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NFL Predictions: Week Four

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst ISeptember 30, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings walks on to the field for warm-ups before his first regular season home game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 27, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeatd the 49ers 27-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Week Four has quite a few good looking showdowns on Sunday.

But it has a great big one on Monday night, a showdown that has been brewing for almost a year now.

Whether you call it a grudge match, or call it teacher against student, or call it a rivalry game: You're right. I'll get to that game a little later.

Last week, I had a great week going 14-2. My only losses were the Steelers losing to the Bengals and the Texans losing to the Jaguars. Other than that, it was a decisive week. On the season, I am 35-13 and looking to continue the good record.

So let's look at Week Four and see what is in store for this weekend's games.

New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Giants defense was banged up, but still pitched a shutout last weekend in Tampa Bay over a lousy Buccaneers team. A week of rest should do wonders for the Giants team in need to get healthy.

The latest injury for the Giants is running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who has a sprained foot and was out of Giants practice on Wednesday, but Bradshaw is expected to play on Sunday. Expect Brandon Jacobs to carry the load for the Giants with Bradshaw's foot injury.

The Chiefs haven't played well and were embarrassed last week against the Eagles. Matt Cassel hasn't played well yet, and it doesn't look well against a defense with one of the premeir pass rushes. The Giants should be able to win this game easily on the road.

Final Score: Giants 30, Chiefs 10

Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts

Matt Hasselbeck hasn't been able to go for Seattle and Seneca Wallace is playing better, but hasn't won a game yet in 2009. It won't get any easier in Indianapolis, but if Wallace or Hasselbeck are playing, they won't have to worry about Dwight Freeney, who will be out with quadriceps injury.

The Colts offense is rolling. Peyton Manning is throwing touchdowns and winning games. Some things just never change, even if the head coach did. Seattle had a tough time trying to stop the Bears offense under Jay Cutler; it's not going to be easier trying to stop Manning and the Colts offense.

The Colts should win this game easily.

Final Score: Colts 31, Seahawks 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins

In the past, this game has been a playoff matchup. Now, it's a game between two struggling teams.

Tampa Bay benched Byron Leftwich and promoted Josh Johnson, who moved the ball a little against the Giants, but still did not score. Washington's defense can be tough, although Albert Haynesworth hasn't gotten off to the start Redskins fans wanted.

Washington is struggling. Jim Zorn is teetering on being run out of Washington and Jason Campbell may follow him after the season. Clinton Portis is questionable for this game with an ankle injury. But, Washington should be able to generate enough offense, just enough to squeak by the Buccaneers.

Final Score: Redskins 17, Buccaneers 10

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

Two of the top teams in the NFL will square off in Foxboro in an anticipated matchup.

The Ravens offense has exploded onto the league and Joe Flacco has been very good of late, but he's faced defensive teams who haven't been very good.

Playing in New England is always tough for a young quarterback, and he can ask Matt Ryan about the pressure.

The Patriots got back on track last week, although at times, Tom Brady overthrew his receivers and struggled a bit. They were able to run the ball well with Fred Taylor, but the Ravens defense is always tough to face.

This should be a very tough game in Gillette Stadium and it should come down to the final minutes.

Final Score: Patriots 20, Ravens 17

Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos

The Cowboys finally won a home game on Monday night against the Panthers, so that is out of the way.

They are going to be without top running back Felix Jones with a knee injury for the game and Marion Barber is questionable with a thigh injury after missing last week. This means Tashard Choice may get most of the carries.

Denver's defense has been outstanding through the first three games, but this will be their first test against a tough opponent. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is very good at preparing his players and if the Cowboys running attack is too banged up against Denver, it might be a long day for Tony Romo, who hasn't been overly impressive.

Final Score: Broncos 24, Cowboys 17

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

The Bengals won a huge game at home against the Steelers with less than a minute to go.

Carson Palmer is healthy and is playing well. He is the key to the Bengals season. So is Cedric Benson and Chad Ochocinco, who are having good seasons in 2009.

Cleveland is a mess. Period. They've scored only 29 points in the first three games, the city of Cleveland is calling for Eric Mangini's firing, and Brady Quinn was benched for Derek Anderson. It's a questionable move, considering Anderson threw three interceptions last week against the Ravens.

Don't expect things to get any better for the Browns against an inspired Bengals team.

Final Score: Bengals 23, Browns 7

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee is 0-3 and their season is sinking fast.

Many are wondering if Vince Young should be put back in at starting quarterback, but for now, it's still on Kerry Collins' shoulders to get the job done.

The Jaguars got a big win over the Texans last week, who have been very disappointing so far. The problem is when you face a desperate team, generally they will come out fighting harder and playing tougher than you will, which should be the case for the Titans.

Expect Chris Johnson and LenDale White to run wild on the Jaguars.

Final Score: Titans 28, Jaguars 20

Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans

JaMarcus Russell is quickly becoming a bust in the NFL. He has horrible game management, he's inaccurate, and he doesn't try hard. He's blessed with a strong arm and is a rich man, but that's about it.

The Texans so far have been very disappointing at 1-2 and need a win to get some confidence back.

So far, Matt Schaub has thrown for over 800 yards and should have no problem throwing the ball at home against the Raiders defense, especially to Andre Johnson.

Final Score: Texans 31, Raiders 14

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears

The Lions ended their 19-game losing streak with a win over the Redskins, which should give Detroit hope for the future.

However, it doesn't get any easier for Detroit, especially on defense.

Jay Cutler has been playing much better after his disastrous first week and has lead the Bears to two straight wins.

The Lions defense will have a long day ahead of them trying to stop the Bears offense with Cutler and company at Soldier Field.

Final Score: Bears 27, Lions 13

New York Jets @ New Orleans Saints

This is another premier game on the Week Four schedule, and it's the classic great offense against great defense matchup.

The Jets defense has played very well because they get pressure on the quarterback. If they want to have a chance in the Superdome, they must get pressure on Drew Brees all game long.

Speaking of Brees, he's already having an MVP-like season, throwing a ton of touchdowns in the explosive Saints offense, and as long as he stays off his backside, nobody is expecting different.

This should be a great game, and it's the first test for the Jets on the road. It depends on how well Mark Sanchez can play in a loud building with a ton of pressure in his face.

Final Score: Saints 28, Jets 24

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins

For the first time in 13 years, Terrell Owens was held without a single catch in their loss to the Saints. You can probably imagine how unhappy he was about it.

Can you imagine if T.O. goes catch-less in a second straight game? I'm sure Trent Edwards does not want that, so expect him to throw the ball more to Owens in the game.

The Miami offense took a hit when Chad Pennington was injured and will miss the rest of the season with a bad shoulder, so now it's on Chad Henne's shoulders. With Henne in, does the Dolphins' offense still use the Wildcat?

Miami's defense hasn't played well all season long, and with an angry T.O., they might be in for a long day trying to stop him.

With the focus on T.O., the rest of the Bills offense should have an easy day.

Final Score: Bills 24, Dolphins 16

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

The Rams were once a playoff team under Marc Bulger. Now, they are a huge mess and it's not getting any better. The Rams have scored a total of 24 points in the first three games and are 0-3. Not a good start for Steve Spagnuolo.

The 49ers were two seconds away from being 3-0, but Brett Favre's game winning touchdown pass took care of that.

The 49ers have been playing very well in 2009, but they will be without top running back Frank Gore, who has suffered an ankle injury.

Even without Gore, the 49ers should be able to take care of the Rams at home.

Final Score: 49ers 20, Rams 6

Sunday Night Football: San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers

This is a rematch of the second round playoff game between these two teams.

The Chargers cruised easily in their game against the Dolphins, but they will be playing in a tough environment on the road.  Phillip Rivers has had a tremendous season and will look to continue airing the ball out.

The Steelers need a win desperately to stay in the mix. They're 1-2 and still without Troy Polamalu. The Steelers have also been two plays away from being 3-0 instead of 1-2, so their record is a little deceiving.

Mike Tomlin will have this team fired up on national TV and expect a much-needed win from the defending champions. But also expect a very close game.

Final Score: Steelers 24, Chargers 21

Monday Night Football: Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Remember that grudge match I was referring to earlier? This is it.

Teacher against student. You got it with Brett Favre against Aaron Rodgers.

All eyes will be watching Favre take on his former team for the first time, but he will at least have the crowd on his side in the Metrodome. The Vikings are 3-0 and playing very well, especially after their come from behind win against the 49ers.

The Packers are 2-1 and have been playing well in 2009, but this is a major test. This is Monday Night Football with the Packers and Vikings. This was a constant game on Monday nights with Favre in Green Bay, and usually Favre won those games against Minnesota.

Expect Adrian Peterson to have another great game on the national stage and drive the Packers defense nuts all night.

This time, it will be Favre torturing Green Bay fans on the Monday night showdown with a win.

Final Score: Vikings 34, Packers 24

Bye Weeks: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles

That's the schedule and picks for Week Four. There are some great matchups to look forward to and it will all end with a highly anticipated grudge match, which of course will be dominated in the news with Brett Favre. What else is new? The media will have a field day with the anticipation of the Monday night game.

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week and gets ready for another great weekend of NFL games.

Green Bay, Are you ready? Minnesota, Are you ready? Brett Favre, ARE YOU READY? The rest of us are.

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