NFL Week 4 Picks: Predictions for Best Games as Season Reaches Quarter Pole
Once the NFL season gets rolling, it tends to fly right by. Case in point: Teams are already getting set to reach the quarter pole. After three exciting weeks of action, Week 4 features another slate of intriguing matchups around the league.
More importantly, some teams are slowly but surely starting to pull away from the pack, led by the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. Those that are falling off the pace have to start turning things around quickly or risk watching the entire season slip away.
While teams like the New York Giants and Washington Redskins try to mount a comeback after slow starts, there are several marquee games ready to steal the spotlight. Knowing that, let's examine the top clashes on tap for Week 4.
Chicago Bears (3-0) at Detroit Lions (2-1)
After narrow victories in each of the first two weeks, the Bears went to Pittsburgh and dominated the Steelers. Even though Pittsburgh isn't playing up to its usual high standards in the early going, it was still an impressive showing.
The biggest concern for Chicago is the fact that it's giving up nearly 25 points per game despite not playing an elite offense. How the defense responds against a Lions offense with plenty of weapons is going to decide whether they remain unbeaten.
Detroit is averaging more than 27 points per game and should get Reggie Bush back after sitting out last week due to a knee injury. His versatility paired with the connection between Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson gives the Lions a very potent offense.
It should be a close battle between the division rivals, but playing at home is enough to give Detroit the slight edge.
Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 21
Seattle Seahawks (3-0) at Houston Texans (2-1)
Right now, the battle for best unit in the NFL features Seattle's defense and Denver's offense. Fans won't get to witness that matchup unless the two teams meet in the Super Bowl, but both are playing at an extremely high level right now.
Which Week 4 game are you most looking forward to?
The Seahawks' dominance is led by the secondary. Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner can lock down opposing wideouts, giving more freedom to the front seven. And with the defense playing so well, it makes Russell Wilson's job on offense much easier.
They go up against a Texans squad looking to bounce back after a lackluster performance against the defending champion Baltimore Ravens. Houston is one of the league's most well-rounded squads, but it isn't nearly as dangerous when it doesn't establish the run early.
So the battle up front when the Texans have the ball early will be key. It's another test the Seattle defense should be able to pass.
Prediction: Seahawks 23, Texans 17
Miami Dolphins (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-0)
The Dolphins already have notable wins over the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons, but going into the Superdome for a Monday night game with the Saints is on a completely different level. It's going to show if Miami truly belongs in the contender category.
Ryan Tannehill continues to show signs of progress and should only further improve as he starts building more chemistry with Mike Wallace. The Dolphins need another strong showing from him, because the defense faces an uphill battle to slow down the high-powered Saints offense.
While Peyton Manning is threatening to run away in the MVP race, Jimmy Graham is making a strong case should the Broncos QB falter. The dynamic tight end is averaging nearly 120 yards per game and has scored four times, giving the Saints an advantage no other team has.
Miami is off to a promising start, but beating the Saints on the road is probably too much to ask. Expect New Orleans to take care of business.
Prediction: Saints 34, Dolphins 27
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