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No need to win in the NFC East, and other oddities as we look at Week 4

No need to win in the NFC East, and other oddities as we look at Week 4

Football background

You know it’s a crazy NFL season when a team can’t win a game and moves up in the standings.

That’s what the Eagles did last Sunday, with their 23-23 tie against the also-winless Cincinnati Bengals. The rest of the NFC Least - the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Washington Football Team - all lost, making the Eagles deadlock the gold standard for the division.

Dallas and Washington sit “atop” the NFC East at 1-2, with Dallas hosting the 2-1 Cleveland Browns at -4.5 and Washington getting nearly two touchdowns against the visiting Baltimore Ravens.

The Eagles have their work cut out for them as they take on the San Francisco 49ers Sunday Night. They are getting seven points. The winless New York Giants receive double-digit points when they visit the Los Angeles Rams.

The New York Jets launched Week 4 of the season Thursday night and they remain pathetic. They showed better effort for a change, but still lost 37-28 to the Denver Broncos and remain winless. Denver is 3-1 against the spread despite being 1-3.

Here is the entire NFL schedule. Note that the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers have been postponed until Monday or Tuesday because of a COVID outbreak.

This week’s games with Draft Kings odds

Seattle -6.5 AT Miami

Los Angeles Rams -13 vs N.Y. Giants

Baltimore -13 AT Washington

Tampa Bay -7 vs Los Angeles Chargers

Dallas -4.5 vs Cleveland

New Orleans -4 AT Detroit

Indianapolis -2.5 AT Chicago

Arizona -3.5 AT Carolina

Cincinnati -3 vs Jacksonville

San Francisco -7 vs Eagles

Buffalo -3 AT Las Vegas

Kansas City -7 vs New England

Green Bay -7.5 vs Atlanta

Betting angles

When will we ever see plus numbers again for the Kansas City Chiefs? They were +3.5 when they throttled the Baltimore Ravens 34-20 Monday Night. The defending Super Bowl champions now give seven to the New England Patriots Sunday.

Can the Buffalo Bills go to 4-0 when they visit the Las Vegas Raiders or is this Raiders team, which defeated the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, ready to turn the tide? Buffalo gives three.

Will the Chicago Bears be a rare 4-0? Two improbable comeback victories against Detroit and Atlanta put Da Bears in a good early-season spot. The key is whether their defense can force a critical turnover from new Colts quarterback Phillip Rivers.

How about the Santa Claus Spread? The Cincinnati Bengals don’t have a win but they are favored against the one-win Jacksonville Jaguars by three points. Looks like Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow is no longer a secret to linemakers.

Will Falcons head coach Dan Quinn be the first to lose his job? Atlanta enters the week 0-3 for the first time in 13 years after blowing two substantial fourth-quarter leads in two weeks. The meltdowns included 15 to the Dallas Cowboys two weeks back and then 16 against the Chicago Bears last week.

The Falcons’ play selection of throwing deep bombs backfired when the incomplete passes stopped the clock. All Atlanta needed was two first downs in the fourth quarter and they could have protected a substantial lead.

NextGen Stats had them at a 98 percent win probability late in the fourth quarter of the games they lost.

Will scoring continue to rise? Half of the NFL games finished with over 50 points last week and that may not be an accident. Offensive holding calls are way down. The lack of those calls keeps drives alive.

Picks

This week’s selections, against the spread, excerpted from Beat the Degenerates, which I co-host with Scott Cronick, director of entertainment publications for The Press of Atlantic City, and Brian Cahill from Shore Physicians Group. The show airs Wednesdays on Newstalk 1400-AM, WONDRadio.com and 92.5-FM from 5 to 6 p.m. Catch the next one Oct. 7 at 5 p.m.

Cronick: Dallas

Bontempo: Chicago

Pickett Russell, “Da Kipster,” general manager of Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall in Atlantic City: Buffalo.

Cahill: Philadelphia

Dave Weinberg, Weinberg’s Extra Points: Las Vegas Raiders

Dan Skeldon, meteorologist: Dallas

Ky Carlin, WOND correspondent: Tampa Bay

Season-long highlights: Cronick and Da Kipster are 3-0.

Misplays of the week

DK Metcalf had hauled in a long pass from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and was heading for the end zone. But he slowed up in an apparent warm up for a victory dance in the end zone. And a defender came up to poke the ball out of his hands and through the end zone. From touchdown to touchback. Ouch.

Seattle bettors later pulled out the cover against the Cowboys, but they were fuming then.

When it’s not your day

The Los Angeles Chargers trailed the Carolina Panthers 9-7 in the second quarter. They allowed a field goal but also lined up offside. That gave Carolina a first down and the dispirited Chargers allowed a touchdown on the next play. A four-point swing in a game they lost by five.

Everybody gets a chance to do it all again in Week 4. Good luck with your picks.

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