Lions @ Chicago Bears - The Lions' poor defensive line will be the difference in this game, a game that Matt Forte will have his 2009 grand re-opening party.
My Pick - Chi-Town
Bengals @ Cleveland Browns - The Browns suck, and the Bengals are better than I or most thought. However, I don't think this game will be a blowout. Mainly because of the re-insertion of Browns quarterback Derrick Anderson and his ability to sling it deep, especially to WR Braylon Edwards, which will be tough for the slow safeties of Cinci to deal with.
My Pick - Bengals
Raiders @ Houston Texans - This game will showcase one of the best 1-on-1 matchups you will see all year in the NFL, WR Andre Johnson (the best WR in the game) vs. CB Nnamdi Asomugha (the best corner in the game). Though it is true, I think Nnamdi will win that matchup (just like did last year when Nnamdi held AJ to 19 yards on two catches), the Texans are at home, and they are the better team.
My Pick - Houston
Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts - A good friend of mine asked me which will loss would be bigger in this game: the Seahawks' loss of QB Matt Hasselbeck or the Colts' loss of DE Dwight Freeney, and I wavered on my answer, but I did come up with one. I think Seattle will be missing Hasselbeck more because with LT Walter Jones missing another game, and his backup Sean Locklear probably missing this one too, Raheem Brock (Freeney's replacement) will do just fine and so will the home team in this one.
My Pick - Indy in a blowout
Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars - The fact that the Jagz (5-11 last year) have a win and the Titans (13-3 last year) don't is enough karma for the Titans to get their first win in Jacksonville, Sunday.
My Pick - Titans
Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs - Chris Canty DT/DE, Justin Tuck DE, Kenny Phillips S, and CB Aaron Ross are all starters for the NFL's best defense, and they are all out for the team's trip to KC. Cheif No. 1, WR Dwayne Bowe, may be out, but that is the only major Chief starter who may be out for this game. And even if he does play healthy, Giant corner Corey Webster is more than capable of locking Bowe down, leaving the Chiefs one- dimensional on offense—with guys like DTs Fred Robbins, Barry Coefield, and Rocky Bernard all healthy, that other dimension for KC will be non- existent.
My Pick - NY Football Giants in a blowout
Ravens @ New England Patriots - This will be the week Tom Brady turns back into Tom Brady. The Ravens' corners are average at best, and as great as Ed Reed is, he can't be everywhere at one time. New England's pass offense will be enough to give the Ravens their first loss of '09.
My Pick - New England
Bucs @ Washington D.C. - Yes, Washington was the first team to lose to the Detroit Lions since George W. Bush was President, but the fact that this game in week four is in Washington, and the Bucs have nobody to handle Albert Haynesworth (Bucs Pro Bowl center is still out with a triceps injury). So, first time starter Josh Johnson and the alleged run-first Bucs will have all sorts of problems all afternoon.
My Pick - Washington in a blowout
Jets @ New Orleans Saints - The story here is pretty clear, Saints' O vs. Jets' D. The Saints have the best offense in the NFL, and I'm not talking stats or numbers (granted they are stat wize the No. 1 in the NFL, but I'm just sayin'), they just do. The Jets have a very talented defense that is still missing starting OLB Calvin Pace, but even with Pace, they don't have the NFL's best defense. Even better for the Saints, they are at home to host the Jets.
My Pick - New Orleans
Bills @ Miami Dolphins - Now I know Chad Pennington is out for the year and the other Chad (Henne) will be making his ever first NFL start, but LT Jake Long and RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will take all sorts of pressure off of Henne's shoulders. And if sack master JP, i.e. LB Joey Porter (he has a hamstring issue) plays this Sunday, he will be going against former RT filling in at LT Johnathan Scott (former backup now starter Demetrius Bell is out for week four with a groin problem), and Kirk Chambers, who is a former LT who will play RT (cuz Scott is moving to LT). Chambers is going up against possible future HOF OLB Jason Taylor, so Trent Edwards will have little time to go deep to WRs Terrell Owens and Lee Evans.
My Pick - Miami
Cowboys @ Denver Broncos - The Broncos aren't as good as their record that's clear, but the Cowboys aren't either. If AJ Feeley is the quarter back for Carolina last Monday Night the Cowboys are 1-2. And with Dallas gaping holes at the WR (TO gone) and OLB (long time Cowboy Greg Ellis gone) spots, they won't get the ball down the field and they won't get to Denver QB Kyle Orton. With Denver getting better each week running the football, it will make things even easier for the Broncos through the air, especially since the Cowboys' secondary has struggled all year. By the way, the only QB the Cowboys have picked off all year is Jake Dellohme.
My Pick - Denver
Rams @ San Francisco 49ers - No Frank Gore, no problem. No Marc Bulger (former first round bust, QB Kyler Boller will step in for Bulger), BIG problem. The Rams are still without second overall pick RT Jason Smith, and last week the Niners put pressure on Brett Favre all day, (memo to those who don't know already, Boller is not Brett Favre). The Niners may even open it up a lil' and might let Shaun Hill go for 300 yards for the first time this season, and why not? The Rams are fourth worst in the NFL in yards per pass giving up 8.3 per.
My Pick - San Francisco in a blowout
Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers - In recent history the current NFL Champs have owned the Chargers, even beating them twice last season. So far this season, the Steelers are 1-2, and mighty ticked off at the fact they are 1-2, probably because they gave away their last two games at the end. The Chargers on the other hand owe their first win this season (Chargers are 2-1) to a last second Phillip Rivers drive and Darren Sproles TD run, up in Oakland. Willie Parker is out for this one, but LaDainian Tomlinson should play, the only problem. The amazing thing is that doesn't make much of a difference, Chargers Pro Bowl DT Jamal Williams is out for the year, and Mewelde Moore has done a pretty good job when he's had to fill in for Willie Parker. On the other side, the Chargers' offensive line has been pushed around all year and center Nick Hardwick is still out (ankle injury), and the Steelers of course have one of the best run defenses in the NFL, even when Troy Polamalu is out.
My Pick - Pittsburgh
Packers @ Minnesota Vikings - Granted, the vaunted gave up 24 points at home to Shaun Hill and a rookie RB, but with Packers' starting LT Chad Clifton still out, and his replacement usual starter at LG Daryn Colledge getting schooled by a half-way decent DE in Cinci in week two (Antwan Odom). I'm sure Jared Allen could try for five sacks of his own, and put the hurt on Brett Favre's replacement, Aaron Rodgers. Not only that, but hey, the Packers let talented Rams RB Steven Jackson go 163 total yards, and last time I checked, Adrian Peterson is more talented than any running back in the NFL, let alone Jackson.
My Pick - Minnesota