Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

NFL Picks Week 4

Last week's tally:

Peter King: 9-7 (29-19 on the season, .604 win percentage)
Andrew Hamm: Once again 8-8 (24-24, .500)
George Washington: 6-10 (20-28, .417)
Ryan Capps: 10-6 (29-19, .604)
Rick Olson: 8-8 (19-13, .594)

To the accompaniment of Bruce Cockburn's World of Wonders:

San Francisco 49ers (0-3) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
  • Peter: Falcons. Closer than you think, right? One reason: Alex Smith. I think he plays a heck of a game with the new freedoms of a new offensive coordinator, Mike Johnson.
  • Andrew: Falcons. The Niners are a mess. Atlanta is not a team to get good against. Alex Smith has gotten more than enough time to impress.
  • George: Falcons.
  • Ryan: Falcons.
  • Rick: Falcons.

New York Jets (2-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-3)
  • Peter: Jets. Jets in 2010: Twelve quarters, one turnover. So even though the offense is doing its share of stopping and starting (more to come on this subject in my Friday Game Plan), they're not giving away any easy points. And, by the way, the Jets have allowed three points, total, in three fourth quarters. I don't expect Darrelle Revis to play in Orchard Park, and I don't expect it will matter.
  • Andrew: Jets. The awful Bills will hand the Jets a win, raising hopes with 12 weeks left to dash them.
  • George: Bills.
  • Ryan: Jets.
  • Rick: Jets.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-3)
  • Peter: Browns. My buddy Ross Tucker and I hosted the Sirius NFL Radio Opening Drive show Wednesday, and uber-bright stats guru Brian Burke (of came on. One of the things he said is something I was thinking coming off last weekend's games, when the Bengals did little right except win (and punt) at Carolina, and Cleveland had a formidable game at Baltimore. (The Browns are rushing for 4.5 yards a carry, by the way, and center Alex Mack is one of the most underrated linemen in football.) Burke said Cleveland's better, and the Browns just might be.
  • Andrew: Browns. This is just one of those rivalry games that an obvious loser sometimes wins.
  • George: Browns.
  • Ryan: Bengals.
  • Rick: Bengals.

Detroit Lions (0-3) at Green Bay Packers (2-1)
  • Peter: Packers. One more week (at least) for Matt Stafford to rehab, which is a shame on many levels. The Lions need Stafford to make this a game. Aaron Rodgers was splendid in defeat Monday night, and I'm looking forward to a decade of Rodgers-Stafford NFC North duels.
  • Andrew: Packers. This will be a tight one, I think, and a Detroit win would not shock me. 
  • George: Packers.
  • Ryan: Packers.
  • Rick: Packers.

Carolina Panthers (0-3) at New Orleans Saints (2-1)
  • Peter: Saints. The final weeks of John Fox are not going to be pretty. The Panthers have the Saints in two of the next five games ... and they close at Pittsburgh, at Atlanta. Let The Cowher Watch begin.
  • Andrew: Saints. Carolina is just really bad.
  • George: Saints.
  • Ryan: Saints.
  • Rick: Saints.

 Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)
  • Peter: Ravens. This is now the best rivalry in football, and it's got a particular charm this week with Ben Roethlisberger sitting out the final game of his four-game suspension, and fourth-stringer Charlie Batch making the start, staring down the barrel of Ray Lewis. Funny thing: The Steelers are 4-1 over Baltimore since the start of 2008, with Roethlisberger quarterbacking the four wins and Dennis Dixon the one loss. But it's not just Big Ben missing from the Men of Steel. Santonio Holmes, who tormented Rex Ryan and Greg Mattison over the past few years, is gone, too. The combination of those losses, plus the addition of Anquan Boldin to pep up the Ravens' offense, has everything to do with this pick.
  • Andrew: Ravens. The Steelers string of impossibility ends at the hands of the Ravens defense.
  • George: Steelers. Six tails in a row. This is beginning to feel like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
  • Ryan: Ravens.
  • Rick: Ravens.

Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at St. Louis Rams (1-2)
  • Peter: Rams. Key stat of the game revolves around St. Loo actually being able to bother the passer and play pass defense. The Rams, believe it or not, are allowing quarterbacks to complete 54.5 percent of their throws. Memo to Rams special teams coordinator Tom McMahon: Might want to squib kick your kickoffs. Leon Washington's pretty good.
  • Andrew: Rams. St. Louis showed me a lot last week, though it may have been an illusion cast by the Redskins doing their best impression of a duck-billed broncon. 
  • George: Rams.
  • Ryan: Seahawks.
  • Rick: Rams.

Denver Broncons (1-2) at Tennessee Titans (2-1)
  • Peter: Titans. The Broncos are awful running it (2.5 per rush), and that's going to doom them in Nashville. If Laurence Maroney's the answer, my name's Joe Don Looney.
  • Andrew: Titans. I don't get the reference, Peter. 
  • George: Broncons. Finally, he picks a visiting team.
  • Ryan: Titans.
  • Rick: Titans.

Indianapolis Colts (2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
  • Peter: Colts. The Colts have won the last three in the series by seven, two and four points. The Jags are in no condition to keep this one close, not coming off consecutive 25-point thrashings.
  • Andrew: Colts. Cracker, please. 
  • George: Colts.
  • Ryan: Colts.
  • Rick: Colts.

Houston Texans (2-1) at Oakland Raiders (1-2)
  • Peter: Texans. Raiders giving up 4.6 yards per rush. Arian Foster gaining 5.9 per rush. If Houston's secondary weren't so green, this would be a rout.
  • Andrew: Texans. I've picked the Raiders with nothing but disastrous results this year.
  • George:Texans.
  • Ryan: Texans.
  • Rick: Texans.

Washington Redskins (1-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)
  • Peter: Eagles. Nice day for Donovan McNabb; I feel a loud cheer coming when he makes his way onto the Linc field Sunday. Better day for Michael Vick, who will whisper in McNabb's ear after the game: "I owe you so much for helping me get here.''
  • Andrew: Eagles. I have been wrong about the Redskins every week so far. I have no idea what to expect from this team from one week to the next. 
  • George: Redskins.
  • Ryan: Eagles.
  • Rick: Redskins.

Arizona Cardinals (2-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)
  • Peter: Chargers. It's not often a coach can coach 200 NFL games and keep his job while being under .500. But Norv Turner, including playoffs, is 95-104-1, and even though he and A.J. Smith have a very good working relationship, and the Chargers won 13 games last year, Turner can't keep losing to the Kansas Citys and the Seattles if he wants job security.
  • Andrew: Chargers. I'm with you, Pete. I don't know how Norv Turner still has a job. His primary skill as a coach seems to be giving people the idea that his team is going to be AWESOME next year. Every year.
  • George: Cardinals.
  • Ryan: Chargers.
  • Rick: Chargers.

Chicago Bears (3-0) at New York Giants (1-2)
  • Peter: Bears. The Giants will be a desperate, angry team Sunday night, but they're not better than the Bears (though sometimes in the NFL that doesn't matter as much as the desperation). If I'd seen the Giants play with any consistency in the first 12 quarters, I'd be inclined to have them win a game they have to have. But I haven't seen the Giants' big players -- Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, Steve Smith -- play big so far, and the first three weeks of the season have been highlight-filled by Chicago's Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher, among other Bears. If I were Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, I'd be sending the house at Cutler, trying to force him into errors. But I'm not sure that'll win this game.
  • Andrew: Bears. I'm a Bear-liever.
  • George: Bears.
  • Ryan: Giants.
  • Rick: Giants.

New England Patriots (2-1) at Miami Dolphins (2-1)
  • Peter: Dolphins. Until the Patriots improve their pass defense (foes are completing 69 percent of their throws), they're the third-best team in the division.
  • Andrew: Patriots. I'm pretty shaky about this pick.
  • George: Dolphins.
  • Ryan: Patriots.
  • Rick: Dolphins.


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