Edwards’ waiver claim analysis and Week 4 NFL picks

After the Buffalo Bills released Trent Edwards on Monday, he was claimed by both Jacksonville and the New York Jets, and was awarded to the Jags because they currently have a worse record. Oddly enough, those teams are Buffalo’s next two opponents.

So what does this all mean for the Bills? For starters, cutting him shows how confused the team is: One week a player has a patch on his jersey signaling he’s a leader on the team, and the next week all of those jerseys are on clearance across the country because the team no longer wants him.

But what about his claims? I take that as a positive for the Bills–it shows that they at least matter to other teams and they notice us on the schedule. We’re not just a pad-your-stats week on the calendar. Teams take us seriously and are looking for any additional insight they can get before squaring off with the Bills. I know it isn’t much, but you have to start somewhere. Small victories.

Jets’ coach Rex Ryan had some interesting things to say about the prospect of signing Trent. “The obvious thing would be, we were gong to pick his brain and all that kind of stuff,” Ryan said earlier this week. “Absolutely, that’s true. But the other thing is, I think the young man can play. I think he’s a good quarterback. And we always look at every opportunity to make our team better. And we felt that he’s got a chance to be a good quarterback in this league.”

I still think Trent can be a good QB in this league, just not with the Bills. I like the guy, but he desperately needed a change of scenery and a chance to clear his head. Now he has that. I don’t see him excelling any time this year, but keep an eye on him.

I know I said a long post was coming about the Trent claims, but I’m just decided to shorten in and lead into this week’s picks with it. I need a good week to get back into contention in the weekly picks standings. I’m still new at this “spread” thing, but I’m learning. Bills are home this week against the Jets. Game is sold out, and will be televised.

Slightly different setup this week, but nothing you can’t figure out. Here we go… wish me luck.

Jets at Bills (+5)
Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick made it interesting against New England on the road, and the Bills scheme well enough to keep it close with the Jets. Revis Island is a beached whale this week; he’s sitting out again with a leg injury.

Denver (+6 1/2) at Tennessee
Titans. I like Orton and Denver, but Tennessee has the fifth-best passing defense in the league. Orton may still put up good numbers, but they’ll be a result of quantity, not quality.

Baltimore (+1) at Pittsburgh
Steelers. impeccable defense meets offense gathering steam. Will be close, but I’m playing the hot hand–and the home team.

Cincinnati at Cleveland (+3)
Bengals. Cleveland plus-3 at home is intriguing, but Cinci better be able to beat the Browns by more than a field goal.

Detroit (+14 1/2) at Green Bay
Packers. Detroit overtakes Buffalo for the dubious title of largest point allotment this season. Oddly enough (or telling enough), both games were against Green Bay. They handled the Bills at home with relative ease, and should tame the Lions as well. I’m willing to overlook last week’s showing on Monday night as a speed bump on the road to the NFC title.

Carolina (+13 1/2) at New Orleans
Panthers. I like the Saints big in this one, but I have a hard time picking against a line this big. Would be a great day for DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to break out, too.

San Francisco (+7) at Atlanta
Falcons. They took care of were handed a win against the Saints, but played well in the game long before Garrett Hartley shanked a field goal I’ve put through many times before. I am not counting out Mike Singletary’s 49ers yet, but they are in too much disarray to pick them against Atlanta on the road.

Seattle at St. Louis (+1)
Rams. Oh, hey Sam Bradford. Nice of you to show up to the party. Seattle is sitting pretty in the NFC West at 2-1, but both of their wins came at home. They got passed San Diego on two long Leon Washington returns, but lightning won’t strike twice.

Indianapolis at Jacksonville (+7 1/2) Best bet
Colts. Calling Monday’s headline right now: NEWLY ACQUIRED BACKUP QB EDWARDS THROWS 5 TDS IN RELIEF TO STUN COLTS. Or not. Indi’s on a roll, Jacksonville sucks. Colts big.

Houston at Oakland (+3)
Texans. I might think Houston would be up for a letdown after last week’s big game against Dallas… except they’re playing the Raiders. Andre Johnson is questionable, but it really shouldn’t matter. Oakland is just that bad.

Arizona (+8) at San Diego
Cardinals. This is where I’d like to think I’m learning something about lines. I know Arizona hardly got past Oakland last week at home, but when it comes down to being given points or playing at home, this season it has been the teams getting points who win. Here goes nothing.

Washington (+6) at Philadelphia
Eagles. Phily looked good last week, Washington didn’t. If I go with the formula above, I should pick the ‘Skins, but if I go with my gut I take the Eagles. If you don’t have your gut, you don’t have anything.

Chicago (+4) at Giants
Bears. How bad did the Giants look last week? The term “G-men” may take on a different meaning in the near future if they continue on this pace. Eli’s confidence still looks hurt after big brother Peyton kicked his butt. I know Chicago’s play last week was artificially elevated due to Monday Night Football (and the Packers having more penalties than points), but I’ll take them here.

New England at Miami (+1)
Fish. See above. Miami will be ready to play come Monday night. Tom Brady had a good record on Monday nights, but his career record is good too, so it’s hard to say if he actually plays better on MNF. Last time these two met in the week’s late game? Dec. 20, 2004–The 2-11 Dolphins overcame a late deficit to beat the 12-1 Patriots, 29-28 at Pro Player Stadium.

Bye weeks: Dallas, Minnesota, Kansas City, Tampa Bay

Overall standings: Down but not out
Sullivan: 28-16-3
DiCesare: 25-19-3
McKissic: 23-21-3
Wilson: 21-23-3
Northrop: 21-23-3
Gaughan: 18-26-3
It’s Always Game Seven 15-29-3

Best bets*
Northrop: 3-0
It’s Always Game Seven 2-0-1
Gaughan: 2-1
Sullivan: 2-1
McKissic: 2-1
Wilson: 1-2
DiCesare: 1-2

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