Bobby’s NFL Picks: Week 4September 29th, 2012 | Posted by in Sports
Last Week: 3-2 (4-1 if not for replacement refs)
New England (1-2) at Buffalo (2-1)
Strange things happen in the NFL sometimes. After week 1, when New England demolished Tennessee and Buffalo was torn apart by the Jets, it’s hard to believe that both teams have gone in completely opposite directions. The Pats are at risk of their first 3-game losing streak in almost a decade while Buffalo is coming off two straight wins without Fred Jackson. Division games are always difficult, and this one will be no different. The Pats need to keep QB Tom Brady upright while balancing their offense. The Bills have done an excellent job in getting after the passer. Tom Terrific has had his nightmares against the Bills, including a 3-interception game last season. Despite Buffalo’s numerous advantages, the uncertainty about the health of their two biggest playmakers — Jackson and CJ Spiller — will be enough to give the Pats the slight edge.
Pats 24, Bills 21
San Francisco (2-1) at NY Jets (2-1)
The Tim Tebow story has gone in hibernation with the season-ending loss of Darrelle Revis has come to the forefront. The Jets were able to overcome the lose of Revis last week against the lowly Dolphins, but it is going to be tremendously hard to adjust going forward. New York plays tight man-to-man coverage on the outside, allowing the Jets to pressure the quarterback by blitzing as well as putting more men in the box to stop the running game. Both departments will take a hit now. Can the offense step it up to help out? After a superior week 1 performance, the Jets offense is what we thought it was: largely terrible. The offensive line is subpar and the offense lacks consistent playmakers. The 49ers will try to take advantage of the Jets’ woes, but last week’s performance at Minnesota raises questions about their ability to score points as well. This game will come down to the turnover battle. Look for San Fran’s heavy pressure on QB Mark Sanchez to give it the edge.
49ers 18, Jets 14
New Orleans (0-3) at Green Bay (1-2)
How the mighty have fallen. Two of the NFCs powerhouse teams over the last few seasons are reeling for different reasons. The importance of a great NFL head coach has been magnified at the start of the Saints’ season. Losing Sean Payton has been the major reason that the Saints have lost a sense of purpose as well as their offensive efficiency. Without a master visionary at the helm, the offense has had to work much harder, evidenced by Drew Brees 15% drop in completion percentage. The Packers feel wronged by the league as well, but for a different reason. The NFL replacement officials experiment culminated in utter disbelief as Green Bay had a clear win taken away on the last play in Seattle. The distasteful result spurred a deal between the real officials and the NFL, and the hope is that the loss will not ultimately affect the Packers’ season. Both teams are desperate for a win on Sunday. The game will come down to which defense can make the big plays to keep the opposing offense off the field. Considering that the Saints have allowed 102 points over the first three weeks of the season and Clay Matthews is back to his normal self, it is hard to go against the Packers.
Packers 31, Saints 28
NY Giants (2-1) at Philadelphia (2-1)
A battle of 2-1 teams in different places. The Eagles have won despite the terrible play of QB Michael Vick, who has a league-high 12 turnovers through 3 games. His decision making has been the biggest issue, but so far he has been able to make big plays to overcome them. After a disappointing opener, the Giants look like they are back in Super Bowl form. QB Eli Manning has looked dominant and the Giants’ next man up mentality has treated them well, with Andre Brown especially looking good in Ahmad Bradshaw’s absence. A banged-up secondary has the Giants giving up big plays in the passing game when the pass rush isn’t effective. Vick’s decision making will be the deciding factor. Look for Andy Reid to try to utilize the running game as well as more designed plays to get Vick out of the pocket and away from the Giants’ front four. A barnburner goes to the home team.
Eagles 28, Giants 27
Chicago (2-1) at Dallas (2-1)
Do not get on Jay Cutler’s bad side. The quarterback’s constant berating of his offensive linemen has not made him any friends. But would you be happy if you were sacked seven times in a game? QB Tony Romo hasn’t complained about the lack of help he has received despite his multitude of weapons. With WR Miles Austin and TE Jason Witten subpar, Romo has had to stay away from the big mistake while letting his defense do the majority of the work. The Bears have also been reliant on their defense, led by one of the best front sevens in football. Turnovers again will be paramount, with both defenses looking to get after the passer. Look for Dallas to get Witten back on track and let DeMarcus Ware loose on Cutler. Jay will have another very unhappy face after continually picking himself off the ground. I feel bad for J’Marcus Webb, but the Cowboys certainly won’t.
Cowboys 17, Bears 14