NFL Picks Week 4: Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Picks

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystSeptember 30, 2015

NFL Picks Week 4: Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Picks

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Order has been restored to the NFL universe.

    Well, sort of.

    After a Week 2 that saw upsets galore across the National Football League, chalk ruled the day in Week 3. Both of last year's Super Bowl participants won in dominant fashion. Most of the league's contenders took care of business.

    This isn't to say there wasn't a surprise or two, including an easy first win by the Philadelphia Eagles. But for the most part, it was a relatively predictable week.

    Of course, that doesn't mean the madness won't return full-bore in Week 4, but that won't stop our NFL experts here at Bleacher Report from making their picks for the upcoming week's action.

    Now that the tea leaves have been read and the chicken bones consulted, here's how they expect Week 4 to play out.

    OK, so the chicken bones were me. And it was KFC.

Roll Call/Standings

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    As bad as Week 2 was for our writers here at Bleacher Report (and it was bad), Week 3 was every bit as good.

    In fact, not one scribe on our panel finished the week worse than 10-6. NFL National Lead Writer Matt Miller came this close to posting a perfect week, banging out 15 correct picks. Six writers correctly picked 75 percent of the games or better.

    In fact, Miller's big week was enough to push him ahead of NFL National Lead Writer Mike Freeman for the overall lead through three weeks.

    Surprisingly enough, though, it's the consensus picks that have been the most correct of all.

    I guess two heads (or eight) really are better than one.

    Gary Davenport: NFL Analyst 13-3 (28-20)

    Mike Freeman: NFL National Lead Writer 11-5 (30-18)

    Brad Gagnon: NFL Analyst 12-4 (27-21)

    Matt Miller: NFL National Lead Writer 15-1 (31-17)

    Ty Schalter: NFL National Lead Writer 10-6 (26-22)

    Brent Sobleski: NFL Analyst 13-3 (29-19)

    Mike Tanier: NFL National Lead Writer 12-4 (29-19)

    Sean Tomlinson: NFL Analyst 13-3 (29-19)

    Consensus: 14-2 (32-16)

Baltimore Ravens (0-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    The Pick: Baltimore Ravens (7-1)

    When the 2015 NFL schedule was released, Thursday night's AFC North showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers looked like one of the highlights of Week 4, a playoff rematch between two hated rivals.

    Of course, that was before the Ravens lost their first three games to open the 2015 season. And before Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a sprained MCL and a bone bruise that will sideline him at least a month.

    Now that highlight game has the makings of just another Thursday nighter. Sloppy, with a side of yuck.

    Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he expects the Ravens to play a lot better than their record when they visit the Steel City:

    "It's a non-issue for us," he said. "We've got respect for those guys. We know what they're capable of. It's just a start. I don't think that they're going to be defined by that when you look back at this thing as we go through it. Our focus is being ready to play and play this week."

    Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell, who missed last year's postseason tilt in Pittsburgh (won by the Ravens), agreed:

    Once both teams start the game, the records go out the window. It's Pittsburgh versus Baltimore and anything can go down at any moment. Their record doesn't really affect me too much. We've got to go out there and play like they're undefeated and they're going to play like we're undefeated.

    Unfortunately for the Steelers, so do our voters, predicting the Ravens will notch win No. 1 over the Mike Vick-led Steelers.

    Ravens: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tomlinson

    Steelers: Tanier

New York Jets (2-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-2)

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    Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

    The Pick: New York Jets (8-0)

    All is most assuredly not well with the Miami Dolphins.

    After signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, upgrading the receiving corps and inking quarterback Ryan Tannehill to an extension, the Dolphins entered the year with increased expectations.

    However, as the Associated Press reported (via Fox Sports) after a 41-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the only thing increasing as the Dolphins head to London to face the New York Jets is the heat on head coach Joe Philbin:

    The Dolphins (1-2) have looked lackluster in all three games while playing progressively worse and sinking to last place in the AFC East. Now they face a long flight Thursday to London for Sunday's game against the division rival Jets, needing a rapid rebound to reverse the direction of a season that held high hopes when September began.

    Philbin said everything will be evaluated, including possible lineup tweaks, and he found nothing good about his team's latest performance.

    But in keeping with the even-keel coach's nature, dramatic changes are unlikely.

    "This is not a time to panic," he said. "We're not getting 53 new players. We're not getting 24 new coaches. We're either going to find solutions to these problems or not, and we're either going to stick together or not."

    We'll see how even Philbin's keel is if our panel's unanimous pick is correct and the Jets drop the Dolphins to 1-3.

    Jets: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

    Dolphins: Now hiring. One head coach. Must be willing to relocate to South Florida. Experience preferred, but not required.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Pick: Indianapolis Colts (8-0)

    Speaking of all is not right, things aren't exactly whistling along for the Indianapolis Colts.

    Were it not for a fourth-quarter comeback last week against the Tennessee Titans, the Colts would be 0-3 and in full-on panic mode. For the vast majority of the season, quarterback Andrew Luck has looked less like an MVP candidate and more like...well, not like Andrew Luck.

    Still, Luck told Mike Wells of ESPN.com that Sunday's comeback may have been just what he and the Colts needed to right the ship:

    Maybe settled down a bit and just played football. It's hard to explain. We've been here before. I've tried to explain my interceptions are stupid plays. You get tired of talking about it and at some point just got to change that. So I think maybe that clicked and then just went out and said, "Alright."

    However, as Bleacher Report's Kyle Rodriguez wrote, it's still a bit early to go breathing any sighs of relief where the Colts are concerned:

    Frankly, it was the fourth consecutive game, dating back to last season, in which the Colts have looked unprepared. Yes, they were able to recover thanks to a few timely turnovers and the offense's fourth-quarter resurgence, but they flirted heavily with an 0-3 start.

    If the Colts play like that against the Jacksonville Jaguars next week, the complaints about poor coaching and administrative disconnect, not to mention Luck's detractors, will seep back into the conversation.

    Luckily (so to speak) for quarterback and team, the Colts play in the AFC South, which is probably the weakest division in the NFL.

    And a date with the Jaguars should help boost the Colts back to .500 and one step closer to that sigh.

    Jaguars: This team is still trying to scrub Tom Brady's cleat-prints off their foreheads.

    Colts: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

New York Giants (1-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-1)

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    The Pick: Buffalo Bills (7-1)

    After the New York Giants downed the Washington Redskins last Thursday night, some idiot here at Bleacher Report wrote that the 1-2 G-Men are actually now the front-runners in the NFC Least:

    The Cowboys are going to come back to the pack. The Redskins just aren't good. And the Eagles are worse.

    The Giants have a long week to get ready for an Oct. 4 trip upstate to face a scrappy Buffalo Bills team, then have five winnable games in a row—including a rematch with the injury-ravaged Cowboys on Oct. 25.

    It seems almost inconceivable. Laughable, even. But as things stand right now, the New York Giants probably have the best chance of emerging as the "champions" of a division that's looking more and more like last year's NFC South.

    And after the Cowboys blew a big lead against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, I stand by what I wrote.

    However, the Bills looked a lot more than "scrappy" against the Dolphins in Week 3. They looked like a very good football team with a great defense and a pass rush that borders on frightening.

    And as ESPN.com's Mike Rodak wrote, if the Bills are going to end the NFL's longest playoff drought, the team needs to take care of business in October:

    The next section of the Bills' season has long been seen as their easiest stretch: they host the New York Giants (1-2), travel to face the Tennessee Titans (1-2), return home to play the Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) and then cross the Atlantic to meet the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) in London before their bye week.

    Nothing in the NFL is ever truly easy, but the Bills have an opportunity to generate momentum over the next month before they enter the second half of their schedule, which includes a grueling slate of five road games in six weeks -- a Monday night trip to New England among them.

    With one exception, our pundits expect the Bills to do just that at home in Week 4.

    Giants: Freeman

    Bills: Davenport, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

Carolina Panthers (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)

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    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    The Pick: Carolina Panthers (7-1)

    Last year, the Carolina Panthers became the first team in NFC South history to repeat as division champions. They did so with all of seven wins.

    It's going to take more than that in 2015.

    Through three games of the 2015 campaign, a pair of NFC South teams are undefeated, including the Panthers. It's an impressive feat given the injuries that have chewed up the team, including to top wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly.

    You can add defensive end Charles Johnson to that list. And after losing Johnson to a hamstring injury, the Panthers moved quickly to fill the void, acquiring defensive end Jared Allen from the Chicago Bears.

    Per Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, head coach Ron Rivera hailed the acquisition. "Some things came up in conversation and the opportunity was there," Rivera said on his weekly radio show Monday evening. "From that point on they went to work and some things fell into place nicely."

    Allen may not be ready for a full workload in Week 4, but given how the Tampa offensive line has played to date this season, three middle schoolers and a Girl Scout could get pressure on Jameis Winston.

    Panthers: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tomlinson

    Buccaneers: Tanier

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Washington Redskins (1-2)

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    The Pick: Washington Redskins (4-4) ***COIN FLIP***

    Have I mentioned that the NFC East looks really bad this year?

    As things stand right now, every team in the division is deeply flawed. The Dallas Cowboys are chewed to pieces by injuries. The New York Giants can't go five minutes without shooting themselves in the foot. The Washington Redskins are erratic on both sides of the ball.

    And for the second time in a handful of seasons, a supposed "Dream Team" in Philadelphia looks more like a nightmare.

    Still, after notching their first win of 2015 over the New York Jets in Week 3, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford was all smiles while speaking with ESPN.com's Phil Sheridan.

    "It feels good," Bradford said. "Obviously, that's a really good football team. To come on the road and get a win today, a tough win, our defense did a great job today of keeping us in the game. It was just a great win for the team."

    Of course, that win came in a game where Bradford completed only half his passes and averaged less than five yards per attempt.

    Not exactly what Chip Kelly was looking for when he hand-picked Bradford to lead his (allegedly) high-octane offense this season.

    That offense has sputtered so far this season. So much so that half our panel picked Washington to get the win.

    So did the quarter I use to break ties.

    Eagles: Davenport, Gagnon, Tanier, Tomlinson

    Redskins: Freeman, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski

Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Chicago Bears (0-3)

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    The Pick: Oakland Raiders (8-0)

    Since I started writing this weekly article at the outset of the 2014 season, the Oakland Raiders have been a unanimous pick in more than a few games.

    However, I think this may well be the first time they've ever been picked to win.

    It's a mad, mad world in which we live.

    Still, as NFL Analyst Brad Gagnon wrote, it would appear that the times they-are-a changing in the Bay Area. And on one side of the Bay, at least, it's for the better:

    This has to do with the fact I feel the Raiders are turning a corner on both sides of the ball, especially with that stellar young offensive trio. They just got their first win in the Eastern time zone in six years, and now they look primed to win three straight games for the first time since 2011. But this also has to do with the fact the Bears, who are already working with a lousy backup quarterback and selling parts to contenders, hardly resemble an NFL team.

    Now, are the Raiders a playoff team? Probably not. They've beaten a surprisingly 0-3 Ravens team and a not-so-surprisingly terrible Cleveland Browns team. In their other game, the Raiders were shelled at home by the Cincinnati Bengals.

    However, the Raiders also aren't something they've been for quite a while: a punching bag.

    That title now belongs to the Bears.

    Raiders: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

    Bears: John Fox needs a hug.

Houston Texans (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-0)

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    Patric Schneider/Associated Press

    The Pick: Atlanta Falcons (8-0)

    In all three of the Atlanta Falcons' games this season, the team has trailed in the fourth quarter. In all three of those games, including last Sunday's tilt with the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys, the Falcons have come back to win.

    In fact, all three of those wins have come against NFC East foes.

    As John Buhler of FanSided reports, there have been a number of reasons why the surprising Falcons have been able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat:

    Dan Quinn preaches winning the turnover battle religiously. Though the Atlanta Falcons have only forced four turnovers in three games, three of the four resulted in point-scoring drives for the offense, the other one set up victory formation against Philadelphia. Being able to take away the football from the other team and turn it into points for the offense is how the Falcons are cutting into deficits in the second half of ball games.

    This is because the team is able to manufacture drives on offense in a multitude of ways. Atlanta can go for the quick strike with a vertical route or dominate time of possession late in a game with an improving ground game. What this does for the defense is it gives them an opportunity to recover and play their best football when it counts. By sustaining successful drives on offense, the pass rush can play at its optimal level, the linebackers can hit with more conviction, and the defensive backfield’s legs are a bit fresher should the opponent want to air it out.

    Lastly, when your team exudes tremendous confidence in the kicking game, you’re able to dictate the game through field position. Getting the football inside of the opponent’s 40 yard line essentially means that Atlanta will get at least three points out of that drive. Kicker Matt Bryant is automatic and rarely misses field goal attempts.

    Granted, the Falcons haven't exactly played the Green Bay Packers or New England Patriots in 2015. The Cowboys are torn up on offense. The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants may have even bigger problems. And the Falcons trailed late in all three games.

    But they won, and the Houston Texans aren't exactly a juggernaut either.

    4-0, anyone?

    Texans: This team needs more J.J. Watts. Latts of Watts.

    Falcons: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)

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    Tim Umphrey/Associated Press

    The Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (7-1)

    After downing the Baltimore Ravens 28-24 last week, the Cincinnati Bengals made it to 3-0 for the second consecutive season.

    However, as Coley Harvey of ESPN.com pointed out, it was at this time last year that the Bengals bandwagon hit a huge pothole:

    Six days after being blown out on the road, the Patriots returned home and took out their frustrations on the Bengals, blasting them, 43-17. What happened to Cincinnati in that game can't happen again this year. At all costs, it must avoid a 3-0 deja vu when the Chiefs visit Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.

    For the Bengals, that isn't where the parallels to last year's game at New England ends. Just like when they entered the 2014 Week 5 game at New England, the Bengals come into Sunday's with a 3-0 record, and cautiously optimistic about their chances to finish the season with a deep playoff run. Also, the Bengals are facing a Chiefs team that is coming off an embarrassing loss on national television, just like the Patriots last year.

    Of course, there are also more than a few differences between this year and last.

    For starters, the Bengals will be playing at home. Also, with all due credit to quarterback Alex Smith and the Chiefs, um...how shall I say this...they ain't the Patriots.

    The biggest reason for optimism that the Bengals can avoid a stumble against Kansas City on Sunday?

    The sun will still be up when quarterback Andy Dalton takes the field, thus avoiding Dalton's nightmarish record in prime-time games.

    Hey, it's scary at night!

    Chiefs: Schalter

    Bengals: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

Cleveland Browns (1-2) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    The Pick: San Diego Chargers (8-0)

    You know that things aren't quite going according to plan when your NFL team is being reported on...by TMZ.

    Even better is when, as Tom Reed of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported, said report of a burgeoning locker room mutiny is viewed as a blessing, because it diverts the focus from the fact that you, um, well...suck:

    The Browns were blindsided by a TMZ report Tuesday anonymously quoting three offensive starters saying they would prefer Johnny Manziel as their quarterback over Josh McCown.

    The club has issued no formal statement although receiver Andrew Hawkins took to Twitter calling the report, "%1000 made up."

    Here's how bad things are for the Browns, who own a 1-2 record and begin a brutal stretch of their schedule Sunday in San Diego:

    The report might act as a blessing because it shifts focus away from other problems ailing the club. Would Manziel's presence Sunday have limited the defense's 14 missed tackles or helped the offensive line block better on a first-and-goal from the 1 against the Raiders?

    Many of the Browns' best players and units are underachieving. Some of the schemes coaches are putting them in deserve questioning. The next two days in Berea, however, will be dominated by the TMZ story in part because the Browns are idle on Tuesdays.

    I don't know what's more impressive—that the Browns manage to suck with such incredible consistency or that they continue to find new and inventive ways of doing so.

    And yes, suck. There are some things for which only certain words will suffice.

    Still looking for one to describe those uniforms.

    Browns: The players themselves wouldn't pick the Browns at this point.

    Chargers: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

Green Bay Packers (3-0) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2)

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    Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

    The Pick: Green Bay Packers (7,000,000,000-0)

    It wasn't that long ago that this would have been considered a marquee matchup. Two of the NFC's top contenders doing battle. A playoff preview.

    The Green Bay Packers are still one of the conference's best teams. The San Francisco 49ers, on the other hand, are...

    Well, they were just beaten 47-7.

    And as a former scout told Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio (per Fox Sports), quarterback Colin Kaepernick is a microcosm for the Niners' stunningly rapid plummet from grace:

    Bay Area radio show host John Middlekauff, who was a former scout for the Philadelphia Eagles, joined Colin Cowherd on "The Herd" and discussed Kaepernick's performance.

    "I'm watching him against the Cardinals defensive backs and they're toying with him," Middlekauff said. "(The Cardinals) just don't think that he plays the game at an intellectual level that is good enough to win . . . they have so much film on him. They can take away the run . . . they make you beat him in man-to-man coverage. And he can't do that right now."

    How's that fat contract you handed Kaepernick looking right now, San Fran?

    Are we sure that playoff win by Kaepernick and the 49ers over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in 2012 actually happened? It doesn't even seem possible.

    Packers: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

    49ers: Yep. Jim Harbaugh was definitely the problem.

St. Louis Rams (1-2) at Arizona Cardinals (3-0)

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    Michael Thomas/Getty Images

    The Pick: Arizona Cardinals (8-0)

    That team that dropped 47 on the 49ers?

    That would be the Arizona Cardinals, who have scored 95 points over the past two weeks.

    Through 11 weeks a year ago, the Cardinals had the NFL's best record. And after three weeks in 2015, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk thinks the Redbirds might just be the NFC's best team:

    They were the best team in the NFC last year, too, until Carson Palmer got hurt. They were 6-0 last year in games started by Palmer, and they were still a very good team even when second-stringer Drew Stanton went down: At the time they lost Stanton for the season, they were 11-3. It was only when the disaster that was third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley was forced upon the Cardinals that they lost their last two regular-season games and got blown out in the playoffs.

    If they’d had Palmer healthy for all of last season, the Cardinals might very well have been in the Super Bowl, and if Palmer stays healthy for all of this season, they could be headed there again.

    And, of course, the Cardinals have Bruce Arians, who is simply a great head coach. Arians only has three seasons of experience as an NFL head coach and he’s already won the Coach of the Year award twice. He could make it three times in four seasons if the Cardinals keep playing the way they’ve been playing.

    The Cardinals are a juggernaut right now. The Rams, on the other hand, have also been steaming along at breakneck speed since their Week 1 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

    They've been steaming in the wrong direction, but they have been steaming...if you get my drift.

    Rams: In case you didn't, I meant like poop.

    Cardinals: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

Minnesota Vikings (2-1) at Denver Broncos (3-0)

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    The Pick: Denver Broncos (4-4) ***COIN FLIP***

    In a listless loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, the Minnesota Vikings looked little like a team many pundits had labeled a dark-horse playoff contender entering the 2015 season.

    Since then, however, the Vikings have consistently been building up steam, culminating in a 31-14 smackdown of the San Diego Chargers in Week 3.

    Now comes a huge test for young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the rising Vikings—a trip West to face Peyton Manning and the undefeated Broncos in Denver.

    Danny Cox of CBS Denver cautions that the Broncos had best not take the Vikings lightly:

    The Denver Broncos are 3-0 and looking like a true Super Bowl contender, but they just don’t have the same explosiveness as in past seasons. With that being said, they need to make sure that they don’t take the visiting Minnesota Vikings lightly, or it could mean their first loss of the season.

    This is going to be a much closer game than some would anticipate, but it’s still one that the Denver Broncos can win if they play to their strengths. The key is going to be shutting down Adrian Peterson and it needs to be done by closing up the passing game of the Minnesota Vikings to have the defense concentrate on shutting down “All Day.”

    Our panel certainly isn't taking the streaking Vikings lightly. In fact, it took a flip of the coin for a team many pegged as the AFC representative in Super Bowl 50 to get the edge. At home, no less.

    Vikings: Gagnon, Miller, Schalter, Tomlinson

    Broncos: Davenport, Freeman, Sobleski, Tanier

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-3)

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    The Pick: New Orleans Saints (4-4) ***COIN FLIP***

    The Quarter of Knowledge is getting a workout this week.

    When the NFL schedule was released, it was easy to see why this game found its way to Sunday night. The Cowboys. The Saints. Tony Romo. Drew Brees. Prime-time football at its finest.

    Now, though, we get Brandon Weeden, Luke McCown and a game with all the shine of a potato.

    There is a chance that Brees will play. At least, that's the latest from Mike Triplett of ESPN.com:

    Brees has not thrown during a practice since he suffered a bruised rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was ruled out of this past Sunday's game at the Carolina Panthers because he and coach Sean Payton agreed that he didn't have enough strength or velocity yet. It was the first game Brees missed due to injury since high school.

    Both Brees and Payton have said they are optimistic he will be able to return for Sunday night's home date with the Dallas Cowboys. But they have both described Brees' status as "day to day."

    Should that prove to be the case, then the Saints at home look like a much better call.

    But that would also require the Saints to get a bit of luck this year.

    And so far in 2015, the only kind of NFL luck in the Big Easy has been bad.

    Cowboys: Davenport, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

    Saints: Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Schalter

Detroit Lions (0-3) at Seattle Seahawks (1-2)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Pick: Seattle Seahawks (7-1)

    The Detroit Lions can't buy a break.

    As if it wasn't bad enough that the team started 0-2, they then entered a brutal three-week gauntlet of scheduling sadism. Denver. At Seattle. Arizona.

    The first leg of that gauntlet dropped the Lions to 0-3 and left any chance they had of a return playoff trip hanging by a thread. Now all the Lions have to do is travel to the most hostile stadium in the NFL and beat the two-time defending NFC champions.

    And as if that wasn't bad enough, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com, Lions wide receiver Golden Tate said their opponents know what plays they're running before they run them:

    I've had a couple occasions in literally each game where they've called out our play, for one, and then afterwards been like, "Hey, we knew what you guys were doing."

    I don't know how they know or what film they're watching that we're giving away. That's something, we need to go back and watch our tendencies to figure out what, where we line up or how we line up or what formation, whatever it may be, we got to figure it out because we're clearly giving [our plays] away.

    All three weeks, a player has come up to me and said "we knew what you're going to do." That's bad.

    That doesn't speak well to offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. It also doesn't speak well to the Lions' chances of winning on the road in Seattle Monday night.

    Lions: Schalter

    Seahawks: Davenport, Freeman, Gagnon, Miller, Sobleski, Tanier, Tomlinson

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