After going 14-2 last year, I took a huge step back. There was a bunch of upsets in week 3, some I managed to predict, but others cost me. So my record in week 3 ended up a meager 7-9. Since I wasn’t able to pick in week 1, we will say I went 8-8. This brings my season record to 29-19. I did manage to predict there would be a lot of upsets, expressing my concern about this very thing in my predictions last week. So I at least had that going for me. Going into week 4, there are only two undefeated teams left, and five winless teams. Can the Chiefs and Falcons remain undefeated? Will the Giants, Chargers, Bengals, Browns, and 49ers finally be able to celebrate their first win of the season? Let’s find out.
Bears(1-2) at Packers(2-1)
The Packers really need a statement win after struggling the last two weeks. I am not sure if they will get it here though. The Bears gave the Falcons a close game in week 1 and then managed to beat the Steelers last week. They aren’t pushovers. A divisional game, I don’t think this will be a blowout win, but it will be a win for the Packers. Expect this one to be high scoring. Tarik Cohen should do a lot of damage for the Bears, and all of the Packer players on offense could have great weeks.
Packers 34- Bears 27
9:30 am London Game
Saints(1-2) vs Dolphins(1-1)
The Saints are coming off a win where they were the dogs, and the Dolphins are coming off a loss where they were the favorites. Ebb and flow tells me that the Dolphins will take this one. However, if Jay Ajayi is still nursing an injury, it won’t be so easy. Currently, all signs point to him being ready to go, but it is still early in the week. If Ajayi is healthy, Dolphins should put up a big game offensively. Like the Thursday Night Game, this one will be high scoring, with Dolphins taking it.
Dolphins 38- Saints 32
1 pm Games
Bills(2-1) at Falcons(3-0)
Bills will not have two upset wins in a row. I cannot see them being able to keep up with the Falcons offense. If Falcons put up points early, the Bills will be forced to throw it to catch up, and that isn’t their game. Bills offense moves through the running game, and you can’t run as much when you fall behind early. Falcons are perfectly set up to beat the Bills. Falcons will move to 4-0, while Bills fall to 2-2.
Falcons 31- Bills 17
Bengals(0-3) at Browns(0-3)
Well, at least one winless team will leave this week with a win. This is the Browns second chance in a row to play a winless team and earn their first win. Last week I picked the Browns, and they lost to the Luckless Colts. Can they change their luck this week? The Bengals had a chance to upset the Packers and then imploded. A loss like that can do a lot of damage to a teams morale. Browns get their first win, while the Bengals keep falling apart.
Browns 24- Bengals 20
Rams(2-1) at Cowboys(2-1)
This game presents a chance for both teams to make a statement. The Rams have looked impressive, but the teams they have beaten have a combined record of 1-5. The best team they have played is Washington, and they lost. The Cowboys opponents also have a combined record of 1-5. The one good team they played, the Broncos, rolled over them. So both teams are looking for a chance to prove they can hang with good tWith Rams struggling against the run, it is advantage Cowboys. But the Rams do have a chance to win if they get out to a fast start and it turns into a shootout.
Cowboys 30- Rams 28
Lions(2-1) at Vikings(2-1)
This may be one of the best matchups of the week. The NFC North is very much in play this year, and this game could have huge ramifications for who takes that crown. Like last week, it is hard to project the Vikings since we don’t yet know who will be under center. I picked against the Vikings last week and was wrong, but my gut tells me to pick against them again. Case Keenum played over his head against Tampa. The Lions have their star QB playing and have played great all year.
Lions 27- Vikings 20
Panthers(2-1) at Patriots(2-1)
Panthers finally stumbled in week 3, and it doesn’t get better this week. They were not able to keep up with the Saints on offense, and their offense couldn’t even get moving against the Saints awful defense. I see no chance for this to change in New England. The Panthers are just a bad team this year, the Cam Newton era could be over.
Patriots 31- Panthers 17
Jaguars(2-1) at Jets(1-2)
Both of these teams are coming off upset wins in week 3. So I can’t really go off ebb and flow for this one. I can go off talent though, and there, it is advantage Jaguars. They have Leonard Fournette on offense, and a very talented, and young defense. This game probably won’t be pretty, but it should be a Jaguars win.
Jaguars 20- Jets 10
Steelers(2-1) at Ravens(2-1)
I am not sure what game is better. Steelers vs Ravens, Lions vs Vikings, or Raiders vs Broncos. The two juggernauts of the AFC North collide in this one. I have had a hard time deciding which one to rank over the other between these two, and they have essentially been tied. Thi matchup should clear that up for a time. Both teams are coming off an upset loss, so no one has momentum, a both teams need a bounce back. I will take the Steelers, I think they are the more talented team, but it will be very close.
Steelers 24- Ravens 23
Titans(2-1) at Texans(1-2)
Two teams with a talented young QB, and both coming off impressive performances. The Titans game resulted in a win, while the Texans fell to the Patriots. The Titans are getting a little bit better every week and have an impressive young team, while the Texans were very shaky until they gave the Patriots a game last week. Titans are more consistent and more talented, they should take this one.
Titans 27- Texans 21
Eagles(2-1) at Chargers(0-3)
Something about this game makes me nervous. The Chargers are too talented to be 0-3, and it feels like they have to break through eventually. The Eagles are the better team, with a better defense, and the more consistent performance this year, but part of me thinks the Chargers can take this one. They have had a very tough schedule so far, and have had a chance to win two of those games. But, in the end, if this is to be a close game, I will bet against the Chargers. The Chargers have proven they don’t have what it takes to win a close game, while the Eagles proved last week they can win a close game.
Eagles 26- Chargers 20
49ers(0-3) at Cardinals(1-2)
Neither of these teams are that great, but Cardinals are slightly better. Cardinals have a decent defense, and a great run defense for the most part. 49ers don’t have all that much going on yet. Cardinals should be able to take this game, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the 49ers got their first win.
Cardinals 17- 49ers 10
Giants(0-3) at Buccaneers(1-1)
Giants are not a good team, but they are better than 0-3. They have had a tough schedule so far, and it doesn’t get easier this week in Tampa. While the Giants look for their first win, the Bucs look for a bounce-back win after a bad loss to the Vikings. The Giants lost their week 3 game, by a 61-yard field, after making a comeback in the 4th quarter and scoring 24 points. That has to be deflating to them. The Giants season is almost over before it begins. Only 5 teams have started 0-3 and made playoffs, and if they lose this one, only one team has started 0-4 and made the playoffs. Can they temporarily save their season? I don’t think so.
Buccaneers 24-Giants 20
Raiders(2-1) at Broncos(2-1)
The third of the great inter-division matchups between top teams this week. These two teams are not only competing for the decision, hoping to topple Kansas City when they get a chance, but they are competing for a wildcard spot. One team, a defensive powerhouse, with a QB who has been surprisingly good. The other, a team with a young superstar QB, and a young defense that has shown some promise. Both looking for bounce-back wins as well. In a game this close, I will decide based on home field advantage.
Broncos 27- Raiders 21
Colts(1-2) at Seahawks(1-2)
Seahawks finally get their offense rolling, and then they forget to play defense. I think the Seahawks are finally heading for disaster. We have seen signs of it in the past couple seasons. Ever since they lose that Superbowl, they have slowly been falling apart. They have had 3 bad games so far this season, and I don’t think that changes this week. But will the Colts be slightly worse? They are a bit of a better team with Jacoby Brissett behind center, but still not a good team. But you know what, I will ride my gut and say the Hawks continue to crumble.
Colts 13- Seahawks 9
Washington(2-1) at Chiefs(3-0)
Washington pulled off a great upset of the Raiders in week 3. They won’t pull off the upset two weeks in a row. The Chiefs are too good right now. Kareem Hunt has been unstoppable. He is on track to break many NFL records this season. He has had a TD of at least 50 yards in every game this season. Alex Smith looks the best he has ever been, the defense is clicking on all cylinders, and everything seems to be going their way. Washington does have its own breakout running back star in Chris Thompson, but in this game, they are just overmatched.
Chiefs 31- Washington 21