NFL Week 4 Picks: Home Teams Primed to Get Crushed
Home teams always have a huge edge week to week in the NFL, but this week there are some home teams set to get crushed by their traveling counterparts.
The Cleveland Browns showed that they were no pushovers in Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings; however, Week 4 will bring a difficult divisional matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
In Jacksonville, the Jaguars won't end their woes anytime soon, with a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
The Houston Texans took a huge step backwards in Week 3 after losing big to the Baltimore Ravens. Houston's problems aren't going to go away just yet, as it looks to rebound against the Seattle Seahawks.
Why are these home teams doomed to fail in Week 4?
Let's find out.
Week 4 NFL Picks
Cleveland Browns (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)
Expect the Browns' Week 3 success to be short lived, as they play host to the Bengals in Week 4.
Cleveland had great success on offense for the first time this season against the Vikings last week. Sadly for the Browns, that success was against a Vikings defense that ranks No. 28 and No. 21 against the pass and run, respectively.
While the Browns did move the ball through the air effectively with new quarterback Brian Hoyer, their running backs didn't do so great. Granted, 103 rushing yards on 17 carries is a solid mark, but more than half of that was from defensive back Josh Aubrey and wide receiver Josh Gordon.
The Bengals defense will be a stiff test for the Browns. The Bengals are ranked No. 14 against the pass and run, but Week 3 proved that they can stop even the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, as they did to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Hoyer is no Rodgers, and the Browns have a much worse rushing attack than the Packers, so the Bengals should have no problem shutting down Cleveland's suspect offense as a whole.
The Browns have proven to have a tough defense. However, a week after Cleveland allowed 228 yards against lackluster quarterback Christian Ponder, Bengals QB Andy Dalton should be able to find A.J. Green and his receiving corps early and often—thus opening things up for Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the ground.
Final Score: Bengals 24, Browns 6
Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
The Jags were horribly disrespected when they took on the Seattle Seahawks last week as the underdogs against a huge spread (-19, via Bovada.lv). Unfortunately for Jacksonville, the Jaguars proved Las Vegas correct after getting crushed 45-17.
Jacksonville comes into this week with no end in sight, as it welcomes an Indianapolis Colts squad that is riding high following a dismantling of what was thought to be one of the best teams in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers.
Surprisingly, Indy's passing attack with Andrew Luck behind center ranks No. 26 in the NFL, but the Colts rushing attack has provided some serious support, with a No. 4 ranking. Things will only get better from here for Luck, who has proven he can throw the ball in this league after compiling over 4,300 yards a year ago.
Despite the fact that the Jags have been solid against the pass, with a No. 9 ranking, their rush defense is the worst in the NFL, and that will lead to running backs Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw having a big game—whether individually or combined.
Seeing as how the Jags are awful on offense, with their passing and rushing attacks ranked among the worst in football, the Colts will have no issue keeping them out of the end zone after proving last week to have a better defensive unit than most thought.
Final Score: Colts 34, Jaguars 9
Houston Texans (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
Just when you thought the Texans might prove to be an elite team in the AFC, they go ahead and get creamed by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. Things aren't getting any easier for the Texans, as they return home to face the best team in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks.
Houston has done a fairly good job on offense in 2013-14, with a No. 9 ranking in both the run and the pass. However, the Seahawks have the toughest defense that the Texans will see all season long—it's ranked No. 1 against the pass and No. 12 against the run.
On top of that, the Seahawks have allowed the fewest number of points (27) and total yards (725) in the league. If Houston thought Baltimore was tough to move the ball on last week, just wait until it sees what Seattle can do with physical cornerbacks that can shut down any receiver and a front seven that will stifle the run.
The Texans' only hope in this game is that their defense will step up in a big way.
That isn't likely to happen, as Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will be the best the Texans have seen this season. After establishing the run, Seattle should be able to move the ball through the air against a lackluster secondary that can be beat deep.
Final Score: Seahawks 27, Texans 13
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