NFL Predictions Week 4: Picks for Every Game
With week 3 of the NFL season in the books, it's time to turn our attention to predictions for Week 4.
The marquee game happens on Sunday Night Football when the New York Jets travel to take on the Baltimore Ravens in a clash of AFC heavyweights.
We'll give you picks for the game mentioned above along with every other game on the schedule. Here are the NFL predictions for Week 4's games.
Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears
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Winner: Carolina Panthers 24-21
As good as the Chicago Bears are, they've had two straight poor performances against teams that excel at passing the football.
Now, the Panthers don't "excel" at throwing the football, but Cam Newton has shown the ability to pass for a ton of yards, and Chicago will have a difficult time slowing him down.
Carolina is also coming off their first victory with Newton as their quarterback, and that is a huge monkey off this team's back.
It will be close throughout with plenty of turnovers, but Newton will drive his team down the field for a last-second field goal to win his second straight game.
Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys
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Winner: Detroit Lions 35-20
As of right now, the Lions are one of the five best teams in the NFL. There is no doubting the boldness of that statement, but anyone who has watched this team's first three games knows that it is a true statement.
This isn't the Detroit team of old, which was evidenced by their comeback victory against the Minnesota Vikings. They have the best receiver in the league and an extremely talented quarterback. Their defense isn't too shabby either.
The Dallas Cowboys haven't looked very impressive through the first three weeks of the season, and with Tony Romo and Miles Austin still hurting, they will simply be overmatched in this game.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs
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Winner: Minnesota Vikings 21-17
It's very possible that this will be the worst game of Week 4. Both teams are 0-3 and neither team has looked very good to start the season.
This would have been a great game to watch if Jamaal Charles wasn't injured, but it will now just be the best running back in the league against a very old running back. The key player in this game will turn out to be Jared Allen, who will be disruptive all game long.
If Minnesota is leading at halftime, then the Kansas City Chiefs will win this game. However, I see Kansas City jumping out to an early halftime lead and the Vikings making the comeback this week to get their first victory.
Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
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Winner: Buffalo Bills 27-16
Two of the craziest things that happened last week involved these two teams. First, the Bills beat the New England Patriots. Following that, the Cincinnati Bengals scored a whopping eight points without scoring a touchdown.
This week, Cincinnati will double their points, but it still won't be enough to beat Buffalo. Ryan Fitzpatrick's confidence is sky-high and Fred Jackson is emerging as one of the better all-around running backs in the league.
Without Cedric Benson, the Bengals offense will struggle to keep the ball moving for a second straight week. Andy Dalton won't have as bad of a performance as he did last week, but he will still show that he is a rookie and struggle at times.
It will simply be too much offense for the Bengals to handle as Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson both have outstanding performances.
Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns
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Winner: Tennessee Titans 17-10
Who would have thought that these two teams would both be 2-1 entering their matchup this week? I mean, the Titans have Matt Hasselbeck as their quarterback and the Browns are, well... the Browns.
This will be a defensive battle, especially with the loss of Kenny Britt for Tennessee. However, Chris Johnson will finally get his game back as he will post his first 100-yard rushing effort of the year. He will ultimately be the deciding factor of the game as Cleveland will have a hard time slowing him down.
With Peyton Hillis returning from an illness that kept him out of last week's game, he will struggle, and if he struggles, this whole Browns' offense struggles. Yes, this will be a defensive game indeed and as of right now, the Titans are playing better defense.
Washington Redskins vs. St. Louis Rams
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Winner: St. Louis Rams 31-28
Before the start of the season, I, and many others, had the Rams pegged as a playoff team. That clearly hasn't happened as they currently sit 0-3 on the season and have played terribly in all three games.
That will change this week as St. Louis will hopefully get a healthy Steven Jackson back, and Sam Bradford is too good of a quarterback to struggle for a fourth straight week. The Washington Redskins are also coming off a tough Monday night loss where they held the lead for the majority of the game.
With a shortened week for Washington and a offensive boost for the Rams, St. Louis will get their first victory of the season. Surprisingly, this will be one of the most entertaining football games of the week.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
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Winner: San Francisco 49ers 21-16
Without Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles are simply a mediocre team. Their offense isn't explosive without him. Watching their "new and improved" defense attempt to mesh together has been rather difficult.
On the other side of the field, Alex Smith is playing the best football of his career, which I know isn't saying much, but he is helping his team win games. It will be a slow and steady attack from San Francisco when they pull this major upset in Week 4.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans
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Winner: Houston Texans 31-21
The Texans have one of the most high-powered offenses in the league, and I just can't see the Pittsburgh Steelers stopping them. That wouldn't be an issue if Pittsburgh could score as many points as Houston, but that won't be the case in this game.
No team has been as up and down as the Steelers who have been blown out, shut out an opponent and barely beaten a team playing Curtis Painter as their quarterback. I'm not sure what is going on with this team, but my guess is they won't have it figured out in time to stop the Texans' offense.
Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson will connect frequently throughout the game as Houston simply overpowers the Steelers.
New Orleans Saints vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
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Winner: New Orleans Saints 42-14
This is going to be a massacre. If you're a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, close your eyes or look the other way because it isn't going to be pretty for your team.
The Saints offense has been on fire thanks to the stellar play of Drew Brees. Jacksonville's defense hasn't seen an offense as talented as New Orleans, and they will simply be overpowered.
We also need to remember that Blaine Gabbert will be starting this game, which means the Jaguars' offense will struggle to play consistently. It will be a David versus Goliath game where Goliath is the victor.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks
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Winner: Seattle Seahawks 17-13
I know you think I'm crazy for thinking that the lowly Seahawks will defeat the Atlanta Falcons, but when you look at the factors outside of the game, you realize that this isn't that crazy of a prediction.
Atlanta has lost both their games on the road and have only managed to score 25 points in those two games. Sure, the competition was better than Seattle, but it still shows that Atlanta is struggling away from home. That's bad news when you face a team with one of the strongest home field advantages in football.
This game will knock the Falcons out of the playoff picture in the NFC South and put the Seahawks back into playoff contention in the NFC West.
New York Giants vs. Arizona Cardinals
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Winner: New York Giants 28-17
My original prediction was that the Arizona Cardinals were going to beat the Giants at home, but I realized that there was no reason to pick the Cardinals.
Yes, they have Larry Fitzgerald, but that is all they have right now. Kevin Kolb, who was supposed to be their franchise quarterback, has struggled in this offense. He only has five touchdowns to go along with three interceptions and has fumbled the ball four times.
They've lost two close games, and that can be taxing on a team. Meanwhile, New York is coming off a huge victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, and in that game, they looked like the best team in the NFC East. That includes when Michael Vick was on the field for Philadelphia.
The Giants are a dangerous team, and Eli Manning is going to have another big game to get past Arizona on the road.
New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders
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Winner: Oakland Raiders 35-31
Back-to-back losses for the New England Patriots? That's right my friends, Tom Brady will be 2-2 while the Buffalo Bills are 4-0.
No, the world isn't coming to an end, but the reign of the Raiders being the laughingstock of the NFL is officially over. Their offense looks better with each game, and Darren McFadden could possibly become the best running back in the league by the end of the season.
A big reason why New England lost to Buffalo was because of the play of Fred Jackson who had over 150 total yards and a touchdown. Just imagine what McFadden will be able to do against a weak New England defense.
It will be a close game throughout, but the Raiders will pull through at home against a better team, just like they did last week against the New York Jets.
Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers
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Winner: Green Bay Packers 38-14
Can anyone say slaughter?
This is a matchup against the league's most potent pass offense and a poor pass defense. The Denver Broncos rank in the upper half of the league for passing yards given up per game, but that statistic is rather misleading. Denver has played the Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans so far this year, none of which are known for their exceptional passing game.
The same isn't true for Aaron Rodgers, who is on his way to having a career year and separating himself from all other quarterbacks in the NFL. There isn't a quarterback in the league who is playing as well as Rodgers right now.
The only area of concern for me in this game for Green Bay is their secondary, which has been horrid through three games. If Kyle Orton and the Broncos can have success throwing the ball, this could be a much closer game.
Of course, I don't see the Broncos having any success in this game, but there is always the possibility. Just like there is always the possibility that Peyton Manning returns this year. Too soon?
Miami Dolphins vs. San Diego Chargers
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Winner: San Diego Chargers 31-17
So far in this young season, the Miami Dolphins have simply looked bad. Now, the Chargers haven't been playing like Super Bowl contenders, but they have been playing much better than the Dolphins.
Miami's secondary was supposed to be a strong point for the team this year, but they are currently giving up the third most yards through the air in the NFL. That doesn't bode well when going up against Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson and possibly Antonio Gates.
The Dolphins simply won't be able to stop all the weapons that the Chargers have. One bright side for Miami will be the continued stellar play of Rookie Daniel Thomas. He will have over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown to continue to take away touches from Reggie Bush.
New York Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens
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Winner: New York Jets 13-10
This game is the highlight game of the week and takes place on Sunday Night Football. It is going to be a defensive battle in every sense of the word.
While both of these teams have looked great offensively at times, they have also looked downright terrible too. The winner of this game is going to come down to whichever team has better success running the football. Don't get me wrong, Ray Rice is having a fantastic season so far, but the two-headed monster of Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson will be too much for the Baltimore Ravens.
It's always tough to go against a team playing at home in a game that will be so focused on defense. However, it will be close throughout and Baltimore will have a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation, but they will miss a long field goal.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-3
This is why the NFL needs to stop making the full schedule before the season begins because you have the Indianapolis Colts, who are awful this year, playing on Sunday Night Football last week and "Monday Night Football" this week. That is two prime-time games for a team that there is nothing prime time about.
Even though the Colts put up a good fight against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, they won't do the same this week on the road against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers are finally getting back into a nice groove on offense, and their defense has been playing extremely well since the second half of their game against the Minnesota Vikings.
If the Buccaneers were able to completely shut down Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Julio Jones, I don't think they will have too much of a problem with Curtis Painter.