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Teams starting to build reputations, but oddsmakers don’t think so with 0-4 Vikes, Colts

October 6, 2011
The Mining Journal

With the weather we're having around here, who can believe it's October already?

And that the NFL season is a quarter of the way done.

Coaches say they measure the season like a football game, with each four game stint a separate quarter, making goals to win that set of four then more or less throwing out the results and starting over for the next quarter.

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However, I think it's time to actually do the opposite when you're trying to predict games. Trends are starting to form based on the games played so far, and it's time for a reassessment of a lot of teams.

Apparently the Vegas oddsmakers don't believe this. Of the quartet of 0-4 teams right now, two are off this week and the other two - Minnesota and Indianapolis - are favored to win.

Yes, there's still plenty of time for the pretenders to fade and the true quality to rise to the top, but the first four games do mean something, don't they?

So here goes the start of the second quarter:

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Philadelphia at Buffalo - Another oddsmaker oddity - the 1-3 road team is favored over the 3-1 home squad. Maybe if the Eagles had lost to the Lions, Packers and Patriots I'd understand why, but actually they lost to the 49ers, Giants and Falcons. Bills, 24-17.

New Orleans at Carolina - If only Cam Newton could play defense, the Panthers might stand a chance in more games. Saints, 45-31.

Oakland at Houston - Top-flight receiver Andre Johnson is out for Houston, but running back Arian Foster is back in the groove to make up for it. With the Raiders giving up points in bunches, Texans, 30-26.

Kansas City at Indianapolis - After beating Minnesota last week, the Chiefs get dissed because the only teams they can beat are winless, but remember this: Indy is 0-4. Chiefs, 22-19.

Cincinnati at Jacksonville - Jacksonville is dead last in the NFL in passing yards and points scored. It may not look pretty, but Bengals, 17-9.

Arizona at Minnesota - Our other favored 0-4 team, Minnesota, faces a stiff challenge hosting a 1-3 team. Must be, considering the Vikings blew it last week against the Chiefs, a team that was outscored by 82 points in its first three games. Cardinals, 24-20.

Seattle at N.Y. Giants - Cross-country trips aren't the way to right the ship. Giants, 33-17.

Tennessee at Pittsburgh - Tennessee's tight defense should make it a long day for injured Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and his crummy offensive line.

Titans, 24-14.

Sunday, 4 p.m.

Tampa Bay at San Francisco - The 49ers are one play against Dallas away from being 4-0. After this, they'll be about a half-dozen removed from perfection. Buccaneers, 30-21.

San Diego at Denver - Sure, they're division rivals. Otherwise this one would really get ugly. Chargers, 28-20.

N.Y. Jets at New England - The Jets offense and New England defense leave something to be desired, but Bill Belichick should have something up his sleeve for NY QB Mark Sanchez. Patriots, 21-16.

Sunday, 8 p.m.

Green Bay at Atlanta - Sure, the Falcons want revenge for last season's 48-21 playoff debacle, but there's a reason the Packers won that game by 27. Packers, 38-28.


Chicago at Detroit - And sure, the Lions remember how the refs stole last year's win when a Calvin Johnson catch was ruled incomplete in the end zone. The same refs won't be here this time.

Lions, 27-20.

Last week: 12-4, 75 percent; Season: 46-18, 72 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.



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