Last week in the NFL, the Cowboys gave away another late lead, to lose a game they had seemed destined to win. Having lost to the Jets in week 1 after a Romo fumble and a blocked punt, this time the Cowboys literally threw away a seventeen point lead, their quarterback throwing three interceptions – two of which were returned by the Lions for touchdowns. The Eagles also were victims of a comeback, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 24-23, dropping Philadelphia to 1-3 for the season. Elsewhere, the Patriots bounced back from their defeat to the Bills in Week 3 to beat the Raiders in Oakland; the Packers were powered by four throwing touchdowns from Rodgers, who added two more with his feet, in their 49-23 demolition of the Denver Broncos; the Ravens thrashed the Jets 34-17, in a game in which neither quarterback, Sanchez nor Flacco, distinguished themselves. The Giants and the Redskins both won, leaving the two tied atop the NFC East with records of 3-1; Washington beat the St. Louis Rams, who remain winless alongside the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts, who have still not been able to cope with the loss of their quarterback and leader, Peyton Manning.
Week 5 is the first to include bye weeks, so this round gives a rest to Cleveland, Dallas, St. Louis, Miami, Washington and Baltimore. For teams that are playing, NFC North rivals the Bears and Lions play each other in Monday Night Football in Detroit; the Packers travel to Atlanta to face a Falcons team they defeated in the playoffs in convincing fashion last January; . In another rematch from January’s postseason, the Jets and Patriots meet up again in Boston, Tom Brady looking to gain revenge for New England’s defeat.
Last week 8-8, season 32-32 – this week I’ll provide a reason for each pick
Home teams in bold
Bills + 2.5 over Eagles – because Buffalo is 3-1, Philadelphia 1-3 and the line is just wrong
Bengals +2.5 over Jaguars – because Cincy has a good defence and I do not think Jacksonville will win the game, let alone cover
Titans +7.5 over Steelers – because I do no see Pittsburgh covering when their QB is injured and they have been unconvincing thus far
Chiefs +2.5 over Colts – simply taking the points – Kansas City has looked much improved in the last two weeks, and Indy are still winless.
Raiders +6.5 over Texans – Houston has not played particularly well thus far and yet are 3-1, meanwhile Oakland has lost to New England and a tough one in Buffalo, but I can see them at least covering this spread.
Vikings -2.5 over Cardinals – because the coin came up tails – I could not pick between these two woeful teams.
Saints -5.5 over Panthers – New Orleans has been quietly putting together good results since their opening day loss to the Packers. They’ll continue that run here.
Giants -9.5 over Seahawks – I do not think the Giants can cover this spread, yet I do not think that Tavaris Jackson can keep Seattle this close…changed my mind several times but decided that the NFC West is so bad, I had to take New York.
49ers -1.5 over Buccaneers – because although I do not trust Alex Smith, despite him leading San Francisco to last week’s win over the Eagles, Tampa Bay played Monday night on the East Coast and have a short week before the West Coast game on Sunday.
Chargers -4.5 over Broncos – I would have taken San Diego at 9.5 let alone -4.5
Patriots -9.5 over Jets – because Brady will be out for revenge, and will doubtlessly get it, as well as the Jets looking very ropey in their last two games.
Packers -5.5 over Falcons – because Green Bay is the best team in the league, and I’m biased.
Bears +5.5 over Lions – I think this will be a close game, so taking the points.