If Rob Hately had a little more Rod Smart in him, his Gridiron Green handle might read He Hate Ly instead of Sparky.
Hately is not Smart, though; he is, however, plenty smart enough. The Durangoan converted 13-of-15 picks in the Week 4 polls, including a necessary tiebreaker of New England over Atlanta on Sunday Night Football.
Hately’s tiebreaker: New England 31, Atlanta 24.
Sunday Night Football: New England 30, Atlanta 23.
Now that’s smart.
The ole Gridiron Guru went 9-6 in Week 4 to even his overall record at 31-31.
Bye: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington.
Thursday, Oct. 3
Buffalo at Cleveland (NFL Network) – Turns out, these teams aren’t half bad. Or, technically, at 2-2 each, I guess they are half bad. Either way, they’re better than expected with a rookie and a third-stringer running the quarterback shows. The Bills’ weapon, however, C.J. Spiller, also happens to be the Browns’ greatest strength – 2.9 yards per carry. Pick: Browns, 20-17. Line: Browns by 4½.
Sunday, Oct. 6
Detroit at Green Bay – Maybe the bye week will get the Pack right. Pick: Packers, 37-34. Line: Packers by 7.
New Orleans at Chicago (KASA) – And the Saints come marching into Soldier Field. Pick: Saints, 31-26. Line: pick ’em.
Kansas City at Tennessee – And the Chiefs just keep on winning. Pick: Chiefs, 20-19. Line: Chiefs by 3.
Jacksonville at St. Louis – The Rams have been awful, which is disappointing. At least the Jaguars were expected to be bad. Pick: Rams, 27-9. Line: Rams by 11½.
New England at Cincinnati (KCNC, KREZ) – The Bengals beat the Packers, then lost to the Browns. The Patriots, meanwhile, are 4-0 behind the miraculous Brady bunch. Pick: Patriots, 27-20. Line: Bengals by 1½.
Seattle at Indianapolis – It’s not luck if it’s Luck; the Colts have a knack of upsetting good teams. Pick: Colts, 20-16. Line: Seahawks by 2½.
Baltimore at Miami – One more week of a healthier Ray Rice and the Ravens will run home an upset. Pick: Ravens, 21-17. Line: Dolphins by 3.
Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants – If you can’t protect Manning, you can’t win. Pick: Eagles, 24-21. Line: Giants by 2.
Carolina at Arizona – With the benefit of the bye week, the Panthers will be plenty hydrated to chase the Cardinals in the desert. Pick: Panthers, 17-13. Line: Panthers by 2.
Denver at Dallas (KCNC, KREZ; KRSJ 100.5 FM) – The Associated Press’ Pro32 No. 1 keeps on rolling in Big D. Pick: Broncos, 33-23. Line: Broncos by 7.
Houston at San Francisco (KOBF, KUSA) – It’s hard to say the 49ers are back when it was the Rams they rolled up all that offense against, still ... Pick: 49ers, 23-20. Line: 49ers by 7.
San Diego at Oakland – Guess what? McFadden is hurt. Chargers win. Pick: Chargers, 30-13. Line: Chargers by 4½.
Monday, Oct. 7
N.Y. Jets at Atlanta (ESPN) – With Revis Island toiling in Tampa, see Julio Jones and Roddy White catch the ball. A lot of balls. Pick: Falcons, 24-13. Line: Falcons by 9½.