The Once-Over: Week Four

With attention spans dwindling, we forego full game-by-game previews to give you the essentials you need to know about every contest this glorious NFL weekend. Click here to go back in time.

The 1s

Cleveland at Cincinnati: So here are a few fun facts heading into the showdown of Team Zeros. Carson Palmer has more fumbles in three games (2) than touchdown passes (1). If you added up both Derek Anderson and Palmer's quarterback ratings, the number would still fall behind Philip Rivers, Kurt Warner and Jay Cutler, and would be just three points ahead of J.T. O'Sullivan and Tony Romo. Anderson's five interceptions are tied for the most in the league. Needless to say, this might not be the game you DVR in hopes of showing your son the proper way to play quarterback.

Pick: Cincinnati

Houston at Jacksonville:
Is it fair to say that Houston is slowly taking the place of Arizona as "the team everyone picks as their pre-season sleeper to the point that they're over-hyped and fall flat on their face?" The Texans limp in with the third worst quarterback in the league statistically and the third worst defense, going up against a Jacksonville team that just claimed their first victory in one of those "win or send all the ticket holders a free iPhone" games against the Colts. If there was ever a time for Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Jones to make some magic happen, it is at home against Houston who is giving up 170.5 yards a game on the ground. You know what they call what I just did? Blogger research. It's tough to come by so enjoy the smell.

Pick: Jacksonville


Atlanta at Carolina: Alright, time for a little Michael Turner talk. In the two home games this season, he's rushed for 324 yards and five touchdowns. In the one away game he played, against Tampa Bay, he rushed for a measly 42 yards and no end zone visits. So, in conclusion, I don't love Turner or Matt Ryan on the road. Sorry Matt, but this has letdown game written all over it.

Pick: Carolina

Denver at Kansas City: Upset Alert, Upset Alert. We can all agree that the Broncos are playing miles above their head and the Chiefs haven't yet realized the season has started. Kansas City is horrible, but this is one of those pivotal games for them if they want to avoid actually going winless in 2008. If they can't get up for a Bronco visit to Arrowhead, they really are as pitiful as we previously believed. Also, Cutler is due for an off game.

Pick: Kansas City

San Francisco at New Orleans: I really have no clue how to feel about either of these teams. The 49ers still have a quarterback that I continually have to check if it is "J.T." or just "JT" and if one more receiver goes down with injury for the Saints, Drew Brees will be seen walking up Bourbon Street just throwing balls to drunks to see if they have good hands. This might be random, but who would have ever thought that coming out of USC, Reggie Bush would be the lesser known famous person in his relationship. I'm still waiting for FOX to cut to shots of Kim Kardashian bending over in the box after a Bush touchdown and the producer screaming frantically into the cameraman's earpiece, "ZOOM OUT PHIL, I SAID ZOOM OUT!"

Pick: New Orleans

Arizona at NY Jets:
What was that? Brett Favre retired, came back from retirement, couldn't land a gig with the Packers so he debated on teams, eventually landed with the Jets and still has games where he could have easily thrown four picks against a mediocre San Diego defense? Whodathunkit!?! I blame that game on all the fantasy football owners around the world that picked Favre three rounds too early, forgetting that for the past eight years before 2007 he was probably the biggest liability on your lineup. Oh, and if Warner continues to put up these numbers I will begin blogging while wearing two gloves full time.

Pick: Arizona

Green Bay at Tampa Bay: If anyone wants to bet me that Chris Berman doesn't use the term "Battle of the Bays" I will gladly take any and all amounts of money, even if I have to pull a Lee Trevino and take the offer on potential credit. I think the throttling that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers took from the Cowboys in their own house will linger and the Bucs will be the most underrated 3-1 team in the league.

Pick: Tampa Bay

Minnesota at Tennessee:
Am I the only one not sold on this Titans team? People are crowning them the team to beat in the AFC and they have one quality win, an opening day victory over Jacksonville. Since then, they've taken down the Bengals on the road and the Texans at home. Meanwhile, the Vikings have played at Lambeau, at home against Indianapolis and a must win against Carolina. We also must note that the first two games were orchestrated by Tarvaris Jackson, which is like asking Heidi Montag to recreate Beethoven's fifth Symphony. Tennessee allowed Steve Slaton to rush for 116 yards and a score and nobody is worried about Adrian Peterson?

Pick: Minnesota

The 4s

San Diego at Oakland: These are two other teams desperately searching for an identity. The Chargers have dealt with the Carolina game winner and then the tough loss to the Ed Hochulis while Oakland beat Kansas City and nearly upset Buffalo at home. I really wish for one quarter that the Raiders would just say screw it and run some sort of option with Jamarcus Russell and Darren McFadden. That might be the only way to pull viewers away from the Dallas game.

Pick: San Diego

Buffalo at St. Louis:
This is one of the few times in NFL history that a team could probably move from their "new" home back to where they came from (LA) and nobody would even notice. It is strange to think just two years ago I kept LaDainian Tomlinson and Marc Bulger in my two-player keeper league. Buffalo could very easily be 5-0 heading into their Week 6 bye.

Pick: Buffalo

Washington at Dallas:
It is a pretty scary thought when you could realistically put the Cowboy offense against a Pro Bowl defense and even consider for a second that the Cowboys could win. The crazier thing is, the Cowboys offense hasn't exactly been explosive this season besides the Monday Night showdown against Philadelphia. It doesn't matter here, because the Redskins have absolutely no chance of beating Dallas. Zero. None. Zilch. Thanks for coming.

Pick: Dallas

Sunday Night

Philadelphia at Chicago:
So Donovan McNabb and his offense go to Texas Stadium, put up 37 points in a losing effort and then scores 15 total points against the Steelers at home? How does that make any sense at all? The good news for the Eagles is they are playing against Kyle Orton and the only playmaker on the entire team, Devin Hester, hasn't practiced this week and is in danger of missing another game. Do you think Hester swings the line on Bears games by 5 points? I'm pretty sure he does. I bet the special team huddles sure are different when they don't have that crazy guy returning kicks and punts.

Pick: Philadelphia

Monday Night

Baltimore at Pittsburgh:
Players out for Pittsburgh -- Willie Parker, Casey Hampton, Steelers offensive line (mentally). Players out for Baltimore -- Willis McGahee, Troy Smith and Kyle Boller. I think you have to give the edge to Steelers, but if the Ravens can somehow win this game, would they be the most surprising 3-0 team in the history of football? They have Joe Flacco as quarterback, we need to remember this. Also, I'm hoping the Ravens can somehow win because the 98 percent of FanHouse NFL writers are hardcore Steelers homers that always rant and rave about how good they are. It's like the blogger version of Dick Vitale and Duke basketball.

Pick: (Sigh) Pittsburgh



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