NFL Schedule Week 4: Can't-Miss Matchups That Will Captivate Football Fans
Before the first month of the 2013 NFL season can come to an end, there is still one more week of exciting games left to be played. Plenty of surprises have emerged over the season's first three weeks, while other teams have lived up to their expected dominance as well, so there is plenty to look forward to over the remainder of the year.
NFL coaches often say that they like to break up the season into quarters. Performing .500 or better in each quarter gives teams a realistic shot at making the playoffs, so there are many teams that are desperate for a win in Week 4. That should make for several closely contested games that will go down to the wire.
Here are a few matchups in particular that promise to be back-and-forth affairs that will captivate the viewing audience.
|San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams||8:25 p.m. (Thursday)|
|Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills||1 p.m.|
|Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns||1 p.m.|
|Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions||1 p.m.|
|New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs||1 p.m.|
|Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Vikings||1 p.m.|
|Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1 p.m.|
|Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars||1 p.m.|
|Seattle Seahawks @ Houston Texans||1 p.m.|
|New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans||4:05 p.m.|
|Philadelphia Eagles @ Denver Broncos||4:25 p.m.|
|Washington Redskins @ Oakland Raiders||4:25 p.m.|
|Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers||4:25 p.m.|
|New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons||8:30 p.m.|
|Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints||8:30 p.m. (Monday)|
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Denver Broncos
After losing to a returning Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night in Week 3, the Philadelphia Eagles enter Week 4 in must-win mode. A loss obviously wouldn't sink Philly's season entirely, but starting 1-3 certainly isn't ideal. Unfortunately for the Eagles, though, they'll have to face arguably the AFC's best team in the Denver Broncos. Assuming Denver is able to beat the Oakland Raiders on Monday night, it will be in search of a perfect September.
The Broncos aren't without chinks in the armor as their defense remains suspect, but Peyton Manning and his triumvirate of receivers are the envy of every team in the league. The Eagles boast an exciting offense in their own right thanks in large part to head coach Chip Kelly. Quarterback Michael Vick is seemingly revitalized, and he is getting plenty of help from the likes of running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Unfortunately for Kelly, he also happens to have one of the league's worst defenses. That doesn't bode well for the Eagles' chances in Week 4 as Manning should be able to pick them apart. Philly is allowing more than 438 total yards per game this season, and Denver is racking up 462 yards and 45 points per contest. This one has shootout written all over it, which is something that football fans love to see.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Houston Texans
While the Eagles and Broncos figure to light up the scoreboard, the opposite may be true when the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans meet in Week 4. The Seahawks were viewed as one of the league's best defensive teams entering the season, and they have certainly lived up to that billing over the first three weeks. Seattle was especially impressive in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers as it allowed just three points.
Which Week 4 NFL matchup are you most excited for?
The Texans haven't been as dominant on the defensive side of the ball as they were last season, but Houston clearly has plenty of defensive talent. With the likes of J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing wreaking havoc, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle offense could have some trouble on Sunday.
Houston's offense has been firing on all cylinders thanks to the tandem running attack of Arian Foster and Ben Tate as well as quarterback Matt Schaub's passing to Andre Johnson and rookie DeAndre Hopkins. Seattle's secondary has proven nearly impossible to throw on, though, thanks largely to cornerback Richard Sherman. This game may not ultimately be a high-scoring affair, but it's entirely possible that it could be a Super Bowl preview.
New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons
The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons were viewed as potential Super Bowl teams entering the season, and while they have shown flashes of that potential, both teams have some issues as well. With that in mind, their Week 4 encounter could be huge for the confidence level of both teams. While the Patriots have been dealing with uncharacteristic offensive issues, Atlanta's main shortcomings have resided on the defensive side of the ball.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third consecutive game for the Patriots in Week 3, but it's possible that he will be available to play in Week 4. Quarterback Tom Brady's arsenal of weapons has deteriorated to the point where he is counting on the likes of Julian Edelman and rookies such as Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson. The return of Gronk would work wonders for Brady, so that is certainly something that bears watching.
The Falcons are dealing with some offensive injuries of their own as running back Steven Jackson is expected to miss Week 4, while wide receiver Roddy White has been dealing with a high ankle sprain. Even so, quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones have kept the offense afloat. Defense has been Atlanta's Achilles heel over the past couple seasons, and that continues to be the case. The Falcons are lucky enough to be facing a New England offense that is compromised by injury though, which could allow their defense to get back on track.
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