The 2013 NFL regular season is just four weeks in, and the field is already limited seven undefeated teams. Countless contenders have been upset early, resulting in a win-loss record that few had predicted.
The question is, which teams will remain undefeated in a high-stakes Week 4?
|Date||Road Team||Prediction||Home Team|
|Thursday, Sept. 26||San Francisco 49ers||17-13||St. Louis Rams|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Cincinnati Bengals||27-17||Cleveland Browns|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Baltimore Ravens||20-12||Buffalo Bills|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Arizona Cardinals||20-14||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Indianapolis Colts||27-9||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Seattle Seahawks||21-13||Houston Texans|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Chicago Bears||30-21||Detroit Lions|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||New York Giants||13-17||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Pittsburgh Steelers||23-14||Minnesota Vikings|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||New York Jets||7-16||Tennessee Titans|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Washington Redskins||35-24||Oakland Raiders|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Dallas Cowboys||34-21||San Diego Chargers|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Philadelphia Eagles||24-31||Denver Broncos|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||New England Patriots||27-28||Atlanta Falcons|
|Monday, Sept. 30||Miami Dolphins||28-34||New Orleans Saints|
Week 3: 8-8, Season: 29-19
Opponent: Detroit Lions
Prediction: 30-21, Bears
The Chicago Bears have been one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2013 NFL regular season, starting at 3-0 under new head coach Marc Trestman. Jay Cutler is playing the best football of his career, Matt Forte is doing a little of everything and Brandon Marshall is finally getting support in the receiving corps.
Will the Chicago Bears win the NFC North?
With a tough road game against the Detroit Lions looming, it's now gut-check time.
Through three games, Forte has 363 yards of total offense and Marshall has 20 receptions for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Cutler, meanwhile, has completed 67.3 percent of his passes with six touchdowns to three interceptions.
As difficult as it may be for Chicago to win, don't expect the Lions to slow the Bears down.
Even if Detroit is to post a strong defensive performance, the Bears currently rank eighth in opponent rushing yards and lead the league in both turnovers forced and defensive touchdowns. Against a gun-slinging quarterback, Matthew Stafford, the likes of Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman will have a field day.
It'll be an brutal game, but Chicago will walk away with the victory.
Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles
Prediction: 31-24, Broncos
The Denver Broncos have opened the season with three consecutive convincing victories. Two of those wins have come against the past two Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants, while the other was a blowout of the Oakland Raiders.
None of those games have been decided by less than 16 points.
Peyton Manning has led the charge for Denver, throwing for 1,143 yards, 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Four separate receivers have at least 14 receptions, and the Broncos have managed three rushing touchdowns.
Not only has Manning led an explosive offensive charge, but he's been downright legendary.
Peyton Manning: 12th TD pass of season, most in first 3 games of season in NFL history— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 24, 2013
Best of all: Champ Bailey and Von Miller still haven't returned to action for the defense.
During Week 4, the Broncos will face the high-octane Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately for Philly, its tendency to push the pace and run as many plays as possible means that Manning will be given even more opportunities than normal to put up points.
Expect him to do so.
Kansas City Chiefs
Opponent: Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: 17-13, Giants
The Kansas City Chiefs have opened the 2013 NFL regular season with three consecutive victories. After dominating the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chiefs will continue their battle with the NFC East by facing the 0-3 New York Giants.
Will the Kansas City Chiefs make the playoffs?
Expect Andy Reid's revenge tour to end with another win.
The Chiefs defense has been spectacular, but it has been the play of quarterback Alex Smith that deserves the most praise. Whether he's running the football or throwing it, the Chiefs have been able to rely on Smith to do something positive both in the clutch and throughout the course of four quarters.
783 yards of total offense, four touchdowns and no interceptions are a testament to that.
Defensively, the Chiefs are fifth against the pass, have forced nine turnovers and have managed to come up with a league-high 15.0 sacks. The Giants, meanwhile, have allowed the fourth-most sacks, and Eli Manning has eight interceptions through three games.
This all adds up to another Chiefs win and a stunning 0-4 start for New York.
New Orleans Saints
Opponent: Miami Dolphins
Prediction: 34-28, Saints
The New Orleans Saints struggled throughout the 2012 NFL regular season, finishing at 7-9 without head coach Sean Payton. One year earlier, New Orleans was 13-3 with virtually the same core that it possesses in 2013.
Are you really that shocked that New Orleans is 3-0?
The Saints, fresh off of a 31-7 win over the Arizona Cardinals, will face the undefeated Miami Dolphins. Miami has a genuine opportunity to win, but the key here is the presence of Drew Brees and the hobbled Cameron Wake, per Will Brinson of CBS Sports.
Good luck, Miami.
This will be an entertaining game, but Brees has already topped 1,000 yards passing, and both Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston remain unstoppable. Brees has topped 300 yards passing in every game, while Graham and Colston are making key plays both in the open field and the red zone.
It'll be a fun game to watch, but New Orleans has the edge at home.
Opponent: Houston Texans
Prediction: 21-13, Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the best teams in the NFL through three weeks, and a case could be made that they're No. 1. Seattle is dominating defensively and coming into its own offensively.
Who is the best team in the NFL?
The only question at this point is whether or not anyone will slow Seattle down.
The Seahawks' signature win came during Week 2 when Seattle destroyed the San Francisco 49ers 29-3. Fresh off of a 45-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, it's clear that the offense is clicking and the defense is still elite.
For that reason, the Houston Texans are in for an unpleasant weekend.
Houston will grind this one out, using the run to create for the pass, but Seattle's defensive backfield is just too fast, powerful and intelligent. Whether it's forcing turnovers or shutting down receivers, the Texans will have trouble moving the football.
In the end, it comes down to Russell Wilson against Matt Schaub, and the second-year star will prevail.