NFL Predictions Week 4: Breaking Down Most Exciting Matchups

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 29, 2013

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 15:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints directs play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers September 15, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Week 4 of the NFL season provides some interesting games to watch, and that could make for some close matchups.

The week started with a rather slow game between the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams.  Not much happened in the first half, but then the 49ers poured it on in the second half, pulling off the 35-11 win.

Now, some games will likely provide a bit more excitement for the rest of the week, so let's take a look at all of the remaining predictions for Week 4.


Chicago Bears (3-0) at Detroit Lions (2-1)

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 15:  Running back Reggie Bush #21 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Sept. 29

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 31-28, Lions

The NFC North looks like it might be a tight race as the season goes on, and this game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions could make a difference in the division race at the end of the season.

The Bears are currently undefeated after playing against three teams with a combined record of 2-7, but the offense does look like a real threat.  Jay Cutler has had a lot of pressure taken off him, and Kyle Long looks like one of the best rookies in the NFL right now. He has kept his quarterback upright and has upgraded this offensive line.  

The defense for the Bears, however, hasn't been very good.  They've given up almost 25 points per game along with almost 900 passing yards through the air so far.  With how much the Lions like to pass, that could be a problem.

The Lions will likely be getting Reggie Bush back this week, as he has been a full participant in practice, according to the Lions' Twitter account.

With Bush back in the lineup, Matthew Stafford will have another weapon alongside Calvin Johnson and Joique Bell, who will continue to make plays and score points.

A lot of points will be scored in this game, and I think that the Lions' weapons will just prove too much for the Bears.


New England Patriots (3-0) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)

Date: Sunday, Sept. 29

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET


Prediction: 20-17, Falcons

The Patriots may be undefeated so far, but it hasn't been the prettiest start to the season.

Tom Brady has been working most of the season without two of his top weapons in Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski.  Things looked bad without them in Week 2, as young receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins looked lost out there.

Things got better last week, however, especially for Thompkins.  He only had three catches, but he also had two touchdowns, becoming a real red-zone target for Brady.

The Atlanta Falcons have been banged up so far, with Steven Jackson, Roddy White and Julio Jones all dealing with injuries this season.  On defense, things are even worse, with several players including Kroy Biermann already out for the year.

The Patriots offense could have a chance to make some plays against the young secondary of the Falcons, but Matt Ryan and the Falcons have a more reliable offense that should help them pull out a win and prevent them from going 1-3 to start the season.


Miami Dolphins (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-0)

Date: Monday, Sept. 30

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET


Prediction: 27-20, Saints

People who looked at this game before the beginning of the season probably weren't expecting much.  However, it is now one of this week's biggest games, with two of the remaining unbeaten teams going head-to-head.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 22:   Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 22, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are a balanced team.  Ryan Tannehill now has two weapons in the offense with Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace, while the defense has been boosted by an improved secondary with Brent Grimes and a strong pass rush led by Cameron Wake.

The Saints are happy to have their head coach Sean Payton back this season. They're currently looking to start the season 4-0 after starting the 2012 campaign 0-4.  Drew Brees has been as stellar as usual, putting up 1,021 yards and six touchdowns over three games.  Jimmy Graham is their leading receiver with 23 receptions and 358 yards with four touchdowns.

Both teams look good so far, but the Dolphins might be a bit overhyped.  Meanwhile, the Saints offense looks as good as always, while the defense has improved immensely.  The Saints have the edge in this one.