NFL Week 4 picks 2013

The 0-3 Steelers head across the pond this week to meet the 0-3 Vikings in a thrilling matchup of top teams the NFL is surely happy to be showcasing at Wembley Stadium.

You cannot underrate how poor each team has played so far. The Steelers are tied with the Giants for the worst turnover margin in the NFL (minus-9) and the Vikings lost at home last week to a winless Browns team that had just traded away its best player and started its backup quarterback.

The Steelers offense had least found some rhythm last week in a 40-23 home loss to the Bears, so I’ll take them to outlast the Vikings.

The Bills has played well at home this year but after E.J. Manuel’s iffy performance last week against Geno Smith, I didn’t feel comfortable taking them at only +3.5 against Baltimore.

Week 4 picks, based on lines printed in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Steelers -1.5 vs. Minnesota (London) – Pittsburgh

Baltimore -3.5 at Buffalo – Baltimore

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DeSean Jackson will be the death of me

Dennis Johnson from the NFL Network reported today that 50 percent of fantasy championships will be impacted by Michael Vick.

If Jackson caught footballs liked he picked out sunglasses, I'd be in business. Nice shirt though.

For me it’s not Mike Vick, it’s DeSean Jackson (unless of course he’s implying Vick impacts Jackson). I have two fantasy titles on the line tonight, and both teams are going against DeSean Jackson tonight.

And by “going against,” I mean, “need him to do poorly.”

One of my teams is already screwed by Wes Welker. So here’s how it plays out: One game I have a six-point lead and David Akers vs. Jackson. In the other, I have a five-point lead with Akers and LeSean McCoy going against Jackson.

Right now it looks like I’m going 1-1. That’s okay, except I’m losing the pay league and winning the free one. I’m hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

Here’s my wishful thinking. I think the Vikings are going to get pounded into the turf tonight. I’m not sure Joe Webb is better than Joe Licata. Two days rest for Adrian Peterson helps, but the Eagles are just too good.

I need the Vikings to eat some clock in the first half. Their defense will have all they can from Vick, so give them a break when they finally get off the field. Run Peterson and Gerhart and keep the clock rolling.

I also need the Eagles to get up early. The sooner Philadelphia has the lead, the sooner Andy Reid stops dialing up passing plays. Defensive touchdowns wouldn’t hurt either. They would put the game further out of reach without anyone on offense scoring a touchdown (I’m nervous for punt returns though… Minnesota got burned by Hester).

One thing I have on my side is the threat of the Eagles playing three games in 12 days. Between this Tuesday night game, their Week 17 game and Wild Card weekend, the Eagles could potentially play three times in 12 days. If they get up big and/or early, hopefully Reid will take out some of his stars and let the others play.

Basically what it comes down to is if Jackson scores a touchdown, I lose. If not, I have a shot. I lost the championship last season because Peyton Manning only played the first half of Indi’s Week 16 game. Here’s to hoping karma comes back around.

Oh, and if Jackson wants to do that thing again where he drops the ball before he gets into the end zone, that’d be cool too.

Other notes:

-Everybody blasted Brian Westbrook when he took a dive to keep the clock running instead of taking the touchdown, effectively losing several fantasy championships in the process. When Peyton Manning did it this weekend, nobody said a word.

Where else could you find a picture like this of T.O.? Only Twitter.

-Twitter is growing on me. I love that fact that you can get up close and personal with famous people. Landon Donovan’s Twitter made me laugh one night, and I made a comment about how he makes celbs seem more real. Well, he responded. That’s right, Landon Donovan tweeted at me. The answer is yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.

-Now that Mike Singletary is out in San Fransisco, what are the odds Glen Coffee comes out of retirement?

-The World Junior Classic is going on right now in Buffalo. I’ve been keeping my distance from the event, and I have my reasons. I’m pulling for the States though. Too bad they’ll be the best team in that arena this year.

Week 13 NFL picks

Give me the Bills.

Bills (+6) at Minnesota–Bills

Cleveland (+4 1/2) at Miami–Cleveland

Jacksonville at Tennessee (+2)–Jacksonville

Denver (+8 1/2) at Kansas City–Denver

Washington (+7) at Giants–Washington

Chicago at Detroit (+3 1/2)–Bears*

San Francisco (+9 1/2) at Green Bay–49ers

New Orleans at Cincinnati (+6 1/2)–Saints

Atlanta at Tampa Bay (+3)–Falcons

Oakland (+13) at San Diego–Rule is usually to pick a line this big, but gotta go with San Diego.

Carolina (+6) at Seattle–Seahawks. Beast Mode.

Dallas (+5 1/2) at Indianapolis–Indi. Peyton doesn’t lose twice in a row.

St. Louis at Arizona (+3)–Rams

Pittsburgh (+3) at Baltimore–Steelers

Jets (+3 1/2) at New England–Jets

Overall (best bets)
Northrop: 93-72-5 (8-4)
Sullivan: 91-74-5 (8-4)
DiCesare: 86-79-5 (8-4)
McKissic: 79-86-5 (4-8)
Gaughan: 77-88-5 (8-4)
Wilson: 76-89-5 (8-4)
Game Seven 69-96-5 (8-3-1)

Last week:

Pittsburgh at Bills (+6 1/2)–Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh 19-16 (OT). Loss
Tennessee (+6 1/2) at Houston–Houston
Texans 20-0. Win
Green Bay (+2) at Atlanta–Green Bay
Falcons 20-17. Loss
Minnesota (+1) at Washington–Washington*
Vikings 17-13. Loss
Jacksonville (+7) at N.Y. Giants–Giants
Giants 24-20. Loss
Carolina (+10) at Cleveland–Cleveland
Browns 24-23. Loss
Kansas City at Seattle (+1 1/2)–Chiefs
KC 42-24. Win
Miami (+3) at Oakland–Oakland
Miami 33-17. Loss
St. Louis (+4) at Denver–Rams
Rams 36-33. Win
Philadelphia at Chicago (+3 1/2)–Eagles
Bears 31-26. Loss
Tampa Bay (+7 1/2) at Baltimore–Bucs
Baltimore 17-10. Win
San Diego (+3) at Indianapolis–Peyton Manning doesn’t lose at night.
I lied. SD 36-14. Loss
San Francisco at Arizona (+1)–49ers
49ers 27-6. Win