Upsets, underdogs and a road team steal the spotlight

MARY SCHWLAM/Staff photo A new tech t-shirt is available for a limited time for the "I beat burt" contest. ORG XMIT: ne625z77

Week 4 might seem like an anomaly: i.e., not a typical week of picking games. 

Well I've got some news for you. It is the new norm.

The NFL is officially a crapshoot. And I'm not talking odds; I'm talking the difference between winning and losing.

A few months ago, we were arguing over of the Patriots possibly going 19-0. Right now, 9-7 is more of a probability than the typical 14-2 and 13-3 finishes we've become accustomed to.

But the Patriots are not the only team looking so-so. Dallas, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Seattle, all Super Bowl contenders a month ago, look just as bad, if not worse.

Eight road teams won this past Sunday. Seven underdogs won. Eight games finished within three points. You know what that means? Get the coin out and start flipping.

I'm guessing this was Pete Rozelle's dream when he changed the NFL Draft and scheduling so that that better teams would not only draft lower, but play a much harder schedule (division winners facing division winners in the same conference). 

The NFL hierarchy usually is in full force by Week 4, but this season that's not the case. Only one squad is undefeated, the Kansas City Chiefs, and are they really even a very good?

It means you and I had better do our homework ... with a coin in tow.

I struggled to only seven wins of the 15 games in Week 4, which makes two weeks in a row under .500. I was not alone, with more 60 percent of the entries having seven or less correct selections.

Each of this week's T-shirt winners were within one point of the Patriots point total (30). And the second tiebreaker (amount of correct selections) was needed for those who were at one point away. All had at least nine correct selections.

Week 4 winners:

Jack Maxner of Beverly

Rodney Cappotto of Beverly

James Michael O'Neill of Beverly

Jim Hennessey of Salem

Allen Morris of Wenham

Ralph Faiola of Gloucester

George Langley of Gloucester

Terry Grim of Groveland

Walter Ruszkowski of Rowley

Jackie Cottier of Derry, N.H.




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