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NFL Weekend with John Brockway

WEEK 4 GAME PICKS

Last week: 15-1
Season Record: 31-17

TOP GAMES

RAVENS AT STEELERS: THIS IS ONE OF THE MORE HEATED RIVALRIES IN FOOTBALL AS AFC NORTH DIVISION FOES WHO OFTEN PLAY LOW-SCORING, CLOSE GAMES. THE STEELERS NEED BACKUP QB MICHAEL VICK TO PLAY WITHIN THE OFFENSE AND GET THE BALL TO PLAYMAKERS AGAINST A RAVENS D THAT HAS UNDERPERFORMED. THE RAVENS NEED TO GET JUSTIN FORSETT AND THEIR RUNNING GAME GOING WHILE ALSO FINDING SOMEONE TO HELP STEVE SMITH SR. IN THE PASSING GAME. EXPECT PHYSICALITY AND FLARING TEMPERS BUT A HIGHER-SCORING GAME THAN USUAL WITH THESE TWO TEAMS.
PICK: STEELERS 26-23

JETS AT DOLPHINS: AN AFC EAST MATCHUP THAT WILL HAVE A LOT OF SAY IN THE SEASON’S FINAL STANDINGS. THE JETS HAVE HAD JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF OFFENSE TO GO WITH THEIR POWERFUL DEFENSE WHILE THE DOLPHINS HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR AN IDENTITY ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL. LOOK FOR THE JETS TO TRY TO GET GUYS IN SPACE WHILE THE DOLPHINS AIR IT OUT TO AVOID THE JETS STOUT RUN DEFENSE. THE DOLPHINS WERE EMBARRASSED LAST WEEK AND NEED A HUGE BOUNCEBACK THIS WEEK.
PICK: DOLPHINS 19-17

CHIEFS AT BENGALS: THE CHIEFS HAVE BEEN IN EVERY GAME SO FAR THIS SEASON BUT HAVE ONLY ONE ONCE AND THE BENGALS HAVE BEEN ON A ROLL SINCE THE SEASON BEGAN AND HAVE WON EVERY GAME. THE CHIEFS NEED TO RUN THE BALL EARLY TO OPEN PLAYS DOWNFIELD AND THEN LOOK FOR ONE-ON-ONE MATCHUPS TO GET AWAY FROM TENDENCIES. THE BENGALS NEED TO GRAB AN EARLY LEAD TO AVOID FORCING ANDY DALTON TO THROW 40+ TIMES AND NEED TO CONVERT SHORT-YARDAGE SITUATIONS TO EXTEND DRIVES AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE KANSAS CITY DEFENSE.
PICK: BENGALS 27-24

VIKINGS AT BRONCOS: THE VIKINGS HAVE BEEN FORCING TURNOVERS ALL SEASON AND FINALLY GOT THE OLD ADRIAN PETERSON BACK LAST WEEK. DENVER HAS LOOKED UGLY ON OFFENSE AT TIMES BUT HAS STARTED TO KICK IT IN GEAR TO MATCH THEIR STELLAR DEFENSE. TEDDY BRIDGEWATER HAS STRUGGLED TO MAKE PLAYS DOWNFIELD AND SHOULD BE MOBBED IN THIS GAME BY THE DENVER PASS RUSH. THE BRONCOS TO LOOK TO TAKE PETERSON AWAY AND GET THEIR OWN RUNNING GAME GOING WHILE CONTINUING TO ALLOW PEYTON MANNING TO GET MORE COMFORTABLE.
PICK: BRONCOS 26-21

LIONS AT SEAHAWKS: THE LIONS O-LINE AND D-LINE HAVE BEEN WOEFUL THIS YEAR WHICH HAS CA– USED TROUBLE FOR MATT STAFFORD AND GIVEN OPPORTUNITIES TO THE OTHER QB’S THEY’VE FACED. SEATTLE’S DEFENSE LOOKED WHOLE AGAIN LAST WEEK AFTER REGAINING SS KAM CHANCELLOR AND WILL NEED TO TAKE AWAY THE LIONS’ BIG PLAYS. THE STATUS OF RB MARSHAWN LYNCH FOR THIS GAME WILL BE HUGE BUT SEATTLE AT HOME ON MNF IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO BEAT.
PICK: SEAHAWKS 24-17


UNDER THE RADAR

TEXANS AT FALCONS: THE TEXANS SIT IN A FOUR-WAY TIE IN THE DIVISION AT 1-2 AND REALLY NEED THIS GAME TO PROPEL THEMSELVES INTO SERIOUS CONTENTION. THE FALCONS CONTINUE TO SURPRISE EVERYONE WITH THEIR DEFENSE AND ALSO HAVE MAJOR WEAPONS IN THE PASSING GAME. LOOK FOR HOUSTON TO FORCE ATLANTA TO RUN THE BALL WHILE ALSO RUNNING THE BALL OF THEIR OWN WITH A LIKELY RETURNING ARIAN FOSTER. IF FOSTER RETURNS, THE FALCONS MUST SWARM TO HIM AND WIN THEIR MATCHUPS IN THE PASSING GAME TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED. THE FALCONS HAVE THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE WITH THEIR PASSING GAME AGAINST THE TEXANS PASS DEFENSE.
PICK: FALCONS 31-27
THE REST

GIANTS AT BILLS PICK: BILLS 23-20
RAIDERS AT BEARS PICK: RAIDERS 34-31
JAGUARS AT COLTS PICK: COLTS 38-28
EAGLES AT REDSKINS PICK: EAGLES 34-24
PANTHERS AT BUCS PICK: PANTHERS 20-10
BROWNS AT CHARGERS PICK: CHARGERS 24-20
PACKERS AT 49ERS PICK: PACKERS 38-17
RAMS AT CARDINALS PICK: CARDINALS 31-17
COWBOYS AT SAINTS PICK: COWBOYS 30-28

IN THE NEWS

  • PANTHERS ACQUIRE DE JARED ALLEN FROM BEARS FOR SIXTH-ROUND PICK
    • PATRIOTS ACQUIRE LB JON BOSTIC FROM BEARS FOR SIXTH-ROUND PICK
    • PATRIOTS ACQUIRE DL AKIEM HICKS FROM SAINTS FOR TE MICHAEL HOOMANAWANUI
    • EAGLES SIGN FORMER DOLPHINS K CALEB STURGIS
    • TEXANS RELEASE K RANDY BULLOCK, SIGN LONGTIME CHARGERS K NICK NOVAK
    • BROWNS FIRE OL COACH ANDY MOELLER AFTER INITIALLY SUSPENDING HIM INDEFINITELY FOR DOMESTIC DISPUTE LAST MONTH
    • COWBOYS WR DEZ BRYANT HEALING FAST, COULD BEAT ORIGINAL INJURY TIMETABLE
    • BENGALS SIGN OT ANDREW WHITWORTH TO ONE YEAR, $9 MILLION EXTENSION THROUGH NEXT SEASON
    • RAMS RELEASE FORMER SECOND-ROUND PICK RB ISAIAH PEAD
    • REDSKINS SIGN FORMER BUCS AND BEARS LB MASON FOSTER
    • CHARGERS SIGN FORMER GIANTS AND BRONCOS C J.D. WALTON


INJURY REPORT

  • STEELERS QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER OUT 4-6 WEEKS WITH BONE BRUISE AND MCL SPRAIN IN KNEE
    • BILLS RB LESEAN MCCOY (HAMSTRING) OUT FOR WEEK 4
    • BILLS WR SAMMY WATKINS (CALF ) OUT FOR WEEK 4
    • BILLS STARTING RB JOHN MILLER WEEK-TO-WEEK WITH GROIN INJURY
    • PANTHERS DE CHARLES JOHNSON (HAMSTRING) OUT INDEFINITELY
    • PANTHERS LB LUKE KUECHLY (CONCUSSION) LIKELY TO MISS THIRD STRAIGHT GAME
    • PANTHERS RB JONATHAN STEWART (KNEE) GAME-TIME DECISION FOR WEEK 4
    • REDSKINS DB DEANGELO HALL OUT 3-4 WEEKS WITH GRADE 2 RIGHT TOE TEAR
    • REDSKINS STARTING LG SHAWN LAUVAO OUT FOR SEASON WITH ANKLE INJURY
    • TEXANS RB ARIAN FOSTER (GROIN) COULD MAKE SEASON DEBUT THIS WEEK
    • SEAHAWKS RB MARSHAWN LYNCH QUESTIONABLE FOR WEEK 4 WITH HAMSTRING INJURY
    • LIONS LB DEANDRE LEVY (HIP) GETS IN FIRST PRACTICE OF SEASON, COULD MAKE SEASON DEBUT THIS WEEK
    • BEARS WR ALSHON JEFFREY (HAMSTRING) EXPECTED TO RETURN THIS WEEK
    • BEARS QB JAY CUTLER (HAMSTRING) QUESTIONABLE FOR WEEK 4
    • JETS STARTING RB WILLIE COLON WEEK-TO-WEEK WITH SPRAINED MCL
    • JETS STARTING TE JEFF CUMBERLAND WEEK-TO-WEEK WITH CONCUSSION
    • EAGLES RB DMARCO MURRAY (HAMSTRING) EXPECTED TO RETURN THIS WEEK
    • EAGLES K CODY PARKEY OUT FOR SEASON WITH THREE TORN MUSCLES IN GROIN
    • EAGLES STARTING RB ANDREW GARDNER OUT FOR SEASON WITH LISFRANC FOOT INJURY
    • SECOND OPINION SHOWS EAGLES LB KIKO ALONSO ONLY PARTIALLY TORE ACL; COULD RETURN THIS SEASON
    • BROWNS STARTING ILB CRAIG ROBERTSON OUT AT LEAST TWO WEEKS WITH SPRAINED ANKLE
    • CHIEFS STARTING CB PHILLIP GAINES OUT FOR SEASON WITH TORN ACL
    • RAVENS TE CROCKETT GILLMORE DOUBTFUL FOR WEEK 4
    • CARDINALS RB ANDRE ELLINGTON(KNEE) QUESTIONABLE FOR WEEK 4
    • JETS TE JEFF CUMBERLAND (CONCUSSION) OUT FOR WEEK 4
    • RAVENS LT EUGENE MONROE (CONCUSSION) OUT FOR WEEK 4
    • SAINTS QB DREW BREES FEELING BETTER, LOOKING GOOD FOR WEEK 4
    • SAINTS CB KEENAN LEWIS (HIP) LIKELY TO MAKE SEASON DEBUT THIS WEEK
    • GIANTS WR VICTOR CRUZ RULED OUT FOR WEEK 4 AFTER REINJURING CALF IN PRACTICE
    • STEELERS LB RYAN SHAZIER OUT FOR WEEK 4 WITH SHOULDER INJURY

 John Brockway covers NFL for Spadora on Sports. His blog can be found at www.spadoraonsports.com

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