NFL Game Picks: Week 4

Story posted September 26, 2018 in CommRadio, Sports by Noah Chast

The NFL season is quickly closing in on the quarter-way mark. The early games have been filled with surprise teams both in the winning and losing categories. While certain teams are bouncing back from rough starts, others seem to be trending in the wrong direction. With that said let’s take a look at the key matchups of week four.

Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (3-0). 9/27/18, 8:20 p.m. –FOX

The Vikings come into this game after a disappointing 27-6 loss against the Bills at home in week three. With a respectable start to the season beating Jimmy Garappolo’s 49ers and tying Aaron Rodgers' Packers, last week’s loss raises some serious questions about both this team’s defensive and offensive capabilities. The Vikings defense has a true test against the Rams explosive offense.

The Rams are off to a hot start this season, winning all three of their games by ten or more points. The Vikings are the first team the Rams are playing that made the playoffs last year. The Rams are also down their two best corners, Aquib Talib and Marcus Peters, which could lead to a stronger offensive showing from the Vikings' Kirk Cousins.

Prediction: Los Angeles 30, Minnesota 23

Miami Dolphins (3-0) @ New England Patriots (1-2). 9/30/18, 1 p.m. –CBS

The Dolphins are one the surprise teams to make a splash early this season. They are undefeated behind quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has struggled in previous seasons. While they have played less than impressive teams so far, the Dolphins are riding high momentum coming into a divisional rival game against the struggling Patriots.

One of the biggest shocks of the early season has been the Patriots' slow start. They have lost two games in a row for the first time since 2015. Quarterback Tom Brady is having trouble finding other offensive weapons to use aside from tight end Rob Gronkowski. With that said, three losses in a row seems unlikely for this team, especially if newly acquired wide receiver Josh Gordon is healthy.

Prediction: New England 35, Miami 17

Cleveland Browns (1-1-1) @ Oakland Raiders (0-3). 9/20/18, 4:05 p.m. –FOX

After 635 days the Browns finally got their first win with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield at the helm. With Mayfield named the starter earlier this week the Browns are carrying a new energy to them after this win and taking it right at a winless Oakland. The Browns defense has been very impressive and the 2018 Heisman winner has something to prove in his first NFL start.

The Raiders have not gotten off to the start many imagined. Under new head coach Jon Gruden the Raiders are winless and struggling on both sides of the ball. After trading Khalil Mack they are desperately missing a pass rush that would be essential in putting pressure on Mayfield. However, this is a home game against a team not used to winning, so expect a lot of fight from this Raiders team.

Prediction: Browns 24, Raiders 23

Baltimore Ravens (2-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1-1). 9/30/18, 8:20 p.m. –NBC

The Ravens are hard to read this season. They’re coming off an impressive 27-14 win over the Broncos, which was preceded by a less than impressive 34-23 loss to the Bengals in week two. Quarterback Joe Flacco has put up impressive numbers thus far being the leading passer in all three of his games. Being a Sunday night rivalry against an inconsistent Steelers team, look for this one to be close.

The Steelers are coming off a much needed 30-27 Monday night win over the Buccaneers. They barely escaped a second-half comeback, scoring zero points in the second half and committing a number of costly penalties. Their defense looked better but still has shown weakness against the pass. Only completing their first win of the season last week, look for the Steelers to play with a new and stern demeanor Sunday night.

Prediction: Steelers 35, Ravens 28

Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) @ Denver Broncos (2-1). 9/31/18, 8:15 p.m.  –ESPN

The biggest surprise of the year has been second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs lead the league 39.3 points per game and Mahomes has a league-high 90.7 total quarterback rating during these first three games. The Chiefs offense has looked superb with the current MVP favorite leading the team. All eyes will be on Mahomes Monday night to see if he keeps up his success.

The Broncos have looked like a very solid team so far this season. Even after a shaky 27-14 loss to the Ravens last week the Broncos are still a good team that will give any team a challenge. The Broncos will look to get after Mahomes with pro-bowl pass rusher Von Miller and first-round pick defensive end Bradley Chubb. This will be another interesting test for Mahomes and a game that could fall either way.

Prediction: Broncos 33, Chiefs 30

Prediction for other Week 4 NFL Games (Home Team in CAPS)

JACKSONVILLE 28, Jets 18. 9/30/18, 1:00 p.m. –FOX
Philadelphia 27, TENNESSEE 21. 9/30/18, 1:00 p.m. –FOX
INDIANAPOLIS 20, Houston 17. 9/30/18, 1:00 p.m. –CBS
GREEN BAY 32, Buffalo 17. 9/30/18, 1:00 p.m. –CBS
Detroit 35, DALLAS 20. 9/30/18, 1:00 p.m. –FOX
CHICAGO 24, Tampa Bay 21. 9/30/18, 1:00 p.m. –FOX
ATLANTA 30, Cincinnati 24. 9/30/18, 1:00 p.m. –CBS
Seattle 16, ARIZONA 10. 9/30/18, 4:05 p.m. –FOX
New Orleans 33, NEW YORK 27. 9/30/18, 4:25 p.m. –CBS
LOS ANGLES CHARGERS 28, San Francisco 14. 9/30/18, 4:25 p.m. –CBS



Noah Chast is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email