Monday, October 31, 2016

NFL - Week Eight Review

There were many exciting games around the NFL this past weekend, including some overtime thrillers and another tie game.
The Dallas Cowboys topped the visiting Philadelphia Eagles, 29-23 in OT on Sunday night as rookie quarterback Dak Prescott hooked up with tight end Jason Witten for the game winning five-yard touchdown pass to improve the team to 6-1.
The Oakland Raiders (6-2) came from behind to beat the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-24 in OT behind a huge game from QB Derek Carr, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week.
Carr (pictured right) passed for 513 yards and had four touchdown passes to help offset a record 23 penalties committed by the Raiders in the game. Bucs QB Jameis Winston had two TD passes in the loss. Oakland rolled up 626 yards in total offense while the Bucs managed just 270 total yards in offense.
The third overtime game this weekend was played over in London, England where the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins finished in a 27-27 tie. The teams combined for just under 1,000 yards of total offense. Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 34-yard field goal attempt in the OT session.

                                                           Around  the NFL  . . . . . . . 

The New England Patriots (7-1) continued to roll along as they pasted the host Buffalo Bills, 41-25 behind four TD tosses from QB Tom Brady . . .  The New York Jets (3-5) rallied back from a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat the Cleveland Browns, 31-28 as running back Matt Forte scored two touchdowns. A 24-yard field goal by Jets kicker Nick Folk proved to be the difference as the Browns fell to 0-8 this season . . .  Carolina won at home 30-20 over the Arizona Cardinals as RB Jonathan Stewart rushed for two scores and the defense also scored a TD to offset three TD passes by Cardinals QB Carson Palmer . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) steam rolled the host Indianapolis Colts, 30-14 as backup QB Nick Foles had two TD passes in relief of Alex Smith, who suffered a concussion in the game . . .  The New Orleans Saints rallied past the visiting Seattle Seahawks, 25-20 as the defense stopped the 'Hawks on fourth down in the red zone. Saints kicker Wil Lutz made four field goals to help make the difference . . .  The Denver Broncos rode the defense to a 27-19 win against the visiting San Diego Chargers. The Broncos defense picked off Chargers QB Philip Rivers three times, including a "pick six" by Bradley Roby . . .  Houston (5-3) won a home game, 20-13 against the Detroit Lions as neither team managed to gain 300 yards in offense . . .  The Atlanta Falcons won a nail biter, 33-32 against the visiting Green Bay Packers as QB Matt Ryan (three TD passes) hit WR Mohamed Sanu for an 11-yard game winning TD pass. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers had three TD passes in the loss . . .   The Tennessee Titans crushed the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, 36-22 last Thursday night behind a pair of TD passes by QB Marcus Mariota and 123 yards rushing with a touchdown by DeMarco Murray . . .  Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard scored a rushing touchdown and ran for 153 yards while the defense limited the Minnesota Vikings to just 258 total yards in offense in a 20-10 win at Soldier Field on Monday night. It was the second consecutive loss for the Vikings after a 5-0 start.

Tennessee 36, Jacksonville 22
Houston 20, Detroit 13
Washington 27, Cincinnati 27 (OT)
New Orleans 25, Seattle 20
Oakland 30, Tampa Bay 24 (OT)
New England 41, Buffalo 25
Kansas City 30, Indianapolis 14
Carolina 30, Arizona 20
NY Jets 31, Cleveland 28
Denver 27, San Diego 19
Atlanta 33, Green Bay 32
Dallas 29, Philadelphia 23 (OT) 
Chicago 20, Minnesota 10 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

College Football Top Ten

Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten        (Week ending October 30)                

1.  Alabama (8-0)
2.  Michigan (8-0)
3.  Clemson (8-0)
4.  Washington (8-0)
5.  Ohio State (7-1)
6.  Louisville (7-1)
7.  Texas A & M (7-1)
8.  Wisconsin (6-2)
9.  Florida (6-1)
10.  Nebraska (7-1)

Friday, October 28, 2016

NFL - Week Eight Preview

The biggest game on the NFL schedule this weekend is the Sunday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) and the Dallas Cowboys (5-1) being played in Dallas.
The Cowboys have won five straight games to take over first place in the NFC East. The Eagles are coming off a big win at home last week against the Minnesota Vikings. The Eagles defense sacked Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford six times in the win to set the tone against the previously unbeaten Vikings.
Dallas has been riding high on two rookies (QB Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott) so far this season. In fact, Elliott leads the league in rushing yardage (703 yards, 5.1 ypc average and five TD) and has been the main cog in their offense with wide receiver Dez Bryant being sidelined with injuries.
The Eagles started strong at 3-0 , including a 34-3 blowout win against Pittsburgh before losing two close games. They dismantled the Vikings in Philadelphia last week and now face the challenge of the mighty Dallas Cowboys in prime time.
Stay tuned.

The rest of the action around the NFL follows in capsule form with the Heftyinfo predictions for all of the games.  Last week, the picks were a stellar 13-1-1 . . .  so once again, here goes nothing.

Washington (4-3) vs. Cincinnati (3-4) - (Game played in London, England) - London calling for the final time in the 2016 season . . .  take the Bengals.

Kansas City (4-2) at Indianapolis (3-4) - This game could go right down to the wire . . . toss up.

Oakland (5-2) at Tampa Bay (3-3) - The Buccaneers could vault into first place in the NFC South with a win.

Seattle (4-1-1) at New Orleans (2-4) - The Seahawks better be ready because the Saints usually bring it at home.

Detroit (4-3) at Houston (4-3) - Another game in the NFL that could go either way.

NY Jets (2-5) at Cleveland (0-7) - This could be the best opportunity for the Browns to get a win before December.

Green Bay (4-2) at Atlanta (4-3) - Really Dan Quinn?  The Falcons gave one away last weekend and the Packers are looking to move into a possible first place tie in the NFC North.

New England (6-1) at Buffalo (4-3) - The Bills shut the Pats out in Gillette Stadium last time they faced each other ... but that was when New England was without Tom Brady.

San Diego (3-4) at Denver (5-2) - The Broncos want pay back after losing to San Diego two weeks ago. The Chargers have to be the best sub .500 team in pro football.

Arizona (3-3-1) at Carolina (1-5) - These two teams faced each other for the NFC championship a year ago ... what has happened since then?

Philadelphia (4-2) at Dallas (5-1) - This is a HUGE game in "prime time" with first place in the NFC East on the line.

Minnesota (5-1) at Chicago (1-6) - The Monday Night Football game on Halloween night between two teams on opposite ends of the football spectrum.

The Heftyinfo picks for Week Eight    (Home teams are listed in bold;  Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)

Tennessee over Jacksonville
Cincinnati over Washington  (game played in London, England)
Indianapolis over Kansas City
Tampa Bay over Oakland
Seattle over New Orleans
Houston over Detroit
Cleveland over NY Jets
Atlanta over Green Bay
NEW ENGLAND over Buffalo
Denver over San Diego
Carolina over Arizona
Dallas over Philadelphia
Minnesota over Chicago

Last Week's Record:  13-1-1


Lock of the Week Record:  7-0

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Well, it finally happened.
The Chicago Cubs are IN the World Series for the first time in 71 years and will face the American League champion Cleveland Indians in the first game of Major League Baseball's 2016 World Series in Cleveland.
The Cubs finished with the best record (103-58) in MLB this season while the Indians won the AL Central division and then swept the Boston Red Sox in the divisional round before knocking off the Toronto Blue Jays four games to one in the AL Championship Series.
The Cubs disposed of the San Francisco Giants in four games in the divisional round and then nbeat the stubborn Los Angeles Dodgers four games to two in the NL Championship Series to reach the World Series.
Neither team has reached the promised land of a World Series title in many decades.
The Indians last won the Fall Classic back in 1948 while the Cubs haven't done so in 108 years, last winning the World Series in 1908.
Something has to give this time around.
Cleveland has been in two World Series in recent memory, losing in 1995 to the Atlanta Braves and again two years later (in 1997) to the Florida Marlins in a memorable seven-game series.
The Cubs are favored to win the title this season but the Indians, led by a good pitching staff that has weathered the storm of two top starting pitchers being injured, will be tough to beat.
In fact, Cleveland may have one of those  pitchers (Danny Salazar) back in the fold as the series gets going. Corey Kluber is slated to start Game One tonight against Cubs' ace Jon Lester, who twice was on the mound for the Cubs in wins against the Dodgers in the NLCS.
The Cubs bats finally woke up after being shut out by Dodgers pitching in two straight games and outscored their foes by a 23-6 count over the next three games.
Meanwhile, Cleveland has been riding the mastery of Manager Terry Francona to juggle the pitching staff to perfection in their 7-1 post-season run up to this point. The bullpen has been lights out as set up men Andrew Miller and Bryan Shaw, along with closer Cody Allen, have dominated in the playoffs.
The Indians lineup is led by  shortstop Francisco Lindor, along with first baseman Mike Napoli and the likes of Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Rajai Davis and even Coco Crisp, who belted a big home run in the ALCS against Toronto.
Meanwhile the Cubs, led by Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, have been on fire the last three games. Add in Ben Zobrist, Dexter Fowler and catcher Willson Contreras and you have a formidable batting order. Plus, the Cubs will have slugger Kyle Schwarber back in the mix as the designated hitter in Cleveland.
Schwarber has been out with a knee injury all season when he went down way back in the third game of the season in early April. Cubs Manager Joe Maddon isn't afraid to tinker and he is willing to roll the dice that Schwarber will contribute in the World Series for the team.

OUTLOOK:  This should be an exciting series with both teams riding hot bats and stellar pitching, in particular the Cleveland bullpen of late has been outstanding and could be the X factor in this Fall Classic.
The Cubs have excellent starting pitching and a dominant closer to go with air tight defense and a potent lineup, so they will be tough to beat.

PREDICTION -    Chicago Cubs win the World Series in SIX GAMES.

Monday, October 24, 2016

NFL - Week Seven Review

Fantastic finishes and some not so fantastic finishes is the way to describe the action around the NFL this past week.
The Detroit Lions stormed back in the final seconds to stun the Washington Redskins, 20-17 for a home victory. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford with just 16 seconds remaining for the win. Washington had taken the lead (17-13) when QB Kirk Cousins scored on a 19-yard run with 1:05 remaining.
The San Diego Chargers beat the host Atlanta Falcons, 33-30 in overtime on a 42-yard field goal by Josh Lambo. Prior to that fantastic finish, the Falcons twice squandered 17-point leads as Chargers running back Melvin Gordon scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) to lead the comeback win.
Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi ran wild against Buffalo.
The Miami Dolphins came back from 11-point deficit to defeat the visiting Buffalo Bills, 28-25 behind a huge rushing performance by running back Jay Ajayi (29 carries for 214 yards and one TD), the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, who went for over 200 yards rushing for the second
consecutive game. Ajayi was the fourth back in NFL history to do that and the first in 14 years to do so.
The Sunday Night Football Game had a not so fantastic finish as the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals played to a 6-6 tie game.  Kickers from both teams blew short field goal tries in the OT after making one earlier in the extra session. The game ended in regulation in a 3-3 deadlock.
The Philadelphia Eagles knocked off the visiting Minnesota Vikings, 21-10 as the defense sacked Minnesota QB Sam Bradford six times while Josh Huff took a kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown. It was the first loss this season for the Vikings, who fell to 5-1 after the defeat.

                                                  Elsewhere around the NFL . . . . . . 

Indianapolis held off stubborn Tennessee, 34-26 behind three TD passes from QB Andrew Luck and a 14-yard fumble return for score by Robert Mathis . . .  The New York Giants beat the Los Angeles Rams, 17-10 in London, England as RB Rashad Jennings scored on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter while the defense intercepted Rams QB Case Keenum four times to provide the difference in the outcome . . .  The New York Jets beat the visiting Baltimore Ravens, 24-16, sending the Ravens to a fourth consecutive defeat as the defense forced three turnovers  . . .  The Green Bay Packers smacked down the visiting Chicago Bears, 26-10 last Thursday night behind three TD passes from QB Aaron Rodgers, who set a team record with 39 pass completions in the game . . .  The Kansas City Chiefs won at home, 27-21 as QB Alex Smith had a pair of scoring passes and Daniel Sorenson scored on a "pick six" interception. Saints QB Drew Brees threw for 367 yards and three scores in the loss . . . Oakland rolled past Jacksonville, 33-16 behind a pair of scoring runs by RB Latavius Murray . . . Tampa Bay throttled hapless San Francisco, 34-17 as QB Jameis Winston had three TD passes as the Bucs rolled up 519 yards in total offense, including 249 on the ground . . .  The New England Patriots rode the legs of RB LeGarrette Blount (127 yards and two TD) and a pair of scoring passes from QB Tom Brady to beat the host Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-16. The Steelers were without starting QB Ben Roethlisberger, who has an injured knee . . .  The Cincinnati Bengals beat the visiting Cleveland Browns, 31-17 as RB Jeremy Hill gained 168 yards on just nine carries and scored on a 74-yard run. Bengals QB Andy Dalton had two scoring passes to help pace the win. The Browns dropped to 0-7 with the loss . . .  The Denver Broncos ran all over the visiting Houston Texans, 27-9 on Monday Night Football. The Broncos had 190 rushing yards and Devontae Booker and C. J. Anderson each scored a rushing touchdown in the win.

Green Bay 26, Chicago 10
Indianapolis 34, Tennessee 26
Detroit 20, Washington 17
Cincinnati 31, Cleveland 17
Oakland 33, Jacksonville 16
Philadelphia 21, Minnesota 10
Kansas City 27, New Orleans 21
NY Giants 17, Los Angeles 10
NY Jets 24, Baltimore 16
Miami 28, Buffalo 25
Tampa Bay 34, San Francisco 17
San Diego 33, Atlanta 30 (OT)
New England 27, Pittsburgh 16
Arizona 6, Seattle 6 (OT)
Denver 27, Houston 9

Sunday, October 23, 2016

College Football Top Ten

The Heftyinfo College Football Top Ten          (Week ending October 23)    

1.  Alabama (8-0)
2.  Michigan (7-0)
3.  Clemson (7-0)
4.  Washington (7-0)
5.  Ohio State (6-1)
6.  Louisville (6-1)
7.  Nebraska (7-0)
8.  Baylor (6-0)
9.  West Virginia (6-0)
10.  Texas A & M (6-1)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

NFL - Week Seven Preview

Here's a question football fans ...  Which game this weekend features the two top scoring teams in the NFL?

That would be the game between the San Diego Chargers (2-4) and the Atlanta Falcons (4-2) this Sunday in Atlanta.
The Falcons have scored 199 points in six games (33.2 average per game) while the Chargers have amassed 173 points in their first six games for a 28.9 points per game average.
Quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers have two of the highest ratings in the league and each has thrown just three interceptions through the first six games. Ryan has 15 TD passes and Rivers has tossed twelve touchdowns.
Figure for this game to be a high scoring affair that could be decided by which team has the ball last.
Another game that (on paper) looks to be a good one is the New England Patriots at the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is out for this one and so it stands to reason that New England, with Tom Brady rolling right along in his first two games back after a four-game suspension, figures to beat the Steelers this Sunday.
Brady has been his usual brilliant self for the two games, compiling a 135.5 QB rating with 782 passing yards while completing 76 percent of his passes. He has thrown for six touchdowns with no interceptions.
Roethlisberger left last week's game with a knee injury and was leading the NFL with 16 touchdown passes at the time.
In his place will be Landry Jones to lead the offense that still has running back Le'Veon Bell (5.5 ypc average) and wide receiver Antonio Brown, who already has 41 receptions for 486 yards and five touchdowns.
Two other big match ups in Week Seven include the Arizona Cardinals (3-3) taking on the Seattle Seahawks (4-1) in the Sunday night game. This key NFC West battle could go a long way to determining the eventual division winner this season.
The Monday night game will see the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos (both 4-2) going at it in the Mile High City. Former Broncos QB Brock Osweiler returns to try and lead his new team to victory in Denver.
The season is nearing the halfway point already and this week's action should become more intense as the teams continue to jockey for playoff positions.

The following offers a look at the games along with the Heftyinfo picks for this weekend.

Chicago (1-5) at Green Bay (3-2) - The oldest rivalry in the NFL . . . take the Packers.

NY Giants (3-3) vs. Los Angeles (3-3)  game in London, England -  The two biggest cities in the United States playing a football game in England.  Go figure.

New Orleans (2-3) at Kansas City (3-2) - Did you know that Hall-of-Fame Coach Hank Stram once coached both of these teams?

Indianapolis (2-4) at Tennessee (3-3) - Colts coming off a crushing defeat while the Titans are starting to believe they can contend in the AFC South.

Minnesota (5-0) at Philadelphia (3-2) - Former Eagles QB Sam Bradford returns to Philly . . . Can the Eagles knock off the NFL's only unbeaten team?

Cleveland (0-6) at Cincinnati (2-4) - With the Indians going to the World Series, nobody notices the Browns are winless. Bengals are struggling as well.

Washington (4-2) at Detroit (3-3) - This should be a very entertaining game with both teams playing well right now.

Oakland (4-2) at Jacksonville (2-3) - This game used to determine which team would get the number one NFL draft pick.

Buffalo (4-2) at Miami (2-4) - The Bills have won four in a row, but usually struggle in Miami.

Baltimore (3-3) at NY Jets (1-5) - Ravens have lost three straight games and the Jets have dropped four in a row. Something has to give.

Tampa Bay (2-3) at San Francisco (1-5) - Who cares?

San Diego (2-4) at Atlanta (4-2) - The Chargers are NFL's best team with a losing record. Falcons are the highest scoring team in the NFL. This should be a high scoring game.

New England (5-1) at Pittsburgh (4-2) - No Big Ben for Pittsburgh means a long day vs. Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Seattle (4-1) at Arizona (3-3) - The Cardinals are tough at home and these two teams don't like each other.

Houston (4-2) at Denver (4-2) - Texans QB Brock Osweiler returns to Denver, where he helped the team to last year's Super Bowl run while playing for the Broncos.

The Heftyinfo picks for Week Seven  . . . . . . .   (Home teams are listed in bold; Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)

Green Bay over Chicago
NY Giants over Los Angeles (game played in London, England)
Kansas City over New Orleans
Indianapolis over Tennessee
Philadelphia over Minnesota
CINCINNATI over Cleveland
Detroit over Washington
Oakland over Jacksonville
Miami over Buffalo
NY Jets over Baltimore
Tampa Bay over San Francisco
Atlanta over San Diego
New England over Pittsburgh
Arizona over Seattle
Denver over Houston

Last Week's Record:  10-5


Lock of the Week Record:  6-0

Monday, October 17, 2016

NFL - Week Six Review

The Dallas Cowboys continue to serve notice to the rest of the NFL that they are for real, even with two rookies leading the way on offense.
The Cowboys improved to 5-1 this season with a 30-16 win in Green Bay on Sunday as rookie quarterback Dak Prescott (pictured right) had three touchdown passes and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 157 yards to help them win their fifth straight game. The Cowboys defense forced four turnovers in the game, including three fumble recoveries.
The Miami Dolphins surprised the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, 30-15 as running back Jay Ajayi scored two touchdowns and ran for 204 yards in the win. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger left the game with a meniscus injury and will likely be out for next week's game.
The Seattle Seahawks (4-1) rallied back in the final minutes to win 26-24 over the visiting Atlanta Falcons (4-2) after blowing a 14-point halftime lead. Seahawks kicker Matt Hauschka made a 44-yard field goal to decide the game. Seattle RB Christine Michael had two rushing touchdowns while Atlanta QB Matt Ryan (335 yards passing) had three TD passes in the loss.

                                                   Around  the NFL  . . . . . . . 

Drew Brees
The Detroit Lions held on for an exciting 31-28 victory against the Los Angeles Rams as Matt Prater kicked the game winning 34-yard field goal  . . .  Washington (4-2) won their fourth consecutive game, beating the visiting Philadelphia Eagles, 27-20. Kirk Cousins threw for two scores to offset a defensive score and a kickoff return for touchdown by the Eagles . . .  The Jacksonville Jaguars stunned the host Chicago Bears, 17-16 as they scored all their points in the fourth quarter, including a 51-yard TD pass from Blake Bortles to Aurelious Benn in the final minute of play . . .  New England steam rolled the Cincinnati Bengals, 35-17 in Tom Brady's first home game this season. Brady had two TD strikes and passed for 376 yards to help the Patriots improve to 5-1 . . .  The New Orleans Saints knocked off the visiting Carolina Panthers, 41-38 on a Wil Lutz 52-yard field goal with eleven seconds remaining. Saints QB Drew Brees had 465 passing yards and four TD passes to earn the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week . . .  The Buffalo Bills blasted the San Francisco 49ers, 45-16 behind RB LeSean McCoy (140 yards rushing and three TD runs) to spoil the season debut of QB Colin Kaepernick for San Francisco . . .  The New York Giants got a huge game from wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (eight receptions for 222 yards and two TD), including the game-winning 66-yard TD pass from QB Eli Manning (403 pass yards and three TD) in a thrilling 27-23 win over the visiting Baltimore Ravens  . . .  Kansas City squashed the host Oakland Raiders, 26-10 as the defense limited the Raiders to just 286 total yards in offense. The Chiefs (3-2) rushed for 183 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns in the win  . . . The Tennessee Titans (3-3) held off the Cleveland Browns, 28-26 for the win. Titans QB Marcus Mariota threw for three scores and the defense limited the Browns (0-6) to just 40 yards rushing for the game . . .   The San Diego Chargers shocked the visiting Denver Broncos, 21-13 last Thursday night behind a TD pass from QB Philip Rivers and four field goals by kicker Josh Lambo . . .   The Sunday night game saw the Houston Texans rally back big time in the fourth quarter to stun the visiting Indianapolis Colts, 26-23 in overtime when Nick Novak nailed the winning 33-yard field goal. Texans QB Brock Osweiler silenced the boo birds with two TD passes in the final two minutes of regulation to force the extra session . . .  Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson scored three touchdowns and rushed for 111 yards while the defense had two interceptions and limited the New York Jets to 230 total yards in offense in a 28-3 thrashing in the Monday Night Football game.

San Diego 21, Denver 13
Jacksonville 17, Chicago 16
Detroit 31, Los Angeles 28
Dallas 30, Green Bay 16
Miami 30, Pittsburgh 15
NY Giants 27, Baltimore 23
Tennessee 28, Cleveland 26
Washington 27, Philadelphia 20
New Orleans 41, Carolina 38
New England 35, Cincinnati 17
Buffalo 45, San Francisco 16
Seattle 26, Atlanta 24
Kansas City 26, Oakland 10
Houston 26, Indianapolis 23 (OT)
Arizona 28, NY Jets 3 

Bears Fan Upset After Loss To Jaguars

Friday, October 14, 2016

NFL - Week Six Preview

There are two very big time games going on this weekend in the NFL as the Dallas Cowboys travel to Green Bay to face the Packers. The surprising Atlanta Falcons are 4-1 and fresh off a huge road win against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, and will now face the Seattle Sehawks in the great northwest.
The Cowboys have won four straight games and lead the NFC East at 4-1 while the Packers are 3-1 and need a win at home this weekend to keep pace with the undefeated Minnesota Vikings (5-0) in the NFC North division. The Vikings have their bye this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Falcons have been on fire, averaging 35 points per game so far this season. They will face their second straight road test against a solid Seahawks' defense that is allowing just 13.5 points per game.
One other Sunday afternoon game that should be interesting to watch has the Kansas City Chiefs playing at the Oakland Raiders in an AFC West battle that could create a big log jam in the division race.
The Raiders are 4-1 and lead the AFC West while the Chiefs (2-2) are looking to get back into the top spot. A win against Oakland would do wonders for the Chiefs, who are coming off their bye week after getting embarrassed on national TV two weeks ago in Pittsburgh.
The Raiders had a big come from behind win against San Diego last week, but they were very fortunate to win as the Chargers found another way to lose a football game in the fourth quarter.
All in all, it should be fun to see what unfolds this weekend as the division races continue to take shape around the league.

The following offers a 'capsule style' look at all of the games on tap this week, along with the Heftyinfo predictions for Week Six.

San Francisco (1-4) at Buffalo (3-2) - The Bills are suddenly a hot team.

Philadelphia (3-1) at Washington (3-2) - BIG NFC East match up this weekend ... Take the Redskins.

Cleveland (0-5) at Tennessee (2-3) - The yawner game of the week.

Baltimore (3-2) at NY Giants (2-3) - Can the Giants get back on track this week? Ravens just fired their Offensive Coordinator.

Carolina (1-4) at New Orleans (1-3) - A battle between two under-achieving teams.

Jacksonville (1-3) at Chicago (1-4) - The Bears will not lose at home to this team.

Los Angeles (3-2) at Detroit (2-3) - The Lions are coming off a big win against a previously unbeaten team (Philadelphia) while the Rams were humiliated on the road. Lions roar again!

Pittsburgh (4-1) at Miami (1-4) - Trap game?

Cincinnati (2-3) at New England (4-1) - Tom Brady and the Patriots are on a mission.

Kansas City (2-2) at Oakland (4-1) - Old AFL rivals going at it once again ... Take the Raiders.

Atlanta (4-1) at Seattle (3-1) - Can the Falcons win against a solid foe on the road again?

Dallas (4-1) at Green Bay (3-1) - This is the GAME OF THE WEEK in the NFL. The Cowboys and the Packers in Lambeau Field in October. It doesn't get any better than that for football fans.

Indianapolis (2-3) at Houston (3-2) - The Sunday night game with first place on the line in the putrid AFC South.

NY Jets (1-4) at Arizona (2-3) - The Monday Night Football game with two stinkers going at it.

The Heftyinfo picks for Week Six . . . . .   (Home teams are listed in BOLD; Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)

San Diego over Denver
Buffalo over San Francisco
Washington over Philadelphia
Tennessee over Cleveland
NY Giants over Baltimore
New Orleans over Carolina
Chicago over Jacksonville
Detroit over Los Angeles
Pittsburgh over Miami
NEW ENGLAND over Cincinnati
Oakland over Kansas City
Seattle over Atlanta
Green Bay over Dallas
Indianapolis over Houston
Arizona over NY Jets

Last Week's Record:  9-5


Lock of the Week Record:  5-0

Monday, October 10, 2016

NFL - Week Five Review

Tom Brady is back!
The beleaguered New England Patriots quarterback (pictured at right) returned from his four-game suspension and had 406 passing yards with three touchdown passes to lead the Patriots (4-1) to a 33-13 road win against the Cleveland Browns, who dropped to 0-5 with the loss.
The Minnesota Vikings remained unbeaten (5-0) and are the only unbeaten team left in the NFL as they routed the visiting Houston Texans, 31-13 behind solid defense (only 214 yards allowed) and a pair of TD passes from Sam Bradford. Marcus Sherels returned a punt 79 yards for another score in the win.
The Detroit Lions defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-23 to give the Eagles (3-1) their first loss this season as kicker Matt Prater made the game winning 29-yard field goal. Lions QB Matthew Stafford had three TD passes to lead the way.
The Denver Broncos (4-1) also fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as they lost at home to the Atlanta Falcons, 23-16. The Atlanta defense limited Denver to 267 yards in offense while Matt Ryan had a TD pass to go with a one-yard scoring run by Devonta Freeman.

                                              Around the NFL  . . . . . . .  

The Indianapolis Colts battled back to win 29-23 over the visiting Chicago Bears in a back-and-forth game that had five lead changes. Colts QB Andrew Luck threw two TD passes and kicker Adam Vinatieri drilled five field goals to pace the win. The Bears racked up 522 yards in offense in the loss . . .   The Oakland Raiders (4-1) survived a thrilling 34-31 win against the snake bitten San Diego Chargers, who saw a botched hold off the snap on a potential game tying field goal attempt late in the game ruin their chances. Raiders QB Derek Carr had a pair of TD tosses to offset four TD passes by Chargers QB Philip Rivers . . .   The Washington Redskins surprised the host Baltimore Ravens, 16-10 as Jamison Crowder took a punt back 85 yards for a score. The Ravens fired Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman after the loss . . .  The Dallas Cowboys won their fourth straight game, 28-14 over the visiting Cincinnati Bengals as Ezekiel Elliot (134 yards and two rushing TD) had a 60-yard scoring jaunt while the Cowboys defense sacked Cincy QB Andy Dalton four times . . .  The Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) rolled the visiting New York Jets (1-4), 31-13 behind four TD passes from QB Ben Roethlisberger (380 passing yards) . . .   The Buffalo Bills beat the host Los Angeles Rams, 30-19 as QB Tyrod Taylor had two TD passes to go with 193 rushing yards by the Bills for their third straight win . . .  The Tennessee Titans beat the host Miami Dolphins, 30-17 behind three TD passes and a five-yard scoring run from QB Marcus Mariota. The Titans defense held the hapless Dolphins to just 200 yards in offense in the win . . .  The Arizona Cardinals rallied past the host San Francisco 49ers, 33-21 last Thursday night as the defense had seven sacks while QB Drew Stanton had two TD passes and running back David Johnson gained 157 yards and had two rushing scores to pace the victory . . .  The Sunday night game saw the Green Bay Packers win a 23-16 yawner at home against the New York Giants. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for two scores (along with two interceptions) while kicker Mason Crosby made three field goals to help provide the difference in the outcome . . .  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the host Carolina Panthers, 17-14 in the Monday night game. Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo nailed a 38-yard field goal as time expired for the win. The Tampa Bay defense forced four turnovers in the win, two fumbles and two interceptions.

                                                The Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week 

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 134 yards on just 15 carries and scored two touchdowns to pace the Cowboys easy 28-14 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Arizona 33, San Francisco 21
Indianapolis 29, Chicago 23
Detroit 24, Philadelphia 23
Pittsburgh 31, NY Jets 13
Tennessee 30, Miami 17
New England 33, Cleveland 13
Washington 16, Baltimore 10
Minnesota 31, Houston 13
Dallas 28, Cincinnati 14
Atlanta 23, Denver 16
Oakland 34, San Diego 31
Buffalo 30, Los Angeles 19
Green Bay 23, NY Giants 16
Tampa Bay 17, Carolina 14 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

NFL - Week Five Preview

Alright NFL fans, here's a question for you.
Who had the Philadelphia Eagles (3-0), Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos (both 4-0) as the only three unbeaten teams left after the first four weeks?
Be honest now.
Those three are the only remaining undefeated teams left after four weeks while the Cleveland Browns (0-4) are on the other end of the spectrum, and are the ONLY winless team still going in the NFL.
The Eagles head to Detroit to face the Lions (1-3), who have lost three straight games after winning the opener. The Vikings will host the Houston Texans (3-1) and the Broncos will be at home taking on the red-hot Atlanta Falcons (3-1), a team that is averaging 38 points a game this season.
The Browns have the unenviable task of hosting the New England Patriots (3-1), who will be getting back starting quarterback Tom Brady (following his four-game suspension) this week. The Pats lost last weekend (at home) to Buffalo, 16-0, marking their first shutout loss at home since the 1993 season.
What does all this mean you might ask? Not a whole lot really, but those are the facts entering Week Five around the NFL, where (so far) anything can and will happen.
Look at the Los Angeles Rams ... who the hell had them penciled in at a 3-1 clip after they were embarrassed by the lowly San Francisco 49ers (1-3) in the Monday Night Football season opener?
How about the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals getting off to 1-3 starts after facing each other in the NFC Championship Game a year ago. Plus both of those teams quarterbacks are now facing the "concussion protocol" and may not play this weekend.
Cam Newton has been a human punching bag so far this season and Arizona's Carson Palmer has been ruled out for the Thursday Night Football game.

For a look at this weekend's action, please read the following (capsule style) previews for the games, followed by the Heftyinfo predictions for Week Five.

Arizona (1-3) at San Francisco (1-3) - The Thursday night yawner.

New England (3-1) at Cleveland (0-4) - Browns get their first win of the season, right?  WRONG!!!

Philadelphia (3-0) at Detroit (1-3) - The Eagles are ripe for an upset on the road, aren't they? It just might happen.

Chicago (1-3) at Indianapolis (1-3) - The Colts should win at home, but . . .

Tennessee (1-3) at Miami (1-3) - With Hurricane Matthew (possibly) hitting Florida, will this game even be played this weekend? Stay tuned.

Washington (2-2) at Baltimore (3-1) - The Beltway game these fans wait for every four years.

Houston (3-1) at Minnesota (4-0) - This should be a good game between two excellent defensive teams.

NY Jets (1-3) at Pittsburgh (3-1) - Steelers roll !

Atlanta (3-1) at Denver (4-0) - This could be the Game of the Week. NFL's top offensive team vs. perhaps the top defensive team in the NFL. Something has to give.

Cincinnati (2-2) at Dallas (3-1) - The Cowboys (and rookie QB Dak Prescott) are on a roll so far.

Buffalo (2-2) at Los Angeles (3-1) - The Bills coming off a big shutout road win and the Rams have won three straight with solid defense.

San Diego (1-3) at Oakland (3-1) - The Chargers are their own worst enemy, especially in the fourth quarter. Three blown leads in the final five minutes for them. Take the Raiders.

NY Giants (2-2) at Green Bay (2-1) - The Packers, coming off a bye week, are playing at home in "prime time." Giants have problems, especially with Odell Beckham, Jr.

Tampa Bay (1-3) at Carolina (1-3) - The Monday Night Football game with a pair of teams that are reeling right now.

The Heftyinfo picks for Week Five  . . . . .    (Home teams are listed in bold; Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)

Arizona over San Francisco
New England over Cleveland
Detroit over Philadelphia
Indianapolis over Chicago
Miami over Tennessee
Baltimore over Washington
Minnesota over Houston
Denver over Atlanta 
Dallas over Cincinnati
Los Angeles over Buffalo
Oakland over San Diego
Green Bay over NY Giants
Carolina over Tampa Bay

Last Week's Record:  10-5


Lock of the Week Record:  4-0

Monday, October 3, 2016

NFL - Week Four Review

Julio Jones and Matt Ryan established a new NFL record in Week Four.
Take a bow Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the Heftyinfo NFL co-Players of the Week, after they dismantled the Carolina Panthers defense in a 48-33 win in Atlanta.
The Falcons improved to 3-1 with the victory while the Panthers (15-1 a year ago) slipped to 1-3. On top of that, quarterback Cam Newton left the game with a concussion.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan passed for 503 yards (and four touchdowns) in the win while Jones had 12 receptions for 300 yards with two touchdowns.
That is the first time ever in NFL history that has happened.

The Buffalo Bills finally won a game in New England and they shut out the Patriots 16-0 as their defense limited the Pats to 277 yards in total offense. LeSean McCoy scored on a TD pass from QB Tyrod Taylor and kicker Dan Carpenter made three field goals for the scoring.
The Denver Broncos remained undefeated with a 27-7 beat down of the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the defense limited the Bucs to only 215 yards in total offense. The Broncos 'D' also came up with three turnovers (including two interceptions by Aqib Talib) and sacked Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston five times. Broncos starting QB Trevor Siemian left the game with a shoulder injury.

                                                Elsewhere around the  NFL .  .  .  .  .  .   .

The New Orleans Saints stunned the hapless San Diego Chargers with two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the game to win 35-34 as QB Drew Brees had two TD passes and fullback John Kuhn scored three touchdowns. Chargers QB Philip Rivers had 321 yards and two TD passes in the loss. The Chargers turned the ball over three times in the fourth quarter  . . . .  The Chicago Bears won at home 17-14 over the Detroit Lions as backup QB Brian Hoyer had two TD passes to help the Bears (1-3) win their first game of the season . . . .  The Seattle Seahawks (3-1) steamrolled the host New York Jets, 27-17 behind three TD tosses from QB Russell Wilson. The Seahawks defense intercepted three passes  . . . .  Oakland (3-1) rallied past the host Baltimore Ravens, 28-27 to hand the Ravens their first loss this season as QB Derek Carr had four touchdown passes to offset 412 totals yards in offense by Baltimore . . . .  The Los Angeles Rams knocked off the host Arizona Cardinals, 17-13 as QB Case Keenum hooked up with WR Brian Quick for two scores . . . .  The Washington Redskins won their second consecutive game, beating the visiting Cleveland Browns, 31-20 as QB Kirk Cousins had three TD passes . . . .  Over in London, England, the Jacksonville Jaguars got their first win this season with a 30-27 thriller over the Indianapolis Colts (1-3).  Jags QB Blake Bortles rushed for a score and also had two TD passes in the win and the defense sacked Colts QB Andrew Luck six times  . . . . The Houston Texans toppled the visiting Tennessee Titans, 27-20 as QB Brock Osweiler threw for two scores and rookie Will Fuller took a punt back 67 yards for a TD to lead the way. Titans RB DeMarco Murray scored two rushing touchdowns in the loss . . . .   Dallas won their third straight game with a 24-17 road win at San Francisco behind two TD passes from Dak Prescott and a rushing TD from running back Zeke Elliott, who had 138 rushing yards for the Cowboys . . . .  The Cincinnati Bengals rolled past the Miami Dolphins, 22-7 last Thursday night as kicker Mike Nugent drilled five field goals and the defense limited the Dolphins to just 222 yards in total offense . . . .  The Sunday Night Football game saw the host Pittsburgh Steelers destroy the Kansas City Chiefs, 43-14 as QB Ben Roethlisberger threw FIVE touchdown passes while RB Le'Veon Bell made his season debut by rushing for 144 yards in the rout . . . . .  The Minnesota Vikings (4-0) used a balanced offense in a 24-10 win over the visiting New York Giants on Monday Night Football. QB Sam Bradford threw for a touchdown and RB Jerrick McKinnon rushed for 85 yards with a touchdown to lead the way.

Cincinnati 22, Miami 7
Chicago 17, Detroit 14
Washington 31, Cleveland 20
Seattle 27, NY Jets 17
Denver 27, Tampa Bay 7
Dallas 24, San Francisco 17
Los Angeles 17, Arizona 13
Atlanta 48, Carolina 33
New Orleans 35, San Diego 34
Buffalo 16, New England 0
Houston 27, Tennessee 20
Oakland 28, Baltimore 27
Jacksonville 30, Indianapolis 27 (London, England)
Pittsburgh 43, Kansas City 14
Minnesota 24, NY Giants 10

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Major League Baseball - Post Season Preview

The 2016 regular season is in the books around Major League Baseball and now it's on to October and playoff baseball for ten teams.
In the National League, the Chicago Cubs (103-58) are the obvious choice to advance to the World Series, which would be their first trip to the Fall Classic in 71 years.
The Boston Red Sox were the pick in the American League recently after they ripped off eleven consecutive wins to secure the American League East division title away from both Baltimore and Toronto, who are the wild card playoff teams in the junior circuit.
Yes, the AL East (the BEST division in baseball) has THREE playoff teams this season.
It should be an interesting post-season this year (as is usually the case in Major League Baseball) with the Cubs looking for their first World Series championship in 108 years.
Think about that . . .   108 YEARS!!!
The Texas Rangers have NEVER won a World Series and they are the top seed in the American League after cruising to the AL West title this season. They are led by the two-headed pitching monster of Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish. Oh, and they can hit the ball pretty well too.
Led by Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Mitch Moreland, Jonathan Lucroy, Ian Desmond and Rougned Odor, the Rangers can pound the baseball with the best of them.
The Cleveland Indians have pitching (though they are decimated with injuries to the starting staff right now) and can score runs as well and they too ran away with their division this summer, winning the AL Central by a country mile.
Corey Kluber, Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer are their top starting pitchers right now with Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco injured. The bullpen features Andrew Miller, a power pitcher who can set up or close. Cody Allen has been the closer, but if he slips, Miller is right there to help out.
The lineup features Mike Napoli, Tyler Naquin, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana. The Tribe can score runs, finishing in the top three in the American League in runs scored this season.
The Boston Red Sox led the majors in scoring this year and their pitching has gotten better as the season went along. Led by Rick Porcello (who had a career year this season) and David Price, the Bosox can't be taken lightly in spite of their erratic bullpen. Closer Craig Kimbrel must figure it out once the post-season starts.
They are the sentimental choice to come out of the American League as "Big Papi" David Ortiz is in his last season and has led the way along with Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia and a wrecking crew lineup.
The Baltimore Orioles are indeed a wild card in all of this post-season madness as they have perhaps the scariest offense in baseball when they are on.
The Orioles led the majors with 253 home runs this season and boast three players with 30 plus homers, including the league leader in Mark Trumbo, who blasted 47 dingers this season.
Along with him are Chris Davis (38), Manny Machado (37), Adam Jones (29), Jonathan Schoop (25) and Pedro Alvarez, who hit 22 home runs. Matt Wieters added 17 bombs, including two in the final game against the Yankees to help the O's clinch the playoff spot.
They also have the best overall bullpen and best closer in the game as Zach Britton finished with 47 saves in 47 chances and posted a 0.54 ERA, the best ever in major league history for a relief pitcher.
The Toronto Blue Jays will host the Orioles in the Wild Card Game Tuesday night and they feature big bats in their lineup as well.
Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are their big sluggers while their pitching has been pretty decent throughout the regular season. Marco Estrada, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez are all solid starters. Their bullpen is suspect but in a short playoff series, it's usually starting pitching that makes or breaks a team.
Back in the National League, the Cubs have the big targets on their collective backs as manager Joe Maddon looks to get them to the promised land for the first time since the 1945 season.
Featuring stellar starting pitching (Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Jason Hammel) and a very reliable bullpen, including lights out, flame throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, they are indeed the team to beat.
The offense is solid as well and is led by MVP candidate Kris Bryant along with Anthony Rizzo. Adding punch to the lineup are Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist, Jorge Soler, Dexter Fowler, Willson Contreras, Javier Baez and even David Ross, who is in his final big league season.
The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers will square off against each other in the Divisional Series and they both boast excellent pitching staffs. Washington is led by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg and Tanner Roark has been solid all season as well. Gio Gonzalez is also a reliable starter.
The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, perhaps the best pitcher in baseball, leading the way while Rich Hill has been excellent since coming over in late July in a trade.
The offenses for those teams does enough to support the pitching and each team has a really good closer in their bullpen - Kenley Jansen for LA and the Nats have Mark Melancon.
The Nationals will be without catcher Wilson Ramos, who was injured late in the season. But they do have Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon leading the offense.
The Dodgers have Rookie of the Year candidate Corey Seager along with Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, Howie Kendrick, Chase Utley and Andre Ethier in their solid lineup. Yasiel Puig can catch fire at any time as well.
The wild card teams are the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants and should not be taken lightly by the Cubs in the divisional round.
The Mets pitching staff shut down the Cubs offense a year ago in the NL Championship Series but it has been decimated by injuries in 2016, losing starters Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom and Steven Matz for the year.
They do have Noah Syndergaard and the ageless Bartolo Colon still available for the post-season, but they have to get past the Giants in the wild card game.
The Giants have won three of the last six World Series and have Madison Bumgarner leading the pitching staff, which also has Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samadjria and Matt Moore starting. The bullpen has been terrible this season, blowing 30 save chances.
The Mets have Yoenis Cespedes leading their lineup along with Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, James Loney and Curtis Granderson.
The Giants lineup features Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Denard Span and Angel Pagan to generate the runs to support their pitching.

It should be  an exciting October, so sit back, relax and enjoy the journey baseball fans.

Here's the Heftyinfo picks for the 2016 post-season and World Series . . .


Wild CardBaltimore over Toronto

ALDSTexas over Baltimore (five games);  Boston over Cleveland (four games)

ALCSTexas over Boston (six games)


Wild CardSan Francisco over New York Mets

NLDS - Chicago over San Francisco (four games);  Los Angeles over Washington (five games)

NLCSChicago over Los Angeles (six games)

                         WORLD SERIES Chicago Cubs over Texas Rangers in six games


Saturday, October 1, 2016

NFL - Week Four Preview

It's October, Fall is in the air and the NFL season rolls into Week Four with the first of several games being played over in London, England when the Indianapolis Colts (1-2) face the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) on Sunday.
Neither team has fared too well in the 2016 season. The Jags were expected to contend in the AFC South this year (and still possibly could do so) but they have been putrid in their three games. The Colts barely won at home against San Diego last week for their only win in three tries.
So as America wakes up to football this Sunday morning with the game going on, it may well be a yawner. There are plenty of other games on tap (Green Bay and Philadelphia have the bye this week), including the Buffalo Bills going on the road to face the unbeaten New England Patriots.
Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan has been doing plenty of talking leading up to this one, but the Patriots should have their way with the Bills, who have struggled so far this season. This will be the final game for New England without suspended quarterback Tom Brady, who will return next week following his four-game suspension for the "deflate gate" controversy two years ago when the Pats beat the Colts in the AFC title game.
It was determined that Brady and two equipment managers deflated footballs slightly in the rainy weather to give Brady an edge. New England won that game handily on their way to the Super Bowl title following the 2014 season.
The "prime time" games this weekend include the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. In that game, running backs Le'Veon Bell and Jamaal Charles are expected to make their 2016 debuts.
Charles is coming off a severe knee injury and hasn't played since Week Five of last season. Meanwhile, Bell served a three-game suspension and is ready to go. His presence will add to the dynamic Pittsburgh offense.
The Monday Night Football game should be a good one as well as the New York Giants go against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are 3-0 and have played tremendous defense. The Giants are 2-1 and are coming off a loss at home to the Washington Redskins.

Here's a look at the action for this weekend (capsule style) along with the Heftyinfo picks for the games.

Indianapolis (1-2) at Jacksonville (0-3) - (in London, England) - This game could be a yawner. Hit the snooze button this Sunday morning.

Tennessee (1-2) at Houston (2-1) - The Texans could be without J.J. Watt for the rest of this season.

Cleveland (0-3) at Washington (1-2) - Redskins should win this one. Too bad RG3 is hurt and won't play upon his return to D.C.

Seattle (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2) - Can the Jets beat the injury riddled Seahawks?

Buffalo (1-2) at New England (3-0) - Imagine how much better the Patriots will be when Tom Brady is back.

Carolina (1-2) at Atlanta (2-1) - Can the Falcons soar against the slumping Panthers?

Oakland (2-1) at Baltimore (3-0) - The Raven and the Raiders . . .  Top offense (Oakland) goes against top defense (Baltimore). Ravens win a squeaker.

Detroit (1-2) at Chicago (0-3) - Both of these teams have struggled so far. Lions rate the edge based on their offense.

Denver (3-0) at Tampa Bay (1-2) - Broncos proving the skeptics wrong so far this season.

Los Angeles (2-1) at Arizona (1-2) - Take the Cardinals.

New Orleans (0-3) at San Diego (1-2) - Two high scoring offenses . . . Take the Chargers.

Dallas (2-1) at San Francisco (1-2) - Dallas should win this one, even without star wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Kansas City (2-1) at Pittsburgh (2-1) - Big Ben and the Steelers will not lose at home in "prime time" game.

New York Giants (2-1) at Minnesota (3-0) - This Vikings defense could be their best since  the "Purple people eaters" days.

The Heftyinfo predictions for Week Four  . . . . .   (Home teams listed in bold;  Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)

Cincinnati over Miami
Indianapolis over Jacksonville
Houston over Tennessee
WASHINGTON over Cleveland
Seattle over NY Jets
New England over Buffalo
Atlanta over Carolina
Baltimore over Oakland
Chicago over Detroit
Denver over Tampa Bay
Arizona over Los Angeles
San Diego over New Orleans
Dallas over San Francisco
Pittsburgh over Kansas City
Minnesota over NY Giants

Last Week's Record:  7-9


Lock of the Week Record:  3-0