roethlisberger, right? Whether it's Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch, the Steelers have done enough offensively to win games behind the best defense in football. Someone asked me if I thought the Steelers would possibly stay with Batch as opposed to going back to Big Ben. I thought he was joking, but apparently it was a serious question. Let's get something straight: Despite dragging numerous unwilling drunk girls into bar bathrooms, Ben will be the quarterback when his suspension ends. You don't just bench your franchise QB, who's a former first-round pick,
Super Bowl MVP, and two-time champion for a moral decision. This isn't fourth grade. They're not going to make him go stand in the corner facing the wall. This is the NFL, where you get a DUI, blow a .16, and only get suspended for a quarter…
Denver +7 over TENNESSEE
Don't be confused by the Titans' pass defense numbers through three weeks. The numbers tell you they're fourth best in the league against the pass, but two of those games were against the Raiders and the Dennis Dixon– and Charlie Batch–led Steelers. Kyle Orton should cut them up with his numerous capable receiving options. Denver's biggest defensive weakness is against the pass and Vince Young hasn't exactly shown the capability to throw like Uncle Rico yet this year.
Washington +6 over PHILADELPHIA
McNabb marches back into his old stomping grounds and everyone's wondering if the fans will cheer or boo. These are the same fans who booed Santa Claus and a possibly paralyzed wide receiver, so why would we think they'd cheer him? They might even break out the D batteries for this one. The Eagles’ status has been overblown after playing two of the worst teams in the league, so Washington should be able to keep this within a touchdown.
ST. LOUIS +1.5 over Seattle
Here we have the weekly NFC West game that no one will watch. Since most people haven't caught the Rams on TV this season, I'll let you know that Sam Bradford doesn't look half bad for a rookie. He looked rather impressive against the Redskins last week and there's no reason to think he can't provide good home efforts for the rest of the season. He’s definitely exceeded my expectations so far. Seattle's been lucky to win two games, both at home, and won't get my respect until they beat anybody, St. Louis included, on the road.
NEW ORLEANS -14 over Carolina
I'll say it again — Jimmy Claussen is in his first road start and the Saints are coming off a loss. They may not have found their groove yet, but this won't be close, especially with a beat-up Carolina offensive line not opening up holes for the running game.
Houston -3.5 over OAKLAND
This game has danger written all over it. On paper you'd think the Texans should be favored by seven points after as well as they played in the first two games of the season. Last week's effort against Dallas was a dud (and Dallas celebrated the win in style by ripping 17% of Dez Bryant's 2010 salary on dinner), but they should be able to bounce back. Even though there's the possibility of playing without Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels, a run-heavy attack should be the game plan for victory. Vegas making the spread as low as it is prevents me from locking it up.
NY GIANTS -4 over Chicago
I'm not sure why anyone would back the Giants right now, which is exactly why we like 'em this week. Eli Manning looks like Jake Plummer all of a sudden with these left-handed throws. The receivers, who are more talented than any group the team has had in years, can't catch the ball. And the vaunted front four, which is supposed to have the best DE depth in the league, can't generate enough pressure. (On a side note, Jean Pierre-Paul sucks. I still don't get why the Giants drafted this guy over Derrick Morgan. That's going to come back to bite them.) Usually when you think the Giants are on their way to being terrible, they turn things around to re-engage you for one week before sucking again. This is that weekend.
Last Week: 6-10
Season Record: 25-21-2