Well, week 4 of the NFL was pretty kind to me, especially considering that I nailed nearly all of my picks in week 3. I went 11-4 with my picks, brining my grand total to the year up to 41-22. Not to bad considering that one week I went 6-10. That means between weeks 1, 3-4 I am 35-12 making picks, that’s nearly a 75% success rate! I also nailed my eliminator pick when the Packers defeated the 49ers. I also went 4-2 in fantasy, although I lost one matchup by less than .2 points so it could have been 5-1. Anyway, who am I to complain!

This week, the Thursday Night game is kind of a boring one. The Colts could be in freefall, and the Texans just might not be any good. But, I have to preview it anyway. Let’s make this fun, that means lets throw in some fantasy football! Honestly, it’s hard to feel confident in either of these teams winning. JJ Watt could get, and by that I mean should get, multiple sacks regardless of who is starting at qb for the Colts. My pick is Texans over Colts. Again, I have absolutely no confidence in that pick, but I have to make one.

However, if you are interested this is why I like the Texans tonight. Andrew Luck won’t be playing tonight per Adam Schefter. That means that Matt Hasselbeck will be starting, but there is a catch. Hasselbeck supposedly was in the hospital through Tuesday morning with a virus that he is still getting over. This is dangerous because on top of the fact that there is a talent gap between him and Luck, but the Colts offensive line is not good at all. I think that the Texans defensive front four should be creating havoc in the Colts’ backfield. The Colts defense will probably end up spending a lot of time on the field, and that’s when Arian Foster could gash them(the Colts rank 22nd in rushing defensive DVOA). Without Andrew Luck I have a gut feeling that the Texans will win one, especially since it’s a Thursday Night game and those are always hectic.

Well, that’s it for the Thursday game, lets get into some jumbled thoughts I have for the NFL right now:

  1. Dear Greg Hardy: Are you just missing that voice in your head that says “maybe you shouldn’t use the phrase guns blazing after you were accused of throwing your then girlfriend onto a couch filled with assault rifles” and “maybe you should not talk randomly about the attractiveness of women after all of this domestic violence stuff if you ever want to just play football”, or do you just choose to ignore it. Like seriously, that was shocking to watch that(check out what Katie Nolan said about it, it’s pretty amazing). Also, how can Jerry Jones basically double down on what he said. And to think some people don’t believe that the NFL doesn’t really care about women.
  2. Somehow slipping through the cracks of my weekly review was Todd Gurley. Wow, it only took one quarter of one game to basically legitimize the Rams taking him in the top 10. By now you have heard the stat line, and wow did he look fantastic. He might finally be that player that the Rams have been lacking for years on offense, you know the guy that can just seemingly make a play out of nothing and potentially carrying the team. Granted I would love for the Rams to still add someone who could be an elite option in the passing game. But Gurley looked really good, he could be ready to start an OBJ run of dominance in his rookie season.
  3. Who is the worst team in the league? Who are the candidates even? To me, the candidates are the Browns, Titans, Jaguars, Lions, 49ers, and the Buccaneers. I’m excluding the Bears because their early season schedule was pretty tough(seattle, GB, Arizona), but their offense has looked pretty good with Cutler under center and Alshon has yet to play yet. But their defense looks like it is improving. If in a few weeks, the Bears are at like 1-6 and have looked awful they will definitely be in the conversation, but I am willing to give them a pass for the first few games. Anyway, the worst team right now, in my opinion, is probably the 49ers. They rank dead last in the league in points scored, and have the worst differential in the league at -62. This means they have been outscored on average by 15 points per game. They rank last in total DVOA, ranking as the second worst offense in the league(TB is last), and 29th in defense(behind Chicago, KC, and NO). Colin Kaepernick just does not look good this year. How bad? He ranks 26th in total QBR, and 27th in total EPA, which is a stat that measures total clutch-weighted points added. According to football outsiders, Kaepernick ranked 34th in QB DVOA. This is not good when the player at the most important position in the game, and a player whom you have invested a decent amount of money in, is playing at such a poor level. The team around him has clearly suffered from the losses from this tumultuous offseason, and this team is probably headed for a mini rebuild.
  4. Finally, there has been a decent amount of talk recently about the possibility of the Patriots going 16-0 this season, and while I think the Patriots should be the best team all year I do believe they will at some point lose at least one game this season. It happens to nearly all of the best teams. The best NFL team of all time in my opinion, the 1985 Chicago Bears lost once in their season. A couple of years ago when Peyton Manning was setting all kinds of passing records, the Broncos still lost games. Even with Aaron Rodgers, the Packers still lose a couple games a year. It is the best example of how football is a team sport, and you need a complete team effort to win every single Sunday. It is very hard to have your entire team play at an elite level for 16 straight games. That being said, I think that the Patriots should win the next two games against the Cowboys and Colts, and they are going to destroy the Colts… DESTROY! After that, they have a tough matchup with the Jets, but the Patriots have typically played their AFC East opponents well, but the Jets have a good enough defense to slow the Pats offense, and that’s probably the first step to beating them(more specifically stopping Gronk). After the Jets, I give the Broncos, Eagles, and Bills have the best shot at beating the Patriots at some point this year. The Patriots should win around 14 games this year, which will secure them the top seed in the AFC and home field advantage, and really that’s all the Patriots want. Well that and to watch Roger Goodell burn in the court of public opinion, and maybe to score 100 points on the Colts with properly inflated balls.

Ted Van Green(@TVG_5)

Spark Sports NFL Analyst

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