NFL Game Picks: Week 4
Week 3 was certainly a bizarre one in the NFL. Jacksonville dominated Baltimore, Houston almost upset New England, Pittsburgh went down in overtime to Chicago and Washington stifled Oakland all night. Now, here’s a look ahead at Week 4.
Chicago Bears (1-2) @ Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Not many people were expecting the Bears to beat the Steelers, nor did many imagine the Packers would barely slip past Cincinnati in overtime. Chicago’s passing game looked dreadful, but Jordan Howard got his team the win. Even if he’s healthy for Thursday night, it’s hard to see Chicago going into Lambeau and grabbing a win.
The pick: Green Bay, 30-19.
New Orleans Saints (1-2) @ Miami Dolphins (1-1)
The Saints grabbed their first win in decisive fashion, easily taking care of Carolina. The Dolphins meanwhile struggled against a mediocre Jets team. Neither team has really been consistent this season, but if last week is any indication of what to expect, New Orleans wins this game.
The pick: New Orleans, 26-17.
Buffalo Bills (2-1) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
The Bills have entered the conversation for this year’s surprise teams. Tyrod Taylor doesn’t put up gaudy numbers, but he does enough to keep Buffalo alive every game. Atlanta barely slipped by the Lions in Week 3 and Matt Ryan threw three interceptions. They still look like the team to beat, but Buffalo may give them a run for their money.
The pick: Atlanta, 31-27.
Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) @ Cleveland Browns (0-3)
Both of these teams lost by just three points last week, but it’s evident that Cincinnati played better than Cleveland did. Neither of these teams wants to start the season off with four losses, but one of them will have to. The Browns appear to be the more likely candidate.
The pick: Cincinnati, 20-13.
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
After a disappointing outing in Denver, the Cowboys turned it around by picking up a nice win in Arizona. The Rams just snuck by San Francisco, but their offense is only getting better. This one could be an underdog candidate for the best game of the week. Expect a close one.
The pick: Los Angeles, 28-24.
Detroit Lions (2-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
Tough loss for the Lions, who unfortunately saw their game-winning touchdown against Atlanta slip away in the final seconds. Still, Detroit is definitely one of the better teams in the league. Minnesota, on the other hand, shocked everyone as backup quarterback Case Keenum threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns against Tampa Bay. This is definitely one to keep an eye on.
The pick: Detroit, 34-31.
Carolina Panthers (2-1) @ New England Patriots (2-1)
The Patriots were able to avoid an upset at the hands of the Texans, but Tom Brady looked as good as he ever has, throwing five touchdowns in the game. Carolina struggled severely against a bad Saints defense, which is not a good omen. New England could win this one big.
The pick: New England, 37-17.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) @ New York Jets (1-2)
A 3-1 start for the Jaguars originally seemed unlikely, but now it looks like a real possibility. Blake Bortles dismantled the Ravens and the defense put up a fine performance as well. The Jets got a solid win over division rival Miami, but Jacksonville is clearly the better team.
The pick: Jacksonville, 27-14.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
The Steelers facing the Ravens is almost always guaranteed to be a classic. Both teams are coming off bad losses, but either one could just as easily turn it around with a win here. The Steelers have the edge, mostly because Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense were atrocious against Jacksonville. They may continue to struggle against a young Steelers defense.
The pick: Pittsburgh, 22-17.
Tennessee Titans (2-1) @ Houston Texans (1-2)
This game looks more interesting now than it did a week ago. The Titans were able to hang on for a quality win over Seattle last week and Houston nearly defeated the Patriots in Foxboro. Deshaun Watson appears to be finding his stride in the NFL, but Marcus Mariota is still leaps and bounds ahead of him. The Titans win this game.
The pick: Tennessee, 31-20.
San Francisco 49ers (0-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
The 49ers may have lost last Thursday’s game on a controversial penalty, but they did prove that they can put up some points. Arizona put up a fight for three quarters against Dallas, but ultimately lost the battle. The Cardinals are the favorite here because they have the better team, but San Francisco could just as easily pull out a win.
The pick: Arizona, 23-17.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) @ Los Angeles Chargers (0-3)
If they Chargers lose this game, they may very well be the best team ever to start 0-4. Quality outings against Denver, Miami and Kansas City have all resulted in losses and it could happen again on Sunday. Philadelphia’s 61-yard field goal to beat the Giants was pretty special, but starting the season 3-1 would be even more amazing.
The pick: Philadelphia, 30-28.
New York Giants (0-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
Last week’s game in Philadelphia proves that the success of the Giants depends on how Eli Manning plays. Manning was not at his sharpest against Dallas and Detroit, but he played well in Philly as New York lost by just a field goal. If Manning shows up, we have a ball game. If not, Tampa Bay takes this one easy.
The pick: Tampa Bay, 26-20.
Oakland Raiders (2-1) @ Denver Broncos (2-1)
What a strange Week 3 for both of these teams. Two teams that previously looked like absolute powerhouses don’t look nearly as impressive now, though it may have just been a down week. However, all things considered, this should be a great game. Both teams are needing a win to keep up with the Chiefs and only one can have it.
The pick: Oakland, 33-31.
Indianapolis Colts (1-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
Both teams are 1-2, but it’s obvious that one team is better than the other. Jacoby Brissett appears to be a worthy backup for Andrew Luck, but Russell Wilson is the better quarterback. Seattle’s offensive difficulties seemed to disappear against Tennessee for the most part, so they should be the winners of this Sunday night game.
The pick: Seattle, 30-14.
Washington Redskins (2-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
Here’s a crazy thought: what if Washington wins this game? What if a team that hardly anyone gave any thought about at the beginning of the year starts 3-1? It could happen. The only thing stopping it from happening is the undefeated Chiefs, a worthy competitor for Kirk Cousins and company on Monday night.
The pick: Kansas City, 27-24.
DJ Bauer is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.