Thursday, September 27, 2012

M & M's NFL Pickz Week 4

By Marley Burr, Mitch Sandberg and Nick Perez 

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Current Standings

Week
Marley
Mitch
Guest
Guest
1
8-8
5-11
8-8
-
2
5-9-2
5-9-2
7-7-2
3
6-9-1
6-9-1
6-9-1
Total
19-26-3*
16-29-3*
21-24-3*


*We are giving all three players a push on the Seattle/Green Bay game as many betting websites decided to refund the money betters placed and because we all know who won that game.



Jaamal Charles was the Player of the Week for Week 3, running for 233 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. This performance gave KC what they needed to pull out a win in OT.

 


Week 4 Spreads:


Home
Away
Spread
Total
Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns
Ravens -12
43.5
Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
Falcons -7.5
49
Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots
Patriots -4
51.5
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
Detroit -4
Off
Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego Chargers
Chargers -1
44.5
St. Louis Rams
Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks -3
39.5
New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers
49ers -4
39.5
Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans
Texans -12
45
Denver Broncos
Oakland Raiders
Broncos -6
47.5
Arizona Cardinals
Miami Dolphins
Cardinals -6
39
Jacksonville Jaguars
Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals -1
42.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Washington Redskins
Buccaneers -3
48.5
Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints
Packers -7.5
54
Philadelphia Eagles
New York Giants
Eagles -2.5
45.5
Dallas Cowboys
Chicago Bears
Cowboys -4
42

Marley: Week 3 is done and looking back this has been one of most unpredictable seasons I can remember. There have been incredible games, big upsets early in the season and the replacement officials have been affecting games left and right. 

The Patriots have their first losing record since 2003 because of a field goal that could have gone either way. The Law Firm fumbled his first ball ever after 500+ carries. The Detroit lions scored 14 points in 18 seconds to send the game to overtime only to lose because the offensive line didn’t realize they were going to snap the football on fourth down. The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans are the only two undefeated teams in the League, with the best defenses, did you ever think you would say that? And of course who can not talk about the Fail Mary where the refs gave the Seahawks the touchdown and win off an obvious interception. Experts believe that around US$250MM in bets changed hands because of that call (my money included). 


This season has been crazy and Week 4 looks to be no different. This week we are going to have a long time friend and Indianapolis Colts fan Nick Perez as our guest of the week. Lets get it started!


Ed "Guns" Hochuli and the regular NFL officials will finally be back this week. All it took to get it done was a disaster of a Monday Night Football game that cost the Green Bay Packers a win. 


Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

Marley: Ravens -12
Mitch: Ravens -12
Nick: Browns +12

The Baltimore Ravens are not too happy about having to play a Sunday night game and then a Thursday game, however, I don’t think they will be too upset that the opponent is the Cleveland Browns. I honestly don’t think there is a question here about who will win this game. The Baltimore Ravens are on a 13-game home winning streak and I strongly doubt that streak will end with this game. If we want to add some more streaks here, the Ravens have won the last eight match ups against the Browns, who are zero for their last 11 games against divisional opponents on the road. 

The Browns are 0-3 this year and their rookie QB Weeden has the third worst quarterback rating in the league right now. I expect that to go down against a great defense lead by Mr. 17.5, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed. If you want my Bridge Jumper Bet* then I would put it on the Ravens to win. But the big question is if the Ravens will cover the 12-point spread. Will they show up like they did Week 1 and blow the Browns out, or if they will allow them to get close like the Eagles and Patriots? Probably not. With all the weapons the Ravens boast on both sides of the ball the Browns don’t stand a chance in this game. The Browns are nowhere near the caliber team that the Bengals, Eagles and Patriots are. I doubt they manage more than 10 points and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bunch of touchdowns for Flacco and Rice followed up with a Pick 6 by Ed Reed. Ravens cover – Marley

*Bridge Jumper Bet refers to million dollar horse racing bets made on super favorites. You put all your money down for a small but almost assured return until you lose it all on an upset.



Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith led the Baltimore Ravens to an emotional come-from-behind win against the New England Patriots. Hours after finding out that his younger brother died in a motorcycle accident, Torrey Smith finished the game with 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Torrey and his family after this tragedy.


Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

Marley: Falcons -7.5
Mitch: Falcons -7.5
Nick: Falcons -7.5

Nick: The Matt Ryan led falcons are off to a hot start and sitting atop the NFC South at 3-0. For most of his career many have questioned whether Ryan had what it takes to be an elite QB in the NFL. He has answered all the haters by leading the league thus far in touchdowns (8), QB rating (114), and completion % (72). Granted there’s a full season still to be played, but give credit where credit is due. The guy has been scorching opponent’s secondaries. With Michael Turner sipping on Ensure and headed over the hill, Ryan has stepped up connecting with big name targets Roddy White, Julio Jones and vet Tony Gonzalez. The Falcons D has also shown up when it counts and has come away with a league best 7 picks. Carolina is coming off 10 days rest after their Thursday night beat down from the Gmen.  Newton has struggled this year in the air and has already thrown 5 interceptions. The 3 headed rushing attack of Jon Stewart, D’angelo Williams and Newton will be at full strength this week as Stewart is anticipated to be back in the lineup.  Together they are responsible for 4 of 6 offensive touchdowns for the Panthers, and any success the Panthers hope to have relies heavily on their success.

Last year Atlanta dominated the series, picking off Newton 5 times and winning both games. Although Turner is slowly passing his prime, look for him to have a big day against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. Atlanta is arguably the hottest team in the league right now and they don’t seem to have any intentions of cooling off. The Panthers… not so much. Killer Cam will have to show that his rookie season wasn’t a fluke and put up points on the road against a tough Atlanta D. Good chance that  Matty Ice goes off in this one, so I’ll take the Falcons to cover at home.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

Marley: Patriots -4
Mitch: Patriots -4
Nick: Buffalo +4

Mitch: The Patriots are coming off of two heartbreakers and the Bills are looking good after two straight wins.  Tom Brady has looked good throughout the season, yet in the 4th quarter he hasn't seemed like the Tom Brady of old.  This being said, the Bills are still without a fully healthy Fred Jackson.  With the Pats coming off of two losses they are going to look to come out strong and keep it that way, thus I see the Pats winning this game by a touchdown.

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

Marley: Vikings +4
Mitch: Vikings +4
Nick: Vikings +4

Marley: The Vikings played big last week and have a huge win. Christian Ponder actually looks like a really good quarterback and with weapons like Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson around him I think he is set to have a really good year. Add a potent defense and all of a sudden the Vikings look like a team that can hold their own with the best. I think with all the problems the Lions have been having they are about to show up in Detroit and give them plenty of trouble.

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Marley: Chargers -1
Mitch: Chargers -1
Nick: Chargers -1

Mitch: The Chargers are coming off of an absolute beat down at the hands of the Falcons, while the Chiefs gained a good amount of confidence with their comeback win over New Orleans.  Normally a win over the Saints would tell me somethings, and granted I thought that New Orleans would be better than they've shown so far, but I think they're really lost without Sean Payton.  The Chiefs do have the number one ranked offense in the league at the moment, but Matt Cassel is not a quarterback that can lead this team to the playoffs.  I drank the kool-aid on the Chiefs for the first two weeks this season and despite the win last week, I see a blowout by the Chargers this week, especially with a healthy Ryan Matthews in the backfield.  Chargers by two TDs.

Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams

Marley: Seahawks -3
Mitch: Seahawks -3
Nick: Seahawks -3

Marley: The Seahawks last week had that controversial win against the Green Bay Packers and that is most likely the only thing people are going to talk when they think of that game. Which is sad because looking at that game the Seattle Seahawks played great and I think are a big contender for upsets this year. The Rams have showed some potential this year as well with Bradford looking strong in the pocket and hitting his receivers. I just think that the Seattle defense is too good for the Rams to take control of this game. Seattle by at least 3.

San Francisco 49ers @ New York Jets

Marley: 49ers -4
Mitch: 49ers -4
Nick: 49ers -4

Mitch: Forget about the whole quarterback fiasco that is the Jets offense and look at their defense.  Without Revis island in the mix, even against a mediocre offense like the Niners, the Jets are going to give up 30 points.  The 49ers should look to start going downfield with the receiving corps that they have.  Alex Smith is really the equalizer in this game, but I see the Niner defense making a statement after last week's debacle and giving Smith and the offense a cushion as well as a defensive touchdown.  Niners by at least a TD in this one.

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans

Marley: Titans +12
Mitch: Texans +12
Nick: Texans +12

Mitch: I'm just going to come right out and say it: the Titans got lucky last week.  Jake Locker, at this point in his career, is not that good.  Chris Johnson is nowhere near what he once was, and the offense should not have scored 44 points last week.  On the other hand the Texans have the best team in their history and the AFC this season.  Arian Foster has been his typical self, and Matt Schaub has looked like steady thus far.  I worry a little about the line being so high, but I just don't see the Titans making any sort of game of this.  I see the Texans taking this by at least 20 points.

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos

Marley: Broncos -6
Mitch: Broncos -6
Nick: Broncos -6

Nick: This week, the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos take on the division rival Oakland Raiders which is likely to have future implications on what is expected to be a tight AFC west race. John Elway anticipated the blockbuster signing of Peyton Manning to have a little bit more  return on investment thus far in the season, but the Broncos are currently sitting in a three way tie in the West at 1-2.  In week 2 ,the Sheriff should’ve locked himself up after throwing 3 first quarter interceptions against the Falcons D and finishing the day with a QB rating of 58.5. After falling in a 31-11 hole to the Texans in week 3, Manning tried to redeem his A-Town blunders, throwing two 4th quarter touchdowns in a failed comeback attempt against Houston. At least it was a step in the right direction. The Raiders have had quite a different path to 2-1. They were embarrassed by a sub-par Dolphins team 35-13 in week 2, but turned up the heat in week 3 putting up 13 unanswered 4th Qtr points to take down the Steelers 34-31. Oakland’s offense, who was all but non-existent against SD and Miami, decided to finally show up against the strong Steelers D. Darren McFadden ran for 118 and a touchdown after a combined 54 yards on the ground in weeks 1 and 2 and Carson Palmer showed hints of his Cincy days throwing for 3 touchdowns in the win.

The two teams split their meetings last year both straight up and ATS but I think that Denver has the edge in this one. Oakland’s D has given up over 260 yards per game in the air, and Peyton Manning will take advantage of an injury plagued secondary. On the other hand Run DMC is a Bronco killer and has stomped the Denver D for over 144 YPG in the last 3 meetings. Only way to stop him will be for the Broncos to jump out to an early lead and force the Raiders to beat them in the air. I say Peyton gives Elway his money’s worth and the Bronco’s cover at home.

Miami Dolphins @ Arizona Cardinals

Marley: Cardinals -6
Mitch: Cardinals -6
Nick: Miami +6

Marley: I think the Dolphins might be the worst team in the league. I think the New York Jets just might be second worst team in the league. Last week they played each other and I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least if that game ended in a time in OT. Actually that might have been fitting. The Dolphins lost their only offensive weapon in Reggie Bush to a knee injury last week while the Jets lost their main defensive weapon in Darrelle Revis. Basically the only good thing these teams had going for them just got injured which is again, fitting. Lucky for the Miami Dolphins Reggie Bush isn’t out for the season and might be able to play against the Cardinals. However, even if he plays hes not going to be 100% and that is pretty much all the Miami Dolphins have to threaten the Cardinals, who so far have proven themselves as one of the best defenses in the league.

Besides the defense the Cardinals have managed to surprise everyone by winning their first three games of the season. Remember this was a team that was supposed to be where the Dolphins are right now. They had quarterback controversy, they didn’t have any star running backs and everyone in the league knew to cover their one star WR Fitzgerald. But after beating the Seahawks, Patriots and Eagles maybe the Cardinals are for real. Maybe they aren’t and this is just a flash in the pan. All I know is they are most definitely good enough to take out the Dolphins especially in the desert. Cardinals by 7.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Marley: Jaguars +1
Mitch: Bengals -1
Nick: Jaguars +1

Mitch: Blaine Gabbert has surprised me so far this year.  With two fourth quarter comebacks: one a close loss and other a win last week against the Colts, he has shown some poise at the helm of the Jaguars offense.  It also doesn't look like the holdout hurt Mojo whatsoever, as he sits at third in the league in rushing yards presently.  On the other side of the ball, the Bengals offense has looked very impressive so far this season, yet their defense is still ranked among the worst in the league.  With a matchup of two unimpressive teams here I see the better offense winning and the Bengals taking this by a field goal.

Washington Redskins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Marley: Redskins +3
Mitch: Buccaneers -3
Nick: Buccaneers -3

Mitch: This is going to be an interesting matchup. Here we have one of the highest scoring teams in the league averaging 180 yards rushing a game (Redskins) Vs the number 1 rush defense (Bucs). A team that has allowed 10 passing touchdowns in 3 games (Redskins) Vs a quarterback who has a league worst 51% completion percentage (Bucs). Both teams have a horrible pass defense, the only team that has a worse pass defense than the Redskins are actually the Bucs. Which I think is interesting and could be the reason for their strong rush defense. Why run the ball at all when your passing attack cant be stopped? The difference maker here is the quarterback situation. Josh Freeman had such promise his rookie year and fell into the sophomore slump. This year Freeman seems to be following the same trend while RGIII has exploded into the league even with a 2-1 record. With both quarterbacks are facing bad passing defenses I just have more confidence in RGIII to exploit it than I do in Josh Freeman. I think that the Redskins defense which had a terrible game against the Bengals will bounce back here and they will take the Bus at home.

New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers

Marley: Packers -7.5
Mitch: Packers -7.5
Nick: Packers -7.5

Marley: The Packers need a big win to but last weeks fiasco behind them. Good thing they are playing the New Orleans Saints at home, who have probably the worst defense in the league. I think were sitting in line for a blowout unless the Saints and Drew Brees have figured out something to really change their team dynamic.

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles

Marley: Giants +2.5
Mitch: Giants +2.5
Nick: Eagles -2.5

Marley: Watch out for the GGGG MEN. Honestly last Thursday night was exactly what Giants fans were expecting from them in weeks 1 and 2. It just took a little bit to work out the kinks I guess and the Giants always play their best when underestimated with the world against them. Since the fourth quarter against the Bucs the Giants have been on another level. Even with the injuries the defense looks solid and no matter who is catching the ball Eli Manning has been unstoppable. Now they get a redemption game against another big division rival.

The Eagles have not been playing good football this season and it finally caught up with them last weekend against a strong Cardinals team. Michael Vick and the Eagles have 12 turnovers in 3 games and 9 of those are because of Michael Vick. This game is going to be decided by that Giants D-line and the NASCAR package they run. The Eagles have a rookie Center and are running on a hurt O-line. McCoy has been talking to the media calling Osi Umenyiora a “ballerina in a Giants uniform”. The problem is that McCoy isn’t going to have to pay for those comments. The O-line and Michael Vick are going to do have back up his words. As Andy Reid said it Friday morning, “I tell him (Vick) to slide, it’s a Volvo vs Semi-trucks”.

If the Giants D gets decent pressure on Vick, or if the offense can get out to an early lead like they did against Carolina, your most likely see Vick try and do too much which results in turnovers. Giants are going to win this one on the road.

Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys

Marley: Bears + 4
Mitch: Bears +4
Nick: Bears +4

Marley: Cowboys Vs Bears, Cutler Vs Romo, which middle of the road quarterback are you going to go with? Both of these QBs have some serious weapons around them and yet both have struggled so far in their careers. I see both of these teams as kind of in the same position right now. They have pretty solid defenses that can step up when needed, and highly talented offenses with lots of potential that have struggled so far this year.


Personally I see the Bears as a more dangerous team once they figure out a way to get their act together. They showed a flash of what this team can be in week 1 but were steamrolled in Week 2 against a division rival and I think it really screwed with their mentality. Looking back on that game they were in that game until the half and then everything fell apart. Last week they got a big win because of the Defense but Jay Cutler and the offense had another tough week.


The Cowboys I think are in the same position. They had an impressive win in week 1 against the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants, but they did let the Giants hang in that game and many can argue that the Giants beat themselves in that game. They were beaten badly by the Seahawks in week 2 and struggled offensively against the Tampa Bay Bucs last week.


This very well could be the week that the Bears put humpty dumpty back together and then Jay can lead to offense to put some points on the Board. Or Romo could do the same and watch Cutler fall to pieces again like he has in the last 2 weeks. It is really could go either way. I think whoever scores the first touchdown of this game is going to win but right now I zero faith in either offense and more faith in the Bears D than I do the Cowboys. I would suggest skipping this game but gun to my head ill take the Bears and the points.

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