2009 Week Four NFL Football Game Previews
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009
Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) @ Cleveland Browns (0-3)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Cincinnati - 5.5
Preview: The battle of Ohio will feature two teams heading in opposite directors. Last year, this game was dubbed as “biggest losers”, but not so much this season. The Cincinnati Bengals have won two of their first three games, and could very well be 3-0. The Cleveland Browns are 0-3, and have not shown any signs of competing under new head coach Eric Mangini. Cincinnati is coming off the upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals are scoring 20.3 points per game. The rushing offense, led by Cedric Benson is 14th in the NFL, averaging 112.3 yards per game. Carson Palmer has been effective for Cincinnati in the early going, passing for 615 yards and 4 touchdowns. For Cleveland, ugly cannot even begin to describe their early season play. The Browns have lost to Minnesota, at Denver and at Baltimore to start the season. The Browns are last in the NFL in yards per game, picking up just 218 per game. Cleveland is 31st, just ahead of St. Louis in points scored per game, with 9.7. Quarterbacks Brady Anderson and Derek Anderson have both struggled behind center for the Browns, as Quinn has thrown just one touchdown. Robert Royal is the lone Cleveland offensive player to score a touchdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) @ Washington Redskins (1-2)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Washington - 7
Preview: Two struggling teams will get together, with only one coming out of it with a win. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to garner their first win of the 2009 season when they travel to Washington to mix it up with the Redskins. Tampa Bay has had all sorts of problems, ranking 27th in total points scored, scoring just 13.7 per game. The Buccaneers have also had difficulties defensively, as they have yielded 91 points in three games. Head coach Raheem Morris has elected to go with a new quarterback, and has chosen Josh Johnson as his week four starter. Byron Leftwich started the first three games for the Buccaneers, throwing for 594 yards and 4 touchdowns. Kellen Winslow leads the team with two touchdown catches. The Redskins are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Detroit Lions. The win for Detroit was their first since the latter part of the 2007 season. FedEx Field showered the home team with boo’s in their slim 9-7 win over the St. Louis Rams in week two. Washington is averaging just 13.3 points per game, which ranks 28th in the NFL. The Redskins top offensive force Clinton Portis is questionable for this game with an ankle injury. Portis has yet to run for a touchdown in 2009.
Detroit Lions (1-2) @ Chicago Bears (2-1)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Chicago - 10.5
Preview: There is no doubt the Detroit Lions will come into Soldier Field on Sunday flying high as a kite. The Lions, under new head coach Jim Schwartz picked up their first win of the 2009 season, and finally got the monkey off their back. After the winless season in 2008, the Lions were dubbed a much better team this season. Detroit is still having difficulties stopping teams from scoring, as they have yielded 86 points in three games. The offense, under rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford have stumbled some, but certainly improving. Calvin Johnson and Bryant Johnson have done a nice job showing they are capable of using the aerial attack. The Bears picked up a nice road win last week, after trailing late in the game. Jay Cutler, for the second straight week led a late drive for a touchdown to cap the win off for the Bears. In this game, the throw from Cutler went to Devin Hester. The Bears are scoring 19 points per game, which ranks 21st in all of the NFL. Matt Forte, after a sensational rookie season has gotten off to a slow start in 2009. Forte has yet to score a touchdown, and is averaging just 50 yards per game. The Bears trail Minnesota by a game in the NFC North.
Baltimore Ravens (3-0) @ New England Patriots (2-1)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: New England - 2
Preview: The Baltimore Ravens will come into Foxboro with their undefeated 3-0 record. The Ravens have out scored opponents 103-53 in their first three games. The Ravens have had an offensive explosion this season, averaging 34.3 points per game. The offense also ranks second in the NFL in rushing yards, 430.3, while fifth in the NFL in both passing and rushing. Second year quarterback Joe Flacco has been solid, completing 68 of 104 passes for 839 yards and 6 touchdowns. The run game has been aided by Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. Rice has been the workload, while McGahee has been the red zone man. The Ravens lead the AFC North, one game ahead of Cincinnati. The Patriots, after winning in the final minutes in week one, were downed by division foe New York in week two, and came away with a solid week three win over Atlanta. The Patriots and Tom Brady have not been as sharp as expected, but nonetheless, New England still is putting up just shy of 400 yards per game. Randy Moss has been held without a touchdown in the first three games for New England.
New York Giants (3-0) @ Kansas City Chiefs (0-3)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: NY Giants - 8.5
Preview: The New York Giants will take their 3-0 mark to Kansas City, to take on the winless Chiefs. This game has all the makings for a blow-out, but Kansas City will do what they can to hang in with the NFC East leaders. The Giants have won games over Washington, Dallas and Tampa Bay. In the win over the Buccaneers, the Giants defense held the Buccaneers scoreless for the entire 48 minutes. Overall this season, New York has allowed 48 points in three games. The Giants quarterback Eli Manning has thrown for 747 yards and 5 touchdowns in the first three games. Both Steve Smith and Mario Manningham have caught two touchdown passes for Manning this season. The Giants lead the ultra competitive NFC East with their 3-0 mark. Kansas City has had all sorts of difficulty scoring points to start the 2009 season. The Chiefs rank 24th in the NFL with 16 points per game. The Chiefs hope to get their first win under new head coach Todd Haley.
Tennessee Titans (0-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
Time: 1pm ET
Spread: Tennessee - 3
Preview: The Tennessee Titans, who came into the 2009 season as the defending AFC South champions have gotten off to a rocky start. The Titans fell in overtime during the first week of the season to Pittsburgh, and then were downed by Houston in week two, followed by their road loss at the Jets in week three. The Titans, who usually have a solid defensive unit have struggled keeping opponents out of the end zone. Tennessee’s defense has yielded 71 points in their first three games. Quarterback Kerry Collins has led the offense that features both Chris Johnson and LenDale White in the back field. The Jaguars are coming off a huge divisional win over the Houston Texans. The biggest news for Jacksonville was the win, was on the road. Jacksonville dropped their first two games at Indianapolis and at home with Arizona. The win for the Jaguars pulled them ahead of Tennessee at the bottom of the AFC South. Maurice Jones Drew leads the offensive unit in touchdowns with four to start the season. David Garrard has completed just over 50% of his passes for just 2 touchdowns this season.
Seattle Seahawks (1-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (3-0)
Time: 1pm ET
Preview: The Seattle Seahawks had all the chances to go to 2-1 on the season, and remain unbeaten at home. Olindo Mare missed two field goals and the Seahawks were downed by the Chicago Bears. Head Coach Jim Mora Jr. had strong words for his kicker in the post game press conference, only to apologize and back off those on Monday. Seattle picked up a shut-out win in week one over St. Louis, followed by a road loss at San Francisco in week two. Seattle has gotten solid run game from Julius Jones. Jones leads the team with 226 rushing touchdowns. Nate Burleson has had a solid start, catching 20 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown. The Indianapolis Colts played a solid game from start to finish in front of a Sunday Night Football crowd. This win followed the Monday Night win at Miami in week two. The Colts week one win was a nail biter over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Indianapolis has shown the ability to move the ball through the air once again. Peyton Manning has been sharp, throwing for 983 yards, leading the NFL. The run game, aided by Joseph Addai and Donald Brown are averaging just 86 yards per game. That number ranks Indianapolis 26th in the NFL.
Oakland Raiders (1-2) @ Houston Texans (1-2)
Time: 1pm EST
Spread: Houston - 9
Preview: The Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans will meet up on Sunday with one team getting back to .500, and the other losing their second straight. The Raiders and Texans are both coming off week three losses. Oakland fell to the Denver Broncos at home, while Houston was downed by Jacksonville at home. The Raiders are in third place in the AFC West trailing Denver(4-0) and San Diego(2-1). The Texans are tied with the Jaguars for second place in the AFC South. Both teams trail the Indianapolis Colts, who have started 3-0. The Raiders are 31st in total yards, 32nd in passing yards, behind quarterback JaMarcus Russell. The Texans have the worst run defense in the entire NFL. Houston will look to slow down Darren McFadden and Michael Bush of Oakland in this one.
Buffalo Bills (1-2) @ Miami Dolphins (0-3)
Time: 4:05pm ET
Spread: Buffalo - 2.5
Preview: In an AFC East game, the Buffalo Bills will travel to South Florida to take on the Miami Dolphins. The Bills have started with one win in their first three games, but are coming off a loss to the New Orleans Saints, where Terrell Owens did not catch a single pass. The media tried to pry Owens into comments during the post-game press conference, but Owens was able to keep his cool and make no comments. The Bills are using a surprising start from Fred Jackson to aide in their success. Jackson has rushed for 291 yards and caught 15 passes for 134 yards. The Bills lone win came in week two when they downed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 33-20. The Miami Dolphins are still looking for their first win of the season. After winning the AFC East in 2008, Miami has struggled to start the season. The Dolphins lost at Atlanta, with Indianapolis and at San Diego. Miami lost quarterback Chad Pennington to a season ending injury, Chad Henne was the back-up before Coach Sparano and the Dolphins acquired Tyler Thigpen from Kansas City.
New York Jets (3-0) @ New Orleans Saints (3-0)
Time: 4:05pm ET
Spread: New Orleans - 7
Preview: In a battle of undefeated teams, the New York Jets will play at the New Orleans Saints. The Jets have been one of the most pleasant surprises to start the 2009 season with wins over Houston, New England and Tennessee. Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has done a solid job leading the Jets offense, passing for 606 yards and 4 touchdowns in the early going. Thomas Jones has been solid in the back field once again this season, along side the speedy Leon Washington. Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller have combined to be a solid receiving force for the Jets. The Saints have been the high powered offensive force to start the season. New Orleans leads the NFL with 40.0 points per game, and also lead in total yards, with 438. Drew Brees has led New Orleans to 267 passing yards a game, as he has thrown for nine touchdowns in the early going. Marques Colston leads the Saints with touchdowns, catching 3 touchdown passes.
St. Louis Rams (0-3) @ San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Time: 4:15pm ET
Spread: San Francisco - 9.5
Preview: In a NFC West tilt, the winless St. Louis Rams will travel to the west coast to take on the San Francisco 49ers. St. Louis will most likely be without quarterback Marc Bulger. Bulger injured his rotator cuff in the loss Sunday to Green Bay. The Rams have been the worst team n the NFL offensively. St. Louis is scoring just 8 points per game. Kyle Boller will most likely take the start for Bulger this week. Boller finished Sunday’s game. Steven Jackson, the Rams top threat on offense has yet to rush for a touchdown. The 49ers are coming off a loss to Minnesota in the final seconds on Sunday. Brett Favre did what he does best; led a game winning drive to down the 49ers. San Francisco will play the next few games without running back Frank Gore. Gore has started the season rushing 39 times for 241 yards and 3 touchdowns. The San Francisco offense led by quarterback Shaun Hill is averaging 22.3 points per game, 10th best in the NFL. Glen Coffee looks to get the workload this week in the backfield for the 49ers. The receiving core of Vernon Davis and Issac Bruce has gained over 300 yards in the first three games.
Dallas Cowboys (2-1) @ Denver Broncos (3-0)
Time: 4:15pm ET
Spread: Dallas - 3
Preview: The Dallas Cowboys will look to be the first team to crack the unbeaten Denver Broncos. Dallas is coming off the huge second half that sparked them to a win over Carolina on Monday night. Denver is coming off their third straight win, a decisive win over the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys had all sorts of struggles offensively in the first half, but came together to score 21 second half points. Dallas will be without running back Felix Jones who came up lame in the second half. Missing Monday’s game was leading touchdown rusher Marion Barber. Barber is expected to play for Dallas. Tashard Choice will most likely get some of the workload for Dallas. Denver, under Josh McDaniels is off to a surprising 3-0 start. After the miracle win in week one over Cincinnati, the Broncos backed it up with a win over Cleveland, followed by a week three blow-out win over Oakland. If fans are not convinced by this Broncos team just yet, they will get a better estimate of the team when they see Dallas, New England and San Diego. The Broncos are getting great running from their running back duos - Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno. The combined duo have ran for over 400 yards and 2 touchdowns in the early going.
San Diego Chargers (2-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
Time: 8:20pm EST
Spread: Pittsburgh - 6.5
Preview: In the Sunday Night game of the week the San Diego Chargers will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the Steel City. The Chargers are coming in with a 2-1 record, while the defending champions have lost two in a row, and 1-2 overall. The Chargers are led by Phillip Rivers and his strong arm. Rivers on the season has thrown for 991 yards and 3 touchdowns. Despite having LaDainian Tomlinson on the roster, the Chargers are 31st in total rushing offense, averaging just under 70 yards per game. Vincent Jackson has led the receiving core with 317 yards and 2 touchdowns. San Diego’s lone loss came in week two when the Ravens downed them. The Chargers are in second place in the AFC West, just one game behind the Denver Broncos. The Steelers are coming off the upset loss to divisional foe Cincinnati. The Steelers are playing without defensive stud Troy Polamalu since the first half of the season opening win over Tennessee. In week two Pittsburgh was downed by Chicago. The Steelers are two games behind the Ravens in the AFC North. Ben Roethlisberger has completed 78 of 109 passes on the year for 860 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Monday, October 5th, 2009
Green Bay Packers (2-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
Time: 8:30pm ET
Spread: Minnesota - 3.5
Preview: This is one of two games the Green Bay Packers fans have been looking forward to all season. Unfortunately for Packers fans, this game will be on the road. The Packers will travel north and take on former Packer quarterback Brett Favre, and his new team, the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers walked away from week one with a win over rival Chicago Bears, but then were upset at home by the Cincinnati Bengals. Week three was much kinder to the Packers, as they smacked the St. Louis Rams, in their home opener. Aaron Rodgers, the Packers second year quarterback has done a fine job throwing for 714 yards and four touchdowns through three games. Ryan Grant and Donald Driver lead the Green Bay offense with two touchdowns each. The Vikings are 3-0 to start the year, and lead the NFC North by a game over Green Bay and Chicago. Minnesota is coming off a come from behind win over the San Francisco 49ers, that saw Brett Favre conduct yet another game winning touchdown drive. The Vikings are fourth in the NFL in points, with 29.3. Adrian Peterson, who many call the best running back in the NFL has started the season with 357 yards and 4 touchdowns. First round draft choice out of Florida Percy Harvin has been a solid force as receiver for the Vikings. Harvin has caught 12 passes, 2 for touchdowns in the first three games.