Terms of use l Contact us l Staff



Jimmy The Roman

. . . NFL Week 4 Analysis

The National Football League can sometimes be as complicated to figure out as the national tax code. Predicting who will win can be haphazard at best, and barely three weeks into the 2000 season, surprises most certainly abound.

New York City is basking in the glow of an undefeated football record. Both the Jets and Giants are sitting pretty at 3-0. Behind career-comeback sensation Kerry Collins and their "thunder and lightning" running attack of Ron Dayne and Tiki Barber, the Giants are establishing themselves early on as a force to be reckoned with. Likewise, the Jets are asking themselves "Keyshawn who?" In their first year minus the locker-room negativity that was a given with star receiver Keyshawn Johnson, the Jets have managed their first 3-0 start in 34 years!! With Curtis Martin and Vinny Testaverde running the offense, the Jets look HOT HOT HOT!!

Over in the NFC west, two division rivals are butting heads with undefeated records. Surprisingly, the Minnesota Vikings have found magic with second-year quarterback Daunte Culpepper (who, incidentally, went to the same high school I did). Culpepper isn't lighting up the scoreboard with huge passing games, but combines his slick passing abilities with his uncanny ability to run, racking up 59 yards on 12 carries along with his 177 passing yards this past week against New England. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look unstoppable, scoring a franchise record 93 points over the first three games, and with their swarming defense, opponents haven't stood a chance.

The other lone undefeated team, not surprisingly, is Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams, behind the rocket arm of Kurt Warner, who is on pace for a season of 6,500 yards passing--which would surpass Dan Marino's previous record by 1,700 yards. Their remarkable success is tempered only by the fact that two of their opponents thus far have a combined record of 1-5 (Seattle, 1-2 and San Francisco, 0-3).

There are a couple of other minor surprises rippling around the league, as well. For example, the Green Bay Packers are dumb-founded by a 1-2 start, having finally emerged victorious this past week in a field goal match against Philadelphia. Former NFL MVP Brett Favre is struggling, having thrown four interceptions versus his three touchdown passes. On the opposite side of the tracks, second-year expansion franchise Cleveland Browns find themselves tied for first place in the AFC Central after impressive outings against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Though both of those opponents have a combined 0-4 record, both were favored to beat Cleveland easily. With the play of second-year quarterback Tim Couch silencing his critics, and the surprising force of the Dawg defense, the Browns are in a position they haven't found themselves since 1994.

The following picks are for purely recreational purposes. Don't even think of holding me accountable if you bet according to my picks!


San Francisco at Dallas: Dallas, 1-2, and San Francisco, 0-3, are both suffering serious question marks at quarterback. Troy Aikman, still recovering from his ninth career concussion has turned over the reigns temporarily (perhaps permanently?)

Jimmy The Roman's game of the week: New York Jets at Tampa Bay Bucca-neers.. 2 undefeateds head-to-head. Pick: Tampa Bay

to old-timer Randall Cunningham. In San Francisco, Jeff Garcia is getting more boos than Jamie Foxx did at the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony. I'll bet Bill Walsh wishes he had signed Steve Young now! Pick: Dallas

Tennessee at Pittsburgh: Steelers Head Coach Bill Cower has been chanting the praises of the league officiating committee all week--especially after they saved his ass by admitting they didn't stop the clock at the end of the Browns game when QB Kent Graham was sacked, relieving him of criticism that he fumbled clock management. That still doesn't explain why Jerome "The Bus" Bettis was throwing a pass--buses don't have wings. Pick:Tennessee

New England at Miami: They're calling the Dolphins defense "vanilla," but it's been working--they're 2-1. They also call Patriots head coach Bill Belichick a "defensive genius," and his team is 0-3. Go figure. Jay Fiedler had a stellar game Sunday night in the shadow of the celebration commemorating the great Dan Marino's 17-year career. Meanwhile, Drew Bledsoe admitted this week he is depressed that his team is losing. Here's a clue, Drew, look no further than your boss, buddy--just ask anyone from Cleveland. Pick: Miami

Cincinnati at Baltimore: The Ravens defense has been fierce this season, topping even the seemingly unbeatable Jacksonville Jaguars. Cinci looked pathetic against the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago, and the running game they had last year with Corey Dillon seems to have vanished. The question for Baltimore will be, will we see the Tony Banks who picked apart the Jaguars, or the Banks who floundered against the Dolphins? Pick: Baltimore

Detroit at Chicago: Detroit finally scored a touchdown last week against Tampa Bay--and lost. Chicago's Cade McNown has shown signs that he may be deserved of his starting role, but without a running game, the Bears just aren't "da Bears." Pick: Detroit

Philadelphia at New Orleans: The ugly red-headed step-children of the NFL will do battle in the deep south. Here's hoping each team puts their kicker through some rigorous workouts this week. This game is another of those field goal matches. Pick: New Orleans

St. Louis at Atlanta: A divisional game with long-term playoff implications for both teams. Jamal Anderson has thus far shown that he is no longer hobbled by his season-ending injury of a year ago--unfortunately, the rest of the offense seems to be phoning it in, and the defense is suspect, at best. They should be easy prey for Kurt Warner, who is poised to break Dan Marino's 16-year-old record for passing yardage in a season. Pick: St. Louis

Green Bay at Arizona: After a week off, Jake Plummer and the rest of the Cardinals will be well-rested and well-prepared for the anemic assault of the Packers. Packer QB Brett Favre may find himself in a position controversy if things don't start to brighten up soon. Pick: Arizona

NY Jets at Tampa Bay: WR Keyshawn Johnson welcomes his former team to his new home, but don't expect any tearful reunions. Former teammate Jets WR Wayne Chrebet has implied that as much as KJ talks about him, he must be in love. "Tell him I'm not interested," Chrebet replied. Ouch! A nasty divorce indeed! Pick: Tampa Bay

Kansas City at Denver: After a solid victory over the hapless Chargers, the Chiefs can finally breathe. Unfortunately, that's not so easy to do at Mile High Stadium. Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced this week that QB Brian Griese is 50/50 after tearing a ligament in his throwing shoulder. This means backup Gus Frerotte is on deck, though he has never taken a snap with the first team this season (or preseason, for that matter). As well as Griese has been playing, this could be a problem for the Broncos. Pick: Kansas City

Cleveland at Oakland: The second-year Browns are playing their hearts out behind the inspired performance of QB Tim Couch. Now ensconced in a tie for first place, the Browns face their most serious opponent since their opening day loss to Jacksonville. Oakland, coming off of a physical loss to Denver last week, is hungry to get back in a winning mode. Pick: Oakland

Seattle at San Diego: San Diego has big problems--receivers who don't know their routes, and a QB controversy rendered moot by an injury to QB Moses Moreno (who stole the starting job from the disappointing Ryan Leaf last week). Leaf will start this week, and with his dismal record as a starter, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren might find his second victory of the season. Pick: Seattle

Washington at N.Y. Giants: Giants coach Jim Fassel has a lot to smile about, with the outstanding play of QB Kerry Collins (the Carolina Panther reject who had a penchant for team disharmony) and his "thunder and lightning" rushing duo of Ron Dayne and Tiki Barber. Redskins coach Norv Turner is left scratching his head after going 1-2 through the first three games. After all the money sunk into the Redskins organization during the off-season to make them an immediate contender, some heads may roll if the tide doesn't turn soon. Pick: Washington

Jacksonville at Indianapolis: The Colts are shocked to find themselves at 1-1, but not as shocked as the Jaguars are to be 2-1. Colts RB Edgerrin James will have a tough time against a defense that roped in Cincinnati's Corey Dillon last week. Mark Brunell will need another week-one performance (300+ yards vs. the Cleveland Browns) in order to win this Monday night matchup. Pick: Jacksonville

Buffalo, Carolina and Minnesota all have BYE weeks.

Jimmy The Roman, a salute to the deceased sports journalist "Jimmy the Greek," is a periodic columnist at YourMVP.net

Return to Top


Weekly features

Link of the week
MVP of the week?
Not necessarily news

Tell us what you
think of Jimmy's commentary!!

Contact Us



© 2000 by PEP3 Entertainment – – All Rights Reserved