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NFL Pro Football 2010 Week 4 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 4 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 3

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Sunday, October 3

San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons (-6 1/2, 42 1/2) 1:00 pm - Boy, if a team ever needed a win it would be the 49ers and it would be NOW! The problem is that the 2010 version of the 'Niners has yet to figure out how to win a game and this one is on the road against a team that just handed New Orleans its first loss of the season.

San Francisco has been horrid on the road this season, losing 31-10 at Kansas City last week. Opening weekend they went out and laid an egg at Seattle, losing 31-6. Two games, 16 points, 23 first downs, 514 total yards. The offense is just not getting the job done.

Whether they can fix it in time for Sunday is questionable, but they are getting almost a touchdown from the Falcons and should show up with fire in their eyes. On a yards per game basis, Atlanta is ranks 21st overall, so that will aid San Fran's cause. An upset is possible only because they need it so badly, but the Falcons buried the 'Nners, 45-10 last season, and that game was in San Fran. Looks like 0-4 is on the way.

Prediction: Falcons 27 49ers 14

NY Jets (-5, 36 1/2) at Buffalo Bills 1:00 pm - Buffalo found themselves a new quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, but these Jets are going to come after him from places he never thought possible. Buffalo has yet to win a game and even though the Jets split with the Bills last year, they did win in Buffalo.

After a shaky start in their opening-day loss to Baltimore (10-9), the Jets have turned their collective game up a notch and actually look like the class of the division, having topped New England and Miami in the past two weeks. Buffalo will give them some different looks on offense, but the Jets' defenders are rarely beaten badly and should hold them to only one or two TDs at most. The only thing that may keep NY from winning this game is the weather, though it could work in their favor as well. Don't expect much scoring in this one.

Prediction: Jets 24 Bills 10

Cincinnati Bengals (-3, 37 1/2) at Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm - Cleveland continues to hang around games until the 4th quarter. They've led all three of their prior contests but cannot close the deal. They actually beat Cincy in Cleveland last year, 23-20, but that was an altogether different team. The Browns' losses have been by 3, 2 and 7 points in successive weeks, but their injury list looks like they just lost the Battle of the Bulge. They'll be without QB Jake Delhomme, WR Brian Robiske and DT Shaun Rogers, plus a bevy of players are listed as questionable. Seneca Wallace is likely the starter at QB.

The Bengals, coming off an easy win at Carolina, shouldn't have many problems finding the end zone on multiple drives. They have Tampa Bay at home next week, so they could enter their bye week with a 4-1 record and in very good shape overall. Cleveland averages only 15 points per outing, which is not likely to be enough to keep pace with the Bengals.

Prediction: Bengals 23 Browns 17

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-14 1/2, 46) 1:00 pm - This is only a question of "how much" as the Packers completely overmatch the Lions, especially with this one being played at Lambeau. Green Bay ran into a tough nut in Chicago Monday night and must shrug off that game and get back on track in a hurry.

Detroit will be without the services of Matthew Stafford once again, making life very difficult for the Lions' offense. Green Bay should be able to make enough plays on defense to keep them from scoring more than a couple of field goals and the Packers won't commit a record 18 penalties, as they did against the Bears, and will probably have this one under wraps by the end of the first half.

Prediction: Packers 38 Lions 6

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Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans (-6 1/2, 42) 1:00 pm - Denver is only pretending to be an NFL team. Their performance against the Colts last week proved that they cannot get the ball into the end zone. The Broncos rolled up 519 yards of offense against Indianapolis, yet managed to lose big, 27-13. They were 5-15 on third down and an ugly 1-4 on 4th down.

They head into dangerous road territory this week in Tennessee, where the Titans appear to be loaded for bear (or Broncos) after wiping the Meadowlands turf with so many NY Giants last week. They picked off Eli Manning twice and shut New York out in the second half, turning a 10-10 tie into a 29-10 laugher.

Two stats which tell most of the story: Denver is averaging just 67 yards rushing; Tennessee is allowing only 14 points per game.

Prediction: Titans 30 Broncos 13

Seattle Seahawks (-1, 39) at St. Louis Rams 1:00 pm - Nobody will be surprised if the Rams beat the Seahawks in this NFC West clash. At 1-2, St. Louis, with firey Sam Bradford directing the offense has been in every game this seaon until the end, and last week got their first victory, a 30-16 upending of the Washington Redskins. The Rams' first two games ended in close losses, by three poins to Aizona and a two-point loss at Oakland.

Seattle has won both of their home games, against San Francisco and San Diego, but lost at Denver, 31-14. Both Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck and Bradford share the same set of numbers, 4 TDs and 5 INTs each, though the more experienced Hasslebeck has hit on 63% of his throws while Bradford has achieved only 59% accuracy. Bradford may be without RB Steven Jackson, who is day-to-day with a groin strain.

The Rams are gaining fan support at home, turning some into believers in the wide open division. With the 49ers 0-3, a win by the Rams with a loss by Arizona could produce a three-way tie for first place at 2-2.

Prediction: Rams 24 Seahawks 20


Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-13 1/2, 44 1/2) 1:00 pm - Five teams have yet to win games this season in the NFL, the Bills, Browns, 49ers, Lions and the Panthers, and this would be a very unlikely place for Carolina to break into the W column, especially with the Saints angered and motivated after losing to Altanta in overtime last week.

The Saints have more than enough firepower and defensive skill to overwhelm the putrid Panthers, who have lost their three games this season by exactly 13 points each time, so it's little wonder the line came out at 13 1/2. While that may seem a sucker play to some, the chance of losing four straight games by exactly 13 points is a bit extreme. Figure the Panthers to lose this one by an even larger margin, maybe 21.

Prediction: Saints 31 Panthers 10

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-1, 34 1/2) 1:00 pm - Pittsburgh has shocked the world, winning their first three games without regular starting QB Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben will be back in action next week, but Charlie Batch has been enjoying the twilight of his career, throwing for 186 yards and three touchdowns in last week's 38-13 butt-kicking of the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Batch will get the start again this week when the hard-hitting Ravens invade Pittsburgh. Baltimore's defense is solid, but they've only produced five sacks and haven't picked off a pass yet this season. Batch had two intercepted last week, so the Raven defenders may be looking for errant throws and any opportunity to flip the field on the Steelers.

The season series was a split last year, with each team winning at home by three points. This one figures to be as close, though the Ravens deserve a slight edge due to Roethlisberger's absence. It would be no surprise if Pittsburgh were to win, though. They lead the league in points allowed at 11 per game. Baltimore is fourth at 13.7.

Prediction: Ravens 20 Steelers 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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