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2011 NFL Football – Week 4 Best Games

The first quarter of the NFL season draws to a close today with all teams playing their 4th game. You know it’s been a kooky season so far when you can honestly tell somebody the two best teams in the NFL might be the Lions & Bills! CRAZY I tell you! Here is some trivia for you. The last time both Buffalo & Detroit made the playoffs in the same year was 1999. The Bills went 11-5 & finished in 2nd place in the AFC East behind the 13-3 Colts. They would lose to the 13-3 Titans 22-16 in a Wild Card playoff game. The Titans would go on to play in the Super Bowl where they’d lose to the Kurt Warner led St. Louis Rams.

The Lions finished 8-8 and nabbed one of the Wild Card spots in the NFC which saw 4 teams finish 8-8 with only 2 getting a Wild Card berth. The Lions would lose to the 10-6 Redskins by the score of 27-13. Interestingly enough, this was the first year after Barry Sanders retired after the 1998 season. Let’s hope we get some more Lions & Bills in the playoffs!

An incredible week 4 matchup here between 3-0 & 2-1 squads. The Football Outsiders consider both defensive units as top-10 caliber so this game will be interesting to see which offense can break through first while the defense holds. The last couple of weeks have to have built Romo’s confidence up to huge proportions while the Lions winning close games against the Bucs & Vikings have to have them feeling like they might be over the hump. An incredible game really & if Detroit wins they could easily be looking at starting 8-0 if they hold serve at home. Current Line: Cowboys (-2.5)
A really big game for Houston because a win over Pittsburgh puts them at 3-1, but also drops the Steelers to 2-2 & effectively 2 games behind the Texans for playoff tiebreakers! Losing at New Orleans isn’t a huge deal, but I think this is a much more important game for Houston when it comes to the hierarchy of the AFC. This is interesting because Houston is playing the toughest defense they’ve seen so far, but on the other hand, if Pittsburgh had problems against the Colts defense, what are they going to do against Houston? This is tough for Pittsburgh because it’s a lose-lose situation. If they win so what, but if they lose then they’ve lost to the Ravens, almost lost to the Colts and lost to the Texans! Current Line: Texans (-3.5)
The Ravens come back home after playing 2 on the road while the Jets are playing in their 2nd of back-to-back road games. It certainly can’t help that the Jets are coming off a loss to the Raiders! I think Torrey Smith was a revelation for the Ravens last week & gives the offense a different dimension. That could be overreaction, but the Ravens look ridiculously good with that much balance on offense. For the Jets this could be a serious do-or-die moment. A loss here puts them at 2-2 with the Bills, Chargers & Patriots twice in their next 5 games. Could they start 3-6 through their first 9? If Buffalo keeps winning, the pressure on the Jets is enormous & they could miss the playoffs! Current Line: Ravens (-4.5)
The last time the Patriots lost back to back games was in 2009 when they lost back to back road games against the Saints & Dolphins. Oddly enough, this is their 2nd in a back to back road games against the Bills & now Raiders. Oakland’s offense has been fantastic behind Darren McFadden & New England certainly hasn’t been fantastic on defense. Buffalo gave us a somewhat of a blueprint on how to beat the Patriots. If you can force Brady into some mistakes, then you have a great chance at winning because he’s off the field. Combine that with McFadden controlling time of possession & I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that Oakland wins. Do they? I don’t think so, but I didn’t think Buffalo would beat them either! Current Line: Patriots (-6)
The NFL Vegas lines are supposed to be such where you are essentially picking winners because the lines are tight. This week 9 of the 16 games are withing 5 points so it’s no surprise the Bills are only 3 point favorites. That would make them almost double digit favorites if they were playing in Buffalo by the way. Technically this wouldn’t be a crazy interesting game because Cincinnati isn’t that good, but with Buffalo starting at 3-0, every one of their games becomes fairly interesting. I hope the good times keep rolling for Buffalo because following up a huge win over New England with a loss to Cincinnati would be horrific. Then again, those types of situations happen all the time in the NFL. Current Line: Bills (-3)
I can’t believe the line on this is that high! The Eagles just lost a home game to the Giants while the 49ers have one of the best defenses in the NFL right now & you could make an argument it is the best! Mike Vick is taking a beating this season. He’s been hit often. He’s been hit hard. That isn’t going to change against the 49ers, and if the Eagles decide to make Vick a pocket passer because of his inability to take shots & stay healthy, then you lose tremendous value of having Vick at QB to begin with. The 49ers offense isn’t spectacular, but I’m not sure it has to be. Plus, San Francisco has to be playing pretty loose here as another Eagles loss puts Philly at 1-3 & potentially ends their season before it starts. I fear that the Eagles made a fateful deal with the devil when it chose Vick over Kolb. Current Line: Eagles (-9.5)
A really wild game here that is a lot more important than you would think really based on what others do. If Pittsburgh & Tennessee win, then the Titans are sitting atop the AFC South at 3-1 with wins over the Ravens & Browns. Tennessee’s defense has been spectacular & with Matt Hasselbeck staying healthy, the Titans look pretty darn good. If Cleveland, Houston & NY Jets win, then the Browns are 3-1 sitting atop the AFC North! Even if neither happen, one of these teams is going to finish the first quarter of the regular season with a 3-1 record! Can you imagine getting to the end of the season & having 4 of the 6 playoff teams be the Titans, Browns, Bills & Raiders? That’s wild, & don’t forget that Chris Johnson really hasn’t played well yet. This is a great game going under the radar nationally. Current Line: Titans (-1)
I know that you aren’t exactly supposed to tank a season, but with Andrew Luck now drawing comparisons to Peyton Manning, you can’t help but be intrigued by the possibilities if you are a GM looking at a once in a lifetime opportunity! Also when you look at the worst teams in the NFL you see the Vikings, Chiefs, Colts & Seahawks, all 4 of which could easily use a franchise QB in the Manning mold. These teams obviously suck although Minnesota’s been in 3 close games meaning the Vikings are as close to 3-0 as they are 0-3. The Chiefs are just terrible & you’d have to expect some type of team upheaval with Todd Haley & Scott Pioli. As a Colts fan, I’m hoping the Vikings win this game & then Kansas City beats Indianapolis. That pretty much covers all of our bases and allows the Colts to stick with that # overall pick. Now we just need the Dolphins to win a couple! Current Line: Vikings (-3)

October 2, 2011 - Posted by | Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers

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