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NFL Hunch Line: Week 4

Posted By Steven Keys On Sep 29 2011 @ 11:39 am In NFL | No Comments

It’s the AFC’s turn to shine as it hosts two of the League’s three marquee match-ups in Week 4 of NFL action.

Jets (2-1) visit Babe Ruth’s birthplace to take on the 2-1 Ravens in Sunday’s late clash of contenders (NBC). Though NYJ stumbled in Oakland (34-24) it’s clear now their 3rd year QB is the bona fide leader of this team (27-43 / 369 / 2-1). With their defense still in pre-season mode, New York must find its run-game and flush Flacco to force mistakes.

Joe Flacco’s in that growing group of rated-QBs under the microscope in 2011 (Sanchez / Ryan / Cutler / Romo).  His stats are good (819 / 7-2) but the turnover bug’s beginning to buzz. Ravens run-game is a dynamic duo (Rice & Williams) and Ray Lewis can still motivate.

Ravens win.

Reborn Lions (3-0) face Cowboys (2-1) in Big D in one of Sunday’s two Renaissance rumbles (FOX). Not since Barry Sanders ran wild has there been this much rev in Motor City.

While Dallas and Tony Romo (25-36 / 255) hung-tough against a resilient Redskins’ team (18-16), it was more survival than statement. One minute the Cowboys are a well-oiled machine, next it‘s a Chinese fire drill. You gotta’ like the job Rob Ryan’s done in tightening the Dallas’ defense. But it might be wiser if the media guys weren’t handing him Jason Garrett’s job just yet (ESPN’s Mike Turico: “Rob Ryan’s team”).

Good teams win when they shouldn’t. That’s what the Lions did last week in come-from-behind win at Minnesota for the first time since ‘97 (26-23). There are zots under the hood in Detroit. Defense is capable even with Mr. Suh’s slow start while QB Stafford’s in sync with his vast receiver corps. Trouble spot: engine’s stuck in low gear (RB J. Best 2.9 ypc).

Cowboys win.

Everyone but 49er fans have to be a little happy for Oakland owner Al Davis. It’s been a rough spell for one of the greats of American football. How long the joy-ride lasts, who knows, but versus Patriots (2-1) in week 4 these Raiders (2-1) are contenders (CBS).

Jason Campbell doesn’t excite fantasy kids. He just wins (lately), baby! To football fans that’s all that matters. Raiders newish QB gives ‘em a fighting-chance with sound play (low turnovers) while healthy McFadden chews up yards like a ravenous pirate (61 / 393). If it’s close, record-setter Seb Janikowski (63-yd WK1) is their ace in the hole.

Without defenders McCourty & Arrington, Pats are 1-2. Al Haynesworth’s an enigma but expect more clarity for Chad Ochocinco who’s eager to shine.  Bill Belichick’s the Renaissance man.

Patriots win.

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