NFL Week 4 Picks: Road Teams That Don't Stand a Chance
Winning a game on the road in the NFL is no small task, and there are some road teams in Week 4 that will no doubt prove it.
The New York Giants are in a bad way after a horrid showing in Week 3 and it looks to be certain they will start out 0-4.
After displaying some serious offense in Week 1, the Philadelphia Eagles have come back down to earth in the past few weeks. Week 4 presents arguably their toughest matchup yet that will leave them at 1-3.
The New York Jets have been a pleasant surprise after three weeks, but some of their weaknesses will be exposed this week, as they hit the road to take on the Tennessee Titans.
Let's break down each of these games and find out why the road teams don't stand a chance.
Schedule courtesy of NFL.com
New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs
The Giants are an utter mess after the first three games of the season, including two tough losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos, as well as a blowout loss at the hands of the Carolina Panthers in Week 3.
New York leads the NFL with 13 giveaways, with eight of those having come from quarterback Eli Manning. Turnovers will certainly doom the Giants once again in their matchup with the Chiefs, who have excelled in that area.
Kansas City has impressed defensively with an AFC-leading nine takeaways through the first three weeks of the season. Four of those takeaways have come on interceptions, so it seems Manning's woes with errant passes are likely to continue in Week 4.
Offensively, the Chiefs don't turn the ball over with game-managing quarterback Alex Smith at the helm. In fact, Kansas City is only one of two teams with zero giveaways, and that means while the Giants may hand over extra possessions to the Chiefs' offense, the Chiefs won't be doing the same for New York.
The Chiefs have also been stellar against the pass with a No. 5 ranking in the NFL despite the fact that they haven't been good against the run. The Chiefs won't have an issue there since the Giants have been dreadful on the ground with the worst rushing attack in the league.
That kind of predictability for the Giants' offense will make it tough to move the ball through the air—their strength—since the Chiefs will be cheating against the passing attack considering that they have no reason to respect the Giants' running game.
A home game for the Chiefs will make it even tougher for the Giants to communicate, and Kansas City's furious pass rush will give Manning little time behind a weak offensive line, forcing him to make mistakes and playing right into the Chiefs' hands.
Final: Chiefs 24, Giants 10
Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos
Originally, the biggest problem in Philly was with its defense, but after a poor offensive showing in Week 3 against the Chiefs with just 16 points, there is cause for concern on the other side of the ball as well.
Things won't get any easier in Week 4 against the Broncos. Not only may we see the season debut of cornerback Champ Bailey in the secondary, but it'll also be interesting to see how the Eagles' fast-paced offense deals with the altitude in the Mile High City.
Bailey's return will provide a boost for a pass defense in Denver that ranks No. 30 in the league. On the brighter side, the Broncos did a great job of keeping Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor in check on the ground Monday night, so that's an approach Denver will bring against another speedster QB in Michael Vick.
Thankfully for the Broncos, they have the No. 1 rush defense in the NFL. That doesn't bode well for star running back LeSean McCoy, who has been extremely explosive to start the 2013-14 campaign. McCoy also got a little banged up in Week 3, so it remains to be seen if he will be fully healthy for this contest. He is currently listed as questionable with an ankle issue, per ESPN.com.
Even if the Eagles can overcome their challenges on offense, it isn't likely they can match what the Broncos can bring through the air and on the ground.
Denver's rushing attack has seen a vast improvement over the past couple of weeks, but it's the Broncos' No. 1 passing attack that should have the Eagles worried. With Peyton Manning behind center and coming off a dominant performance over the Raiders, Philly's awful pass defense—ranked 29th in the NFL—won't be able to stop Denver when it airs it out. That will allow the Broncos to outscore the Eagles if this turns into a shootout.
Final: Broncos 38, Eagles 27
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans
The Titans are coming into this game with a surprising 2-1 record after a big, late-game win over the San Diego Chargers. Meanwhile, the Jets had an impressive win of their own at home against rookie quarterback EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills.
One of the bigger problems for the Jets has been turnovers this season. New York's eight giveaways are the second most in the AFC while Tennessee has yet to give the ball away. Along with Kansas City, the Titans one of only two teams in the league to not surrender a turnover yet.
The Titans' defense, however, has done a good job forcing turnovers with five takeaways while the Jets only have two. This means the Titans will have a golden opportunity to earn themselves extra possessions with a rookie quarterback calling the plays for the Jets in Geno Smith, who has thrown six picks and fumbled once through three games.
But the Jets' defense has already proven that it must be respected. That could make this a close, ugly game. Both teams have been effective against the pass and run, so don't expect this to be a big offensive showdown in Tennessee.
Smith and the Jets will have a tough task in trying to win at Tennessee, as did San Diego in Week 3. San Diego's offense has far more talent than New York's, yet the Chargers only gained 277 total yards while the Titans compiled 452 yards.
If Philip Rivers and company had problems on the road in Tennessee, just imagine how tough it'll be for Smith to get things going. It won't be pretty, but look for the Titans to pull out a win over the upstart Jets.
Final: Titans 17, Jets 10
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