Week Four NFL Picks (Car @ Chi) and (Ind @ Tb)
Week four NFL picks with detailed analysis.
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Carolina Panthers (1-2) @ Chicago Bears (1-2)
- Introduction: The Panthers come into the game winning in horrible, horrible conditions against the Jaguars but it was also No.1 Overall pick Cam Newton’s first ever win. The Panthers have been highly competitive in every game including a match against the defending champion Packers, with Cam Newton starring in each. Likewise the Panthers, the Bears roll into the match with a 1-2 record including a loss against the Packers. The Bears D this year has been lacklustre and the offense stagnant with Jay Cutler not being given time to pass behind a horrible offensive line.
- Last Week: The Panthers got only their 3rd win since the beginning of last season, but most importantly their first with Cam Newton which should do them the world of good. Newton was solid in managing the game in the driving rain and remained poised throughout the game despite lacking a ground attack to support him. The Bears put a lot of effort into the loss against the Packers with the whole bag of tricks being brought out for it including a spectacular punt return which was stolen off them by some phantom call. Despite this however, the Packers did it comfortably so it definitely will be a crushing blow for the Bears team to swallow.
- The Matchup: Cam Newton is passing at 320 yards a game and the Bears are allowing almost 280 yards a game through the air. I think it’s safe to say that Newton should be able to pass his way through the Bears secondary, one which especially struggles against TEs and the Panthers have Greg Olsen who will be key in doing so as he could share some inside info on the Bears defensive packages. Both teams are similarly matched against the run so there could be some success running the ball for either side. The most important aspect of this match though is Cutler vs. the Panthers pass D. The Panthers were torched by Kevin Kolb and Aaron Rodgers so there are some weaknesses there. Outside of Charles Johnson, the Panthers have no reliable pass rushers so there is a very good chance the Bears offensive line could give Cutler just enough time to do some damage.
- Prediction: Bears 20 – 17 Panthers (1 unit on Carolina + 6) I like the Panthers to cover here as Newton has shown that he can make some plays so even if they fall behind early, they should be able to cover against a Bears team who could very well come up flat after 3 huge games in the past 3 weeks.
Indianapolis Colts (0-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1):
- Introduction: The Buccaneers return to primetime football for the first time since 2008 when Antonio Bryant had that game which either won or lost your fantasy championship game (lost for me, fuck you Antonio). The Bucs have been unimpressive this year, yet are at 2-1 with their loss coming against a great Lions team. The Colts have been pathetic without Peyton Manning save for a great performance against the Steelers last week. Kerry Collins sucks, Curtis Painter sucks and good god will Orvlovsky suck if the Colts play him.
- Last Week: The Bucs D came up big with Adrian Clayborn and Brian Price wreaking havoc against the Falcons. LeGarrette Blount got it going on the ground in the second half and Josh Freeman was able to make use of his athleticism as well as managing the game well enough to give the Bucs a win. The Colts fought hard against the Steelers with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis trying their hardest to get them home but it simply wasn’t enough as the offense couldn’t pick up the slack.
- The Match Up: Save for the Steelers match, the Colts D has been a sieve allowing the Browns and Texans to put up a combine 61 points on them. Tampa Bay should be able to take advantage of this with a healthy dose of Blount up the middle against the poor rush D of the Colts and be able to do so all game assuming the Bucs can build a healthy lead. I can’t see the Colts putting up many points against a strong Bucs D who should tee off against a terrible offensive line and whichever scrub they decide to play under centre.
- Prediction: Buccaneers 30 – 9 Colts (Buccaneers -10.5 for 2 units) The Colts will be shattered after that loss against the Steelers; they could not have given any more in that game and now they’re travelling on the road against a Bucs team who have something to prove on national TV.