Who’s Hot for Week 4

1) (QB)Jay Cutler-Chicago Bears (vs. Detroit Lions)
Why : The Lions are ranked (#30/32) in pass defense, giving up an average of of 278.7 yards per game. They also have given up the most passing touchdowns of any team in the league with 10. That’s right, 10. That’s 3 more than second worst in the league which is 7 touchdown passes, given up by the Cardinals, Titans, & Buccaneers. Plus, Cutler’s flat out on fire. Enjoy it while it lasts Mo-town.

2) (RB)Cedric Benson-Cincinnati Bengals (@ Cleveland Browns)
Why : The Browns are ranked (#30/32) in run defense, giving up an average of 184.3 rushing yards per game. Terrible….want to know what makes them even worse? They have given up a league high 8 rushing touchdowns so far this year (along with the Texans). Benson has become a heavily reliable running back each and every week. Just look at what he did last week against one of the leagues top defenses in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3) (WR)Mike Sims-Walker-Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Tennessee Titans)
Why : The Titans are ranked (#29/32) in passing defense, giving up an average of 274.7 yards per game. On top of that, they have allowed 7 touchdown passes already this season. Sims-Walker is one game away from becoming the Jaguars #1 receiving threat. I believe this week, will be the week.

4) (TE)Chris Cooley-Washington Redskins (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Why : The Buccaneers are ranked (#21/32) in passing defense, giving up an average of 245 yards per game. They also have given up a total of 7 passing touchdowns. These numbers are expected to get worse for the Buccaneers due to losing (S)Jermaine Phillips for the season. Look for (QB)Jason Campbell to find Cooley often during this match-up.

5) (RB)Michael Bush-Oakland Raiders (@ Houston Texans)
Why : This is my sleeper pick of the week. The Texans are ranked dead last against the run this season, giving up an average of 204.7 yards per game. They also have given up 8 rushing touchdowns this season. Darren McFadden should also have a great game this week, but don’t be surprised if Bush finds the end zone on at least one occasion this week.

Who’s Not (John Madden)for Week 4:

1) (QB)Tony Romo-Dallas Cowboys (@ Denver Broncos)
Why : Surprisingly, the Broncos rank second (#2/32) in pass defense, giving up only an average of 136.3 yards per game. They are also the only team in the league to not allow one single passing touchdown this season. Denver did some great re-arranging of their secondary in the off-season, adding long time Eagles great, (S)Brian Dawkins, and a pair of former Dolphins defensive backs, (S)Renaldo Hill, & (CB)Andre Goodman. It looks like the change of scenery has done them well, and Romo still seems to be not completely on the same page with their #1 Wide Receiver, Roy Williams. I don’t see Romo playing that well in Denver either. Sure seems like Tony Romo, and Terrell Owens are LOST without each other.

2) (RB)Fred Jackson-Buffalo Bills (@ Miami Dolphins)
Why : The Dolphins are ranked (#3/32) in rushing defense, giving up an average of only 66 rushing yards per game. They have only given up 2 rushing touchdowns as well. Bills (RB)Marshawn Lynch is coming back from a 3 game suspension this week, and will definitely reduce the work load of Fred Jackson. Fred Jackson did an excellent job of filling in for Lynch through the first 3 weeks of the season, but you cannot ignore the talents of Marshawn Lynch.

3) (WR)Nate Burleson-Seattle Seahawks (@ Indianapolis Colts)
Why : The Colts are ranked (#10/32) in passing defense, giving up an average of 192.3 yards per game. The Colts have only given up 1 passing touchdown this season.

4) (TE)Sean Ryan-Kansas City Chiefs (vs. New York Giants)
Why : The Giants are ranked first (#1/32) in the league in passing defense, giving up an average of 124 yards per game, and a total of 2 passing touchdowns. Now, I know Sean Ryan isn’t even a huge threat in the first place. He is the Chiefs starting tight end, but this week this Chiefs went out and signed for Cardinals (TE)Leonard Pope, who was released during final roster cuts. Leonard Pope is more of a threat than Sean Ryan is, and i’m sure he will see action this week, but the way the Chiefs passing attack has been, combined with the fact that the Giants are ranked first in defense, no Chiefs tight end this week will “light it up”. Oh how they shouldn’t of traded Tony Gonzalez.

5) (RB)Steven Jackson-St. Louis Rams (@ San Francisco 49ers)
Why : This is my “Beware” pick of the week. The 49ers are ranked (#4/32) in rushing defense, with an average of only 66.7 yards per game allowed. The reason I call for “beware” is because a) 66.7 yards per game is impressive and b) they haven’t allowing one single rushing touchdown yet this season. Steven Jackson is great running back in my eyes, but Mike Singletary has his defense on top of its game this season. Don’t look for them to faulter at home this week either.

Calling myself out : Last week I chose to put (TE)Vernon Davis in the “Who’s Not” section, when it should have been the complete opposite. He compiled 96 yards, 7 receptions, 2 of them going for touchdowns. My bad, but in my defense, I’m just giving it to you “by the numbers”. But what a game between the Vikings and 49ers. That game personified why the game of football is such a great game, and why I have such a passion for it. Anything can happen. Where else can you get a guy coming out of retirement for the second time, with everyone questioning if he still “had it”, throwing a pass to the back of the end zone with seconds left in the game while on the losing end, to a guy that was newly aquired and hadn’t even caught a single pass with his new team yet. 2 feet in bounds….TOUCHDOWN!! What a game….what a sport.

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