NFL Week 4 Picks: Predictions for Every Game
The final week of September marks Week 4 of the NFL season, which will kick off on Thursday night when the reeling San Francisco 49ers take to the road to play the division-rival St. Louis Rams.
But fear not, Niners fans, because Colin Kaepernick and the reigning NFC champions will be favored to end their losing skid. The Rams have also lost two in a row and are coming off a 24-point loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3.
Meanwhile, San Francisco still has Jim Harbaugh, an enormous array of weapons and a scary secondary on its side.
Therefore, look for the 49ers to right the ship in Week 4. As for the rest of the league, read on to find out who I like to win this coming weekend.
*Week 4 schedule courtesy of NFL.com.
|San Francisco 49ers 24, St. Louis Rams 17||Niners secondary will neutralize Sam Bradford and Rams' top-10 passing attack.|
|Baltimore Ravens 17, Buffalo Bills 13||Baltimore's run defense will shut down Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Ravens haven't allowed a touchdown since Week 1.|
|Cincinnati Bengals 23, Cleveland Browns 13||Bengals will avoid costly turnovers and find more ways to score.|
|Chicago Bears 28, Detroit Lions 22||See below|
|Kansas City Chiefs 27, New York Giants 19||Giants are a mess and no team is more careful with the ball than Andy Reid's Chiefs.|
|Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Minnesota Vikings 24||One of these teams will be 0-4 after this weekend. Edge goes to Pittsburgh and its championship pedigree.|
|Arizona Cardinals 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24||Bucs are winless and appear to be lifeless. Plus, it's nearly impossible to run on the Cardinals.|
|Indianapolis Colts 34, Jacksonville Jaguars 14||Colts proved themselves with dominant win at San Francisco while 0-16 is a real possibility for Jaguars.|
|Seattle Seahawks 20, Houston Texans 16||See below|
|Tennessee Titans 21, New York Jets 17||Titans could very well be 3-0 and will have a comfortable time against a lackluster Jets offense at home.|
|Denver Broncos 31, Philadelphia Eagles 20||Too much firepower for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Too many mistakes for Chip Kelly and the Eagles.|
|Washington Redskins 22, Oakland Raiders 17||RG3 and the Redskins get in the win column before the bye week. Beat the Raiders, who are on a short week.|
|San Diego Chargers 31, Dallas Cowboys 23||Cowboys are a much different team on the road and will struggle against the Chargers out West.|
|Atlanta Falcons 24, New England Patriots 16||See below|
|New Orleans Saints 30, Miami Dolphins 20||Saints win this battle of unbeatens inside the Superdome. Too much Drew Brees for the Dolpins' defense to handle.|
Chicago Bears 28, Detroit Lions 22
In a monumental NFC North showdown in Week 4, the undefeated Bears will visit Detroit to take on the Lions and the league's second-ranked passing attack.
Which team do you consider to be the favorite in the NFC North?
Matthew Stafford has already thrown for more than 1,000 yards through three games, but look for him to cool off against the Bears, who rank tops in the league in takeaways with 11 through three weeks. Veteran corner Charles Tillman already has two interceptions to his name and should make life difficult for Stafford and his receivers.
While Chicago's offense hasn't been putting up eye-popping numbers to begin the year, the Bears attack is balanced with Matt Forte averaging more than four yards per carry on the ground and Jay Cutler completing more than 67 percent of his throws.
Keep in mind that Chicago has won three straight games against Detroit. Expect a confident Bears team to make it four in a row on Sunday at Ford Field.
Seattle Seahawks 20, Houston Texans 16
In Sunday afternoon's most intriguing clash, Pete Carroll's undefeated Seahawks will aim to keep their momentum going against the Texans in Houston.
But while Houston's home-field advantage is real—the Texans have gone 9-2 at Reliant Stadium dating back to the 2011 playoffs—Seattle has already proven to be the league's most complete team through three weeks.
Offensively, the Seahawks rank inside the top 10 in rushing and are improving each week. Defensively, Seattle is firing on all cylinders, ranking tops in the NFL in pass defense and allowing just nine points per game.
Hawkblogger.com's Brian Nemhauser breaks down the biggest difference between the two teams' defenses in Week 4:
The Seahawks and Texans are tied for 3rd in the NFL in opponent yards/play at 4.3. HOU giving up 27.3 ppg. SEA at 9 ppg.— Brian Nemhauser (@hawkblogger) September 23, 2013
If you're still not convinced the Seahawks will win this game, consider their margin of victory in 2013: 19.7 points per game.
Atlanta Falcons 24, New England Patriots 16
The Atlanta Falcons have suffered a pair of gut-wrenching losses to start the season but are 1-0 inside the Georgia Dome, which bodes well for them in their Sunday night matchup with the unbeaten New England Patriots.
Which team is a bigger threat to win it all this year?
Despite the unblemished record, an argument can be made that New England has looked the least impressive of all the 3-0 teams.
With their first three wins coming against Buffalo, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay, the Patriots have yet to be tested by a playoff-caliber team. Can Tom Brady and the Pats' 22nd-ranked passing attack keep up with Matt Ryan and his plethora of weapons on the road?
The answer is likely no. Plus, the Falcons' fifth-ranked run defense should neutralize New England's ground attack. The Pats have had success running the ball to start the year, but they haven't seen a front seven as strong as Atlanta's yet.
With the crowd on their side, watch for the Falcons to get back to .500 in Week 4.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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