NFL GAMES OF THE WEEK – 2016 – WEEK FOUR

02Oct16

Okay, I’m back after taking last week off. Given the choice of taking another crack at picking winners in a league full of upsets or spending the weekend with the oldest grandkids, it was a no-brainer.

While I was gone, several teams in the league also took the week off. Among them were three of my final four playoff teams, including both of my projected Super Bowl opponents (see I Hate Preseason Predictions ..… But Here Are Mine – 9/7/16).

But now it’s time to figure out which teams are for real, which teams are playing like manure and which teams have simply had an easy schedule so far (and are about to come crashing back down to earth).

NFL Football

This week’s Lock of the Week (2-0).

Kansas City at Pittsburgh.

Prior to last week, I would have predicted a massacre on this one. After all, KC had been playing Jeckyll & Hyde this season, while the Steelers had been taking care of business. Then last week came around and Pittsburgh was a no-show against Philadelphia, making the Eagles look like a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

So what can we expect this week? Well, let’s see. The Steelers are getting their Pro Bowl RB back from his latest suspension (don’t get me started on that one!), they are home for this contest, and they were embarrassed by their cross-state rivals last week. Something tells me they’ll show up this week.

Kansas City, meanwhile, has shown us that they are capable of competing at a high level for at least two quarters every game. But will that be enough this week? I don’t think so. This one may be close for the first half. Heck, it may even be close for three quarters. But look for the Steelers to play four quarters this week, pulling away for a double digit victory.

Final score – Pittsburgh 30, Kansas City 16.

stelers

This week’s Upset of the Week (0-2).

Seattle at N.Y. Jets.

I can’t believe I am even considering this one. My preseason projections had Seattle as one of the powerhouses of the NFC and the Jets trying to stay out of last place in the AFC East.

Fast forward three weeks, and we see the Seahawks struggling mightily and the Jets playing solid ball. Okay, so their records indicate otherwise (Seattle is 2-1 while New York is 1-2), but don’t be fooled by that. The Seahawks are hard pressed to move the ball on offense, and it isn’t just because Wilson is hobbling on one leg. The offensive line is hurting bad. It may very well be one of the worst in the league. And with Wilson not able to scramble like Tarkenton (Google it kids), there is no passing game.

Meanwhile, the Jets defense has been playing okay while the offense plays up to their QBs ability, meaning when Fitzpatrick plays well, so do the Jets. This week they’re coming home to take on a scary opponent at the perfect time. When they are injured and weak!

Look for a low scoring, defensive battle, with the home team pulling it out in the end.

Final Score – N.Y. Jets 20, Seattle 16.

jets

This week’s Game of the Week (1-1).

N.Y. Giants at Minnesota.

Okay, so I struggled to decide which game to go with for this category. I had both of these teams making the playoffs. Minnesota as the dark horse, even without their starting QB. And the Giants because, well, they are in the NFC East, so let’s be real!

Now the Vikings have lost their Pro Bowl RB, possibly for the season, and have a starting QB that has yet to finish a season in the vertical position. And yet they have found a way to be one of the five remaining undefeated teams in the league. And they have gone through Green Bay and Carolina in the process!

Meanwhile the Giants have looked anything but stellar on the way to their 2-1 record, which includes a loss at home to the Redskins last week on a closing minute field goal.

The only reason I’m picking this one to finish close is because the Vikings have so many key injuries. But there’s no doubt who will win the game.

Final Score – Minnesota 20, N.Y. Giants 17.

Vikings Helmet

This is week four. Historically, by this point in the season, the upsets have subsided to a reasonable level. That means these games should be a little bit easier to pick from this point on. So there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll go 3-0 this week.

Yeah, yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket!

Tommy Flanagan

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