Week 4 NFL pickem and breakdowns

How was week 3 for everybody? Did your team win? Did you do well in fantasy? Did you not blow a ton of money on tough bets. Whether it was good or bad, week 3 had some solid games and plenty of budding story lines. From the Justin Tucker 66 yard kick, to the Bengals surprising thumping of the Steelers, and the plethora of other upsets this week. I’m off to a hot start this season, having a pickem record of 34-14. I’m actually quite proud of this record to this point as it’s better than most professional analysts(wink wink CBS, ESPN, FS1). Ok, now I got my victory lap in, let’s jump right into the predictions and breakdowns for week 4.

JAGUARS @ BENGALS

Well what are we supposed to make of this Bengals team now? They just beat Pittsburgh pretty handedly. So was it a fluke? Are the Steelers that bad? Are the Bengals actually decent? What’s to make of that performance last week. I’m calling it a mix. The Steelers probably didn’t see the Bengals as a huge threat and got punched in the mouth early. However, The Steelers aren’t the same team we’ve seen in recent years. They had a bunch of dropped passes, the O-line was very rough and just scrambling, and Ben doesn’t look nearly as sharp. Throw in some injuries to some key defensive players and it’s a recipe for disaster. The Bengals have finally gotten some solid pieces together. Burrow is their guy for the future, Mixon is a stud of a back, and they have some solid receivers. They seem to be a couple pieces and some experience away from being a solid offense. They drew a llittle luck this week also by facing the Jags. The Jags have been just rough all the way around. Trevor Lawrence’s career has gotten off to a very rocky start. He’s thrown 7 picks in his first 3 games and this offense has been super inconsistent in every aspect. The defense has been just as rough. They are the 4th worst passing defense in the league and they just traded away their 1st round pick in 2020 at corner. This defense would get beat badly by most teams already, but the Bengals have all the cards in their hand to have a very solid game and a pretty comfortable win.

CIN 27 JAX 16

FOOTBALL TEAM @ FALCONS

This game is actually pretty interesting. Last year Washington had a pretty formidable defense and Atlanta had the swiss cheese defense. Atlanta allowed the most passing yards in the league and just lacked any sense of sternness on defense. Ryan and company didn’t have the same gritty spread offense that could help cancel out this porous and rough defense. That narrative has flipped on it’s head this year. Without Julio Jones, this offense has now been just putrid. They sit in the bottom overall in total offense and defensively, they are a top 10 defense right now. The one true area where Atlanta can’t figure things out is scoring defense. If they stand any chance of getting out of the basement of the league this year, this offense has to figure something out. The Football Team has been a very different story from last season as well. Their offense was bottom three overall and they sported the 2nd best defense in the league. Defense wins championships, so even when the offense struggled, the defense helped them do just enough to make playoffs. This year, they have had an average offense and the 2nd worst defense overall. They can’t keep up on defense and they’re just not forcing any mistakes to give their offense better starting position for drives. This game could go either way, but I’m giving the edge to the better offense in this one.

WFT 20 ATL 18

GIANTS @ SAINTS

Here’s another matchup of teams still trying to get their bearings. The Giants a team of with some decent talent, but they just can’t seem to put things together. Their offense currently sits middle of the pack in overall offense, but they really struggle to score. They move the ball well but can’t seem to get the ball in the endzone. They just don’t quite have the chemistry or the coaching to put all the pieces together. The defense is much of the same. A slightly below average defense that hasn’t quite put together a solid enough game plan to stop or slow down offenses. They really struggle with preventing the opposing offense from scoring and they have yet to stop the other team from converting on 4th down. So if the Giants are going to turn the tides on their bad start to the season, they will have to improve in the redzone on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, the Saints rank number 3 in scoring allowed and are decent in scoring points themselves. However, I think New York puts something together to get their first win.

NYG 23 NO 17

CHIEFS @ EAGLES

As much as I want to be hopeful for the underdog Eagles, I just can’t see any way that they win this one. The Chiefs find themselves surprisingly under .500 to start the season. First loss came at the hands of a shorthanded Ravens team. The Ravens kept the ball in Lamar’s hands and let him make the plays to move the ball and put points on the board. The Chiefs were unstoppable for a solid part of the game, but the Ravens came in clutch when they needed to. Aside from the dynamic playmaking on offense, the Ravens set a spy on Mahommes to throw him off late in the play. The Chargers too forced some key mistakes and Herbert had his way on offense. The Eagles could work the spy and force and error or two, but they lack the offensive firepower to overpower the Chiefs like the Ravens or Chargers. Hurts is still finding his game and the weapons just aren’t quite there outisde of Ertz and Goedert. If the losses to Dallas and 49ers are any indication, they just can’t move the ball enough and put up enough points to keep up with Kansas City.

KC 31 PHI 16

TEXANS @ BILLS

Any suspicion that Allen and this Bills team has taken a big step back can officially be put to bed. Granted the Football Team’s defense isn’t as good this year, but the Bills looked very cool, collected, and deadly. Allen looked pretty solid under center and was making great plays left and right. The Bills are top 5 in scoring and are 12th in overall offense. They struggled against Pittsburgh week 1 and played better week 2, but didn’t look fully like the team from last year until this passed week against Washington. The Bills also boast a top 5 defense. They’re back and the Texans aren’t going to be much of a test for them. The Texans are 23rd in total defense and they allow 25 points per game. They’re also only 24th in offense and really have struggled to make much of an impact on the scoreboard. They put up 37 pooints in week 1, but they were playing against the Jags. I really just can’t see a scenario where the bland and lack-luster Texans pull off anything crazy against the Bills.

BUF 27 HOU 13

PANTHERS @ COWBOYS

This is one of my games of the week this week. I think this game is going to not only be a close game, but it should be very fun and entertaining to watch. Both teams have pretty strong, drive controlling, and electrifying offenses. Both the Panthers and the Cowboys are top 10 in total offense and top 12 in how many of their drives end up in turnovers. They both move the ball very effectively and do not make many mistakes. Darnold has been very poised and very comfortable in the pocket and in those defensive windows, where he didn’t have that flow in New York. Maybe the Gase affect is a real thing because the ghosts have stopped haunting Darnold and he’s had time, patience, and touch. Prescott has his own offensive strength and spark for the Cowboys. He plays with some poise and mobility, but he also is one of the more fearless passers in the league. He’s not afraid to take some risks and makes passes most guys are afraid to make. That can sometimes be a bad thing, but Dak does it with grace and presicion that makes those risks pay off more often than not. The contrast between these two teams is on defense. The Panthers boast the top spot in overall offense so far. They keep the ball from moving down field and grind teams to 4th downs early and often. The Cowboys have a subpar defense, but they have one thing the Panthers don’t, they force turnovers. The Cowboys defense are 1st in opposing drives that end in turnovers. The Panthers do have a huge edge in QB knockdowns and sacks. The key difference here will be defense and Panthers seem to just check too many boxes for the Cowboys to keep up, but boy it’ll be a fun one.

CAR 31 DAL 27

BROWNS @ VIKINGS

This game has the ceiling to be an exciting game to watch, but I don’t think it’ll be too much back n forth or super close. Granted both teams carry some similarities, they have very key differences. The Browns and Vikings both have top 10 offenses and limit their turnovers. They are capable of putting of points and have a plethora of weapons. The Vikings get the ball downfield more with the aerial attack but do still boast a very strong runner in Cook. The Browns feature the rushing attack more, second in the league only to the dynamic rushing attack of the Ravens. However, Cleveland’s pass atack lead by Baker is no slouch either. Both teams carry similar offensive weapons and abilities, but the key differences here are defense, just as they were for Carolina and Dallas. The Browns have a top 3 defense overall and manage to stop offenses in both offensive aspects. They have a solid secondary and they really get in the QBs face. The Vikings do generate pressure and get sacks, but they really struggle to stop the run and prevent the ball from moving through the air. I think the defense is key here again, just in a slightly bigger way

CLE 24 MIN 13

COLTS @ DOLPHINS

This is a matchup of teams that believed to solve their QB questions. Indy brought in Wentz, hoping he could return to the form he had flexed when he was on his way to an MVP trophy before going down. The Dolphins thought that maybe Tua could be their answer for the future. However, Wentz has brought the injury bug with him and just doesn’t look the same anymore when he is out there. He’s playing on two, yes two, sprained ankles this week in an offense lacking in any real strong weapons. Tua has also caught the injury bug with fractured ribs, placing him on IR. Tua’s replacement Brissett looked very rough and unsettled to start out against Las Vegas last week, but Vegas also sports the number 4 team in QB pressures. Once Brissett got comfortable, he brought the Dolphins to a tie and just lost in the waning seconds of OT, to a red hot Raiders team at that. I think Wentz being on two injured ankles, bad under pressure, and lacking in weapons will present too big a problem for this team to overcome.

MIA 26 IND 17

TITANS @ JETS

This should be our big blowout of the week. The Titans and King Henry facing off against Zack Seeing Ghosts 2.0 Wilson, it’s a recipe for a blowout. The Jets offense is putrid at best. Wilson has thrown interceptions left and right. I mean, you can’t place a ton of blame on the kid as he was dropped into an offense of few weapons, a revolving door of an offensive line, and he’s a rookie too. That’s just going to be a recipe for failure. The Jets are 30th in total offense and they have almost double the amount of drives that end up in turnovers(20%) than end up in a score(11%) and that’s just really bad. They have an actually decent defense, but Tennessee has been getting the most out of Henry and I fully expect that trend to stay on a roll this week. The Jets will be struggling to keep the ball and the Titans will have it frequently and they will run and run and run, while occasionally using play action passes, to run down the Jets defense until they just have to secede and accept their fate. If I haven’t painted the picture clearly enough yet, I’m giving the Titans the win, pretty convincingly at that.

TEN 41 NYJ 13

LIONS @ BEARS

The Lions have a chance to actually look like a solid team in this game. The Ravens game doesn’t carry much weight for them because the handful of drops turned a 31-13 game into a 19-17 game really fast. The Lions have a very average offense that gets a boost from Swift, Williams, and Hockenson. Those guys alone carry and boost this offense enough to keep them from performing far worse. They don’t make big chunk plays, they have zero downfield threat, and they struggle to put up points. On the other end they have a defense that allows a lot of yards and a lot of points. Yet, with all this Lions slander and smack talk, I think they have a chance to win this week. That is because they play none other than the worst offense in the league by a long shot. The Bears have been next level bad on offense. I don’t blame the players as much as I should. Matt Nagy has been wishy washy on QBs so far. He’s killing a rookie QB’s confidence and Dalton’s also. They get sacked on 15% of passing plays(that’s pretty high), and they’ve only scored 3 offensive TDs so far this season. They’re last in offense and average only 90 passing yards per game. That’s less than the 25th ranked RUSHING yards per game team. Just to say that again, the team that ranks 25th in rushing yards per game(91 yards), has more rushing yards per game than the Bears average passing. That’s next level bad. The Lions may be a mediocre team, but how can anyone bet in favor of this Bears team right now?

DET 20 CHI 9

CARDINALS @ RAMS

This is another game that has all the making of a powerful and exciting game. Both teams boast top 10 passing offenses and are lead by early MVP candidates. The Cardinals have a more balanced offensive attack, but the Rams put more points on the board. Stafford and Murray have both had brilliant starts to the season and look to take over sole possession of 1st place in the division. Both teams aren’t super prone to turnovers either. The Cardinals are more turnover prone, but they are just as electrifying on offense to make up for it. The Cardinals have the edge on the defensive side of the ball. They have a stronger all around defense and have a better points allowed average. The Rams do hold their own however in generating pressure on the QB and forcing turnovers. The Rams play with some speed and grit and they just so happen to have Aaron Donald on their D-Line. I think the Rams are the hotter team that plays a cleaner game with less mistakes. As much as I like Murray and the Cards this year, I think the Rams, coming off a decisive win over the defending champs, are the team to beat right now.

LAR 30 ARI 24

SEAHAWKS @ 49ERS

This is a fun divisional battle between two teams that find themselves on the bottom of the division this time around. The Seahawks and 49ers boast solid offenses and the Seahawks even feature a top 10 passing attack. Your team is never out of any game when you have Russell Wilson under center. Wilson has been the epitome of a talented arm with the game changing mobility to make even the most difficult of plays. He tends to make magic happen when he is in the pocket and makes some of the beautiful throws a QB can make. He has strong weapons in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf and Chris Carson, but even that hasn’t been enough for them this season. They find themselves 1-2 and the blame for that lies on the defense. The defense ranks dead last in overall offense and don’t force many turnovers. Their opponents this week do have an unorthodox, but solid offense. They do put up points and facing a struggling Seahawks defense could be beneficial. However, the one key to stopping Russ has been constant pressure and the 49ers are the third worst team at generating pressure. I think Russ will have time to pick the 49ers apart and make up just enough for the defenses woes.

SEA 37 SF 27

RAVENS @ BRONCOS

I expect a fully entertaining game in this one. The Ravens buoyed by Lamar and this electrifying offense, the Broncos lead by this strong and gritty defense. The Ravens are coming off a close win capped by a historic Justin Tucker field goal. The Ravens only won in the closing seconds, but a handful of key drops are what made this game close. Lamar looked very sharp passing and making chunk run plays on the ground. He was making beautiful throws, but Brown had some drop struggles in the second half and even Watkins had the drop bug. There were at least two passes for sure touchdowns that were dropped. The Ravens have proved against the Chiefs that they can score and move the ball as well as anyone, but the defense has been where the struggles lie. They are the 9th worst defense and some of that has to do with facing Carr and Mohommes in the first two games, but they’ve also struggled to make tackles. The Broncos have been solid on both sides of the ball. They have had pretty solid offensive production and the defense is second in the league. They’re even listed as the favorites in this one. How much stock can we place in them though since their first three opponents are all 0-3 and 2 of those opponents featured the struggling rookie QBs Lawrence and Wilson. I gotta give this one to Baltimore, but it won’t be a runaway.

BAL 30 DEN 23

STEELERS @ PACKERS

The Steelers showed up in week 1 and pulled apart the ever dangerous Bills. Their defense proved in that game that it could overcome it’s mediocre offense and then some. Since then they’ve lost to a red hot Raiders team that also took down Baltimore, but even worse they lost to the lack luster Bengals. The Bengals might rarely get the upper hand in some close, divisional rivalry fashion. This though was a thumping by the Bengals, and it made us really question what this Steelers team has. They rank 25th in overall offense and are 28th in scoring offense. They also have struggled to bring the QB down after finishing 1st in sacks last season. This team just looks like a husk of its former self. The offensive line has been one of the worst and they currently have the most dropped passes in the league. The Packers started out with an alarming 38-3 loss to the Saints. Rodgers was very sloppy and unsettled that game and the defense couldn’t keep Winston from putting the ball into the endzone. Since then we got a vintage Rodgers trouncing over the Lions and a comeback win over San Francisco. Rodgers has woken up and the offense has looked good the passed two weeks. Rodgers is back in his groove, but Ben has yet to step into the same form we’re used to. I have to give this to the reigning MVP.

GB 24 PIT 16

BUCS @ PATRIOTS

This isn’t going to be as fun or close as other games this week, but the narrative alone makes it fun. Brady is thriving on his new team and proving he can succeed without Belichick. I mean the GOAT spent so many years in New England and won 6 Super Bowls there. He made the Patriots franchise what it is today. It’s all the sweeter of a story with rumors that Belichick refused to meet Brady before leaving the city of New England. Plus Brady had his prime Patriots target come out of retirement and follow him to Tampa Bay. This Bucs team is laden with talent and are fresh off a Super Bowl. The Bucs are the 8th best offense in the league and no team has thrown more passing touchdowns than they have. Brady can move the ball methodically and manage the clock, or he can fly down the field and score in a flash. He has a ton of weapons and a good playbook to work with. The Bucs defense isn’t strong on the other side. They have the least QB sacks in the league and they’re last in passing defense. Luckily for them the Patriots have a rookie signal caller under center and they have only scored 4 TDs on offense. Jones hasn’t been as bad as the other rookie QBs, but it’s been tough sledding nonetheless. They do boast a top 5 defense that gets sacks off of little pressure. However, Brady isn’t just your run of the mill QB, in fact, he just so happens to be the greatest QB ever. He will quiet this crowd and make them really wish he’d never left Foxborough.

TB 37 NE 15

RAIDERS @ CHARGERS

This is another game that has the potential to be a great game to watch. The Raiders came out red hot and are sitting pretty at 3-0. The Chargers aren’t 3-0, but they do have a win against the Chiefs. Herbert and Carr have both looked solid and like either team could be a threat in this division. The Raiders come into this game with the number one overall offense through the first 3 weeks. Derek Carr himself actually leads the league in passing, casually averaging 400 yards per game. Carr has really made this offense shine and has brought the best of out Waller, Ruggs, Renfrow and company. This offense has been lethal and Carr is the sole leader and best player out there. He’s been poised and merciless as he continues to embarrass defenses week in and week out. They also have a decent defense that is top 5 in QB pressures and top 3 in QB knockdowns. They can move the ball and score in a hurry and just as quickly get to your QB too. The Chargers may not be nearly as successful getting pressure on the QB, but they are a top 10 offense and are top 5 in passing offense. They also are top 5 in passing defense. Their flaw is pass rushing and stopping the run. They are dead last in rushing yards allowed. It’ll come down to whether or not Jacobs can do enough to establish a rushing attack and let Carr have his way with the defense. I say he does enough to get a close win.

LV 33 LAC 27

There we go, that wraps up another week of pickems. We have a fair amount of good games to look forward to and some solid storylines. I can’t wait to see what this week brings and after last weeks fantasy football meltdown for me. I could use a week where I have good fantasy luck and good pickem luck instead of just pickem luck. Hope you all enjoy this week’s breakdowns and predictions. Please let me know what you all think in the comments here or the comments wherever you find this link. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share this around. I wanna get my page out there and hopefully in front of the eyes of some sports analysts. Good luck to your teams and fantasy teams also. Thank you for reading and I will see you all next week!

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