SF vs. NYJ
On their way to their 2-1 record, the Jets and 49ers have looked dramatically different. The Jet offense can best be described as inconsistent, whether that is in-game or between games. After trouncing Buffalo in week one and getting routed by Pittsburgh in week two, the Jets outlasted Miami to get victory number two. It took a bad-guessed timeout in overtime attempting to ice Jet kicker Nick Folk. The timeout nullified what would have been a Miami blocked field goal and allowed Folk to make the 33-yard game winning kick. Week three for San Francisco is a week most 49er fans would like to forget. The 49er defense allowed Minnesota Viking quarterback Christian Ponder to throw for two touchdowns and run for another in a 24-13 Viking win. Alex Smith and the 49er offense never got started, scoring only three points in the first half and ending the game with three turnovers and two punts. The biggest news for the Jets going into the week has to be the season ending injury to star cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis suffered an ACL injury in Sunday’s loss. Without the shutdown cornerbacks, the Jet defense will be stretched against San Francisco’s balanced offense. Despite being at Met Life Stadium, I see the 49ers pull this one out.
The Picks: JK: SF, ME: SF, WA:, JB:, JA:, CH:
NO vs. GB
I certainly would not have predicted the Saints would still be looking for their first win. In week four, they are known for an inconsistent defense, but Drew Brees and the offense still put up points. The Saints got out to an early lead against the Chiefs in their week three overtime loss, but crumbled down the stretch. Chiefs’ running back Jamal Charles ran for 233 yards and, more importantly shut out the Saints in the final quarter and overtime. After Green Bay’s Monday night loss to Seattle, the Packers may be asking which team was more damaged by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. After a controversial Hail Mary catch and/or interception, Green Bay droped to 1-2 and is out for blood. At home Green Bay will be determined to forget their latest loss and impress in front of the home fans. Both fan bases demand a victory, but both teams can’t win. This one will come down to desire – the Lambeau home crowd should motivate the Packers to a much-needed win. Sorry New Orleans, here comes 0-4.
The Picks: JK: GB, ME: GB, WA:, JB:, JA:, CH:
NYG vs. PHI
In a big time NFC East showdown, Eli Manning and the New York Giants travel down to Philadelphia to take on Michael Vick and the Eagles. Both teams enter 2-1 and though the home team must be favored, at this point I’m not sure any team can stop the Giants. In a game that nearly everyone thought would be a close, hard fought game against Carolina, and with the Giants missing three key offensive weapons. What happened instead is that the Giants blew out the Panthers and got breakout performances from previously unknown players. Andre Brown ran for 113, Ramses Barden pulled in 138 yards and Martellus Bennett caught 73 yards and a touchdown. Philadelphia must not only prepare for a dynamic offense, but also improve their protection of Michael Vick. It seems like on every play Vick is hurried or hit. Even for a mobile quarterback, there still needs to be time for him to make his reads and make a decision. The Eagles were shut out of the first half in their 27-6 loss to the surprise 3-0 Arizona Cardinals, getting their six points on field goals in the third quarter. When the final whistle sounds it will be for a Giant win.
The Picks: JK: NYG, ME: PHI, WA: , JB: , JA: , CH:
CHI vs. DAL
Jay Cutler or Tony Romo? In so many ways the easiest way to decide who wins is to simply compare the quarterbacks. Both are middle of the pack NFL quarterbacks, both are historically inconsistent and both play in big time football markets. The Bears miss Matt Forte. Despite his best efforts, Bush is not the explosive back Forte is, and, without a running game, even more pressure is put on Cutler. Romo has been acceptable at the quarterback position and has developed a strong relationship with receivers Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree. Running back Demarco Murray has looked good, but against Chicago’s sixth ranked defense, his effectiveness may be compromised. Both teams are in the bottom half of the league on offense, but both defenses have looked strong to start the season. Cutler will struggle against Dallas’ second ranked pass defense, but will that be enough? This game may come down to a battle of place kickers and field position. In that battle I like Robbie Gould and Chicago. I expect this game to come down to a field goal or less and for Chicago to pull this one out at Cowboys Stadium.
The Picks: JK: CHI, ME: DAL, WA: , JB: , JA: , CH: