NFL Week 4
Well, it’s Week 4 and I’m not going to lie, I’m already kind of over it.
Not because the games haven’t been great, since a wide majority have been pretty watchable. Not because my team – the Rams – are lousy. Well, they are, but they’re 2-1 in their first season back in Los Angeles and I have no right to complain.
I just can’t seem to make sense of what’s going on. How are the Patriots 3-0? How are the Eagles 3-0? What the hell is going on with the Cardinals? And Sam Bradford is great now?
Seriously, what the hell? But I guess the reason I’m really upset is because of my …
Week 3 picks: 5-11.
Ugh. Just ugh.
(Discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
I don’t understand it. The Bills fire their offensive coordinator and then put up 33 points against Arizona. The Bengals let Trevor Siemian throw 4 touchdown passes in their house.
Makes me want to vomit. At least the Eagles and Cowboys made me look somewhat intelligent. But other than that, Week 3 was a horror show for Uncle Sid.
Raise your glass to: Josh McDaniels
Anyone who isn’t a Patriots fan knows it’s never easy to give credit to New England. But offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been masterful despite not having Tom Brady in the lineup. He had Jimmy Garoppolo looking like an All-Pro and even rookie Jacoby Brissett looked sharp in his one start.
He’s going to be a head coach again in this league. Sooner rather than later.
Boo this man: Sid Saraf
You can’t go 5-11 in picks. You just can’t. I wish I had an offensive coordinator to fire.
OK, let’s move on to Week 4!
DOLPHINS AT BENGALS
Cincinnati is raising eyebrows with its 1-2 start, but things should get better. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict returns from his three-game suspension this week and although we don’t know how much he’ll play on Thursday, just having him around should give a boost to a defense that looked bad against the Broncos.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins are coming off a win against the Browns and their third-string quarterback, but that game was way closer than it should have been.
Thursday games are always a crapshoot, but I’ll go with the team playing in their second straight home game with something to prove.
COLTS AT JAGUARS
Nothing like having a home game, amirite Jacksonville? Too bad it’s in London.
The Jaguars (0-3) needed to show people something this season and so far, their biggest claim to fame is making the Packers sweat at the end of their Week 1 loss. Now they’ve got a divisional game against a Colts team that hasn’t been great either.
Indianapolis did get into the win column last week, but might be in for trouble in foggy Londontown early Sunday morning. Let’s call for an upset here.
SEAHAWKS AT JETS
Looks like Russell Wilson won’t be in the lineup for this one and the Seahawks have to travel cross-country and play a dreaded 1 p.m. ET start. Even if Wilson is active, there’s no way he’s going to be running all over the field with a sprained MCL in his knee.
One thing the NFL teaches you is that it’s rare for a team to play horribly two weeks in a row. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but it’s rare. Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 6 interceptions last week. There’s no way he does that again.
I’m calling for the “upset” here in a game the Seahawks can probably afford to drop.
LIONS AT BEARS
I view this game much like I view this presidential election. I’m not particularly fond of either team, but one is definitely the lesser of two evils. Makes my pick pretty easy.
BILLS AT PATRIOTS
Does it really matter who the Patriots play at quarterback? Do you really care anymore? New England could line up with Julian Edelman, Steve Grogan, Jim Plunkett or Scott Zolak under center and I’d still pick them to win.
Now, that doesn’t mean I can’t see the Bills winning this one, because the NFL is just like that sometimes, but I just can’t bring myself to pick against Belichick, especially after he made me look stupid last Thursday.
BROWNS AT REDSKINS
I had circled this game on the calendar when the NFL schedule came out, because I wanted to see what would happen when Robert Griffin III returned to Washington. I should have known that since this is RG3, there’s no way he would be healthy for this one.
Instead we get Cody Kessler leading the walking dead, err, the Cleveland Browns into FedEx Field. This is the type of team Redskins QB Kirk Cousins lit up last season.
He’ll do it again.
PANTHERS AT FALCONS
The Panthers lost just once during the 2015 regular season and that was at Atlanta. The Falcons offense has come alive and they’re always a tough out at the Georgia Dome.
Sorry, Carolina, you’re falling to 1-3.
RAIDERS AT RAVENS
Seems like the Ravens have reversed their fortunes from last season. Let’s face it, Baltimore’s problem in 2015 was a terrible record in close games and a considerable amount of injuries.
The Ravens have won all three games this season by less than six points each time. Their defense has also been stout against the run and has 5 interceptions. And the many veterans on the roster, which a few dummies snickered about before the season started, have been strong and steadying.
The Raiders looked great against what should have been a stout Titans run defense last week, but they won’t have that type of luck this week in their second straight cross-country road trip.
TITANS AT TEXANS
Houston may have just lost J.J. Watt for the season and the Texans are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Patriots on Thursday night. Now they return home to face a Titans team that hasn’t done much offensively.
The Texans won’t have two special teams flubs this week and they’ll get back to winning after a 10-day break.
BRONCOS AT BUCCANEERS
Head coach Dirk Koetter found a perfect way to describe his Buccaneers.
“I feel like sometimes we find too many ways to lose a game instead of creating ways to win a game,” Koetter told ESPN.
What other way can you explain a loss to the Rams? At home, even. Key turnovers and key mistakes ripped away a winnable game. Now, they get a Broncos team with a defense that has a penchant for making offenses trip over themselves.
And Denver has Trevor Siemian, with his 5 TD passes and 95.9 QB rating. I want to go with Tampa here, especially with the Broncos playing their second straight road game, but the latter has way too much talent.
COWBOYS AT 49ERS
How soon until we see Colin Kaepernick?
“I don’t think he’s ready to go full-time,” head coach Chip Kelly told the team website about his backup QB, who has been working his way back from offseason surgeries.
“I think his playing weight has been around 225, and he’s not at that right now,” Kelly went on. “So he’s going out there and continuing to work, continuing to get better. He had a serious layoff in terms of being able to rehab. To get the full Kap for what you need, the potential that he has, he needs to continue to just work on the physical aspect of things.”
Hopefully, he gets back to 100 percent soon, because Blaine Gabbert isn’t cutting it and I’m dying to see Kaepernick in a Kelly offense.
But in the meantime, they will continue losing.
SAINTS AT CHARGERS
The Saints got their butts kicked at home on Monday night, but the good news is nobody saw it as the presidential debate drew Super Bowl numbers. Poor ESPN, what will the Worldwide Leader do? Maybe waste tons of money making another dumb parody sketch on “His and Hers,” who knows …
Anyway, the Chargers continue to confound me and I don’t expect this week to be any different. However, I will pick them to get a W their house.
RAMS AT CARDINALS
There’s losing and there’s giving up more than 30 points to the Bills in a losing effort on the road while Carson Palmer throws 4 interceptions. The Cardinals’ Week 3 was a bigger nightmare than mine.
But now they’re back home and things will get better, even against a tough Rams front. Look for Arizona to get back on track here.
Full disclosure: I picked the Rams to win Week 1 and they got blown out. I went against them the last two weeks and they came through. I’m hoping for a little bit more of that action now.
CHIEFS AT STEELERS
The Black and Gold don’t get embarrassed often, especially on the road against a rookie quarterback. But things get forgotten fast, especially with Pittsburgh getting RB Le’Veon Bell after the latter’s suspension.
Head coach Mike Tomlin is already telling us to expect ‘a lot’ of Bell and you can also expect that Ben Roethlisberger won’t gift the Chiefs 4 interceptions like Carson Palmer did last week.
Pittsburgh will bounce back.
GIANTS AT VIKINGS
Hey! A Monday night matchup that isn’t a stinker!
I’m all in on Sam Bradford now after watching him lead the Vikings past the Panthers on the road in Week 3. And with a defense that hasn’t let a team score at least 20 points in a quite a long time, expect Minnesota to keep its good start going at home.
Currently a Mobile Editor at Yahoo, Saraf spent 5.5 years (Oct. 2010 - Feb. 2016) working for FOX Sports as an NFL Editor and Writer. Prior to that, Saraf worked for CBS Interactive for 4.5 years (May 2006 - Oct. 2010) as a Staff Editor.