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NFL Pro Football 2011 Week 4 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 4 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 2-3

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Sunday, October 2

New Orleans Saints (-7 1/2, 46 1/2) at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm - The Saints are on a roll since losing to the Packers in the season opener, having beaten Chicago and Houston at home over the past two weeks.

The Jags have gone in the opposite direction. They beat Tennessee, 16-14, in Week 1, only to go on the road ad lose back-to-back games to the Jets and Panthers.

Back at home, look for Maurice Jones-Drew to rumble through the Saints' defense (30th in scoring defense: 29.3 ppg) and keep this one close by keeping the ball away from Drew Brees. Jacksonville is 4-1 SU its last five at home; the Saints, 1-5 ATS in recent road games.

Prediction: Saints 24 Jaguars 21

Minnesota Vikings (-1 1/2, 39 1/2) at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm - A pair of 0-3 teams with a difference: Adrian Peterson. The Vikings have a running game, at least, and some defense, while the Chiefs have nothing, last in the league in both scoring (9.0 ppg) and points allowed, at 36.3. It doesn't get much uglier than that. Probably will be booed at home.

Prediction: Vikings 21 Chiefs 14

Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears (-7, 43 1/2) 1:00 pm - Both teams are 1-2, but surprisingly, it's the Panthers who won most recently, beating Jacksonville, 16-10, last week.

The Bears and Panthers have each allowed 60 points over the first three games of the season, while the Panthers have allowed just a bit less on defense, 22.7 per game to 23.0 for the Bears.

So, why give the Panthers seven points when they have the sharpest rookie in the league with Cam Newton handling the ball? Because he's a rookie? Not buying that argument.

Prediction: Panthers 20 Bears 16

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (even, 39) 1:00 pm - The Titans have the best defense in the league, allowing 261 yards per game, #1 in that department and are second behind the Ravens in points allowed, at 14.3 per outing.

Cleveland has muddled through their first three games, managing to win their last two at Indy and home against the Dolphins. Tennessee suffered a close call on opening weekend, losing 16-14 at Jacksonville, then beating Baltimore badly, 26-13, and just slipping by Denver, 17-14, both wins coming at home. That's the key. The Titans haven't won a road game, and this is Cleveland's second straight at home.

This ought to be a hitting festival, as the Titans haven't generated much offense, but can stop anything in helmets and pads.

Prediction: Browns 16 Titans 13

Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans (-4, 45) 1:00 pm - An intriguing match-up, with the plodding Steelers hoping to keep stride with the racy Texans, who are scoring at a 30-points-per-game clip and get Arian Foster back at RB.

The Steelers are, however, #1 against the pass, the favored weapon of the Texans, allowing just 164 yards per game through the air, and taking the road route against Pittsburgh is never fun.

Both teams are 2-1 and looking to stay at least tied for the lead in their respective divisions. The Texans may be able to afford a loss, as the AFC South is a mess and the Steelers may just oblige.

Prediction: Steelers 23 Texans 21

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San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-6, 43) 1:00 pm - Vick in, needing a win. This is the week they get it done.

Prediction: Eagles 24 49ers 13

Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams (even, 43 1/2) 1:00 pm - Difficult to believe that the Redskins aren't favored here, though they did play Monday night at Dallas and are forced to travel again, but the Rams have absolutely made a shambles of their season already, having lost all three games, each of them by embarrassing margins.

The Rams have serious issues scoring in the red zone, as did Dallas, having to kick six field goals to beat the Redskins Monday night. St. Louis has reverted to last season's form, being 31st in the league in defensive generosity, allowing 36 points per game, while they are scoring only 12 per contest, 29th overall.

Prediction: Redskins 30 Rams 17

Looking for the best NFL Handicapper? Good luck. Most of them suck.

Buffalo Bills (-3, 43 1/2) at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm - Buffalo has made plenty of noise going 3-0, especially after stunning the Patriots in Buffalo, 34-31 to take sole possession of first place in the AFC East. Buffalo is your prototypical lunch bucket team, hard-working and non-stop, though the defense has given up a ton of points over the past two games: 66, to be exact.

The Bengals are just 1-2, but, after winning at Cleveland 27-17 in Week 1, they lost a couple of close calls, 24-22, at Denver and 13-8 last week at home to San Francisco. The transition from Carson Palmer to Andy Dalton has been relatively smooth, though he's only thrown three TD passes while being picked off twice. Dalton's a fast learner and the Bengals may be on the upswing. Buffalo leads the league in scoring, but they're 21st in points allowed, and the Bengals will exploit their weakness.

Prediction: Bengals 27 Bills 17

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (-1, 46) 1:00 pm - Dallas has many issues yet to be resolved on offense, like where exactly the receivers are supposed to line up, and other mundane tasks that will eventually bite them if not addressed soon.

Still, they are 2-1, after gutsy performances over the past two weeks by Tony Romo.

On the other hand, the Lions are loaded offensively and will probably love playing on the fast track in Cowboys Stadium, plus, they are third overall in points allowed, surrendering just 15.3 per game to Dallas' 22.3. The Cowboys are scoring 23 ppg, to Detroit's 33.7, third best in the NFL. Too many stats point to the Lions winning this.

Prediction: Lions 34 Cowboys 24

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2011, 2012, 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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