NFL Week 4 Predictions: Breaking Down Weekend's Marquee Clashes

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 25, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws the ball in the first half while taking on the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on September 12, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

We're entering the thick of the 2013 NFL schedule, which is generally the time when legitimate postseason contenders begin to separate themselves from the rest of the league. 

Heading into Week 4, we have six teams sitting on 0-3 records and another seven squads currently boasting unbeaten 3-0 records, which is indicative of the number of upsets we've seen so far this season. 

We have a very intriguing slate of games in Week 4, and for many teams, a loss iwould be a significant blow to their playoff hopes. 

With that in mind, here's a look at which teams will come out on top in this weekend's biggest games, as well as picks for all of Week 4. 

 

Week 4 Picks

DateVisiting TeamWinnerHome Team
Thursday, Sept. 26San Francisco 49ersSan FranciscoSt. Louis Rams
Sunday, Sept. 29Cincinnati BengalsCincinnatiCleveland Browns
Sunday, Sept. 29Baltimore RavensBaltimoreBuffalo Bills
Sunday, Sept. 29Arizona CardinalsArizonaTampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, Sept. 29Indianapolis ColtsIndianapolisJacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, Sept. 29Seattle SeahawksSeattleHouston Texans
Sunday, Sept. 29Chicago BearsChicagoDetroit Lions
Sunday, Sept. 29New York GiantsNew YorkKansas City Chiefs
Sunday, Sept. 29Pittsburgh SteelersMinnesotaMinnesota Vikings
Sunday, Sept. 29New York JetsNew YorkTennessee Titans
Sunday, Sept. 29Washington RedskinsWashingtonOakland Raiders
Sunday, Sept. 29Dallas CowboysDallasSan Diego Chargers
Sunday, Sept. 29Philadelphia EaglesDenverDenver Broncos
Sunday, Sept. 29New England PatriotsNew EnglandAtlanta Falcons
Monday, Sept. 30Miami DolphinsMiamiNew Orleans Saints

 

Philadelphia at Denver

So far, the Broncos arguably have been the league's most impressive squad, as Peyton Manning has Denver's offense firing on all cylinders early on. 

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:   Peyton Manning #18 and  Wes Welker #83 of the Denver Broncos celebrate their second quarter touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Jus
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

After three consecutive blowout victories over Oakland, New York and Baltimore, Denver has to be considered the team to beat. While Chip Kelly's Eagles have a pretty explosive offense of their own, it's difficult to see Philadelphia outgunning Manning, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and the Denver passing game. 

Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson have done a good job of getting acclimatized to Kelly's fast-paced offense, but after consecutive disappointing losses, I've got to go with the Broncos. 

Manning's only going to get better as the year goes on, and given that the 37-year-old set an NFL record with 12 touchdown passes through the season's first three games, that's a scary thought for opposing teams. 

Prediction: Broncos 37, Eagles 24

 

New England at Atlanta

Two games into the season, the Atlanta Falcons have been wildly disappointing, as Matt Ryan and Co. have limped to 1-2 on the year thus far. 

After dropping their Week 3 showdown with the Dolphins, the Falcons don't look to be the juggernauts they've been in recent years, and against the Patriots, they'll have a tough time climbing back to .500. 

So far, Brady has managed to lead New England to a 3-0 start despite not having Rob Gronkowski at his disposal, which is a testament to the three-time Super Bowl champ's ability to lead his team to victory. 

And against the Falcons, Bill Belichick's boys will scratch and claw their way to a 4-0 start, though this one will likely go down to the wire. 

Prediction: Patriots 27, Falcons 23

 

Seattle at Houston 

In what should be a very entertaining game, the Texans will host Pete Carroll's Seahawks for a clash between two probable postseason contestants. 

To date, Seattle has been dominant, orchestrating convincing wins over the reigning NFC champs from San Francisco and a pair of less impressive opponents in the Jaguars and Panthers. 

Heading into Sunday's battle with Houston and its high-powered offense, the Seahawks should be considered favorites over basically any football team not named the Denver Broncos, so expect them to roll here. 

Even if Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and DeAndre Hopkins have big days, I can't picture Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Co. losing this one. 

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks watches from the sidelines as the clock winds down during the fourth quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at CenturyLink Field on September 22, 2013 in Seatt
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Prediction: Seahawks 33, Texans 27

 

Miami at New Orleans 

Heading into Week 4, Miami is without a doubt one of the early feel-good stories of the 2013 NFL campaign, as Ryan Tannehill has the previously mediocre Dolphins storming out of the gates to a 3-0 start. 

With wins over the Colts, Browns and Falcons, this Dolphins team has beaten two teams that qualified for the postseason last year, so it's not as if these victories have come easy. 

But Tannehill's chemistry with Brian Hartline and Charles Clay, coupled with the emergence of Lamar Miller, has Miami looking dangerous heading into Monday's tilt against the Saints. 

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Brian Hartline #82 of the Miami Dolphins catches a touchdown pass during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Yes, Drew Brees' Saints are undefeated as well, and there's no question New Orleans has looked impressive at times (save for the nail-biter over Tampa Bay), but I like the Miami defense's chances at neutralizing the Saints just enough to get Miami an all-important victory on the road. 

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Saints 20