Sunday, October 2, 2011

11 Things I Know I Know: Week 4

1. I know the Lions are for real. Any doubt I had before has been erased. After coming back from a 24-point second half deficit this week after coming back from a 17-point second half deficit last week, Detroit is now 4-0 and rolling. Chicago comes to town next week for Monday Night Football in what will shape up to be the biggest game in the Motor City in about 10 years.

The Calvin Johnson - Matthew Stafford combo has to excite the faithful.
I know it excites me, the fantasy football fan.

Dallas and Tony Romo on the other hand are now a couple turnovers away from being 4-0 and a couple field goals away from being 0-4. Still not sure whether to buy or sell on them.

2. I know the Dream Team is staring 1-5 in the face. After four games, the Eagles are 1-3, and now they have to travel to Buffalo and Washington the next two weeks before their bye. Michael Vick can't do much more, but they had two game-losing plays this week: a) Ronnie Brown's lateral/fumble at the goal line and b) Alex Henery's missed 33-yard field goal. Good teams don't make those mistakes. Dream Teams don't put themselves in a position where one or two plays can lose a game. Philly is now two games off the division lead four weeks into the season. Sounds more like a nightmare.

I also have to give the 49ers credit. They came back from 20 points down today on the road and seem to be a lot better of a team than I thought they would be. They lead the NFC Least, err, West by two games.

3. I know the offensive line play in the NFL seems to be at an all-time low. Not sure if it's the lockout (highly doubt it), the increased emphasis on the blitz (doubt this too), or something else (probable but I can't identify a reason), but quarterbacks around the league are getting beaten like rag dolls. Big Ben, Sam Bradford, and Kevin Kolb are all lucky to be alive this evening after the beatings they took this afternoon. I'm guessing there will be a huge premium placed on offensive linemen in next year's draft.

4. I know the Falcons save their season in Seattle this week. It may seem like an overstatement that last year's NFC champs (regular season) could be finished after four weeks but had they lost, they would be 1-3 with Green Bay and Detroit looming in the next three weeks. Like the Cowboys, I'm holding steady for now until I get some more data, but 2-2 is a whole lot sweeter than 1-3, and winning in Seattle is no easy feat.

5. I know the Giants took advantage of a terrible call on the Victor Cruz fumble like only a very good team would. New York is 3-1 atop the the NFC East with the surprising 'Skins and will be a home favorite in each of their next three games (Seattle, Buffalo, Miami). They need all the wins they can get early in the year because they close with one of the most difficult schedules imaginable. Good win for them though.

6. I know the Chargers need to be challenged a little bit. They either seem bored or not that good. The three teams they have beaten thus far have a combined total of one win between them. I hope they are playing possum with the league but I'm afraid they just aren't the team many believe they are.

7. I know Matt Hasselbeck makes the Titans a contender in the AFC. Chris Johnson hasn't done anything yet and still Tennessee is atop the AFC South with a 3-1 record thanks to the efficient play of their quarterback. Their win over Baltimore looks very good now and figures to look even better by the end of the season.

If the Titans can win at Pittsburgh next week,
the rest of the league will take notice.

8. I know Cam Newton is pissing off a lot of bettors. He has now covered in each of the first four games of his career including two of the backdoor variety (Week 2 vs Green Bay and Week 4 vs Chicago). Bet against the man at your own risk.

9. I know Wes Welker is the MVP through a quarter of the season. 40 catches, 618 receiving yards, and five touchdowns. Holy crap. Have a season. Looks like he's bounced back from that knee injury just fine.

10. I know that of all the winless teams in the NFL, only one needs a franchise quarterback: Miami. Indy, St. Louis, and Minnesota either have Hall of Famers or recent first rounders playing the position for them. Is it possible Andrew Luck doesn't go first overall? It very well could be because I think the Dolphins are the best of this group, but then again Matt Moore is their quarterback of the present.

11. I know the Bucs will beat Indianapolis tomorrow night, 30-17. The NFL can't be happy with this snoozer of a matchup in Week 4. There was no way to know Peyton Manning would be out, but feel free to skip this one.

Big week for The Banter's picks as I was able to go 5-0 to improve the overall record to four games over .500 (11-7-2).

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