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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 4 Around the League

There were some interesting games around the league today with the Bills finally getting their first loss of the season and the Packers and Lions staying undefeated.  As far as my picks against the spread, it was a rough week, sitting at 7-7 right now.  50% is still pretty good odds for a bad week.  We'll improve on it next week.  Let's look at today's action.

Surprise Team of the Year Through Week 4

I know the Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980 but I really expected them to be.  My surprise team so far this season is the Tennessee Titans.  They boast the number one defense in the NFL, man-handling the Browns today 31-13, just like they did the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago.  They are 3-1 and sitting atop the AFC South with the Houston Texans.  Matt Hasselback looks like he's having fun again at quarterback and I commend the decision that new head coach Mike Munchak made to bring him in.  As for Chris Johnson, he still doesn't have his legs under him yet so he's looking like an overpaid decoy.  He needs to get in shape and get it together, as this is the only thing I see holding this team back moving forward.

The Lions overcame a 24 point deficit to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 34-30, marking the largest blown lead in franchise history for the Boys.  This is the second week in a row the Lions had to come from 20 behind.  This is going to wear them thin and catch up with them eventually.  They need to do a better job of scripting their first 20 plays and getting off to a fast start.  They have shown me a lot to come from behind like this, so I see them as a very dangerous team in the NFC. 

How can a team that shouldn't have made the playoffs last year go on to win the Super Bowl and now look invincible in every aspect of the game?  Of course I'm talking about the Green Bay Packers, who won big 49-23 over the Broncos, with Aaron Rodgers scoring 6 touchdowns; four through the air and 2 on the ground.  This guy is on a different planet right now, and it doesn't seem like he's going to slow down anytime soon. 

As for the team that lost last years Super Bowl, they will not be making it back to the playoffs this year.  I initially had them winning the division, but right now we have a 4 way tie depending on what Baltimore does tonight (who is my new pick to win the division).  Houston's defense dominated the Steelers and won the game 17-10.  Arian Foster seems to be back to rare form, rushing for over 150 yards against the Steeler defense, which never happens.  The league has so much parody this year and it seems like the Steelers are being left behind.  To top it off, Roethlisberger left the stadium in a walking boot.  Could be a long season for the black and yellow.

The Bears got a big day from Matt Forte in a 34-29 victory over Cam Newton and the Panthers.  Who said the Bears can't run the ball.  Forte had 25 carries for over 250 yards.  This guy accounts for 60% of the Bears offense.  Tell me why they haven't given him a contract yet?

The "Dream Team" drops another one this week to the 49ers 24-23, and now sit at the bottom of the NFC East at 1-3.  I knew this team wasn't going to go very far from the start because they have too many type A guys that can't coexist.  Nnamdi Asomugha seems to be the most overrated free agent acquisition in recent history.  He's now been targeted for 5 TD's, and has made very few big plays for his team this year.  But let's not take anything away from Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers,  They have a 3-1 record and sit atop the West all alone.  Arizona played toughed today against the Giants, but the 49ers appear to be in the driver seat right now.

Speaking of the Giants, my preseason pick to win the East, got a huge win today in Arizona 31-27 on a controversial call toward the end of the game.  They are now 3-1 with the Redskins in the East and look to be one of the premier teams in the NFC despite all the injuries they have endured.  Eli hasn't turned the ball over the last two games either!

Now let's put all else aside and hand out some records a quarter of the way through the season.

Best 1-3 Team:  Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton is the real deal and he's helped rejuvenate Steve Smith's career.  The running game is decent, but needs to be better with the talent they have there in Williams and Stewart.

Worst Team in the AFC:  Miami Dolphins -  This team has talent, but they need a new coach.  Sparano isn't getting the most out of his players.  He brought in Reggie Bush to be the featured back and limits his carries.  Doesn't make much sense to me.  Now Henne is hurt, and until we find out the severity, they take the crown for worst in conference.

Worst Team in the NFC:  Minnesota Vikings -  Losing to the Chiefs is really all I need to say.  It's time to end the Donovan McNabb experience and let Ponder get some game experience and see if he's capable of being the guy of the future, because this year is already lost in that division.

Best Team in the AFC:  New England Patriots As long as BelichickWelker is averaging double digit catches and 120+ yards a game, Tom Brady's job is easy.  This team is built to win and they have a proven system that is successful.  I know they choked against Buffalo two weeks ago, but they got back on track against the Raiders this week and when they are clicking on offense, no one can stop them.

Best Team in the NFC:  Green Bay Packers - I don't know if it's because they're that good, or if it's an intimidation factor, but these guys seem to be untouchable.  Aaron Rodgers has a red cape under his uniform and an S on his chest.  Until they get beat, they are the best in the league!

League MVP - Aaron Rodgers is the obvious choice here, especially after a 6 touchdown performance today.  Wes Welker is my runner up right now.

Offensive Rookie of the Year - Cam Newton.  He's put up an average of 345 yards a game through the air, not to mention rushing for two TD's in a loss against Chicago today.  He's going to be a special player.

Defensive Rookie of the Year - Patrick Peterson.  Not only is this guy a threat on special teams to return it every time he touches the ball, he plays in the secondary with awareness and knowledge well beyond his years.  He's going to be a great player. 

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