NFL Week 4 open thread

posted at 12:31 pm on September 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

So far, this season has been less than successful for either my Pittsburgh Steelers or my own picks.  The Steelers are 0-3, having lost to the Bears last week in a particularly ugly manner.  Today they’re in Jolly Old London to play the equally hapless Minnesota Vikings, which produced one prediction on Twitter of a 2-2 tie. (At least Londoners accustomed to soccer might be used to that kind of scoring.) Minnesota’s Christian Ponder will sit this game due to injury, so Matt Cassel will get his first start in a long time.  He’ll hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson a lot, one presumes, testing the 22nd-ranked rushing defense that actually improved against the Bears last week. Pittsburgh will put its 9th-ranked passing offense against the 28th-ranked passing defense.  This should be a low-scoring game, but I’ll take Pittsburgh over the Vikings, 19-13.  Hey, someone’s gotta win the game. I think.

Like I said, I’ve gotten off to a rough start this season on picks. I went 2-4 last week to drop to 8-11 for the season, so I need some good mojo … or something:

  • Bears at Lions (1 pm ET, Fox) – The line has Detroit up, but the Bears are undefeated and want to take command of their division.  I’m going to go with Chicago on the road, 24-21, maybe in OT.
  • Seahawks at Texans (1 pm, Fox) - This should be another exciting matchup. Seattle is playing lights-out football over the last two weeks, while Houston struggled to win two close games before getting blown out by Baltimore on the road last week.  I’m going with momentum and taking the Seahawks 31-23 over the Texans.
  • Eagles at Broncos (4:25 pm, Fox) – Philly got off to a good start with a win over division rival Washington, but haven’t impressed since.  On the other hand, Peyton Manning is on pace to have his best season ever at the age of 37. He’s got a passer rating of 134.7, 12 TDs, and the top-ranked passing offense in the league. The Eagles have the best rushing offense in the league, but Denver also has the best rushing defense, and Manning will shred the 29th-ranked passing defense. Broncos 42-20 over the Eagles.
  • Patriots at Falcons (8:30 pm, NBC) – The Patriots are undefeated, but not exactly impressive. They’re only 22nd in the league in passing so far, and just 13th in rushing, and haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game yet. Their rushing defense comes in 24th, so it’s their passing defense that holds them together — sixth-ranked.  Atlanta is 1-2 but has scored 24 or more points in two of those three games, and they have the 7th-ranked passing game and 5th-ranked rushing defense in the league.  I’ll go with Atlanta, 27-20.
  • Dolphins at Saints (MNF, 8:30 pm, ESPN) – Both of these teams are undefeated, and Miami has won two road games already.  Miami is coming off of a squeaker, while New Orleans just blew out the Cardinals at home.  New Orleans has the edge, especially in the passing game in both directions.  The Saints should come marching home with a victory, 31-23.
  • BONUS PICK: Jets at Titans (4:05 pm, CBS) – Jazz insists that I make a pick in this game, and it does have some big implications in the AFC playoff hunt down the road. (That’s more than I can say about a Steeler game at the moment … ) The Jets are a lot less mediocre than last year, with everything but its passing offense in the league’s top ten.  Tennessee’s rankings aren’t quite as good, but they’re playing at home.  Still, I’ll pick the upset and the Jets, 21-17.

 

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Wet paper bag 49 — Steelers 3

Make yourself at home down there, Steelers.

Signed,
The rest of the NFL

Hot Gas on September 29, 2013 at 12:32 PM

but I’ll take Pittsburgh over the Vikings, 19-13.

Compulsive delusion. Of course you know, the first time you pick against them, they will win.

Rode Werk on September 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Is there anyone Washington can beat this year?

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Don’t have any fish to fry with the afternoon games as my Patriots play tonight and my beloved Saints play tomorrow night, so I’ll instead be following the thrilling final day of the American League Wild Card race. There are 3 teams vying for the 2 wild card slots, with Cleveland leading by 1. Texas and Tampa Bay are tied at a game back. Wild stuff.

And congrats to the worst-to-first Boston Red Sox, who clinched the American League’s best record despite losing to the O’s last night. Bobby Valentine could not be reached for comment.

BTW Ed, I agree with Road Werk. The Stillers will win when you pick against them!

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The Jets are a lot less mediocre than last year…

Notice it’s never “The Jets are looking good” or even “The Jets show improvement”…it’s that they are “a lot less mediocre”. :/

The Jets defense is looking teh awesome this season. There’s no way Tenn scores more than one TD…My prediction: Jets 17 – Titans 10

JetBoy on September 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Is there anyone Washington can beat this year?

The Giants?

Rode Werk on September 29, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Is there anyone Washington can beat this year?

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2013 at 12:37 PM

The Houston Astros?

Actually, Washington hasn’t played their 2 games with the (hapless) NY Giants yet. But both of those meetings aren’t until December.

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2013 at 12:37 PM

The Steelers, lol…

abobo on September 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM

JetBoy on September 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

PUTCHER ARMS OUT! #Jets

Jazz Shaw on September 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM

It will be interesting to see how Cassel does.

gophergirl on September 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Prediction:

Not only will the Jaguars lose, but Everbank Field will be empty by the fourth quarter as all the fans abandon the game and will all try to beat the nightmarish traffic situation we have going on. The media will then use that to bash the city of Jacksonville, again.

joekenha on September 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Cruz on FNC.

Go Chiefs!

davidk on September 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Gene Simmons doing the national anthem. Never thought I would ever see that.

gophergirl on September 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Give it up Ed. you picking the Steelers is the kiss of death for them.

gerrym51 on September 29, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Prediction:

Not only will the Jaguars lose, but Everbank Field will be empty by the fourth quarter as all the fans abandon the game and will all try to beat the nightmarish traffic situation we have going on. The media will then use that to bash the city of Jacksonville, again.

joekenha on September 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM

So how many folks will show up there for their 2 free beers today?

Actually heard a couple of sports talking heads the other day floating the possibility of the NFL moving the Jags to another city.

London.

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Compulsive delusion. Of course you know, the first time you pick against them, they will win.

Does Ed ever pick against the Steelers?

gerrym51 on September 29, 2013 at 1:07 PM

…Lions…and Tigers…and Bears!

KOOLAID2 on September 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I can see them moving to London. However, they surprisingly haven’t had problems with ticket sales. Of course, it doesn’t matter what city they play in. They’ll still suck until they make major changes.

joekenha on September 29, 2013 at 1:20 PM

If the Steelers lose against the 0-3 Vikes and a backup QB, they should just stay in London. Heck, West Ham and Arsenal could probably beat the black and gold at this point.

fortcoins on September 29, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Does Ed ever pick against the Steelers?

gerrym51 on September 29, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I don’t think so. It was even better when Tebow beat them twice in a row, with the same exact play. Back to back compulsive delusions.

Rode Werk on September 29, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Give it up Ed. you picking the Steelers is the kiss of death for them.

gerrym51 on September 29, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Quit picking the Steelers, Ed. I’d like to win a game this year. Maybe Tomlin can call and ask.

msupertas on September 29, 2013 at 1:44 PM

I can see them moving to London. However, they surprisingly haven’t had problems with ticket sales. Of course, it doesn’t matter what city they play in. They’ll still suck until they make major changes.

joekenha on September 29, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Yea, even though I was for him before I was against him, it starts with Tomlin. As Cowher’s players have left or retired, the team has spiraled. Bring Cowher back, and give him complete control, like he wanted.

msupertas on September 29, 2013 at 1:48 PM

PUTCHER ARMS OUT! #Jets

Jazz Shaw on September 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM

HOLLA!

Maybe this is the year we won’t see any more of THIS for a while.

JetBoy on September 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

GO Steelers!!

Hot Gas on September 29, 2013 at 12:32 PM

So troll- who’s your team? I suspect they’re a bunch of long time losers.

CW on September 29, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I’m sorry, I just can’t get worked up about two 0-3 teams slugging it out for last place.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2013 at 2:16 PM

I’m sorry, I just can’t get worked up about two 0-3 teams slugging it out for last place.

maybe neither one wants to be 0-4

gerrym51 on September 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I can see them moving to London. However, they surprisingly haven’t had problems with ticket sales. Of course, it doesn’t matter what city they play in. They’ll still suck until they make major changes.

joekenha on September 29, 2013 at 1:20 PM

The rationale I heard was that when the NFL gave Jax a franchise, they expected that it would develop into a “great” NFL city, but they couldn’t peel off many of the city’s college football fans.

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2013 at 3:45 PM

…Le’Veon Bell will help the Steelers!

KOOLAID2 on September 29, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Ouch.

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2013 at 4:06 PM

I can’t believe this. I’m actually feeling sorry for Ed.

gerrym51 on September 29, 2013 at 4:11 PM

That’s Tennessee’s first and only touchdown for the rest of the game. They just got it in early. Leave me alone, I’m on a roll.

I can’t believe this. I’m actually feeling sorry for Ed.

gerrym51 on September 29, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Ed lives in Minnesota…I’m constantly feeling sorry for him ;)

JetBoy on September 29, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Chiefs 4-0

Go Eagles.

davidk on September 29, 2013 at 4:18 PM

LOL. Steelers are not very good. Redskins are not very good. Giants are not very good.

GO Steelers!!

Hot Gas on September 29, 2013 at 12:32 PM

So troll- who’s your team? I suspect they’re a bunch of long time losers.

CW on September 29, 2013 at 1:53 PM

His team could be the Jaguars and he’d still look like less of a dumb idiot than you do.

Daikokuco on September 29, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Chiefs 4-0

Go Eagles.

davidk on September 29, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Yikes!

davidk on September 29, 2013 at 4:51 PM

OT Latest on the 3-way battle for the American League Wild Card…

Tampa Bay has already won.

Cleveland is about to win.

Texas is now ahead of the LA Angels after 6.

If Texas wins, it looks like a 1-game playoff between them and Tampa Bay for the second Wild Card, as Cleveland started the day a game ahead of both of them.

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I had to run that back. Coulda swore the referee in the charger-dallas game just said,

“Illegal Sh_t…”

He said shift.

Mazz on September 29, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Friggin’ a…end the misery already…

JetBoy on September 29, 2013 at 6:57 PM

0-4. Ouch.

The Steelers don’t play the Giants, the Jags, or the Bucs.

The Jags don’t play the Giants or the Bucs.

Anyone know if the Giants will play the Bucs?

22044 on September 29, 2013 at 8:14 PM

giants do not play tampa bay this year.

gerrym51 on September 29, 2013 at 8:51 PM

One of the keys to tonight’s Patriots win-Brady never got sacked.

But he did rush…for -2 yards.

Pats defense should help us along until the receiver newbies grow into their roles.

Dueling Games Monday night-MNF (Dolphins at Saints) but also the 1-game American League Wild Card Playoff between the Tampa Bays and the Rangers from Texas.

Del Dolemonte on September 30, 2013 at 12:13 AM