NFL Week 04 - Patriots vs. Chargers

Going into this season, it had been my intent to make these weekly NFL previews a bit more substantial than the game posts I was doing for the Red Sox. After all, I am a bigger football fan than I am a baseball fan, and I’ve been studying the game closely for three or four years, so why shouldn’t I have expected to have more to say? Well, as Week 04 dawns on us, I can’t really answer why I haven’t been nearly as verbose in these previews as I would have anticipated, but I can say that I will try harder as the weeks go on.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk football.

Patriots vs. Chargers

I got the sense, from a Bill Belichick interview conducted earlier this week, that the head coach feels pretty confident of his team’s chances going into this week’s contest. The quote, which I can’t find right now, suggested that the coach felt as if they’d been preparing for this game for about a year. As there was a chance they might have been playing San Diego in the playoffs last year, they began to evaluate them then. And then, knowing it would be an early season contest, they had the offseason to prepare as well. This isn’t to say that I thought Bill sounded cocky. I just want to register, here and now, that I thought he sounded more confident than usual.

Which is strange, when you think about it, considering we lost one of our starting safeties, another guy who it wouldn’t be ridiculous to call the heart and soul of our defense (along with Bruschi and Johnson, both gone over the summer), as well as our star at left tackle. Bill’s expressing more confidence after that? Well then, I’m pretty damn anxious to see what he’s got cooked up for this week.

Kevin Faulk is also out, so we brought in Amos Zereoue (cutting Andre’ Davis in the process which, while it makes sense—Where else were you going to cut, given all the injuries?—still seems a waste to me, considering we gave away a draft pick over the summer to get the guy). I remember Zereoue doing good things at Pittsburgh when he was there and it’ll be interesting to see how much he’s thrown in the mix with Corey Dillon and Patrick Pass this weekend.

I hope and pray that we don’t use Troy Brown on defense this season, as has been suggested we might do by several clueless commentators over the past couple of weeks. Troy, while willing to take on the extra load for the team last year, didn’t sound like he’d be all that enthused to be back on D again this year. Let’s not put him back there again. Let’s keep him on offense, and be done with it. That’s where he’s meant to be, and I’m sure we can figure out some sort of defensive arrangement that doesn’t involve him.

Around the League

Cincinnati has become the team that many people expected them to be last year, and they’re going to go 4-0 this week as they take on a Houston team that doesn’t seem like it’ll ever break out of expansion team hell. It’s about time that Indianapolis’s offense showed up and I think they’ll do just that against a divisional opponent like Tennessee. And watch for Arizona to pick up its first win against San Francisco.

That’s what I’m thinking. Crazy-ass bastard that I am, I’m picking all of my adopted teams to win again this week. Let’s see what happens.

My Picks

I was eight for fourteen in Week 03, a bit better than I’d fared in the first two weeks. But Stephanie, who put in her own picks this week for the first time, actually beat me, picking nine out of fourteen. The difference-maker? She picked the Pats to win, while I was all doom and gloom.

Here are this week’s picks:

Sunday
Buffalo at New Orleans
Indianapolis at Tennessee
Seattle at Washington
St. Louis at New York Giants
Houston at Cincinnati
San Diego at New England
Denver at Jacksonville
Detroit at Tampa Bay
Dallas at Oakland
Philadelphia at Kansas City
New York Jets at Baltimore
Minnesota at Atlanta
San Francisco at Arizona

Monday
Green Bay at Carolina