NFL Picks Week 4: Predicting Week's Most Compelling Games
Week 4 in the NFL is the first week with byes, but it doesn't mean that this week's slate of games will be a dud.
In fact, there are some really compelling games that are must-see TV.
We'll preview and predict the most compelling games of Week 4 below.
Seattle at Houston
Could this game be a preview of something special? Texans safety Ed Reed thinks so:
I'm not so sure about that, but this will still be a good game. The 2-1 Texans are pretty solid all-around, while the 3-0 Seahawks have absolutely dominated the past two weeks.
The key to this game is Matt Schaub. In fact, Schaub is key to the entire Houston season. He's a game manager, which is fine, but he's made some costly mistakes. He's thrown pick-sixes in back-to-back weeks, and the Seahawks, who give up the fewest passing yards per game in the league, will be ready to feast.
The Seahawks have 14 pass deflections and five interceptions. Their defense made Colin Kaepernick look human and only give up nine points per game.
Schaub is struggling, and coach Gary Kubiak admitted as much to SI.com:
Well, I’m concerned about a lot of things. We turned the ball over, obviously, and that’s something that we’re not doing very well right now, or we’re doing a poor job of protecting the ball, and we’re not getting turnovers either. Those two go hand-in-hand. As a football team, we’re losing that battle, which we were very good at last year, and we’re off to a very slow start this year. That has to change. But it’s not just the quarterback. Everybody’s involved in what we’re doing, and we can do a better job up front, a better job running routes. [Schaub's] got to make good reads, all of those things. Those things go together.
If Schaub finds his game, then Houston has a chance. If he can hit Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, stretching the field, thus allowing more room for Arian Foster to operate, then Houston is going to put up a lot of points.
But if Schaub continues to struggle and continues to turn the ball over, it'll be a long day.
It says here that Schaub will be better, but not good enough, as the Seahawks win by a score of 24-17.
Philadelphia at Denver
The Denver Broncos have the best pass offense in the league. The Philadelphia Eagles have the best run offense in the league. The Denver Broncos have the 30th-ranked pass defense. The Philadelphia Eagles have the 29th-ranked pass defense.
In other words, there are going to be a lot of points scored in this game. Peyton Manning is superhuman, as he's thrown for 1,143 yards, 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions. LeSean McCoy, on the other hand, has rushed for 395 yards and two scores.
This game will come down to which defense can make a big stop at a crucial moment. Denver does have the best rush defense in the league, but that's including games against the New York Giants, who have the worst running game in the league. The Broncos rush defense is good, but it hasn't faced a team with a running attack like that of the Eagles.
Denver is a better team, and Peyton Manning is, by far, the best player in the league right now. The Broncos will win, since Manning will not make any big mistakes. Look for Denver to win 45-42.
New England at Atlanta
These two teams have had interesting seasons. The Patriots are 3-0, but they barely escaped against the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, and they have just the 22nd-ranked pass offense.
The Falcons, who were just one game away from reaching the Super Bowl last season, are 1-2. Their running game has struggled with injuries and effectiveness, and their pass defense can't really stop anyone.
Will Tom Brady and the pass offense break out? Possibly. The Falcons gave up 236 yards to Ryan Tannehill and a whopping 357 yards to Drew Brees. If there were a game for Brady to get in sync with his receivers, this would be the game.
The Pats struggle stopping the run, and they give up 120.7 yards per game on the ground. That's their weakness as a defense. But the Falcons only rush for 90 yards a game, and the combo of Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling isn't really getting the job done. The Patriots will be able to focus on stopping Julio Jones and Roddy White.
I do think this could be a big game for the Pats. The Falcons are reeling and, due to injuries and other factors, are just not as good. Look for Brady to put up big numbers and for New England to win this game by a score of 28-14.
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