NFL Game Picks: Week 4
Host Austin Groft and analysts Charlie Murray, Eric Fenstermaker and Juan Mendez look over the biggest games in Week 4 of the 2020 NFL season.
Denver Broncos (0-3) vs. New York Jets (0-3)
Denver comes into this game with a beat-up roster, missing key players like Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton. With backup quarterback Brett Rypien starting, running back Melvin Gordon will have to carry the offensive load.
The Jets haven’t found much success, losing by at least 10 points in each game thus far. Head coach Adam Gase is already on the hot seat.
In a battle of two winless teams, look for the Broncos to come out on top.
Prediction: Broncos 20, Jets 10
New Orleans Saints (1-2) vs. Detroit Lions (1-2)
The Saints fell to a cruising Packers team Sunday night, falling under .500 for the first time this season. New Orleans is suddenly at risk of falling behind in the NFC South.
Detroit pulled off an upset against the Cardinals last week, winning by just a three-point margin. It will be difficult for them to pull off consecutive wins against NFC powerhouses, but they cannot be counted out.
The health of Michael Thomas will be an important factor on the outcome of this game, but with or without him, the Saints should bounce back.
Prediction: Saints 34, Lions 21
Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
This is a matchup between two teams Tom Brady considered in the offseason, ultimately picking Tampa Bay. The Chargers fell to the Panthers last week, despite a solid performance from rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.
Tampa Bay is heating up, winning its last two after falling to the Saints in the opener. The Buccaneers figure to get better as the season goes on, as Brady begins to find chemistry with his talented offense.
The Buccaneers will take this one, making it a three-game winning streak for Brady and company.
Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Chargers 14
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2-1)
Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars have been better than expected, beating the Colts and staying competitive with the Titans in the first two weeks. However, they showed who they really are against Miami, getting blown out 31-13 on Thursday night.
Cincinnati has hope in rookie signal caller Joe Burrow, who is showing flashes of becoming a top quarterback in the league. The offensive line has been putrid, but the Bengals offense is talented enough to put up points anyway.
Burrow will get his first NFL win this week.
Prediction: Bengals 21, Jaguars 17
Minnesota Vikings (0-3) vs. Houston Texans (0-3)
In another matchup between teams who have yet to appear in the win column, Kirk Cousins’ Vikings and Deshaun Watson’s Texans will be looking to turn around their quickly dying seasons. The Vikings offense has shown it can score, but the defense needs to make more stops to give this team a chance.
The Texans will need to slow down star running back Dalvin Cook and get the ball in the hands of playmakers David Johnson and Brandin Cooks in order to have a chance.
However, the Vikings will win this one in a high-scoring game.
Prediction: Vikings 41, Texans 38
Seattle Seahawks (3-0) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-2)
Russell Wilson looks like the MVP frontrunner thus far, headlining an electric Seattle offense. The Seahawks are coming off a close win over Dallas, and in a tough NFC West, Seattle looks like the team to beat.
In Miami, the team is showing improvement, but the Dolphins aren’t quite a contender yet. They beat up on a bad Jaguars team last week, but their chances of a second consecutive win are slim.
Wilson will continue his incredible start and lead his team to an easy victory.
Prediction: Seahawks 28, Dolphins 14
Cleveland Browns (2-1) vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-2)
The Browns’ rushing duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt has been feasting, leading the Browns to an above-.500 record for the first time in six years.
The Cowboys offense has a lot of firepower, led by a great start by quarterback Dak Prescott. However, if it weren’t for a huge comeback against Atlanta, the Cowboys would be winless.
Even so, the Cowboys will get big performances from their star receivers, leading to a victory.
Prediction: Cowboys 34, Browns 27
Arizona Cardinals (2-1) vs. Carolina Panthers (1-2)
The tandem of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins has lived up to the hype, and the Cardinals are a real contender for the first time in a while. They couldn’t scrape by Detroit last week, but there are no reasons to panic in Arizona.
The Panthers have some talent offensively, but they are among the worst teams defending against the run. Running back Kenyan Drake will have a huge performance this week, leading the Cardinals to a win over the Panthers.
Prediction: Cardinals 33, Panthers 17
Indianapolis Colts (2-1) vs. Chicago Bears (3-0)
The Colts tore up the Vikings and the Jets the past two weeks, as veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has been efficient with the ball. Look for that to continue this week.
The Bears have not lost a game yet, to the surprise of everybody but Bears fans. Last week, they moved Nick Foles in at quarterback. Foles can keep the Bears afloat, but he isn’t going to lead them past solid teams like the Colts.
Foles will keep Chicago in this one, but the Colts will come away with the win.
Prediction: Colts 17, Bears 10
Baltimore Ravens (2-1) vs. Washington Football Team (1-2)
Lamar Jackson struggled against the Chiefs last week, calling them the Ravens’ “kryptonite.” A bad performance against the best team in the league shouldn’t affect Baltimore this week, however.
Washington has looked better than expected so far, but quarterback Dwayne Haskins must prove he can take care of the ball. The defense has been solid, but there are still holes to fill offensively.
The Ravens defense will bounce back this week, forcing turnovers left and right from Haskins.
Prediction: Ravens 40, Football Team 17
New York Giants (0-3) vs. Los Angeles Rams (2-1)
Saquon Barkley may have been the only thing keeping the Giants afloat. Even with the mounting injuries to the 49ers, the Giants were just blown out last week by San Francisco. The offense is clearly less than spectacular, and the defense just gave up 343 yards to a backup quarterback. Enough said.
The Rams offense has been rolling, almost mounting a huge comeback against Buffalo in Week 3, and it won’t need to worry here. The Rams win this one with ease.
Prediction: Rams 21, Giants 7
New England Patriots (2-1) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
These two teams always make for a fun game, even without Brady at the helm in New England. The Patriots have shown they are contenders behind former MVP Cam Newton. They can compete with any team in the league, but they may not be built to beat Kansas City.
Patrick Mahomes continues to amaze, as he carved up Baltimore for five touchdowns last week. The defending champions continue to be the team to beat, boasting a generational talent at quarterback, speedy playmakers and great coaching.
This game will be a shootout, like most Chiefs games, and they’ll come out on top.
Prediction: Chiefs 49, Patriots 40
Buffalo Bills (3-0) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (2-1)
Quarterback Josh Allen has put the league on notice, as he has led a solid offense to an undefeated start. The Bills look improved from last season’s playoff team.
As for the Raiders, last week’s loss to the Patriots wasn’t pretty, but Las Vegas has solid players on both sides of the ball, and Derek Carr has looked better than in previous years.
The Bills are rolling, but the Raiders are out to prove they’re contenders. They’ll upset Buffalo in a close one.
Prediction: Raiders 24, Bills 20
Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Two injury-riddled teams meet Sunday night, with the Eagles looking for their first win after tying the Bengals last week. The offensive line has been ravished by injuries, which won’t help Carson Wentz’s struggles. He’ll need to turn it around if the Eagles want to have a chance.
For the 49ers, the injury bug has found them well, as a seemingly endless number of players have missed time already. However, that didn’t slow the defending NFC champions down last week, as they dominated the Giants 36-9.
The Eagles season may already be on the line, and Wentz will lead Philadelphia to its first win, narrowly escaping the 49ers.
Prediction: Eagles 27, 49ers 23
Atlanta Falcons (0-3) vs. Green Bay Packers (3-0)
Monday brings a matchup of two veteran quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense may be the best in the NFC, putting up at least 37 points in each game so far. Rodgers in particular has been spectacular.
The Falcons are hard to figure out. Matt Ryan and a talented offense have shown they can score with ease, but unfortunately, Atlanta’s defense is downright awful. They have allowed comebacks in consecutive weeks, and a red-hot Rodgers is simply going to feast against the Falcons secondary.
The Packers win in another high scoring game.
Prediction: Packers 42, Falcons 30
Postponed: Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) vs. Tennessee Titans (3-0)
Daniel Mader is a freshman majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Sophomore / Digital/Print Journalism
Second-year / Journalism
Juan S. Mendez is a second-year student from Sogamoso, Colombia majoring in journalism at Penn State University. He is a frequent CommRadio contributor through play-by-play and production for Penn State sports, primarily soccer. As a writer and podcast member, he also contributes in covering the NFL, NBA, international soccer, college sports, and occasional music reviews. Bilingual, and with a substantially dispersed knowledge, Juan intends to work covering multiple sports internationally in English and Spanish at a professional level.
Senior / Broadcast Journalist
Eric Fenstermaker is a senior from Northampton, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is also minoring in business and sports studies and pursuing a certificate in sports journalism.
Eric is involved in After the Whistle and Penn State Sports Night (PSSN). For COMM Radio, Eric contributes to a variety of different podcasts and co-hosts the Hail Mary radio show, which is dedicated to analyzing NFL games.
Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism