Silver Chips Online

NFL Week Four predictions

The week of the upset

By Abe Schwadron, Online Managing Editor, Josh Zipin, Online Managing Sports Editor and Phillip Allen, Online Managing Sports Editor
October 1, 2006
Mark Brunell will face his old team Jacksonville this week when the Jags invade FedEx Field for a big matchup with the Redskins, Seattle and Chicago square off Sunday night for the right to be called #1 in the NFC and the Chargers face the Ravens for a defensive battle that will leave one team undefeated and the other with an L on their record. In short, this Sunday's slew of NFL games is a big one. It's time for teams to separate from the pack, and as for our standings so far, well, Pia has done most of the separating. She still hasn't gone over the 10-loss mark yet…jeez, Josh, Phil and I need to step our game up.


Overall
Josh 28-17
Abe 26-19
Pia 36-9
Phil 31-14


Last Week
Josh 9-5
Abe 8-6
Pia 11-3
Phil 9-5


Sunday, October 1, 2006

Arizona Cardinals (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta


Josh says: It's physically impossible for Atlanta's run game to be shut down two weeks in a row.

Abe says: Can Kurt "I fumble every other time I touch the ball" Warner lead the Cards to a road victory? I say "Nay."

Pia says: Atlanta is looking to bounce back from getting thrashed 23-3 last week in New Orleans, and shouldn't be seeing much resistance from a team still struggling with a quarterback controversy and a running back that doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Phil says: The Saints proved that their defense I legitimate after shutting down the Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick last Monday night. The same can't be said about the Cardinals front seven ad with Kurt Warner the turnover machine at the helm it looks like the falcons will get it back in gear for a W.

Dallas Cowboys (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (0-3)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Dallas Tennessee Dallas Dallas


Josh says: Even with T.O. almost out for life (hehe), the Cowboys and Bill Parcells get focused enough to beat one of the worst teams in the league. But if Tennessee is ever to beat the Cowboys, this would be the week.

Abe says: To those who said Terrell Owens would not be a distraction for the Cowboys, does the headline "Owens in hospital after attempting suicide" should change your mind. The 'Boys problems will catch up with them on the road in one of my upset specials of the week.

Pia says: Assuming that T.O. is alive and well come Sunday's game, the Cowboys should have no trouble with the winless Titans.

Phil says: TO may be suicidal and have a broken finger but the Titan secondary just stinks.

Indianapolis Colts (3-0) at New York Jets (2-1)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis


Josh says: The Jets are a surprise, but the Colts are just better.

Abe says: Peyton Manning is licking his chops.

Pia says: After a lackluster performance last week against the Jaguars, Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning is traveling back to the Meadowlands (site of Week One's defeat of little brother Eli) to take on the Jets. Yet, the last time the Colts played the Jets at the Meadowlands, they lost 41-0 — the only time Manning has ever been shutout. However that was in 2002, this is 2006. Colts improve to 4-0.

Phil says: Laveranues Coles may keep it close considering the weakness in the Colts secondary but the Jets just don't have the talent to run with these contenders

Miami Dolphins (1-2) at Houston Texans (0-3)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Miami Houston Miami Houston


Josh says: I've already decided that Houston will not win a game this year. Daunte Culpepper just needs to play a little better than horrific and the Dolphins will win.

Abe says: For most, this game seems like an obvious Miami win. Let me remind you of the Dolphins track record. Miami is 1-2, with their only win coming against the equally horrid Titans. I just have a gut feeling the Texans will put together a good game this week at home. WR Andre Johnson is becoming a big threat option for QB David Carr. The only question is whether the Texans can stop anyone…ever.

Pia says: Miami got their first win last week against the winless Tennessee Titans, and can look forward to pulling even this week with a win against winless Houston. Houston is giving up an average of 32.7 points and 483.7 yards per game, whereas last week Miami's defense forced two interceptions and a fumble and ranks fourth in the AFC.

Phil says: I got a feeling. To be honest there is no other serious analysis.

Minnesota Vikings (2-1) at Buffalo Bills (1-2)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota


Josh says: Pardon me for jumping on the bandwagon, but the Vikings are sick nasty good.

Abe says: The Bills burned me the past couple weeks, but I'll pick against them again because I truly believe that the Vikings are simply the better team. That, and Brad Johnson is my homie.

Pia says: Both of these teams are unhappy with their standing after Week Three. Minnesota is averaging seventeen points per game but manages to scrape by with slim victories, while Buffalo has been performing with a stellar offense, but can't score enough points to win. This game will be no different; Minnesota gets the edge due to Buffalo's high disposition for mistakes.

Phil says: While their offense has only scored two touchdowns both in the first game Chester Taylor has shown can carry the workload of a number one back so if Brad Johnson can pull any thing together in the passing game the should rout the Bills and McGahee.

New Orleans Saints (3-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-2)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
New Orleans Carolina New Orleans New Orleans


Josh says: The win at the Superdome last week should give them momentum enough to beat the Panthers. The Panthers also don't have a running game.

Abe says: Steve Smith is back in the building, and he's ready to remind the NFL why he was the league's top WR in 2005. Look for Carolina to regain their footing in the standings this week and prove why everyone from ESPN to Sports Illustrated picked them to win the Super Bowl this year.

Pia says: Let's go Reggie. Let's go! Heisman trophy winner and number two draft pick Reggie Bush is still looking for his first NFL touchdown. Even though Carolina managed to get its first win last week against Tampa Bay, their defense still has a few holes. The Saints go marching on.

Phil says: Now if I was a betting man I would throw all my money down on the Saints over Panthers as Jake Delhomme and crew have failed to scrap up any thing in Steve Smiths absence and some how are still favored by a wild 7.5 points. Defensive End Will Smith and the Saints will manhandle Carolina and win this one out right. Also mark it down Reggie Bush will grab his first NFL touchdown week 4.

San Diego Chargers (2-0) at Baltimore Ravens (3-0)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Baltimore San Diego San Diego Baltimore


Josh says: Young opposing quarterback on the road + toughest defense in the NFL = loss for the Chargers.

Abe says: In what could be the game of the week, I like the Chargers for several reasons. First, there's this guy on the Chargers they call LT that's pretty good. Second, Baltimore has faced three cupcakes so far this year: Tampa Bay, Oakland and Cleveland. I am not impressed. And the third reason I like San Diego on the road? Shawne Merriman's mohawk.

Pia says: The Chargers are well rested after a Week Three bye and are excited about QB Phillip Rivers, who was 25-35 for 235 yards and a touchdown in Week Two. Their defense was about three minutes away from opening with two consecutive shutouts and star RB LaDainian Tomlinson couldn't be stopped. The Ravens are also undefeated and have an equally fearsome defense. Yet after last week's offense struggled against the lowly Cleveland Browns, it looks like the Ravens will be handed their first loss.

Phil says: The Ravens stay undefeated through their first major test. LT will be stuffed like a turkey if tries to out muscle the birds linebackers and Philip Rivers will show that he truly is a first year player.

San Francisco 49ers (1-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City San Francisco


Josh says: I've been so surprised by the 49ers' good start, but this game belongs to Larry Johnson and the Chiefs.

Abe says: With Trent Green out for a few more weeks and the Chiefs reeling, some are calling the upset pick here. But K.C. rarely loses at home. Especially not to the Niners.

Pia says: Kansas City will have to deal with another week without their starting quarterback, Trent Green, who got decked in Week One's game against Cincinnati. Even so, KC's tough defense (rested after last week's bye) will easily overpower Alex Smith and the 49ers.

Phil says: With Frank Gore back… who cares why, but the 49ers got it covered.

Detroit Lions (0-3) at St. Louis Rams (2-1)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Detroit


Josh says: Man, both of these teams are bad. I guess the Rams should take it because they're at home. I wish I didn't have to choose either though to be honest.

Abe says: I was the only one to take the Rams last week, and it worked out for me. I'd like to keep that mojo going this week. Plus, the Lions are ridiculously bad.

Pia says: Detroit's offensive coordinator Mike Martz faces his old team on Sunday in St. Louis, but not quite they way he would have liked to. While the Detroit rush defense is holding up (ranked sixth in the league) the 0-3 Lions are floundering on offense and are 29th in the league for pass defense. St. Louis, with their star offensive member, kicker Jeff Wilkins, will triumph.

Phil says: The Worst show on Turf hosts Lions and to be honest if anyone but Jeff Wilkins scores for the Rams I'll be shocked.

Cleveland Browns (0-3) at Oakland Raiders (0-2)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Cleveland Oakland Cleveland Cleveland


Josh says: Even in the hostile environment of the Black hole, I can't pick the Raiders so long as Andrew Walter is their quarterback.

Abe says: I know what you're thinking: the Raiders are the worst team in the league. Well, here's my response: you're right. But even the worst teams win one game at home, and with the mediocre Browns coming into the Black Hole, this seems like the right time to take a flyer on the Raiders. (I hope.)

Pia says: Oh boy. The dreaded battle of the winless teams. Yet, seeing as Oakland has been outscored 6-55 in two games and lost their starting quarterback to an injury, it will be Cleveland's day.

Phil says: Neither team has a shot at the playoffs this year but if you force me to choose between a noose and a gun I settle with Browns because they at least have a mediocre defense.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) at Washington Redskins (1-2)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Washington Jacksonville Jacksonville Washington


Josh says: I'll admit it, it's a wishful pick, but I am blinded by the return of Clinton Portis.

Abe says: I agonized over this pick for a while—my favorite and hometown team pitted against my Super Bowl pick and adoptive AFC fave. Ultimately, my head won out over my heart. But I still hope I'm wrong.

Pia says: The Redskins won their first game last week! Except that was against Houston, who for multiple years now has had the league's worst defense, no offense, and the country's fattest people. Wait, Chicago now has the last one, but the other two still apply. All kidding aside, the 'Skins are going to have to work a lot harder if they want a win this week.

Phil says: My heart is in this one but it may be the only thing going for the Skins.

New England Patriots (2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati


Josh says: Cincinnati is the real deal. If I could, I would revise my super bowl pick and take the Bengals. Without Deion Branch, the Pats have no deep threat and have become predictable.

Abe says: Carson Palmer & Co. are just plain potent. Brady & Bros. have lagged on D. Cincy's the pick.

Pia says: The Patriots haven't lost consecutive games since December 2002, but that might change this week. New England is 11-8 in the all-time series with Cincinnati, but seven of those eight losses were by double digits. QB Tom Brady is struggling to adapt to his new receivers, and Cincinnati will come away with the win.

Phil says: Historical Bill Belichick has had great success against Marvin Lewis coached teams but he has never faced the Bengals with such a prolific offense. And who can really stop #85.

Seattle Seahawks (3-0) at Chicago Bears (3-0)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago


Josh says: Even with Shaun Alexander, the Seahawks would have trouble against such a formidable defense. Without him, I just don't see how they can win.

Abe says: I'm drinking the Rex Grossman Kool-Aid. And it tastes mighty fine.

Pia says: After 49 consecutive starts, Seattle RB Shaun Alexander will miss his first game ever on Sunday due to a foot injury. Without their star running back, and considering Chicago has not allowed a passing touchdown this season, it looks like the Super Bowl runner-up Seahawks will lose their first game.

Phil says: The More Maurice Morris we come the more problems we see. Translation: Without Shaun Alexander who provides the balance for the Seahawks squad and facing the league's top defense the passing flounders.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Green Bay Packers (1-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's Pick
Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia


Josh says: Donovan McNabb is the king of Philly, and Donte' Stallworth is the prince. The Packers can't mess with that duo.

Abe says: Brett "The Gunslinger" Favre will have his troops ready for a ferocious MNF battle, but the Eagles are by far the better team. I expect Philly's D to have Favre running for dear life and throwing picks all night.

Pia says: With healthy QB Donovan McNabb and RB (and great receiver) Brian Westbrook making up the league's number one offense, the Eagles will have no problem running over the Packers, who despite getting their first win last week, still rank 31st in overall defense.

Phil says: Favre equals cancer. It's time to train Aaron Rodgers.

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