NFL Predictions Week 4: Struggling Stars Who Will Rebound

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 26, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22:  Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Heading into Week 4 of the 2013 NFL schedule, many of the league's brightest stars have been at their best early on, as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Aaron Rodgers are just a handful of the big names that have each recorded at least one signature performance each. 

However, at the same time, there are a variety of standouts that, for whatever reason, haven't lived up to expectations during the first three weeks of the season, and in many cases, this has led to poor team records. 

But with this week's slate of games comes another opportunity for these struggling marquee players to redeem themselves, so here's an early look at the NFL stars that will bounce back in Week 4 and demonstrate why they're considered to be elite talents. 


Colin Kaepernick

For both the San Francisco 49ers and their star quarterback, the last two weeks have been a humbling experience, as the reigning NFC champs have dropped consecutive games by wide margins. 

In particular, Colin Kaepernick has had a tough time getting anything going through the air, and while some of that's been due to Vernon Davis' injury struggles, four interceptions and no passing touchdowns in two games is unacceptable for a quarterback of his caliber. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 08:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park on September 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Fortunately, the second-year starter has a golden opportunity to get back on track against a mediocre St. Louis Rams defense, and he'll do just that. 

Though he won't run wild and put up a huge day on the ground, Kaepernick is simply too good of a passing quarterback not to take advantage of the Rams' weak secondary. 

Even if Davis isn't on the field, Kaepernick will break his two-game streak of posting sub-50-percent completion rates, and he'll redeem himself by leading the 49ers back to level ground. 


Dez Bryant

As one of the game's premier aerial threats, Dez Bryant, hampered by injuries or not, is expected to be higher than 33rd in the league in receiving yards. 

Yes, he's had one monster game on the season, as the former Oklahoma State star hauled in nine catches for 141 yards during Week 2, but Bryant's other two performances have been very disappointing. 

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys makes a leaping downfield catch within the ten yard line past Brandon Flowers #24 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter on September 15, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Now, after posting a paltry four catches for 38 yards in Week 3, Bryant has an ideal matchup to get back to being one of the league's leading receivers, as the Cowboys get set to face the San Diego Chargers' porous secondary. 

Heading into Week 4, the Chargers are last in the league in terms of defending the pass, so Bryant is a lock to rebound in a big way on the road in San Diego. 


Robert Griffin III

After returning from the gruesome knee injury he sustained in Washington's postseason clash with Seattle last winter, Robert Griffin III hasn't looked like himself thus far, as his lack of preseason action seems to have hurt his ability to effectively run the offense. 

But despite the fact that a good chunk of his offensive production has come during garbage time, RG3 currently sits third in the NFL in passing yards, which is a testament to how underrated of a passer the former Heisman Trophy winner is. 

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 22:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins scrambles with the ball as he avoids the tackle of Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions in the first half during a game at FedExField on September 22, 2013 in Landover, Mary
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

On Sunday, Griffin and the Redskins will head to Oakland to face the 1-2 Raiders in an absolute must-win game for Mike Shanahan's club, and as we saw when Manning picked apart Oakland's secondary on Monday, this is not a defense that is particularly effective against pocket passers. 

I don't think RG3 is quite ready to begin terrorizing opposing defenses on the ground as he did as a rookie, but at the very least, I think he has a multi-touchdown outing and leads Washington to victory No. 1 on the season.