The 2012 NFL season has already delivered its share of shocks and upsets. Week 4 is going to continue that trend.
Below are three of the upsets that are clear with a reasonable amount of inspection. There are likely to be more, but to predict wild upsets, like the Vikings taking down the 49ers last week, would just be taking a shot in the dark.
So, for those who want to pick an underdog with a decent amount of certainty, here are three in store for Week 4.
*Betting lines via Football Locks on Sept. 29
New York Giants
Week 4 Opponent: at Philadelphia Eagles
Line: Giants +2.5
The Eagles are crumbling. The offensive line is a mess, and quarterback Michael Vick is hanging around the pocket like he is just plain tired of worrying about the oncoming pass rush.
He is taking bad sacks and making terrible decisions. He has a league-worst six interceptions, and if that weren't enough, he has fumbled four times and lost two.
Yes, the Eagles defense is playing excellent, but their offense is killing them.
This experienced Giants team will keep the pass rush on Vick, and force him into more bad decisions, and Eli Manning and the Giants offense will make the plays when it counts.
Prediction: Giants 27, Eagles 20
Week 4 Opponent: at Detroit Lions
Line: Vikings +4
The Vikings' win over the 49ers was no fluke. Now, I don't think Minnesota is ready to contend for the Super Bowl, but this team plays physical and smart, and that is all a team needs to do to beat the Lions.
Detroit continues to play undisciplined football. The Lions' four turnovers has them ranked 24th, and they also have the eighth-most penalties.
While Detroit should be able to pull out some big pass plays in this one, it will not be able to survive its inevitable miscues against Minnesota.
Prediction: Vikings 23, Lions 20
Week 4 Opponent: at Dallas Cowboys
Line: Bears +3.5
This is a bad matchup for the Cowboys. Dallas has to move the ball through the air, and the Bears' passing defense is playing amazing.
Behind the strength of a league-leading 14 sacks, Chicago is stingy through the air.
They are sixth in passing yards allowed and seventh in yards per pass attempt.
In Football Outsiders system of ranking, which is typically a much better accounting than yardage rankings, has the Bears No. 1 in pass defense.
Meanwhile, Dallas is 29th in rushing yards per game, and its 3.5 yards per rush is not getting the job done. They also have just one rushing touchdown all year.
This offense is in for a long day.
Prediction: Bears 20, Cowboys 16