Editor Russ Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 4


8-5-2 (19-23-5)

Miami (-4) over Oakland
Miami’s offensive attack is more balanced and their defense will snap out of slump.   Dolphins have more playmakers and they will protect their house.

Atlanta (+3) over Houston
Falcons are due for a win and Texans have nobody to go to on offense.  Atlanta’s defense will keep ’em up for most of the game and rushing attack will pay dividends.

Baltimore (-4.5) over Cleveland
Baltimore makes Cleveland one-dimensional this week and Ravens own this team.  Look for defense to have their first big game and come out smoking.

Detroit (pick) over Chicago
Bears have lost a step on defense because of injuries and Lions still can pass a lot, which will pose problems for the Windy City Soldiers.  Detroit’s passing attack is too effective and I don’t see Chicago rebounding anytime soon, expect big things from Roy Williams/Kitna early and often, once again.

Green Bay (-1) over Minnesota
Packers all the way here vs. the hapless, hopeless, and awful Vikes offense.  Favre to Driver, Jones, and Jennings will be too much for Minn. to handle.  AJ Hawk and Co. will be world-beaters on defense this week.

Dallas over St. Louis
Whatever the spread is take the ‘boys in a rout.  There is no way for the Rams because of injuries and Dallas is clicking on all cylinders, too easy.

NY Jets (-3) over Buffalo
N.Y. Jets are going to start a winning streak and I say they will punish Buffalo’s rookie QB Trent Edwards (Stanford).  It will be like Oregon vs. the Cardinal – for a College Football analogy.  Jets in a decisive, convincing victory, as they move on to turn around season with good running and strong defensive performance.

Tampa Bay (-3.5) over Carolina
I’m going to ride my team’s play until they show me otherwise, keep an eye on that Tampa defense, which is giving the team solid play from all aspects/areas of the field.  Bucs Offense is scoring points in bunches, and Carolina’s all over the place.

49ers (+1.5) over Seattle
I’ll take the home team here and have All-Pro RB Frank Gore to make a statement, giving us a clinic Sunday.   49ers defense will shut down the pass and turn it around from last week’s blowout at Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh (-5) over Arizona
Should not matter who gets most time @ QB for Arz., as Steelers defense will blitz big-time no matter what.  “Fast” Willie Parker for 175 yards, Roethlisberger for 3 TD’s, and Pittsburgh defense for 5 sacks in a victory.

S.D. (-12) over K.C.
Chargers and Tomlinson make this game a blowout in the 4th qtr., as they move out ahead with some good running for the 1st time all year.

Denver (+9.5) over Indy
Broncos defense keeps it close as they run the ball effectively on offense, while Indy has trouble early on in the 1st half, trying to contain/stop Henry from 100 yards.  Denver’s pass defense makes this game closer than the experts say and they make it a contest towards the end.  Manning and Co. win the game and Addai leads the gang with some tough running up front, Denver’s best vs. Indy’s best on the road – just isn’t enough.  Turnovers and time of possession come back to hurt Coach Shanahan and his team’s chances late in the defining moments of the battle, as the clock runs out with a sack and a fumble on the final play.

Philadelphia (-3) over N.Y.
Eagles offense vs. New York’s defense ~ Enough Said, Already…  Philly’s offense is too much and McNabb/Westbrook connection cannot be stopped, look for Eagles defense to show up, making big plays, unlike it has the past three weeks.  Expect Philly to have some unsung hereos that make this game 20-point victory, as they move on to conquer the NFC East Title, making sure the crown is still there’s for now.

Cincy (+7) over N.E.
If there was ever a game Patriots could fall, it’d be this one…  Pats look like the best team through three weeks, though their secondary hasn’t been tested at all.  Expect Carson Palmer to go no-huddle, throw quick slants, and expose match-up problems early & often, as Bengals get off to great start, jumpstarting a team in desperate need.  High-Scoring affair will be won by Pats in a close one on a final drive by Mr. Cool – #12 Tom Brady, as he hooks up w / Ben Watson for final score.  Whoever has ball last will win, so expect 34+ points from each squad and the Pats to play the game they way Cincy does, at it’s pace & tempo.  Look for Palmers to give N.E. defense all sorts of trouble and throw over 55 times.

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