NFL Office Pool Picks Week 4
Week 3 of our NFL office pools selections was a bit of a mixed bag. We wound up with double-digit wins. That's a good thing. But the games that we didn't get right, for the most part, were the frustrating kinds of losses that can haunt you - Kyle Allen looking very much like an NFL quarterback despite never previously giving us any reason to expect he could, the Chargers refusing to play defense again, Daniel Jones in his debut looking better than Eli Manning ever did, and so on. Here's hoping that things are a little less random in a few more games this week.
A notable element of this game is that it features the first bye weeks of the season. The Jets and the 49ers are both taking a break. Though given how they are playing, the Jets are presumably much happier to be off the field than the Niners are.
Here's how I see the games breaking down this week - my straight up picks:
Philadelphia at Green Bay: Heading into the season, I was a believer in the Eagles and a skeptic when it came to the Packers. Despite the 3-0 record, I'm still not really a big fan of the Packers at this point. But injuries have really impacted what the Eagles can do. I have to take the Packers in this Thursday night matchup .
Cleveland at Baltimore: The biggest vulnerability the Browns seemed to have heading into this season with massive expectations was head coach Freddie Kitchens. And through three games, he has been a freaking disaster calling plays. Baltimore isn't perfect, but they are tough and explosive. Take the Ravens.
Carolina at Houston: Do I want to rely on Kyle Allen to do much more than he should be able to do for a second week, or do I want to trust a Houston team that just drives me crazy and has incompetent coaching? There are some games I really hate, and this is certainly one of them. Take the Texans.
L.A. Chargers at Miami: The Chargers have been awful - at least compared to expectations - and they seem to refuse to play defense. It has been a really rough start for a team that was tabbed as one of the true elite teams in the AFC heading into the season. But compared to the Dolphins, they are the perfect team. Man, Miami is awful. Take the Chargers.
New England at Buffalo: This is the battle of undefeated AFC East teams that no one could have seen coming. The difference, though, is that despite the off-field distractions, the Patriots have been every bit as good as expected, while the Bills have just taken advantage of a stunningly weak schedule. Take the Patriots.
Tennessee at Atlanta: I don't trust either team. Both quarterbacks are very much overrated. Neither team is on a good path right now. This is another game I hate. Take the Falcons. But don't feel good about it.
Oakland at Indianapolis: Jacoby Brissett has looked very solid in his surprise starting gig, and the team is responding to him. The Raiders are coached by a lunatic with a questionable grasp on reality, and the team responds to that. Take the Colts.
Washington at New York Giants: The Redskins are just such an incredible mess. They looked really bad on Monday night. And, unlike the Dolphins, it is not like they are intentionally tanking. And, based on an admittedly small sample size, New York is now led by a future hall of famer. This one, oddly, feels like a mismatch - and that's with Saquon Barkley questionable. Take the Giants.
Kansas City at Detroit: Detroit is about the most surprising team in the league right now. They haven't lost, and they have beaten a couple of pretty good teams in the Chargers and Eagles. But this is a whole new thing, and the Chiefs are particularly special. And much the better team. Take the Chiefs.
Tampa Bay at L.A. Rams: The Rams seem broken - or at least sprained - and Sean McVay seems to have lost some of his mojo since the Super Bowl loss. But they have not lost yet, and they shouldn't start now at home against a Tampa Bay team that is improved but still flawed. Take the Rams.
Seattle at Arizona: I don't hate everything that the Cardinals have done up to this point, but they unquestionably have some issues. And so do the Seahawks, as they are coming off a loss that shouldn't have been nearly so lopsided against the Saints. Not a great matchup right now. Take the Seahawks.
Minnesota at Chicago: Kirk Cousins is not playing like an NFL quarterback. It's a bit ugly. And the Bears' defense is a really rough unit to be struggling while playing against. Not an ideal matchup. Take the Bears.
Jacksonville at Denver: I like watching Gardner Minshew play football. It's not perfect, and on Thursday night it was ugly at times - though I blame the game more than him. But he is worth watching. And not much about the Broncos is entertaining right now. The Jalen Ramsey drama is a concern - he is pretending to be sick to skip practices - but we still have to take the Jaguars.
Dallas at New Orleans: Teddy Bridgewater got the win as the new temporary starter last week, but he was only mediocre in the performance. Dallas, meanwhile, is dialed in and has the best point differential in the NFC. Being on the road is a concern, but take the Cowboys.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: I don't love where the Steelers are at right now. But I really, really hate where the Bengals are. And they don't have a path to get better in any hurry. Take the Steelers.
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