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RJ’s NFL Picks, Week Four

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I went 10-6 last week. That puts me at 30-18 for the season. For a comparison, check out the "experts" over at ESPN.

Here are my picks for the NFL's Week Four:

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Green Bay (3-0) at Minnesota (1-2) *Metrodome* – 1:00 PM (Sheridan's line: Green Bay by 2)

Of the five remaining unbeaten teams, the Packers are the biggest surprise. They haven't had an easy schedule either, beating the Chargers, the Eagles, and the Giants on the road. Brett Favre looks like he has another five seasons in him. The Packers major weak spot is their unreliable running game. Minnesota has a strong ground attack and a solid defense, but their passing game is laughable. However, the Vikings almost always play tough at home.

RJ's Pick: Packers by 4

Oakland (1-2) at Miami (0-3) *Dolphin Stadium* – 1:00 PM (Sheridan's line: Miami by 4)

Oakland was very lucky to get a win last week against Cleveland. The Raiders blocked a last-second field goal attempt by Browns kicker Phil Dawson. Dawson had actually made the field goal on the previous play, but it didn't count because Oakland called a timeout just milliseconds before the snap. Miami nearly beat the Jets on the road in Week Three, thanks largely to a great game by RB Ronnie Brown. But in the end, they still lost, and therefore remain winless. The Dolphins offense has shown some signs of life early this season, and I think this is the game where they put it all together for the win.

RJ's Pick: Dolphins by 2

New York Jets (1-2) at Buffalo (0-3) *Ralph Wilson Stadium* – 1:00 PM (Sheridan's line: Jets by 4½)

The Bills are just having an awful season. Injuries, an anemic passing game, and a tough early schedule have all contributed to their winless record. The Jets have a healthy Chad Pennington at QB now, so they should be able to get to .500 with a win on the road.

RJ's Pick: Jets by 7

Houston (2-1) at Atlanta (0-3) *Georgia Dome* – 1:00 PM (Sheridan's line: Houston by 3)

Houston is surprisingly good this year, while the Falcons are predictably awful. It's not a good sign when Joey Harrington puts up Peyton Manning-type numbers, and his team still loses, as happened in Week Three.

RJ's Pick: Texans by 6

Chicago (1-2) at Detroit (2-1) *Ford Field* – 1:00 PM (Sheridan's line: Chicago by 3)

The Bears were spanked at home by Dallas on SNF last week. Their offense was anemic, but that's expected with Rex Grossman at QB. What was surprising, however, was that their defense couldn't stop either the run or the pass. Detroit was utterly destroyed by Philadelphia last week, 56-21. The Lions defense was embarrassing to watch, as Eagles receivers were left wide open and RB Brian Westbrook seemed to break at least five tackles every time he had the ball. QB Jon Kitna put up great numbers in a losing cause. I believe the Lions can score on anybody this season with their high-powered passing attack, so they should be able to put some points on the board in this one (even if rookie WR Calvin Johnson cannot play due to a bruised lower back). Grossman has been benched in favor of Brian Griese, which should give the Bears offense a boost. This one could go either way.

RJ's Pick: Lions by 2

Baltimore (2-1) at Cleveland (1-2) *Cleveland Browns Stadium* – 1:00 PM (Sheridan's line: Baltimore by 4½)

Baltimore is has been very mediocre so far this season. They've lost to the 1-2 Bengals, and they've barely beaten the 1-2 Jets and the 1-2 Cardinals. Meanwhile, since a pathetic performance in Week One, the Browns have put 51 points up in a win against the Bengals and nearly beat the Raiders on the road. I'm thinking upset in this one.

RJ's Pick: Browns by 1

Saint Louis (0-3) at Dallas (3-0) *Texas Stadium* – 1:00 PM (Sheridan's line: Dallas by 11½)

The Rams have a poor defense and a crippled offensive line. The Cowboys have the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. Need I say any more?

RJ's Pick: Dallas by 21

Tampa Bay (2-1) at Carolina (2-1) *Bank of America Stadium* – 4:05 PM (Sheridan's line: No Line)

This is a tough game to predict. Tampa Bay has an over-performing defense, and Jeff Garcia has shown himself to be capable at QB. But it's always tough to pick against Jake Delhomme-Steve Smith combination unless it's against an elite opponent (which Tampa Bay isn't). When uncertain, it's usually wise to pick the home team.

RJ's Pick: Carolina by 3

Seattle (2-1) at San Francisco (2-1) *Monster Park* – 4:05 PM (Sheridan's line: Seattle by 2)

San Francisco isn't as good as their 2-1 record would seem to indicate. Their two wins came from barely beating the Cardinals and barely beating the Rams. Last week, they were shredded by Pittsburgh. The 49ers could easily be 0-3 right now. Meanwhile, the Seahawks would be 3-0, except for a late-fourth quarter collapse in Arizona back in Week Two. This game should be kept close, however, because it's at Monster Park.

RJ's Pick: Seattle by 4

Kansas City (1-2) at San Diego (1-2) *Qualcomm Stadium* – 4:15 PM (Sheridan's line: San Diego by 12)

San Diego has been unimpressive so far this year, as has their star RB LaDainian Tomlinson. He is averaging just 2.3 yards per carry, and has as many passing TDs this season as rushing TDs (1). However, the Chargers should improve as the season wears on. Kansas City, meanwhile, is just thoroughly bad. Their defense isn't horrible, but their offense certainly is. San Diego is going to win this game, but I'm not sure if it will be a low-scoring game with a small margin of victory, or a total blowout. That's the only tough part about making this pick.

RJ's Pick: San Diego by 17

Pittsburgh (3-0) at Arizona (1-2) *University of Phoenix Stadium* – 4:15 PM (Sheridan's line: Pittsburgh by 6)

This game should be a rout, since the Steelers are playing as good as anybody right now (with the possible exception of the Patriots). But Kurt Warner is in at QB for the Cardinals, and he looked very impressive last week taking over for Matt Leinart. I don't expect an upset, but Warner could keep it close.

RJ's Pick: Steelers by 3

Denver (2-1) at Indianapolis (3-0) *RCA Dome* – 4:15 PM (Sheridan's line: Indianapolis by 9½)

Denver nearly lost to the hapless Bills in Week One, then nearly lost to the Raiders in Week Two. Last week, they got whipped at home by the Jaguars, and their running game was completely shut down. Indianapolis looked beatable the last two weeks, but both were away games. They aren't going to lose at home this week (or perhaps all season).

RJ's Pick: Colts by 13

Philadelphia (1-2) at New York Giants (1-2) *Giants Stadium* – 8:15 PM (Sheridan's line: Philadelphia by 3)

The Giants defense looked horrible all season – until the second half of last week's game against Washington. The Eagles offense looked horrible all season – until the entire-freakin'-game against the Lions last week. So, there are two important questions surrounding this game. 1) Which Giants defensive unit will show up? 2) Which Eagles offensive unit will show up? I guess I'll go with the Eagles, because you just know Brian Westbrook will put in a solid performance no matter what.

RJ's Pick: Eagles by 1

Monday, October 1st, 2007

New England (3-0) at Cincinnati (1-2) *Paul Brown Stadium* – 8:30 PM (Sheridan's line: New England by 7½)

New England will score 38 points again this week, and that may be by the second quarter. I'm not a betting man, and I do not encourage using my picks for betting purposes (although I did quite well against the spread last week…), but if I was, and if I did, I would happily place a double sawbuck on the Patriots, and encourage others to do the same.

RJ's Pick: Patriots by 20

[Bye Week Teams: Tennessee (2-1), New Orleans (0-3), Washington (2-1), Jacksonville (2-1)]


RJ's Week Three Picks:

– I picked seven Home teams and seven Away teams

– I picked eleven Favorites and two Underdogs (one game had No Line)

(If you're interested, you can check out the full list of Danny Sheridan's Odds and ESPN's NFL "Expert" Picks.)

2007 Weekly Results
Week One – 11-5
Week Two – 9-7
Week Three – 10-6

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About RJ

  • RJ

    Thanks for the quick publish!

  • DOM @ HSU

    8-8 last week which puts me 30-18 as well through 3 weeks…

    Week 4 here we go it looks to be a good week we’ll see…

    PACKERS: Vikes are #1 stopping the run.. unfortunately for them the packers aren’t a ground team to say the least.. heh..

    MIAMI: Probably one of the few raider games that will be nice to watch this year… this is a tough call.. but i do believe miami is blood thirsty..

    JETS: Buffalo is literally last in the league in both offensive and defensive categories… more power to ’em if they can win

    ATLANTA: goin with the upset.. call me crazy

    CHICAGO: all of a sudden on paper chicago is looking like one of the worst teams in the league… but with Kitnas tendency to turnover the ball.. and QB Griese starting w/ Cedric Benson running i’ll go with da bears.

    BALTIMORE: Even though they look like a mediocre team. On paper they are still a very respectable team. def cant see the Ravens running away with this one though.

    DALLAS: anyone taking STL???

    TB: RJ i believe there is a good chance QB Jake Delhome isnt going to start rather David Carr for carolina on sunday.. i guess he didnt practice wed or thurs..

    SF: would love to see them win.. last week against pit looked worse than it actually was.

    SD: KC yea right..

    PITTS: Arizona yea right..

    INDY: Denver yea right..

    PHI: tough game wow i would have to say high scoring if anything… i flipped a coin..(heads philly)..

    PATS: cant see cincy getting into a position to win here.. lol

  • RJ

    “TB: RJ i believe there is a good chance QB Jake Delhome isnt going to start rather David Carr for carolina on sunday.. i guess he didnt practice wed or thurs..”

    Yeah, one of the problems with writing my NFL Picks column so early in the week is that I don’t know for certain which injured players are going to heal before Sunday and which won’t. Still, I feel David Carr is a decent backup, so my pick remains the same.

  • REMF

    Steelers and Bears
    – Max Cleland

  • Green Bay (3-0) at Minnesota (1-2)… I was echoing everyone else the past three or so years with our calls for Favre to retire. The argument against that was that he didn’t have anyone to throw to. “Give him a receiver and he’ll take over the world” they said. “Yeah right” said I and called for his head. Well, shucks, he has a receiver and the world IS set on fire. Green Bay.

    Oakland (1-2) at Miami (0-3)… Pick your poison. It’s all chance anyway… Oakland.

    New York Jets (1-2) at Buffalo (0-3)… NYJ.

    Houston (2-1) at Atlanta (0-3)… Houston. (As we watch the crumbling of Atlanta continue.)

    Chicago (1-2) at Detroit (2-1)… I don’t see Chicago having a great year. You can feel them muttering “Shoulda, coulda, woulda” about last year. Detroit, however, has a potentially bright future. I think they’ll kick Chicago into the dust.

    Baltimore (2-1) at Cleveland (1-2)… This pick is completely heart: Cleveland.

    Saint Louis (0-3) at Dallas (3-0)… T.O. doesn’t have quite as many reasons to live after that big fine… but that won’t affect the team as they cruise to victory.

    Tampa Bay (2-1) at Carolina (2-1)… Tampa Bay.

    Seattle (2-1) at San Francisco (2-1)… Who doesn’t get shredded by Pittsburgh? San Fransisco.

    Kansas City (1-2) at San Diego (1-2)… San Diego.

    Pittsburgh (3-0) at Arizona (1-2)… Pittsburgh.

    Denver (2-1) at Indianapolis (3-0)… Indy.

    Philadelphia (1-2) at New York Giants (1-2)… Can Philadelphia compete with Philadelphia? With a sudden chance at a post-season spot for the Phillies, does Philadelphia care about the Eagles right now? Thankfully this game is in NY so there should be no P-H-I-L-L-I-E-S chants during the game. Philly.

    New England (3-0) at Cincinnati (1-2)… Patriots.

  • alessandro

    Packers, Dolphins, Jets, Lions, Texans, Browns, Cowboys, Panthers, 49ers, Chargers, Steelers, Colts, Eagles, Patriots

  • RJ

    Final Score:

    Lions 37, Bears 27 – RJ 1-0 (Key stats: Detroit scores 34 points in the 4th quarter, setting an NFL record…the Bears had not given up this many points in a game since 2004…Jon Kitna completed 20 of 24 passes for 247 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs…Chicago committed 14 penalties for 102 yards…Brian Griese threw the ball a total of 52 times, including 3 INTs…)

  • RJ

    Final Scores:

    Raiders 35, Dolphins 17 – RJ 1-1 (Key stats: Raiders RB Lamont Jordan was injured in the 2nd quarter, but had already rushed for 75 yards by then…his replacement, Justin Fargas, rushed for 179 yards…Daunte Culpepper threw for 2 TDs and ran for 3 more…)

    Packers 23, Vikings 16 – RJ 2-1 (Key stats: Brett Favre thres for 344 yards and 2 TDs…he now owns the all-time mark for TD passes…the Packers were held to a total of 46 yards on the ground…)

    Dallas 35, Rams 7 – RJ 3-1 (Key stats: Cowboys have 502 yards of total offense…Patrick Crayton caught 7 passes for 184 yards and 2 TDs…Isaac Bruce, who had guaranteed victory against the Cowboys, left in the 3rd quarter with a hamstring injury…)

  • RJ

    Final Scores:

    Cleveland 27, Ravens 13 – RJ 4-1 (Key stats: Baltimore outgained the Browns 418 to 303, and had 26 first downs to Cleveland’s 12, but still lost…)

    Buffalo 17, Jets 14 – RJ 4-2 (Key stats: Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery caught 8 passes for 106 yards in a losing effort…)

    Falcons 26, Houston 16 – RJ 4-3 (Key stats: Joey-friggin’-Harrington completed 23 of 29 passes for 223 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs…)

  • RJ

    ESPN’s NFL “experts” –

    Wickersham* 4-3
    Salisbury 2-5
    Hoge 3-4
    Jaworski 2-5
    Schlereth 2-5
    Allen 3-4
    Mortensen 4-2 (didn’t pick the Jets-Bills game)
    Golic 2-5
    Accuscore 3-4

    *Apparently Joe Theismann has been let go by ESPN, and his replacement as an NFL “expert” is Seth Wickersham…

  • I don’t know how I’m doing this week and I don’t yet care. PHILLIES took the NL EAST Championship and life could not be better.

  • RJ

    Final Scores:

    Tampa Bay 20, Carolina 7 – RJ 4-4 (Key stats: David Carr looked awful, going 19-for-41 passing, for just 155 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT…Michael Pittman rushed for 90 yards on 15 carries playing in place of Cadillac Williams, who was injured in the 1st quarter…Ike Hilliard caught 7 passes for 114 yards…Tampa Bay was only penalized once all game, for just 5 yards…)

    Seattle 23, San Francisco 3 – RJ 5-4 (Key stats: Alex Smith got injured early in the 1st quarter…his replacement, Trent Dilfer, went a miserable 12-for-33 passing, with 2 INTs…LB Julian Peterson had 3 sacks and forced 2 fumbles…Deion Branch caught 7 passes for 130 yards…)

    Arizona 21, Steelers 14 – RJ 5-5 (Key stats: Larry Fitzgerald caught 11 passes for 123 yards…Ben Roethlisberger threw 2 INTs, including one with nine seconds left in the 4th quarter, which sealed Pittsburgh’s loss…)

  • RJ

    Final Scores:

    Colts 38, Broncos 20 – RJ 6-5 (Key stats: Peyton Manning threw 3 TDs and 0 INTs, and wasn’t sacked all game…Joseph Addai rushed for 136 yards on 19 carries, with 1 TD…TE Dallas Clark caught 2 TD passes…)

    KC 30, SD 16(!) – RJ 6-6 (Key stat: Philip Rivers completed just 50% of his passes for 0 TDs and 2 INTs…both LaDainian Tomlinson and Lary Johnson rushed for over 100 yards…Chargers fans began chanting Marty Schottenheimer’s name in the closing moments of the 4th quarter, which probably made Norv Turner feel pretty awful…)

  • RJ

    ESPN’s NFL “experts” –

    Wickersham 5-7
    Salisbury 4-8
    Hoge 3-9
    Jaworski 5-7
    Schlereth 5-7
    Allen 5-7
    Mortensen 8-3
    Golic 3-9
    Accuscore 4-8

  • alessandro

    I noticed you added the Eagles/Giants game to the totals before the game ended.

    Don’t blame you.

    Eagles: Awful. Penalty, after penalty. Sack after sack. I know they can’t stay healthy but my lord that was putrid. Awful.

    The scary thing is that it was 7-0 for a while.

  • RJ


    I haven’t added the Giants-Eagles game to the totals yet…or at least I didn’t intentionally…is my math off?

  • RJ

    Final Score:

    Giants 16, Eagles 3 – RJ 6-7 (Key stats: Brian Westbrook did not play due to injury…Donovan McNabb’s completion percentage was below 50%…the Eagles were penalized 15 times for 132 yards…Plaxico Burress had a TD reception, giving him 6 for the year, with at least one in each game so far this season…the Giants recorded 12 sacks, including 6 by some guy named Osi Umenyiora, who also forced two fumbles…)

  • DOM @ HSU

    crazy stuff…

  • “by some guy…”

    i oughta slap ya around with a large trout fer that one, RJ…

    Giants win…my Sunday is complete


  • alessandro

    Maybe mine was off – either way you would not have been wrong. That makes you a math visionary!

  • DOM @ HSU

    7-7 WITH taking TB and ATL… lol..

  • RJ

    Final Score:

    Pats 34, Bengals 13 – RJ 7-7 (Key stats: Tom Brady’s completion percentage was over 78%…this is the fourth straight game in which his completion percentage was 75% or higher, tying an NFL record…Randy Moss caught 9 passes for 102 yards and 2 TDs…)

  • RJ

    ESPN’s NFL “experts” –

    Wickersham 7-7
    Salisbury 5-9
    Hoge 5-9
    Jaworski 5-8
    Schlereth 6-8
    Allen 6-8
    Mortensen 10-4
    Golic 4-10
    Accuscore 5-9

  • RJ

    I went 10-4 against the spread…I’m goin’ to Vegas!

  • RJ

    BlogCritics elite pickers:

    RJ – 7-7
    DOM – 6-8*
    Theory – 8-6
    Alessandro – 6-8
    Max Cleland(?) – 0-2
    Suss – M.I.A.
    Melissa – M.I.A.

    *Did I miscount?

  • I was … um … 4-12.

  • RJ

    I was … um … 4-12

    4-12? Which bye week teams lost? :-/

  • DOM @ HSU

    i stand corrected… nice job against the spread.. didnt you lose 7 spread games though.. mia,jets,houston,carolina,sd,pitts,eagles..didnt cover

  • RJ

    Week Five picks are up!