NFL Week 4 Picks: Showcasing Teams That Will Make Biggest Statement

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent ISeptember 25, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 15:  Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens looks to pass against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

From the San Francisco 49ers trying to end their slump in St. Louis against the Rams on Thursday to the Saints hosting the surprise Dolphins on Monday night, Week 4 has intriguing matchups. 

This week will provide a nice measuring stick for several teams. And there are teams that will offer up performances this week that will make everyone take notice. 

Check out my predictions for the week, and then I'll highlight the teams that will impress the most this week. 


Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

Opponent: at Buffalo Bills (1-2)

Date: Sunday, Sept. 29

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET


BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 22:  Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens is introduced before the start of the Ravens and Houston Texans game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Im
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After an offseason of change followed their Super Bowl win, the Ravens didn't enter this season with a lot of hype. The expectations were even further diminished when Peyton Manning and the Broncos shredded the Ravens in the second half of Week 1. 

However, in the following two games the Ravens have allowed a combined 15 points. Last week, Baltimore allowed the Texans just nine points. 

The Ravens defense has done an excellent job of getting off the field on third down. Now they will face a rookie quarterback in EJ Manuel, and while he is having a solid start to his career he is hitting under 60 percent of his passes. 

Buffalo is going to have a difficult time converting on third down, and at some point, people are going to realize this team has a legitimate shot of defending its title. 


Seattle Seahawks (3-0)

Opponent: at Houston Texans (2-1)

Date: Sunday, Sept. 29

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 22: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks paces the sidelines during the fourth quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at CenturyLink Field on September 22, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Anyone doubting the Seahawks was surely made a believer when this team destroyed the 49ers in Week 2. However, that game was at home. The Seahawks have dominated at home over the years. It is on the road where the struggles have surfaced. 

The Texans will be feisty after their humbling loss to the Ravens and will present a difficult road challenge for the Seahawks, but they will struggle to move the ball.  

The Seahawks lead the league in pass defense, and the Texans will not be able to get their offense back on track in this one. 

Meanwhile, the Texans have given up at least 24 points in every game this season. The Seahawks' defense will lead the team to victory and the offense will do enough not to let their teammates down. 


New Orleans Saints (3-0)

Opponent: Miami Dolphins (3-0)

Date: Monday, Sept. 30 

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET


NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 26:   Quarterback Drew Brees #9 and Head Coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints talk on the sidelines during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Last week, the surprise Dolphins proved they were for real by taking down the Falcons, 27-23. They will face another NFC South squad this week as they travel to New Orleans. 

The Dolphins will not be able to pass this test. 

Everyone knew that, with the return of Sean Payton and Drew Brees still under center, the Saints' offense was going to be a beast. However, what is really catching my attention about this team is their defense. 

The Saints are still struggling on run defense. They are 20th overall in that category. They are fourth in pass defense, though. 

Considering the Dolphins are just 20th in pass defense, New Orleans is going to put up some points, which will force Miami to take to the air. The Dolphins will not be able to keep pace.