Kingshark Line: Week 4 Thoughts- There were some interesting going's on during Week 4 of the NFL season. Though it is still somewhat early in the season, there are teams that are certainly starting to separate themselves from the rest of the league or are at least showing signs of it. There are also teams that despite past and recent glory associated with their brand are looking at the likelihood of bad seasons after shockingly poor starts and in some cases poorer play. There are a number of teams that are in the middle of the pack still trying to define themselves. This is way to early to start putting together playoff scenarios. Usually that talk does not even begin until around Week 11 or during Thanksgiving week. However, baring major injuries or other unexpected occurrences, the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and quite possibly the New Orleans Saints are the most likely teams to be playing in January. The jury is still out on several teams including the 49ers who at 2-2 hopefully found their mojo in St Louis last Thursday. There is a lot of football that needs to be played, however it is clear the 49ers will need a degree of help to be able to get in position to catch Seattle in the NFC West. They may have gotten some help last week had it not been for Houston Texans' Quarterback Matt Schaub making what so far is the bone headed play of the season to date. All the 49ers can do is take care of their business, period. If the Colts at home can take care of their business against the Seahawks this Sunday, great. Either way the 49ers still need to take care of their own business Sunday Night against Houston.
Way Too Early to Forecast- Teams such as Kansas City (4-0), plus Chicago, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Miami (all at 3-1) have been quite impressive. Miami won their first two games both on the road before beating a tough Atlanta team at home. In New Orleans, the Dolphins were overmatched by a Saints team that has its swagger back thanks to the return of Head Coach Sean Peyton. Chicago won two close but exciting games at home before a rather impressive win in Pittsburgh (despite the Steelers woes). Tennessee with a few bounces at Houston could be 4-0 and have quietly played some very good and tough football. Indianapolis was impressive in a rout of the 49ers in San Francisco. Detroit was very impressive in their win over the Bears despite Chicago's late rally. There is a long way to go before we know which if any of these teams will be in the hunt two months from now. However they all have a good of a chance as any.
Ten teams have 2-2 marks including the 49ers, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, Baltimore, Buffalo, NY Jets, Arizona, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Out of those 10 teams, the 49ers talent wise along with Baltimore and Cincinnati appear to be the strongest. You can even throw in Green Bay at 1-2 (who had a bye in Week 4) as they will get much better as the season progresses. Houston's two wins are on the games' last play. If the ball bounces differently in those games, they could be a play away from 1-3, or two or three from 0-4. San Diego is better than forecasted but the Kingshark Line is still not sold on them despite a very impressive comeback win over Dallas at home Sunday. Dallas is 2-2 and are who we thought they all are, on their way to another 8-8 season. The good news for the Cowboys is that the NFC East is bad this year and they conceivably could win it with a .500 record. Buffalo is a fun team to watch. They may not be playing by January, but at least they are in games and are competitive (not to mention entertaining too). Same thing with Cleveland who came away Sunday with a very impressive win at home over the Bengals. The Browns two weeks go at 0-2 went into Minnesota with a nothing to lose attitude and they won because of it. The NY Jets finally had a horrible game at Tennessee last Sunday and Geno Smith finally had an embarrassing turnover that resulted in a Titans touchdown. However, the Jets will probably have a lot fewer of those games simply because they are able to be that team that if allowed to hang around just long enough could be a big problem for the opponent. Arizona is 2-2 however in reality they are just getting by. They will get wins here and there but are a team that may find out just getting by alone is not enough. Carolina at 1-2 hasn't been bad, just unlucky in their first two games. In Week three they blew out the winless Giants. With a bye week under their belt we will see if the Panthers are good or if the Giants are that bad.
As for the 1-3 teams, most are there for a reason. There is time certainly to turn things around, however Week 5 (or Week 6 for those who have a bye this week) are going to be critical games. At 1-4 the road to the post season just gets that much more complicated. Oakland missed Terrelle Pryor and it showed. The Falcons just could not stay with the Patriots last Sunday and lost tough games in New Orleans and Miami. Of all the teams that are 1-3, Atlanta would seem to be the most likely to turn around their season. Their Monday Night home game against the NY Jets will be critical. The Falcons know they can't afford 1-4 (no team can). The Redskins and Eagles are in the NFC Least. Minnesota was impressive in their first win over the Steelers in London. However the Vikings just don't seem to have the personnel to get it done in the long run as Adrian Peterson cannot be a one man team. The St Louis Rams have been badly exposed the last two weeks by the Cowboys and 49ers respectively.
The New York Giants at 0-4 still have one thing going for them. They are in the NFC Least and only two games out of first despite playing some of the worst football in franchise history over the last two weeks. I'm just guessing Eli Manning isn't getting his third ring this season. The Steelers are "Gawd Awful". They will get some wins but are a five or six win team at this point at best. It's a good thing the MLB's Pirates are in the post season and the NHL's Penguins are starting up. If you are a Steelers fan just try to remember it could be a lot worse. You could be a Jaguars' fan. Next Season Ohio State and Nebraska are scheduling the Jaguars to visit for an early season game. Okay, that's a bit of a stretch. Last weekend the Kingshark Line had a tough week but survived again at 9-6. Overall it's 43-20 through four weeks. Picking games is only going to get harder as the season goes on. Then again, that's half of the fun.
Buffalo@Cleveland Starts Week 5- The NFL this weekend ventures into it's fifth week of action with two teams looking to go to a 3-2 mark. The Buffalo Bills have played four solid games this year and are coming off a huge win at home over the defending champion Ravens. The Browns won this seasons first installment of the Battle of Ohio with an impressive 17-6 win in Cleveland Sunday, totally shutting down a Bengals offense that was very productive in their first three games. Both teams beat post season teams last weekend are looking to build off of that momentum. Brian Hoyer and EJ Manuel each face challenges against defenses that are very tough. Thursday Night Matchup's with teams this close on both sides of the ball usually favor the home team (unless you are the Rams which neither of the teams are). Browns 20 Bills 17.
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