Locks and Keys: Week 4
Heading into the week all even on the year, the big hope here is to have another winning week, getting myself ahead of the chains and start gaining momentum as we continue to learn more about who these teams really are this season.
My first few weeks have learned heavier toward college ball, however for a second consecutive week I like more pro games than college. I get to watch a heck of a lot more NFL than I do NCAA. Especially when your trying to play low level, small conference teams. My goal this week is to find one big mismatch in every game. Whether its O-line vs D-line, a stud wide receiver against a weak secondary, or injuries at a vital position that could tilt the scales. Let's get to it!
Prediction: Minnesota -1.5 @ Purdue Minnesota is one of the hottest teams in football, undefeated, trying to make a name for themselves in the Big 10. They've been effective offensively all season, and this week they should be full strength at the running back position for the first time this season. I'm looking to see Minnesota running the ball with fresh legs throughout this one.
Purdue, I do believe when healthy is a more talented team. It doesn't look like that will be the case on Saturday. They've been torched through the air all season, and they'll be playing without key starters at all three levels of the defense. I can't see them slowing down the Golden Gophers.
Offensively, it looks like Purdue will be without starting quarterback Sindelar yet again, and his backup ,Jack Plummer, was fairly underwhelming in his one start. A few key mistakes from him, and offensive success for Minnesota throughout, could make this a one sided game. The only things Purdue has going for them is home field advantage and desperation. I see it 38-20 Golden Gophers. All bets are off if Sindelar plays however.
Prediction: NC State +7 @ FSU Neither of these teams are who they hoped to be at this point of the season. FSU has seemed to gain their footing recently and put on a bit more respectable performances as of late. But like I said, I'm looking for the match-ups. FSU linebackers have been a huge liability this year, and the Wolfpack have 6'7" tight end Angeline who has been a rising star so far. He will either have a breakout game, or demand safety help, opening up single coverage on the outside for the NC State wide receivers that should be able to beat the FSU corners.
The other big concern of course is the absence of starting Seminole quarterback Blackman. They will be starting Hornibrook, a rather unknown transfer student from Wisconsin. Here's guessing he makes a big mistake or two, coupled with some explosive plays on offense from the Wolfpack, are enough to keep this one closer than 7. Home team wins on a last second kick, 30-28.
Prediction: UNDER 42.5 Patriots @ Bills This was a hard one to write down, seeing how I'll be at this game and it's no fun to cheer for no points while at the stadium. But ,have you guys been watching this Bills defense? They are absolutely stout. And they play the Pats tough every year. The Pats are beat up at the skill positions, however I do believe they will find ways to move the ball. Just slowly. I don't see the big gashing chunk plays happening often like we've seen from them so far.
On the other side, Josh Allen is starting to figure things out. The super athletic gunslinger has a ton of confidence right now and hes going to play fearless. That probably means he makes some mistakes, but he will find yards with his legs and should have success with underneath routes. But New England has a defense again, and I don't see him hitting the big chunk plays either. I've got New England winning this one 20-13. Under the total by two scores.
Prediction: Falcons -3.5 vs. Titans I've been burned by Atlanta twice already this year. They don't cover this one, you won't find a tip on them on this forum again this year. They're home, and loaded with offensive weapons against a team that just got completely shut down offensively, and torched by a 6th round rookie quarterback. Sure I expect Henry to have a bounce-back game, and they always find a way to stick around games they don't really belong in, but I think Atlanta's offense finally finds a rhythm this week and a shoot out bodies poorly for Mariota. I like Atlanta, 35-23.
Prediction: Texans -4 vs. Panthers Is everybody really on the Kyle Allen bandwagon already? The kid played lights out last week but that's just more tape to watch, more ways the defense can learn to take away his strengths. I don't expect another four touchdown performance from the undrafted 2nd year man. This is most likely a playoff team with a potential MVP quarterback, with the best receiver in football, and a hall-of-fame pass rusher, playing at home in a game they need to keep the division lead. Kyle Allen truthers get brought back to earth on Sunday. Texans route Carolina, 42-16.