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NEWS | Oct. 2, 2009

National Football League: Week 4 Predictions

By Airman 1st Class Patrick McKenna Capital Flyer sports writer

Each week I'll give a brief preview of every game. I'll make my picks and keep a running tally as the season progresses to see how well(or terrible) I'm doing. Anyone who would like to email me their picks is more than welcome. For all those interested in submitting their picks, please email by Sunday at noon.

Baltimore @ New England
- So far this season no team in the AFC has been more balanced than the Ravens. While being fourth in the AFC in defense should surprise no one, the fact that this team is second in the NFL in total offense has to leave other AFC contenders nervous. The Patriots are still not clicking on offense yet, but are coming off a solid win over Atlanta, and should be getting wide receiver Wes Welker back from injury. This has all the makings of a great game and will come down to how well each defense plays. New England's defense will have better luck containing Joe Flacco than Baltimore's will with Tom Brady.
Pick: Patriots

Tampa Bay @ Washington - After the Redskins embarrassing loss to the Lions last week, it's safe to say there is no coach in the league with less job security than Jim Zorn. Thankfully for Redskins fans, they are playing the Buccaneers, who are giving quarterback Josh Johnson his first career start.
Make no mistake: if the Redskins lose this week, Zorn will be out of a job.
Pick: Redskins

Tennessee @ Jacksonville - With each loss I become more and more convinced the Titans are not the same team they were a season ago. Their run game is still solid, but the loss of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to the Lions and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to the Redskins hurt their defense more than expected. That defense will have its hands full trying to contain Maurice Jones Drew, who's coming off a three touchdown game last week. If the Titans lose to division foe Jacksonville this week, they can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye and say hello to Vince Young as their starter the rest of the season.
Pick: Titans

Oakland @ Houston - Neither of these teams is balanced. Houston has a very good offense and a lousy defense. Oakland has a solid defense and a terrible offense. In the end, Houston is at home and their offense is a better unit than Oakland's defense. The Texans should be able to take this game by a couple touchdowns.
Pick: Texans

Detroit @ Chicago - Detroit is coming off an emotional victory last week. They will certainly win more games this season, but this week against Chicago will not be one of them.
Pick: Bears

Cincinnati @ Cleveland - It took three weeks but I'm officially a believer in the Bengals. Saying they've been through a lot in recent years would be about as big an understatement as saying Robert Downey Jr. liked to party in his heyday. Cleveland is rudderless right now and looks to battle St. Louis for the top pick in next year's draft.
Pick: Bengals

Buffalo @ Miami - I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Terrell Owens handled his catch-less game remarkably well. Despite the Buffalo sports writers' best efforts to goad him into a sound bite about how terrible their offense played, he stood fast and didn't bite. Buffalo will have running back Marshawn Lynch back from suspension this week at Miami and will sneak a road win against the Dolphins who will be giving Chad Henne his first career start.
Pick: Bills

Seattle @ Indianapolis - Seattle will be missing starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck again this week. Without him they are one dimensional on offense and their running game isn't very strong either. They don't stand much chance beating the Colts at home.
Pick: Colts

New York Giants @ Kansas City - The Giants dismantled Tampa Bay last week and Kansas City is no more talented than the Bucs. Look for the Giants to continue on their road to the playoffs with an easy victory this week.
Pick: Giants

New York Jets @ New Orleans - This game pits New Orleans, the league's highest scoring offense, against the Jets, who have given up the second fewest points in the league. The X factor in this game will be how well the Saints can run the ball with Pierre Thomas. If he shows the same burst he did last week the Jets will have their hands full. This should be a great game but the edge goes to the home team.
Pick: Saints

Dallas @ Denver - While Denver is 3-0, they have yet to show they can win a tough game against a decent opponent. They lucked into their first win against the Bengals and then proceeded to beat the Browns and Raiders who aren't exactly clicking on all cylinders. This week look for the Cowboys to give Denver their first real test of the season.
Pick: Cowboys

St. Louis @ San Francisco - The 49ers not only lost a heartbreaker to the Vikings last week, but they also lost star running back Frank Gore for a few weeks with a foot injury. If they were playing without Gore against most teams, they'd be in line for a sure loss. The Rams are not one of those teams.
Pick: 49ers

San Diego @ Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh hasn't looked right since losing all pro safety Troy Polamalu in week one. They are still a solid team, but they need to realize they don't get spotted extra points for being the defending champs. This home game is a must win for the Steelers, but I just don't see them pulling it off.
Pick: Chargers

Green Bay @ Minnesota - This game features not only two of the best teams in the NFC North, but two of the best teams in the entire NFC conference. The key to this game will be how well Ryan Grant can run the ball against the Vikings defense. I look for Green Bay's offense to carry them to victory.
Pick: Packers

Last week's record: 11-5
Season record to date: 30-17