After a wild and thrilling Week 3, we are ready for some more fun as the NFL season forges into October. Who will be the big winners this week? Here are my picks.
Last Week: 10-6
Thursday, September 28th, 8:25 e.t.
Chicago Bears (1-2) @ Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Both of these teams are coming off of an overtime victory at home versus an AFC North opponent. The week is short and that always favors the home team. While the Packers did not look dominant against the Bengals, I do like them to win this game easily. I feel that Chicago is going to be one of those teams that does not travel well, but plays solid ball at home.
Green Bay 31, Chicago 14
Sunday, October 1st, 9:30 am e.t.
New Orleans Saints (1-2) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-1) (In London)
The Saints may have temporarily saved their season with a win in Charlotte last week while the Dolphins looked pitiful on the road against the Jets. This is one of the hardest games to pick this week, but I do like the Dolphins to reel in a big win. I think Jay Cutler and company can attack New Orleans vertically and create some splash plays in the passing game. That will help them get out of London with a W.
Miami 28, New Orleans 22
Sunday, October 1st, 1:00 e.t.
Detroit Lions (2-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
In one of the best games of the week, the NFC North lead is up for grabs and this should be a great game. The Lions nearly beat the Falcons at home last week while the Vikes blew out the Bucs in Minnesota. Given that this game is being played Minnesota that should give Mike Zimmer’s squad the advantage here. I like their defense to turn up the heat and make life uncomfortable for Matthew Stafford.
Minnesota 26, Detroit 19
Carolina Panthers (2-1) @ New England Patriots (2-1)
Tom Brady pulled off a heart-pounding come from behind win last week versus Houston but the Patriots have been played tough twice at home this year. However, I think that the Panthers 2-1 record may be a bit of smoke and mirrors to this point and I say the Pats flex their muscles at home for the first time all season.
New England 38, Carolina 21
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) @ New York Jets (1-2)
Okay, this is a weird one. One of these teams is going to have a surprising record after this week either the Jets at 2-2 or the Jags at 3-1. The Jets looked impressive at home last week but I think their offense will struggle mightily against a Jacksonville defense that has looked great in all but the second half of their game against the Titans.
Jacksonville 23, New York 12
Buffalo Bills (2-1) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
The Falcons could be 1-2 if a couple of plays didn’t break their way this year, but alas they are undefeated and will be hosting the first ever day game at their sparkling new stadium. I don’t see Buffalo hanging in with the Falcons in a shootout and thus I am going with the home team in this battle.
Atlanta 32, Buffalo 22
Tennessee Titans (2-1) @ Houston Texans (1-2)
Here’s another sneaky good game. Deshaun Watson looked good on the road against the Patriots last week while the Titans finally got a statement win over (what should be) a quality team this year. Of course, most people would take the Titans here, but I think I’m gonna roll with Houston and their defense. Tennessee is still getting it together on “D” this year and the Texan rookie QB should be able to make some plays Sunday.
Houston 21, Tennessee 20
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
I feel like I’ve been a bit hard on the Ravens this year, but I really am not a big fan of their offense, and that unit looked horrible in London against the Jags last week. The Steelers run defense was not good against the Bears, but their pass defense was just fine. That should not prove to be an issue on the road in Baltimore this week. I see Pittsburgh pounding the rock on the ground and shortening this game en route to a nice division win.
Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 9
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Both teams got some big plays out of both of their passing and rushing game last week on the road and the Rams will be coming in off a mini-BYE. However, the Cowboys proved that they can outlast their opponents by pounding the run and being scrappy on defense against the Cardinals on Monday night and I can see them doing the same thing at home against a Ram team that has looked good in their two wins, albeit against poor teams.
Dallas 27, Los Angeles 17 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***
Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) @ Cleveland Browns (0-3)
Ahh, the good ole battle of Ohio is taking place for the first of two times this weekend. It is also a battle of two out of five winless teams in the league this year. The Bengals looked good running the ball with Joe Mixon in Lambeau last week, but Andy Dalton needs to get things right as he is missing some open receivers this year. I can see them taking a win away from the Browns who are still trying to find that identity on both sides of the ball in Cleveland.
Cincinnati 21, Cleveland 14
Sunday, October 1st, 4:05 e.t.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) @ Los Angeles Chargers (0-3)
For the second straight week, Philly takes on a winless team desperate for a win. This time around I do not see them winning. The Chargers will be desperate and at home on the west coast versus an Eagle team that is not healthy right now. Philip Rivers needs to have a bounceback game and I think he can do that at home on Sunday.
Los Angeles 23, Philadelphia 21
New York Giants (0-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
This is another tough game to choose because I think that the Bucs are slightly better than the Giants at this point in the season, but New York is very hungry for a win. A healthy Odell Beckham Jr. made the New York offense look worlds better in the fourth quarter last week and the Giants need to mimic what they did against Philly again because if that formula works they can win plenty of games this year. The Bucs will make it tough, but Jameis Winston will ultimately make one too many mistakes at home. Side note: Tampa Bay is not a great home team.
New York 24, Tampa Bay 20 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***
San Francisco (0-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
The Cardinals have looked like a mess on the O-line so far and that does not bode well for them in this game with the pass rush probably being one of the Niners strengths on the season. If San Fran can stuff the run game and Brian Hoyer can play nearly as well this week as he did last, I like Kyle Shanahan to pick up his first win as a head coach this week on the road.
San Francisco 16, Arizona 10
Sunday, October 1st, 4:25 e.t.
The Raiders were embarrassed in prime time against the Redskins and will be really ticked off this week. Meanwhile, the Broncos were humbled on the road against Buffalo. Obviously Denver is a much better team at home and they should play well against the Raiders but I feel obligated to pick Oakland seeing as how they were my Super Bowl pick. Also, barring a tie of course, one of these previously 2-0 teams will be dropping to 2-2 and I say that will be the Broncos, but slightly begrudgingly.
Oakland 26, Denver 17
Sunday, October 1st, 8:30 e.t.
Indianapolis Colts (1-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
This is probably the least appetizing Sunday Night Football game in recent history but it will feature two teams that really need a win to keep pace in their divisions. Seattle finally got something going on offense last week and it came all via Russell Wilson. He shouldn’t have any trouble carving up a poor Indy defense at home Sunday night.
Seattle 34, Indianapolis 10
Monday, October 2nd, 8:30 e.t.
Washington Redskins (2-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
Its Week 4, and no other team has looked better than the Kansas City Chiefs. The Redskins will have their hands full on the road in front of a raucous crowd at Arrowhead. The only thing Washington has going for it is that their defense has looked very good this season. Offensively they are sound, but they won’t have the horses to hang with an AFC superpower on the road.
Kansas City 30, Washington 21