Alright, so I just posted the week 3 picks/recap...then I checked Yahoo!'s front page, and apparently the referees and the NFL have agreed on a deal. Awesome. There will always be mistakes and boneheaded calls, but those now become exceptions, instead of painful norms. It makes one look forward to week 4 with just a bit more hope for good, watchable football action.
Also, the Bye Weeks are starting. Out this week: Indianapolis, Pittsburgh
Patriots @ Bills:
Yes, the Patriots are reeling after two straight losses, but they are going to be on the road again, and Buffalo restored a bit of confidence with a win over the Browns. Tom Brady is a great QB, but his O-line is not helping him out at all (trend of the year), and he is neither fleet-footed nor bulky enough to escape pressure like many younger QBs. The Bills should pull it out, but it'll be close.
Predictions: Brady throws the same number of TDs as picks. Whoever starts at RB for Buffalo gains 120+ YFS. Mario Williams notches a 3-sack game.
Saints @ Packers:
So...Sean Payton seems to matter to that Saints team, and three losses to open the season drive that fact home pretty well. Brees does have the rare opportunity to match Unitas' streak of consecutive games with a TD pass, and he probably won't need the refs' help to do it. The Saints defense...who dat? The Packers O should really put on a show, and a game akin to last year's opener could be forthcoming.
Predictions: Brees and Rodgers combine for 750 passing yards and 8 TDs. The game is decided by a safety. Both kickers miss a field goal from ~35 yards out.
Giants @ Eagles:
Giants D-line playing against that offensive mess in Philly? Sure, the Giants are short on CBs, but the receivers can't catch the ball in Vick is running around and chucking it willy-nilly all day long. Look for Eli to have another strong game, probably not numbers-wise, but certainly a winning performance.
Predictions: Andre Brown has another 100-yd game. Ramses Barden catches more TDs than the entire Eagels team. McCoy is a force in the receiving game, racking up a dozen catches for 100 yards.
Bears @ Cowboys:
At the start of the season, this may have been a "probable loss," and it could certainly turn out that way. Similar situation to 2010, week 2, and I'm thinking identical result. The offense, led by a resurgent Jay Cutler, finally carries its own weight and eases the defense's job, which will be necessary against a potent Cowboys' O. Expect both offensive lines to be tested repeatedly, but the Bears' run game and Tim Jennings make the difference.
Predictions: Jennings adds to his INT total, and Conte grabs one as well. McClellin grabs 2.5 sacks and makes many other big plays. Murray totals 80 yards and a TD
And there we are; 15 games this week, and a whole lot more football. Are you ready?