The Old Man’s Picks – Week Four

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By Jeff Heck, Bears Claws contributor

Disclaimer: “He who gambles, lives in shambles.”
Week three is over and the Old Man lost a little traction as he only went 10-6. I’m guessing I’m not alone. Seriously, who saw the Browns winning at Minnesota? The Colts over the 49ers? Trent Richardson being traded to the Colts? The Bengals win over the Packers via their D….oh wait, I did see that one (see week three picks)! How will your team fare this week? Keep reading to find out, unless your team is Green Bay or Carolina, who are both on a bye. As usual, games are predicted straight up. Points are only used as a reference. All games are on Sunday unless otherwise noted.

San Francisco 49ers (-3) at St. Louis Rams – Thursday Night

My oh my what a difference a few weeks make. The 49ers are 1-2, Colin Kapernick hasn’t been Colin Kapernick, and between injuries and rehab, the 49er defense “ain’t what is used to be.” The Rams are having their struggles too…stopping the run, running the ball, passing the ball, you get the point. If the 49ers are smart, they’ll forget about the forward pass for most of the night and run the read option until their legs give out. I just can’t see the 49ers dropping three straight. Harbaugh and company bounce back tonight.

Minnesota Vikings (-1) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (London, England)

Big Ben visits Big Ben. Who would have thought in week four, the London football fanatics would be treated to a battle of 0-3 teams. Adrian Peterson has pretty much been held in check this season and the Steelers are encountering some checks of their own. The one thing about the Steelers, lost in the final score against the Bears is the fact that Rothlesberger threw for over 400 yards and Antonio Brown had almost 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Add the return of rookie Le’Veon Bell, I think the Steelers will win this one.

 

Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Buffalo Bills

If ever there was a trap game for the Ravens, this is it. They’re coming off a big win against the Texans, a team many consider the best in the AFC, and if an upset were going to happen, this would be the game…but it won’t. I do like the Bills and I think they are better than expected, but the Ravens D is playing some solid ball right now. I don’t think the Bills rookie QB will get the Ravens D figured out, and the Ravens will shut down the run. The Old Man has to go with the Ravens in this one.

Cincinnati Bengals (-5) at Cleveland Browns

The Browns had a pretty uneventful week. All they did was trade away a guy whom many believe was their best player, start a backup quarterback, and go on the road and spank the Vikings. This week, in state rival Cincinnati comes to town and these games are always tough. The Bengals came from behind to beat the Packers last week and the Old Man thinks they Bengals have turned a corner. Bengals by ten.

Indianapolis Colts (-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars

The Colts may be for real. Adding Richardson to the backfield gives them a very potent running game to go along with Andrew Luck’s arm. This team is a flashback to the days of Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Peyton Manning. The Colts should be able to put up some points, which the Jags won’t, errr can’t. Go with the Colts in this one.

Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Houston Texans

This is a big time game for the Texans who, in my opinion, may be a bit overrated. Yes, they are 2-1, but they squeaked by the Chargers and had to go to OT to beat the Titans. They’ve given up more points than they’ve scored this year and just don’t look very sharp. The Seahawks are not the same team on the road as they are at home, but they’re undefeated and playing better ball than the Texans at this point in the season. The Seahawks go on the road and get the  win.

Arizona Cardinals (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Old Man finally got a Cards game right! Can I make it two in a row? Probably not! Bruce Arians is doing a masterful job in Arizona and I really think in a few years they’ll be serious contenders in the NFC. This week they go to Tampa to take on the winless and somewhat punch less Bucs. Tough game to call…but I think the Bucs come away with their first W of the season. I will say this, if the Bucs lose this one, look for some major changes sooner than ownership wants.

Chicago Bears (+3) at Detroit Lions

The Old Man is really enjoying the new look Bears. Did you see Jay Cutler bowl over Robert Golden! This week, they are in for a tough one. The Lions always play the Bears tough at Ford Field. The Old Man thinks the division will come down to these two teams at the end of the year. I really hate to do it, but I think the winning streak is over as the Lions have just enough to out duel Cutler and company at home.

New York Giants (+4) at Kansas City Chiefs

It’s Spanish heritage month in the NFL and I’m pretty sure Tom Coughlin was doing his best Roberto Duran “No Mas! No Mas!” imitation on the sideline. I thought the Giants would lose the game, but not get beat into a pulp in the process. This week the G-Men travel to the heartland and face the undefeated Chiefs. If they’re not careful, they may get beat just as bad this week. Go with the Chiefs, they are the real deal.

New York Jets (+4) at Tennessee Titans

How bout them Titans! Jake Locker and crew pulled off an amazing last minute win last week against the Chargers. This week the Titans host the Jets, who had twenty, yes, twenty penalties against the Bills, and still managed to pull out the win. This promises to be one ugly game with a lot of lipstick on the pig. The Old Man thinks the Titans will put a little more lipstick on their pig and win. Take the Titans at home.

Dallas Cowboys (-2) at San Diego Chargers

The Cowboys played a very complete game against the Rams last week, while the Chargers continue to lose in the final minutes. Seriously, how do they continue to do it? For some odd reason, the Old Man just thinks the Chargers are going to cruise in this one. Call it intuition, but I’m calling it a Chargers victory over the Cowboys.

Washington Redskins (-3) at Oakland Raiders

Another tough game to call as the Raiders will present enough problems to frustrate the Redskin defense. Problem is the Redskins will also frustrate the Raider D, or lack thereof. I think this may be the week that RG3 returns to his old form for the entire game. The Old Man has noticed he just doesn’t have the speed he did last year, it could be the brace, but he’s still very elusive. Go with the Redskins on the road in a close one.

Philadelphia Eagles (+10) at Denver Broncos

After watching their performance against the Chiefs last Thursday, the Old Man has quit drinking the Chip Kelly Kool-Aid. The Eagles may have had their “one shining moment” this season. And poor Michael Vick, he’s taken more shots than Aldon Smith at an open bar…okay, low blow, but you get the point. I don’t’ know if Vick will make it through this game let alone the season. If Philly isn’t careful, you’re going to see Nick Foles sooner rather than later. The Broncos, who’s playing better right now? No one. Broncos are too much at home.

New England Patriots (Pick em’) at Atlanta Falcons – Sunday Night

The undefeated Pats make a visit to Atlanta on Sunday night. If this were a day game, I’d like the Pats odds a lot better. The Falcons always show up for prime time games and they need this one to keep pace with the Saints. The Pats face a solid test on the road and fail. Go with the Falcons.

Miami Dolphins (+6) at New Orleans Saints – Monday Night

The good news for Dolphin fans is they are undefeated. The bad news, they go to New Orleans on a Monday night. Drew Brees and the Saints are almost magical on Monday Night Football, and I don’t think anything will be different in this one. I like the Dolphins, I think they’ve turned a corner, but I can’t go against the Saints in this one. Take the home dog.

 

That’s it for week four. Take it to the bank!

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