NFL Week 4 open thread

posted at 10:37 am on October 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Pittsburgh Steelers play their fourth and last game without their starting QB, Ben Roethlisberger, and to add to the drama, they take on their arch-rivals, the Baltimore Ravens.  Not only have they gone 3-0, all three opponents that the Steelers have beat have winning records coming into this week — and the Steelers have done it with a passing game rated dead last in the NFL.  They have the third-best rushing defense, though, as well as the third-best rushing game.  The Ravens are at 2-1 having beat the Jets and the Browns, the latter by only a touchdown.  The Ravens have to come to Heinz Field, and that’s a tough place to beat the Pittsburgh defense, especially with an ordinary offense like Baltimore’s.  Steelers will win this one 14-9.

Last week, I went 5-1 on my picks, only losing the Packer pick on Monday night, and I’m now 13-6 and for the season.  This week, I’m going to stick with blue states that look like they’re going red in the midterms for my picks:

  • Washington at Philadelphia – Who’s Kevin Kolb?  The Redskins got beat by the Rams last week, while Michael Vick has suddenly emerged as a premier QB again.  The Eagles defense is still undersized, and Donovan McNabb is going to be fired up for his return to Philly, but the Eagles should beat the ‘Skins in an entertaining game, 31-27.
  • Detroit at Green Bay – The Lions are getting competitive, but they’re not going to hand the Pack its second loss in a row, especially not in Green Bay.  Aaron Rodgers will pick the defense apart.  28-13, Pack.
  • Cincinnati at Cleveland – As much as I dislike the Bengals, this shouldn’t be close.  However, the Browns played the Ravens tough last week, and could surprise people.  Naaaaaah.  Bengals over Browns, 24-10.
  • New England at Miami – This will be a great game to watch, and not just because of the division rivalry.  Miami will prevail at home, after having learned a couple of lessons from their close loss to the Jets in the same stadium last week.  23-17, Dolphins.
  • Chicago at NY Giants – Here’s my upset special.  The Giants have not looked impressive, but they have to win this one or they can fold up the tents and start buying big-screen home-theater TVs for the playoffs, and they’re at home.  The Bears are undefeated and beat the Packers last week at home, but they were one Devon Hester rip from losing  that game.  Look for the Giants to suck it up and get a win here, 24-20.  (Illinois is the blue state for this pick, by the way.)

Byes this week: Minnesota, Dallas, Kansas City, Tampa Bay.


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I’ll consider the Steelers game a success if there are no major injuries, but 4-0 would be a nice bonus.

forest on October 3, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Ben who?

Scott P on October 3, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Ben who?

Scott P on October 3, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Heretic! ;-)

BTW, Dennis Dixon is out for the year with the knee injury. Looks like Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich are it for today, and the rest of the season behind Ben.

Ed Morrissey on October 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Heretic! ;-)

Ed Morrissey on October 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Heh. Never thought I’d say it myself, but he’s really jumped the shark for me.

Scott P on October 3, 2010 at 10:54 AM

i am a Virginian & as such, still am repulsed by all things Michael Vick. We are ashamed that he did such things in our state.

But. I’m also a Skins fan & wouldn’t root for the Eagles anyway.

kelley in virginia on October 3, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Hey Ed,

Might I ask what you’ve got against the Bungles?

Beelzabubba on October 3, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Michael Vick is unrepentant scum, no matter what he claims. Some defensive lineman should do to him what LT did to Joe Theismann. I want him gone from professional football.

Extrafishy on October 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

May has well predict my Jetties…Jets over Buffalo in a tough game, 17-10. The Bills really need a win, but Gang Green doesn’t want to lose.

JetBoy on October 3, 2010 at 11:07 AM

We actually get the Saints game here in New England today, as the Pats don’t play til Monday night. All Rupert Murdoch’s fault!

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Might I ask what you’ve got against the Bungles?

Beelzabubba at 2010/10/03 at 11:00 am

1. Chad Johnson Ochocinco Johnson

2. Terrell Owens

3. I’m a Steeler fan and they’re in my conference.

Ed Morrissey on October 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Might I ask what you’ve got against the Bungles?

Beelzabubba on October 3, 2010 at 11:00 AM

3. I’m a Steeler fan and they’re in my conference.

Ed Morrissey on October 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

I would think this is obvious to anyone who knows football.

ladyingray on October 3, 2010 at 11:21 AM

No Vikes today so that means they can’t lose :)

gophergirl on October 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM

3. I’m a Steeler fan and they’re in my conference.

Ed Morrissey on October 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Plus, it was absolutely maddening how often we lost to the Bengals in years when we had pretty much run the table on the rest of the league.

Scott P on October 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Rock on Steelers!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csVUkpZpzpg&feature=player_embedded

heckrules on October 3, 2010 at 11:36 AM

It still hurts losing to the Arlington Cowboys last Sunday, but the Texans take on the Raiders in Oakland today. I hate Raiders. Every gang-banging punk in California wears their crap. We should come through today, and Cushing is back from his “sabbatical” next week for the Giants!

Go Texans!

cartooner on October 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM

gophergirl on October 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM

My 49ers need about 5 bye weeks (and a new coaching staff)

Rovin on October 3, 2010 at 11:41 AM

SF 629 ATL 0

BallisticBob on October 3, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Looks SPOT on to me , except I like the PATRIOTS

ELMO Q on October 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Here are my picks for the week:

San Francisco at Atlanta

The Falcons have been looking good since their loss to Pittsburgh, getting by the Saints last week. San Francisco for trounced by the Chiefs, and I’m thinking that this week will be more of the same. ATL – 31 SFO – 7.

New York Jets at Buffalo

The Jets had impressive wins the past 2 weeks against the Patriots, and the Dolphins. The Bills (0-3) rank last in the NFL offensively, and their defense is unremarkable. I’m calling this an easy win for the Jets. NYJ – 28 BUF – 10.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh continues to surprise me, considering that they will still be without their starting QB this Sunday. The Steelers have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and the Ravens have been unimpressive, even in their wins. The Ravens only had 144 yards rushing against the Browns last week. I’m going with the Steelers in a tight game. PIT – 17 BAL – 14.

Carolina at New Orleans

The Saints had a tough loss to the Falcons last week, and the Panthers have yet to show up for a game. NO – 34 CAR – 14

Denver at Tennessee

The Titan’s superb defense has allowed only 2 offensive touchdowns in 3 games. The Broncos went 5 of 15 on third down and 1 of 4 on fourth down against the Colts, but a dismal running game may be the bigger problem. Denver ranks 30th in the league with 67.0 rushing yards a contest and last with 2.5 yards per carry. I’m going against the bookies and calling it for the Titans. TEN – 21 DEN – 10

Cincinnati at Cleveland

Even though the Bengals have been winning, their wins are sloppy. They never found the end zone in their win over the Ravens last week. Nevertheless Cleveland (0-3) will be 0-4 after Sunday. CIN – 27 CLE – 14

Detroit at Green Bay

The Packers had a disappointing loss to the Bears last week, but this week will be much different as the hapless Lions crawl into Lambeau Field. GB – 40 DET – 7

Seattle at St. Louis

The Seahawks only two wins in their last 13 road games both came in St. Louis. They have been playing well in Qwest Stadium, but on the road they have been dismal. The Rams have been less than impressive so far this year.They had lost 14 games in a row until they finally beat the Redskins last week. This game could go either way, but I’m calling it for Seattle. SEA – 24 STL – 17

Indianapolis at Jacksonville

The Colts’ offense has been spot on under Peyton Manning’s leadership, but the defense struggles at times, allowing a lot of rushing yards. I don’t think they have much to worry about against the Jaguars though. They have the 4th worst defense in the league, and the superior offense of the Colts should make mince meat out of them. IND -34 JAX – 14

Houston at Oakland

After a very strong opening 2 games of the season, the Texans got a thorough trouncing by the Cowboys last week, and had their strong offense all but shut down by a very good Cowboys’ defense. I don’t see that happening against the very mediocre Raiders. I’m looking for the Texans to come back this week strong and ready for a win. HOU – 32 OAK – 14.

Arizona at San Diego

The Chargers are off to a very sluggish season, with only one unimpressive win. Their offense in particular is very weak. The Cardinals are not the best team in the league, but should readily handle the disheveled Chargers. ARIZ – 20 SD – 7

Washington at Philadelphia

Michael Vick has been playing superbly since the Eagles gave him a shot in game 1. He has 750 yards passing, six touchdowns and no interceptions, and also has run for 170 yards and one score in 10 quarters. For his efforts, Vick also earned NFC offensive player of the month honors. Both teams have uninspiring defenses, but the strong Eagles offense is going to prevail on Sunday. PHL – 28 WASH – 10

Chicago at New York Giants

After a strong opening week, the Giants haven’t been able to get it together. They forgot to show in week 2 against the Colts, and last week they forgot that there is a 4th quarter and lost to the Titans in a rout. The Bears had a hard played win against the Packers, and are playing very well. If the Giants show up and play 4 quarters of football, give Eli Manning the protection he needs, and stops allowing turn overs, this could be a good game. I’m not so optimistic. CHI – 27 NYG – 21

And finally the Monday night game:

New England at Miami

Miami had a tough loss at against the surprisingly good Jets last week, while the Patriots have had a rough start, losing to the Jets in week 2, and not playing all that well against the hapless Bills. I’m picking the Dolphins, if for no other reason than that I do not like anything about the Pats organization. MIA – 32 BOS – 27

We’ll see how good my crystal ball is this week.

simkeith on October 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Carolina Panthers with the upset, booyah!!

Tim_B on October 3, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Go Lions!!
The best thing to come out of Detroit!

Canadian Infidel on October 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Steelers crush opponent 49-3.

Bishop on October 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Go Jints!!!!

Fuquay Steve on October 3, 2010 at 12:19 PM

1. Chad Johnson Ochocinco Johnson
2. Terrell Owens
3. I’m a Steeler fan and they’re in my conference.
Ed Morrissey on October 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

I’m surprised there hasn’t been a post about Ochocinco’s breakfast cereal.

innominatus on October 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

I’m picking the Dolphins, if for no other reason than that I do not like anything about the Pats organization.

simkeith on October 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Yeah, they really are a bunch of cretins:

Robert Kraft established the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation when he purchased the team in 1994. Underscoring the Kraft family’s deep commitment to charitable activities in this community, the Foundation’s primary goal is to help the youth and families of New England through donations to programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family and health.

The Foundation’s holiday programs with Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army provide Thanksgiving food baskets and toys for hundreds of needy children and families during the holiday season. Through the Patriots/Revolution Ticket Donation Program, the Foundation donates Patriots and Revolution tickets to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston so that Club Members can attend games at Gillette Stadium. The Foundation also supports numerous heath care initiatives including the Robert K. Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Center for Compassionate Care at Northwestern University, as well a variety of educational institutions.

This year, the Foundation has teamed up with the Jordan Boys & Girls Club of Chelsea to support the Club’s focus on the educational, emotional, physical and social development of inner-city youth.

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2010 at 1:00 PM

I’m surprised there hasn’t been a post about Ochocinco’s breakfast cereal.

innominatus on October 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

With the phone number on the box directed to a pron line? lol

JetBoy on October 3, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Just an observation…with the NFL promoting Breast Cancer Awareness this month (and rightly so), why aren’t the networks making the scrimmage line or first down line pink? I think the networks should step up and get on the bandwagon too!

Ugh! As I typed the Steelers scored! Common Ravens show them punks something….

JohnnyD on October 3, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Common Ravens show them punks something….

JohnnyD on October 3, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Ravens Score!! That’s what I’m talkin’ about……..

JohnnyD on October 3, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Wow, the Saints generated 100 yards of offense in the first quarter, with nothing to show for it. They had a 90+ yard drive stopped when they coughed up the ball at the Panthers’ 1 yard line.

Luckily the Panthers aren’t very good, and the Saints got the ball right back after a 3 and out and went back down and scored at the start of the second.

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Ed,

Any Ducks fan could’ve told you to expect Dixon’s season to end with a knee injury. We knew this was just a matter of when.

Christien on October 3, 2010 at 1:48 PM

C’mon Titans!

ladyingray on October 3, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Too many yellow flags…

ladyingray on October 3, 2010 at 2:06 PM

If the Stillers pull this one off, Sepulveda will be the game MVP again.

forest on October 3, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Wow the way Batch is playing, why would the Steelers put in a cold Big Ben?

Damn, not again…I gotta stop typing….

JohnnyD on October 3, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Way to go, Rashard Mendenhall is turning into a fantasy stud for me. Still don’t like the Steelers though.

reaganaut on October 3, 2010 at 3:31 PM

if for no other reason than that I do not like anything about the Pats organization.

Awww, let me guess your team lost to them in a Super Bowl. Still clinging to that cheating nonsense story?

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Not to mention Kraft didn’t soak the taxpayers for the new stadium. The Patriots are even required to pay off the infatructure costs that the state incurred.

Having been a Sox and Pats fan for 35 years or so, it’s fun to see the Patriots in the same position that the Yankees jave been for us.

Then again, I still respected the Yankees to a degree (I always hated that dumb “Yankees suck” chant).

reaganaut on October 3, 2010 at 3:38 PM

IT’S OVUH for teh Stealers!!

FontanaConservative on October 3, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Ugh. Steelers lost.

ladyingray on October 3, 2010 at 3:59 PM

I just LOVE the sound of quiet in Pittsburgh.

WannabeAnglican on October 3, 2010 at 4:01 PM

And that is why Charlie Batch was the 4th string QB.

ButterflyDragon on October 3, 2010 at 4:02 PM

I just LOVE the sound of quiet in Pittsburgh.

WannabeAnglican on October 3, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I love Steeler haters.

But I’ll take 3-1 without our starting QB any day of the week.

2 weeks from now is when our offense catches up to our defense. And it’s not going to be pretty for everyone else left on our schedule. Including Baltimore when we visit them.

ButterflyDragon on October 3, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Sorry Ed for your team losing but that was one hellava game! That was the best game I’ve seen in a long time. It had all the tension and drama of a playoff game.

Steelers crush opponent 49-3.

Bishop on October 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Not today. Maybe next week when they have a bye….

JohnnyD on October 3, 2010 at 4:04 PM

FontanaConservative on October 3, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Hush up.

ladyingray on October 3, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Bears and Chiefs are your undefeated teams.
Obama’s fault.

Ronnie on October 3, 2010 at 4:10 PM

J-E-T-S rulez teh NFL!

JetBoy on October 3, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Lots of upsets today, and some remarkably close games. My crystal ball sure needs a tune up.

simkeith on October 3, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Not to mention Kraft didn’t soak the taxpayers for the new stadium. The Patriots are even required to pay off the infatructure costs that the state incurred.

Having been a Sox and Pats fan for 35 years or so, it’s fun to see the Patriots in the same position that the Yankees jave been for us.

Then again, I still respected the Yankees to a degree (I always hated that dumb “Yankees suck” chant).

reaganaut on October 3, 2010 at 3:38 PM

The Red Sox didn’t make the post-season this year, but they just did something very sweet-they beat the Yankees in the final game of the season. As a result, Tampa wins the AL East, instead of the Yankees.

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Congrats to the Saints, who won a game they really should have lost. It was pretty ugly. Going into this game, Carolina had their number in most of the recent meetings.

The Saints had some key players missing, which definitely played a role in the game being close-Reggie Bush is out of course, but Pierre Thomas did not start, and Tracy Porter was injured in today’s game.

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2010 at 4:56 PM

The Saints played poorly today, the Titans came apart in the last 5 minutes of their game, the Ravens outplayed the Steelers, but come on, who would have thought that they would go 3-1 without a QB? Rothlisberger is back next week, and we’ll see what he’s got.

simkeith on October 3, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Thank you, John Carney!

Christien on October 3, 2010 at 5:35 PM

simkeith on October 3, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Next week is a bye.

ladyingray on October 3, 2010 at 5:57 PM

1. Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger walk in to a bar.
2. (abobo avoids the ban hammer)
3. Comedy gold!!! Waka Waka…

abobo on October 3, 2010 at 6:22 PM

At least my Cowboys didn’t lose this week.

44Magnum on October 3, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Jags up 7 on Indy? What?!?

WannabeAnglican on October 3, 2010 at 6:37 PM

The Red Sox didn’t make the post-season this year, but they just did something very sweet-they beat the Yankees in the final game of the season. As a result, Tampa wins the AL East, instead of the Yankees.

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2010 at 4:52 PM

And we get them with home field advantage next round.

This is the year the Twins slay the Yankee demon.

gophergirl on October 3, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Could this Washington/Philly game be any more boring?

gophergirl on October 3, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Hey, Ed … something to brighten your day.

OhioCoastie on October 3, 2010 at 6:49 PM

OHMYGOODNESS. Jags win on 59 yard FG. Wow!

WannabeAnglican on October 3, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Arizona at San Diego

The Chargers are off to a very sluggish season, with only one unimpressive win. Their offense in particular is very weak. The Cardinals are not the best team in the league, but should readily handle the disheveled Chargers. ARIZ – 20 SD – 7

Uhh … oops?

Oh, and–Go Ravens!

nukemhill on October 3, 2010 at 7:14 PM

I know it’s NFL thread, but I guess y’all saw my Vols game-ending penality play yesterday against LSU. Waaaa. sucks. I hate football right now.

TN Mom on October 3, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Well, the Vols had 13 men on the field. :)

Speaking of reffing issues, did the refs deserve the bird from the Titans Asst. Coach? I didn’t see the incident.

WannabeAnglican on October 3, 2010 at 8:01 PM

WannabeAnglican on October 3, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Husband says the “T” stands for “too many men on the field”. Would have been a huge upset if we could have beat LSU. Didn’t watch the Titans game.

TN Mom on October 3, 2010 at 8:20 PM

anyone else getting tired of these “performers” putting their little flava on the national anthem instead of just singing it traditionally?

also – I think there is something leftist about all this breast cancer awareness stuff but I can’t put my finger on it.

long_cat on October 3, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Goddam homey, Cutler’s gettin’ manhandled out there!! Speaking of which, the hell’s up with all the gay lookin gloves and fantabulous shoes? Ain’t seen this much pink on screen since the last skin flick!

abobo on October 3, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Breast cancer is what I call a politically correct disease. Can you imagine the NFL doing a big to-do about prostate cancer?

BTW, four more sacks by NY and it’s an NFL record.

WannabeAnglican on October 3, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Wow…

All these posts and no one did the Tap Dance of the Awesome Raven!

WHOOOOOOOOOO! HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Joe Flacco broke his Hines Field Losing streak! The Hay’s in the barn, and with the Bengals’ loss to the browns, the Ravens are in prime position for the division.

w00t!!!!

(Hopefully the Ravens Running Backs aren’t too severely injured, but then again, they’re playing Denver at Baltimore next week, so as long as Ray Rice is healed up, he and Jalen Parmele ought to be all we need if McGahee & McClain are out for next week.

Jones Zemkophill on October 3, 2010 at 11:08 PM

with an ordinary offense like Baltimore’s. Steelers will win this one 14-9.

Being a Ravens fan this was sweet.

wepeople on October 3, 2010 at 11:35 PM

HOW ABOUT THEM PATS, ED? /capslock

scrubbiedude on October 5, 2010 at 2:02 PM