Are you a pet person?   THE WIFE and I very much are.  I grew up with dogs (border collies, to be exact) and in recent years, we have been a cat family.  Pets are family in our eyes – and I know they are in the hearts of a lot of families, too.  We are animal lovers that recently celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary.  Please hold the applause until the end – or perhaps for KP’s Week 4 NFL Picks.

I’ll certainly take both if you’re feeling generous.

Yes, that does mean it’s also ten years of The Wife Hates Sports.

I just can’t get anything by you, can I?

As a small part of the anniversary celebration, THE WIFE booked an hour at the MAC TABBY Cat Cafe in Charlotte.  It is exactly what it sounds like, a cafe featuring coffee, wine, craft beer and more, with a side room featuring a dozen cats that you can hang out and play with the entire time.

It was a fun time.  We enjoyed the beverages and the “fur balls”.  The owner was fun to chat with and we nearly adopted a kitten named Michael Joseph.  We likely would have if someone else hadn’t claimed him first.

Have you been to a cat cafe before (or at least heard of one)?  They seem to be all the rage these days.  Perhaps that’s an exaggeration.

Pets with Better Fashion Sense Than Me

Later that day – as pets were even more noticeable than usual – I saw a dog on the street wearing a sweater… during the summer.  I’ve always thought such a thing was a bit ridiculous, yet hilarious at the same time.

Imagine the market for this?  What percentage of people actually own pet clothes?  Do any of you actually own (and use) pet clothes on a regular basis?  If you aren’t willing to admit it, maybe there’s a support group out there for you.

“Hello, my name is Jane, and I dress my dog in ballerina outfits.”

“Hiiii, Jaaannnnneee!”

Pet Clothes for Sports Fans

Forget the sweaters for now.  Let’s talk about jerseys for pets, because yes they do exist.  The football helmet on the cat (above), I’m sure that furry feline is excited to be wearing it.  Jerseys, bandanas, football shaped Halloween outfits… they all exist.  Do people really dress their pets in gear every time their team plays?

Inquiring minds want to know, because my cat would pack his own suitcase and head out of town if I tried to dress him up in a Redskins outfit.

Then again, most people would probably do that, too.

Does anyone out there have clothing of their favorite sports team that they regularly put on their pets?  If so, I’d love to see photos and hear how often you do this.  Please be honest and let’s have fun with this.  We promise we won’t call you crazy.

<He crosses his fingers and hides them behind his back>

KP’s Week 4 NFL Picks are here.  So, read ‘em and weep – or say “awww” – whatever reaction comes first.  Here are this week’s selections against the spread, based off the lines presented via CBS Sports:

KP’s “Hairball Free” Week 4 NFL Picks

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (-4.5)

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense have yet to really light up the scoreboard.  Rodgers knows it.  This is the week we likely see that happen, when the Packers face a Philadelphia pass defense that is 29th against the pass (293.7 ypg) and has given up 11 plays of 20+ yards and 3 plays of 40+ yards.  The Green Bay defense, meanwhile, is 5th against the pass (197.3 ypg), allowing just one touchdown through the air.  Carson Wentz will have to be more than effective in front of a raucous Lambeau Field crowd.  The Eagles will be in it throughout, but give me the PACKERS to cover at home.

UPDATEEagles 34, Packers 27: These are the kinds of games the Eagles win.  With their backs against the wall, Philly got the job done.  Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had a number of chances, but fell short late in the game.  This one is a loss for me.

Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans (-5)

Cam Newton (Lisfranc injury) is out again and looking to avoid surgery.  The job belongs to Kyle Allen, who threw for four touchdowns and 261 yards against the Cardinals last week.  One more game like that and we’ll be experiencing a full blown quarterback controversy in the Carolinas. 

The Texans certainly have more defensive talent than Arizona, but for some reason have struggled a bit offensively in the passing game (21st in the NFL).  The normally lethal combination of Deshaun Watson to DeAndre Hopkins is more of a purr than a full-blown growl.  That may not change this week, as Carolina is second in the league versus the pass (166.3 ypg).

I trust the abilities of Kyle Allen and see this game as a grudge match that will be won in the trenches.  Expect a close one and therefore give me the PANTHERS and the points.  It’s a pick Sir Purr is sure to approve of.

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-7)

Baker Mayfield scrambled for his life (again) and as a result, the Browns were unable to put together a consistent performance against the Rams.  This week, Cleveland travels to Baltimore to take on the rival Ravens and a pass rush that has seven sacks through three games (but a lot of additional pressure).  The Cleveland defense, which last week featured an inexperienced secondary, must take on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense.  The Browns have the talent, but the inconsistency will do them in.  I’ll take the RAVENS to win by ten and cover at home.

Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-3)

Daniel Jones to the rescue!  No Saquon Barkley, no problem – at least for the majority of last week’s game against the Bucs.  That is likely to be the case again this week, when Jones and the Giants face a Redskins defense that has struggled to stop anyone.  Washington’s D even made the struggling Bears look like an offensive juggernaut.  On top of that, the Redskins are playing on short rest, which leaves little time to address any of its problems.  Washington’s offensive line continues to struggle to protect Case Keenum.   The Giants, meanwhile, have seven sacks through three games, so perhaps Keenum could have some success.  This should be a high-scoring affair with a heavy focus on the passing game.  In the end, the Redskins are a mess.  Jones was just too good last week to sit here and not expect him to post another solid game.  Give me the GIANTS at home.  Dogs and cats of the world agree.

Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins (+16.5)

Do the Dolphins realize that just about every Fantasy Football owner frantically seeks to add the opposing defense that plays Miami during that week?  What do we really analyze with this game?  We know Miami is terrible.  It is whether the opponent can cover at this point.  With Miami, there just needs to be signs of improvement from the young players. 

For San Diego, Melvin Gordon has ended his holdout and there’s a chance he plays this week.  The combo of Ekeler and Jackson has done well in Gordon’s absence.  Philip Rivers still has Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, among other weapons.  It comes down to Josh Rosen sustaining enough drives against L.A.’s 17th ranked pass defense.  Until I see the Dolphins score more than one touchdown in a game, I’m taking the opposition.  CHARGERS cover

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-7)

The Raiders have fallen back to Earth following a very solid week one debut.  Enter another road contest against a formidable opponent.  Jacoby Brissett has risen to the challenge, posting very solid numbers through three games (646 passing yards, 7 TD, 1 INT).  Expect more of the same, facing a Raiders defense that is 24th against the pass with no interceptions.  Then again, WR T.Y. Hilton (quad injury) is doubtful and LB Darius Leonard (concussion) is out for Indy.  Losing your top stars on offense and defense is a worry.  With these facts in mind, the Colts still win, but give me the RAIDERS and the points.   

Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions (+6.5)

The Lions are proving me wrong.  I admit that.  But not wrong enough to be so silly to pick them this week.  Despite Detroit’s home field advantage, I simply don’t see consistent offensive firepower that can keep up with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.  No Tyreek Hill?  No problem.  Running back injuries?  No big deal.  K.C. still posted 33 points against a very good Ravens team.  Expect more of the same against the Lions.  CHIEFS cover on the road.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (+7)

Both teams are undefeated heading into the week.  If you’re a regular reader, you already know that I predicted the Bills to surprise some people this year.  But how has Buffalo fared at home versus the Patriots in recent years?  According to The Football Database, the Bills haven’t beaten the Pats at home since 2011.  Toss in New England’s top ranked defense, which has allowed 36.7 ypg on the ground and 162.3 ypg through the air.  Sure, that includes games against the Dolphins and Jets.  In the end, while I think the Bills are much improved, New England has really dominated in the opening weeks.  Give me the PATRIOTS to cover in a defensive battle.

Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons (-4)

The Titans have allowed an NFL-high 17 sacks in three games, while the Falcons have just five sacks as a unit.  Something has to give here.  With little threat in the pass rush and banged up players like Takkarist McKinley, Marcus Mariota may actually have some time to make plays.  Tennessee is also third in passing defense and will attempt to shut down a red hot Julio Jones.  In the end, this should be a close game, so give me the TITANS and the points.  A late field goal wins it.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams (-9.5)

Jameis Winston is playing better in the Bruce Arians offense.  Mike Evans finally woke up last week, too.  Still, the Tampa Bay defense failed to shut down Daniel Jones in his first ever start.  They failed to stop the Giants without Saquon Barkley for the majority of the game.  Do we really expect the Bucs to travel across the country and shut down Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and the Rams?  Do we really expect Winston to be able to make plays with Aaron Donald in his face all day long?  The answer is no.  RAMS cover at home.  This furry friend agrees.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (+4.5)

The Cards have allowed 16 sacks this season, which has obviously led to some inconsistency from Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.  As for Seattle, the desire is to focus on the run game, but Chris Carson has had a fumbling problem.  Arizona is 30th in the league against the run, so this could be the spark that Seattle needs.  Then again, per The Football Database, Seattle hasn’t beaten the Cardinals in Arizona since 2012.  That is an eye-opener.  There’s just something about the desert, apparently.  Give me the CARDINALS and the points in what should be a competitive game.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-3)

Running the ball and lots of defense, that’s what to expect here.  The teams have combined for 21 sacks through three games.  The Bears will get a few key offensive linemen back and the Chicago offense finally clicked last week.  Although, let’s remember that was against the hapless Redskins.  The biggest matchup will be Dalvin Cook against Chicago’s fifth-ranked rush defense.  That stat may be a bit inflated considering Washington has no offensive line without Trent Williams.  I’ll take the VIKINGS on the road.    

Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos (-3)

Reports state that Jalen Ramsey is questionable, due to the pending birth of his daughter.  That opens the door for the Denver pass game, which to this point has struggled (23rd, 230.7 ypg).  The Broncos, meanwhile, have a number of players on the injury report.  There has to be desperation for Denver, seeking a first win.  Still, look at the sack totals this season.  Jacksonville leads the league with 13 sacks, while Denver shockingly has zero sacks.  Fan favorite Gardner Minshew gets the protection he needs, leading the JAGUARS to a key road win. 

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (+2.5)

Teddy Bridgewater held his own last week, collecting a big win in Seattle.  Meanwhile, the Cowboys remained undefeated after dismantling the basement dwelling Dolphins.  This one should be fun.  Dallas OC Kellen Moore has a bright future, but faces a much tougher test with this Saints defense.  Despite the talent, New Orleans has given up a lot of yards through the air (301.7 ypg).  Shootouts will do that, but that’s just what Dallas will try to get them into.  Give me the COWBOYS to cover on the road.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)

Here we go with another yawn-fest match-up for Monday Night Football.  Don’t get me wrong, the rivalry is most definitely there.  The talent on these teams, however, is not.  Pittsburgh is 31st against the pass, while the Bengals are third in passing offense.  Take the stats as they are, considering Cincinnati has struggled to run and also fallen behind in games to this point.  Pittsburgh has won eight straight in the rivalry and desperately needs a win.  My gut says James Conner is healthy and has a solid day, opening up some opportunities for Mason Rudolph to shine through the air.  STEELERS to cover at home.

BYE: San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets

2019 NFL Season to Date (ATS)

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Feel free to comment with either some of your picks or your thoughts on pet costumes.  As always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!

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Image Credits: Etsy (Chiefs dog) and (Bengals cat)