Last week: 10-6
Raiders at Texans
Attention fans in Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa and other cities where you think your team stinks. Things could be worse. Just look to Oakland where the Raiders have put up 36 points through three weeks (worst in the AFC) and third-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell is completing 41.3 percent of his passes with one touchdown and four interceptions. If you head over to the Oakland Tribune's Web site, this headlines sticks out: Poole: Raiders are historically horrendous. Columnist Monte Poole explains that Oakland has the worst record in the NFL over the last 100 games. He writes:
What's more discouraging for longtime Raiders fans is the creeping realization there is no rational reason to expect the next 100 games to be much, if any, better.
Ouch. Too many points here though.
The pick: Raiders (+9)
Titans at Jaguars
Time for MC's Pick of the Week. After a Week 1 loss, he's one win away from being on an official hot streak, having hit on his picks in Weeks 2 and 3. The take here:
The Titans will get their elusive first win this week. Tennessee’s main issue this year has been defending the pass, but Jacksonville’s air attack is not exactly prolific. The Jags don’t have much of a home-field advantage either: they have only covered the spread in one out of their last nine home games.
MC bringing the knowledge this week. It certainly can't help that the Jags' stands are half-empty during home games.
The pick: Titans (-3)
Ravens at Patriots
The timing is good for the Eagles' bye. Several really good games this week, including the undefeated Ravens going to New England. Unfortunately, for those of you in the Philadelphia area, unless you have the NFL package or are going to a bar, you won't be able to watch this game. The Ravens have put up 103 points through three games, the top mark in the AFC, and it's not even close. The Chargers are second with 73. With the Patriots' receivers banged-up, I think John Harbaugh's crew goes to Foxboro and gets the win.
The pick: Ravens (+1.5)
Giants at Chiefs
Tough to get over just how bad the Chiefs looked last week at the Linc. Did we see a single instance where it looked like the players were buying in to Todd Haley? No enthusiasm at all from them. I know he's only three games in, but Haley's off to a brutal start. Can't see how you take the Chiefs here, and the betting public agrees (which can be dangerous). According to sportsbook.com's Betting Trends page, 90 percent of the action is on the G-Men.
The pick: Giants (-9)
Bucs at Redskins
Count me among those that thought the Redskins could make some noise in the NFC East this year. Count me also among those wondering what the hell they were thinking three weeks in. The only question now seems to be which big-name coach Daniel Snyder will bring in to replace Jim Zorn in 2010. Mike Shanahan? Mike Holmgren? Only a matter of time at this point.
The pick: Bucs (+7.5)
Seahawks at Colts
The Football Outsiders Almanac explained in the preseason that the '08 Seahawks were historically unlucky in terms of injuries on offense. And 2009 hasn't been much kinder. They'll be without Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones in this one and likely will be staring 1-3 in the face.
The pick: Colts (-10.5)
Bengals at Browns
I said last week that if Cincy knocked off the Steelers, I'd be a believer. Did anyone see this coming? For Eagles fans who get tired of having the same QB and coach in this city year in and year out, take a look at Cleveland. The Browns have had eight different Week 1 starters at QB in 11 years. This team may be the leading candidate for 2009's biggest disaster.
The pick: Bengals (-6)
Lions at Bears
Forget Brett Favre vs. the Packers. Want revenge? Look no further than this game. Rod Marinelli, now an assistant in Chicago, takes on the players who helped him lead the first 0-16 team in franchise history.
The pick: Lions (+10)
Jets at Saints
One of the other good matchups of Week 4, and this one we do get to see in Philadelphia. We'll know just how good New Orleans is in a few weeks. They face the Jets, Giants and Falcons in three of their next four games.
The pick: Jets (+7)
Bills at Dolphins
Tough season for Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin. The fumbled kickoff return in Week 1, which played a big hand in Buffalo's loss to New England. And now a broken fibula, which will sideline him for the rest of the season. On a different note, while doing some online research for this game, I discovered that Buffalo's cheerleaders are known as the Buffalo Jills. Really? See for yourself.
The pick: Dolphins (+1.5)
Rams at 49ers
Poor Steve Spagnuolo. An 0-3 start and an offense that has put up a league-low 24 points through three games. 24 points! Eight points a game! And it's not like the Rams have been going up against the NFL's elite. They've faced Seattle, Washington and Green Bay. It's already been a long year in St. Louis and we're only in Week 4.
The pick: 49ers (-9.5)
Cowboys at Broncos
You know things are bad in Dallas when a headline in the sports section of the Dallas Morning News reads Dallas Cowboys' Romo could learn from Broncos QB Orton. Wow. The Cowboys' running game, however, has been great so far, averaging 193.7 yards per game and 6.8 yards per attempt.
The pick: Cowboys (-3)
Chargers at Steelers
This question from a reader on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Web site: Isn't it obvious yet that Mike Tomlin is a poor excuse for a coach? His first two drafts stunk and the defense is showing its age now that Troy's out. The players won the Super Bowl, not the coach; extending Tomlin's contract will mean the competitive death of this team.
That didn't take long, huh?
The pick: Chargers (+6.5)
Lines are from sportsbook.com. Monday night game will be picked on Monday.