NFL Week 4 Picks and Analysis – FootballSunday, October 2, 2011 8:49
Game picks for Week 4 of the 2011 NFL football season.
NFL 2011 Week 4 Picks & Analysis
One of the clearest rip-offs in NFL history gets reexamined this week in light of the Pats/Raiders Week 4 match up in the Black Hole.
A decade ago, Tom Brady and the Patriots were beaten on the biggest play of a divisional playoff game. Brady dropped back, looked left, and a lineman peeled off into slant coverage. As Brady starts to reload, Charles Woodson bolts in on a corner blitz, and at the very moment Brady has both hands on the ball, Woodson blows him up. During the game’s biggest moment, the Oakland defense embarrassed the “brilliant mind” of Bill Belichick on two fronts.
Look at the tape here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHEQtASq9BI. There is no argument Brady had both hands on the ball when Woodson stripped him–the tuck rule, therefore, does not apply.
If you click the link above at about 1:22, Bill Bellchick reveals the same character he did during all those years of deliberately breaking the rules regarding taping of opponents signals. He slyly compares apples to cabbage–notice the brief stutter–when he likens the ref’s call in snowy Foxboro to a somewhat similar play in that year’s regular season contest against Vinnie Testaverde’s Jets.
Let’s all agree the rule does exactly the opposite of what Mike Pereirra says that it is designed to do and makes the refs determine the QB’s intent as to whether he was going to tuck the ball into his body.
But let’s, for the sake of argument, say the rule is valid.
Bellichick shows his lying side when he fails to admit that the critical difference between the Snow Bowl play and Testaverde’s fumble that was taken away from the Patriots; Brady had both hands on the ball when Woodson blasted him–best seen at the :56 to :58 mark–Testaverde was still at some point in the throwing motion when Anthony Pleasant got to him.
It would be easy to give Belichick the respect the media wants you to believe he deserves if he had simply said. “You know what? It looked like a fumble to me. We got, you know, lucky.”
The luscious irony is that even though, the week after, the Steelers were beat by a New England defense that, according to several Pittsburgh players, “knew what plays we were running,” I loved seeing the Raiders get screwed.
And Another Thing…
You know what made Vince Lombardi a mythical figure? The nine HOFers who graced his run of excellence in the ’60s. Chuck Noll didn’t win four Super Bowls in six years because he was necessarily a genius coach or had a great scheme. The eight future Hall-of-Famers he drafted and who played together for an entire decade were the biggest reasons Noll is legendary–he is likely the only coach anointed as “great” who would tell you that in no uncertain terms.
Bill Walsh would have been another college coach who was a failure if not for guys named Montana, Rice, Craig, and Lott. Don Shula does not win 350 games if he did not field one of the greatest backfields and unheralded defenses in history or did not have guys like Unitas, Griese, and later Dan Marino playing quarterback.
I am not minimizing the extraordinary leadership, game management, or talent evaluation skills of these or any other coaches in the Hall of Fame.
It’s just…let’s keep it real…Einstein was a genius. Van Gough was a genius. Shakespeare was a genius. Landry, Lombardi, Noll–they are great football coaches.
As long as schlockey commentators repeatedly label football coaches “brilliant” or “genius,” yours truly will keep revising the four previous paragraphs.
The Hall of “Eh…”
I have at least one relative or friend in most of Pittsburgh’s wondrous neighborhoods. I know at least three guys who snort and spit or resemble Bill Cowher’s mannerisms or voice.
I love Bill Cowher.
He just doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.
After his only Super Bowl title in 2005, Cowher had 158 wins and, had he matched that number in his next fifteen years, could have legitimately threatened Shula’s record. Great motivator and a solid, creative, even innovative defensive football mind, who might one day, unretire and go for another ring. But…
In the words of another potential HOFer, Mike Tomlin, “the standard is the standard.”
Coach Cowher does not yet meet it. He lost 4 AFC Championship games–at home.
That should end the argument.
Michael Vick needs to shut the hell up. He sounds like an arrogant, whiny little bitch. I’m taking too many hits and the refs let it happen because I’m black.
Whaaaa…You’re a relatively tiny little man who excels in a big man’s game. You hurt because 245-pound linebackers busting into 190-pound gnomes will usually cause significant pain.
I feel for the guys who can’t physically function because of the league’s neglect, but not for the Michael Vick’s of the world.
The guy squanders talent by beating and murdering dogs, serves time, is forgiven and achieves success again…Then he flips the race card because his ribs or his hands hurt?
May I propose we revive the Golden Tampon Award?
Week 4 Picks
Last Week’s Picks
The word was coined to describe my picks last week and my 2011 record to date.
5 – 10 – 1…last week… (.333)
17 – 27 – 4…2011 Tally (.386)
Hope abounds on my Specials, though. The Game of the Week and Lock of the Week have proven difficult picks as I could only mange one correct pick in each category during the first few weeks.
However, I am undefeated in my Over/Under analyses and picking the Upset Special.
Overall Specials Tally: 8 – 4 (.670)
I think one reason for my lowly prognostication numbers lies in my not accounting for how far behind the defenses have been against the offenses. Scoring, touchdowns and yards per game are up significantly over last year’s first three weeks. The lockout and ensuing lack of practice have given offensive teams with stable systems and minimal coaching and personnel changes a significant edge over defenses that thrive on reps, hitting, and coordination. Remember, offenses have a built in edge even in the best of times.
Offenses execute. Defenses react.
Teams like Pittsburgh and Dallas–racked by injuries to offensive personnel–can eke out a win if their star QB or receiver makes a big play.
Continuity is a key. Ten teams–the entire West division, the Vikings and Panthers in the NFC; the Fish, Browns, Titans and Raidas in the AFC–hired new OCs this year. Only Oakland ranks in the top ten offensive game stats. The reason? Head coach Hue Jackson is still calling the plays as he has for the last few years. The remaining nine teams rank 21st or lower in team offense.
The Philadelphia “Dream Team “continues to struggle on defense. The Colts ran all over Pittsburgh last Monday. The Patriots are last in the league defensively. Lack of pad practices, reps, and film study–aka the off-season–show up in every game in the form of poor tackling, lack of gap responsibility, and secondary confusion.
We won’t mention the “pussification” of defenses as Roger Goodell clamps down on even clean hits.
Don’t get me started…
This Week’s Picks
Game of the Week
We’ll watch Rex Ryan square off against his old charges as the Jets head into Baltimore for what is an intriguing match-up. We like Ray Rice’s style against a Jet defense that hasn’t shown last years form. Last week Joe Flacco butted the Big Horns all over the fields with a career day. Mark Sanchez isn’t as good as New York fans think and neither is the Jet defense.
Ravens 27, Jets 20
The Eagles are living proof of the negative impact of the lost off-season. Sure they signed a lot of quality talent from free agency, but they have yet to come together. Andy Reid may have thought Nnamdi Asamough would solve all his defensive problems. Evidently, someone failed to inform Reid that a pure cover corner has a distinctly different set of instincts than corners playing in mostly a zone scheme. It’s a whole different approach to pass coverage made even more difficult by ineffective linebacker play in the middle. Couple that with China Doll Vick and the Birds will be lucky to win this one by a field goal.
Eagles 22, Niners 20
Lock of the Week
Gairzo is ridin’ the Big Blue train until it runs off the tracks. The G-Men get Osi back this week and Kevin Kolb is in for a rough day. New York has rediscovered Brandon Jacobs and the Giants soundly thrashed the Eagles last week. Shouldn’t be close.
Giants 30, Cards 16
Over/Under of the Week
After three games the Lions and Cowboys find themselves with top ten offenses and top six defenses. We believe the Lions front four will dominate and knock Tony Romo out of the game.
Detroit 23, Dallas 17
As always, my lines are found here: http://www.footballlocks.com/nfl_lines.shtml
My picks can be found below in italic:
NFL Football Line Week Four
NFL Line 10/2 – 10/3, 2011
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|10/2 1:00 ET||At Dallas O/U||-2.5||Detroit||46|
|10/2 1:00 ET||New Orleans||-7||At Jacksonville||45|
|10/2 1:00 ET||At Philadelphia||-9.5 US||San Francisco||43.5|
|10/2 1:00 ET||Washington||-3||At St. Louis||43.5|
|10/2 1:00 ET||At Cleveland||PK||Tennessee||38.5|
|10/2 1:00 ET||Buffalo||-3||At Cincinnati||43.5|
|10/2 1:00 ET||Minnesota||-3||At Kansas City||39.5|
|10/2 1:00 ET||At Chicago||-6.5||Carolina||42.5|
|10/2 1:00 ET||At Houston||-3.5||Pittsburgh||45|
|10/2 4:05 ET||Atlanta||-4.5||At Seattle||38.5|
|10/2 4:05 ET||NY Giants LW||-1||At Arizona||44.5|
|10/2 4:15 ET||At San Diego||-7||Miami||44.5|
|10/2 4:15 ET||At Green Bay||-12.5||Denver||46.5|
|10/2 4:15 ET||New England||-5||At Oakland||55|
|10/2 8:25 ET||At Baltimore GW||-4||NY Jets||42.5|
Monday Night Football Line
|10/3 8:35 ET||At Tampa Bay||-10||Indianapolis||40.5|
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