The GeeksverseThe Long Bomb: The Picks Week 4

The Long Bomb: The Picks Week 4
Published on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 by

Starting with Week 4 we’re going to try and pick the games. Let’s see how well we do.

I’m going to try my hand at the picking games thing. Lots of sportswriters do it and most of ‘em don’t do it well. Curious to see how well I do. I won’t be picking scores or doing an over/under. Just straight winners and losers.

Browns at Ravens
The Browns are 0-3 and the Ravens are 2-1, just coming off a strong performance against New England. The victory over New England was emotional, not just for Torrey Smith, and hard fought. Add in the short week, since this is on Thursday night and this has all the makings of a trap game. A trap game is one where a good team goes in to face a bad team and loses. It usually happens after the good team has a major victory.

So this has all the signs of a trap game. Which means the Browns should win right? Usually, yes, but not now. I just don’t think the Browns have the talent to stop the new Ravens team. I think the Browns will score on the Ravens, but they will still lose.

Ravens over the Browns

49ers at Jets
The Jets are 2-1 and the 49ers are 2-1. The Jets barely survived Miami. The 49ers got beat by Minnesota. Who has more motivation to win this one? The 49ers.

I can’t see the 49ers losing this one, especially after the Minnesota game. Jim Harbaugh will have them motivated and without Revis at cornerback, the Jets defense isn’t as strong as it was. The Jets offense is a mess right now. The 49ers D will eat the Sanchez and Tebow for dinner.

49ers over the Jets

Seahawks at Rams
Yes, we all know the Seahawks shouldn’t have won Monday nights game. It should have been a Packers victory. But lost in the shuffle is how dominating the Seahawks defense was. They sacked Aaron Rodgers 8 times and all in the first half. They were able to keep the pressure up for most of the night. The offense just wasn’t able to carry their load. If they could have put up some points, Green Bay’s comeback in the second half wouldn’t have mattered.

The Rams are a team in transition. They still don’t know what they have in Sam Bradford. Is he a franchise quarterback or will he be a bust. I’m leaning towards he was on the wrong team and wrong coaches. I think he could have been good. But now? Now he’s just average. He has good games and bad games, mostly bad.

The Seahawks defense will keep Bradford scrambling for his life, the Rams O-Line is far worse than the Packers. The Seahawks offense will put enough points on the board to win the game.

Seahawks over Rams

Panthers at Falcons
The Falcons are fairly surprising team at 3-0. They were expected to be good, but no one was expecting this. This is going to be a tough game for the Falcons. It’s yet another one that is a trap game contender. These are divisional foes, so they meet twice a year. The Panthers know what to expect from Matt Ryan. Or do they?

This year Ryan is able to cut loose more. The Panthers D will do a decent job of containing Ryan and his receivers, but they won’t be able to stop him.

Cam Newton will have a better showing than he did against the Giants, but he still won’t be able to do enough to win.

Falcons over Panthers

Chief at Chargers
Another contest of divisional foes. The Chiefs had a nice comeback game against the Saints. No one expected them to win that one. They’re riding a high right now. The Chargers got manhandled by the Falcons. It was a very poor showing. Philip Rivers got 0 points in fantasy, which was good because that’s who my opponent last week was playing. It allowed me to win. Thanks Rivers.

So which team will show up? Which Rivers will we see? The pro-bowl caliber passer or the one that got shut down? Will the Chiefs be able to come back if they fall down in points again?

This one could go either way. It’s tough to pick so I’m going with the home team.

Chargers over Chiefs

Vikings at Lions
The Lions were supposed to be one of the top teams this year. The Vikings are one of this seasons biggest surprises. They played a stellar game against the 49ers, a game they weren’t supposed to be able to win. The Lions should have beat the Titans, yet they played down and lost. That game shouldn’t have gone to overtime.

Throw in the uncertainty of Matthew Stafford’s injury and this game is another tough one to call. Will Stafford play? Luckily for the Lions they have a very capable back-up in Shaun Hill. They need one with Stafford’s injury history.

For the Vikings this is somewhat of a trap game. They had an emotional win last week and the Lions will be hungry after that loss.

Lions over Vikings

Patriots at Bills
The Bills are playing fairly solid football. But we’ve seen this from them before. Last season as a matter of fact. The Patriots barely lost to the Ravens, who are a much better team than the Bills. The Bills are getting better and could soon truly challenge the Patriots for the AFC East. But this isn’t the year.

This is always a tough game for both teams. Even when one is playing better then the other, it’s still a very tough game.

I have to lean towards the Patriots. There is just no way that Tom Brady lets them lose after losing two in a row. It just won’t happen.

Patriots over Bills

Titans At Texans
The Texans are probably the best team in the league right now. They are the most well rounded. Good offense and good defense, as long as Matt Schaub is healthy. The Titans are a growing team. Jake Locker is going to have good games and he’s going to have bad games. He’ll be a good quarterback, but this year will be lots of growing pains for him and the team.

Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt, of the Texans, will get constant penetration and make it hard on Locker. This will be a game similar to the Patriots for the Titans. And we know how that one turned out.

Texans over Titans

Bengals at Jaguars
Is anyone really interested in watching this one? Are the fanbases from either team going to watch it? We know that no one in Jacksonville will, the Jaguars have horrible attendance at their games and the Bengals coming to down isn’t going to help.

The Bengals are playing pretty good football though. The Jags? Not so much. Blaine Gabbert is in an unfortunate position. He’s where a lot of first round QBs end up, on a bad team and with bad coaching. That affects the development of the quarterbacks and most often not in a good way.

Bengals over Jaguars

Raiders at Broncos
Is Peyton Manning regretting coming back this year yet? This is a very tough one to call. The Broncos should win this one. The Raiders are coming off a huge win over the Steelers and they aren’t as good a team as the Broncos, or shouldn’t be anyways. But the Broncos aren’t a great team either, even with Manning behind center.

Manning is a timing passer. That’s why he was so successful in Indy. He had receivers that knew him, he had a center that he was with for his entire career (up until now). Those things matter. And for Manning they matter a lot. It’ll take time for him to get used to the Broncos team.

Even with Manning’s issues, I don’t think the Raiders are going to have enough in the tank to defeat the Broncos.

Broncos over Raiders

Dolphins at Cardinals
Any other year and this would be a tough one to call. But this year?

The Cardinals are this season’s 49ers. They have a great defense and an offense that will be just good enough to win them the games. Where did this D come from? I feel better about them beating the Patriots now. They’ve proved it was no fluke. This is a good team.

Even with Kevin Kolb running the offense.

The Dolphins just aren’t good enough this year. I think they’ll be fighting the Browns for the first pick in the 2013 draft. I don’t think the Cardinals offense is good enough to keep the team in every game, at some point they will be outmatched. The Cardinals will make the playoffs, but they won’t have the best record in the NFC.

Cardinals over Dolphins

Redskins at Buccaneers
This is the toughest game to pick this week. Both teams are 1-2, both teams have shown flashes of ability and both teams have shown flashes of no ability. RGIII has appeared mortal the last two games, after his opening performance. Josh Freeman has regressed and isn’t showing the flashes of brillance he had a couple seasons ago. New coach Greg Schiano is doing good things for this team though, even with the unsportsmanlike antics at the end of games. He’s instilling a new mindset into the Bucs.

I think this would have been a different game if Brian Orakpo and Adam Carrikker were still playing for the Redskins. The D is going to seriously suffer for those two being injured. It’s a depleted defense that Schiano’s Bucs will be able to exploit.

This will be a close game, but the Bucs will end up winning in the end.

Buccaneers over Redskins

Saints at Packers
Can Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints really go 0-4? Yes. Yes they can.

If they were playing any other team then the Packers, I’d say they would have a good chance of winning. But against the Packers? Against a team that got robbed of a victory? The Packers know that the playoff race could be very tight and every victory counts. They are going to fight for every victory.

And the poor Saints will be on the receiving end of a very angry team. The Saints D is horrible so far. I read a stat that said Steve Spagnaulos’s defense have a habit of starting slow when he takes over. But with Drew Brees and that offense, the team should still have been able to compensate for any growing pains on the defensive side.

Apparently not. Apparently coaching really does matter.

The Saints will go 0-4 and their season will be essentially over. I’d be afraid of the New Orleans Saints next year when Sean Payton comes back though.

Packers over Saints

Giants At Eagles
The Eagles are 2-1. They are committing turnovers right and left. They got beat by Arizona. They got destroyed by Arizona. Vick is not playing good football right now.

The Giants trashed Carolina and are playing good football right now.

Trap game? Not in this case. The trashing of Carolina was just a good team beating a bad team. The Eagles are not a good team right now. They got lucky. Very lucky. That luck won’t last.

But, and it’s a big but, these two teams know each other very well. They are in the same division, so play eachother twice a year. They play eachother tough. When Vick is on, he can be very good. The Giants are one of those teams that play better when “no one believes in us”. There’s a real chance the Eagles could win this game.

A chance. But it won’t happen.

Giants over Eagles

Bears at Cowboys
These two teams are about equal. Equal in record (2-1). Equal in defenses. Equal in offense. Equal in quarterbacks.

This is going to be a tough game for both teams. It’s hard to call which one will emerge victorious. It really could go either way. Both teams are coming off victories. Both teams need those victories to stay competitive in their respective divisions. The Bears are tied with Minnesota, who is turning into a surprise team. The Cowboys are in a three way tie with the Giants and Eagles.

It’s early in the season and the division standings will no doubt change. But you have to win your division to go to the playoffs and both these teams are aspirations for the Super Bowl.

The Bears will emerge at 3-1 and the Cowboys will be at 2-2.

Bears over Cowboys

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