Nagler's Never Right: Week 4 Predictions
Last Week: 6-10
Cleveland at Baltimore
The Ravens escaped with a win against the Patriots, but Joe Flacco and company will have to guard against a letdown-type effort against a Browns team that isn't as far away as people might think. Trent Richardson should have a big day against a Ravens defense that is suddenly not as tough as its rep.
Carolina at Atlanta
I want to. I really want to pick the Panthers to bounce back against their division rival. But that Carolina defense has way too many issues, both in coaching and personnel, to put up much of a fight against Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense. Cam Newton has to play a whole lot better if the Panthers are going to get their season going in the right direction.
Minnesota at Detroit
The Vikings apparently felt they had their manhood questioned the week leading up to the 49ers game and proceeded to come out and punch the Niners in the mouth. Of course, the Vikings victory was in large part due to the (surprisingly?) excellent play of Christian Ponder. The Lions may have finally found a running game to go along with their high-flying aerial attack.
San Diego at Kansas City
The Chargers need to get their protection issues sorted out, and fast. Of course, they also need to find some kind of consistency on the defensive side of the ball. The Chiefs are coming off a wild comeback win and heading home, but this team isn't ready to go on a winning streak.
Seattle at St. Louis
The Seahawks are a tough-running, tough-hitting team that will hang with anyone and everyone. In the Rams, they find the first opponent who they should absolutely blow out of the stadium. The Rams have talent of their own, but their strength of defense is in their secondary. The 'Hawks will simply pound them in the running game and leave quarterback Russell Wilson a bunch of high-percentage throws on 3rd-and-3 to complete.
San Francisco at New York Jets
After laying an egg in Minnesota, the Niners travel even further East to face the Revis-less New York Jets. This could be an ugly game. The Niners like to pound the football and throw to tight end Vernon Davis, which they'll have plenty of time to do. Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense will be eaten alive by a San Francisco secondary that didn't get off the bus last week.
Tennessee at Houston
The Texans are the most complete team in the league. They can score in a bevy of different ways, have the most ferocious front seven in the league and can win any type of game. The Titans finally saw some offensive production last week, but that was against a bad Lions defense. Houston is just way too much for this Titans team.
New England vs Buffalo
The Patriots don't lose three games in a row. They just don't. The Bills look to be improving and could possibly get Fred Jackson back, which would certainly help. But Bill Belichick and company aren't losing this game unless Brady goes on a turnover binge like he did last year in Buffalo.
Oakland at Denver
The Raiders made a very slight but effective adjustment to their zone-blocking scheme, and it did wonders for Darren McFadden. The Broncos are reeling after two bad losses, and things don't look any easier against a rejuvenated Raiders team, but Peyton finds the comeback that has eluded him the last two weeks to bear the Raiders.
Miami at Arizona
If the Kevin Kolb that showed up against the Eagles shows up for the rest of the year, the Cardinals could be dangerous. Call me dubious. The Dolphins will try to regroup after an overtime heartbreaker that they should have won—a few times. But in the end, the Cardinals make a play late to win a low-scoring, defensive affair.
Cincinnati at Jacksonville
The Bengals should take care of business after finding their offensive groove against the Browns. A.J. Green is probably the most exciting young receiver in the game. The Jaguars have a stout defense, especially when they're at home. Blaine Gabbert is inconsistent but keeps showing glimmers of promise that have to encourage Jaguars fans.
Washington at Tampa Bay
The Redskins can score on anybody. Unfortunately, anybody can score on the Redskins. With their losses on defense piling up, RGIII will be under even more pressure to keep up his explosive start to the season. The Bucs have injury issues of their own, and they need to get their quarterback to play better. He will do so slightly this week, but not nearly well enough.
New Orleans at Green Bay
The Saints are 0-3. The teams they have lost to are 0-6 against everyone else. This is a rudderless ship, and heading up to Lambeau is not the ideal place to fix your flailing football team. The Packers have plenty of their own issues, but they are too well-coached and too disciplined to lose this game.
New York Giants at Philadelphia
Look, Vick needs to be freed. He's trying desperately to be a pocket passer; that's not what he is. The Giants are riding high and should roll the Eagles. Obviously, this means the Eagles will win.
Chicago at Dallas
If the Cowboys ever put together a complete game in all three phases, they could be a tough, tough team to beat. Their secondary should be able to hold the Bears receivers in check while Tony Romo and company can do just enough against a still-tough Bears defense to pull out a victory under the lights in Jerry World.
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