Hello everyone, it’s that time of week again, football is upon us. Week 4 saw its fair share of drama, blowouts, and surprises. I’m sure we all have seen and maybe even weighed in on the whole debate with the Ravens-Broncos game. There was also the Urban Meyer situation and the Rodgers-Tomlin story. There was no shortage of action and drama this passed week and I’m sure we’ll have even more this week as the season heats up and things begin to come to a head. After last week, I now sit with a 44-20 pickem which is a pretty solid record. Granted the season is still young, but so far I like where we’ve found ourselves with the dust settling. With that said, let’s jump right into it this week.
RAMS @ SEAHAWKS
We are getting treated with a potentially fun game to watch. Although, just as it can be a very fun and entertaining game to watch, it can also be a blowout before we can blink twice. These two teams feature two QBs that are some of the best veteran signal callers the NFL has to offer. Both Stafford and Russ are capable of carrying an offense on its shoulders. The big difference in this one will be defense and the offensive line. Seattle has an o-line that can string together a solid drive and give Wilson time to make plays and move the ball, but they are also capable of putting in a drive or even a game where they give Russ no time and no QB of any skill can win ball games with hands in their face and their butts on the ground. On the defensive end, Seattle ranks 28th in passing defense, last in rushing defense, and are allowing 25 points per game. This Rams offense is far too talented and dangerous to not expose this defense. They don’t have the best defense but the main thing is they do generate decent pressure and they allow fewer sacks per pass play than anyone. They also just so happen to have the best defensive player in the league at DT. Even if the Seahawks give Russ some time, I have to give this one to the Rams.
LAR 27 SEA 17
JETS @ FALCONS
This will be a classic story of which team is worse this season. If you went off of the first 3 weeks, you’d pick the Jets to be the worst without giving it a second thought. Last week, the Jets did enough to make you rethink that, at least when being compared to aa team like Atlanta. Granted the Titans have looked more like a huge question mark than the bonafide contenders they were last seaSon, but they’re still always going to be tough so long as they have King Henry in the backfield. Wilson finally put together a solid performance and led the Jets to victory in OT. He hasn’t looked good in any aspect to start the season, but he’s a rookie and growing pains are expected when you get drafted to the worst team in the game and have almost no o-line to speak of. They have the pleasure of facing a team that really struggles to get pressure on the QB and has a hard time forcing turnovers. The Jets on the other hand, get solid pressure and have the 13th ranked defense that does pretty solid work against the pass. I’m going to go out on a limb and lock in the Jets with my first upset pick this week.
NYJ 20 ATL 16
PATRIOTS @ TEXANS
We have our first predicted blowout of the week. Now keep in mind that when I say blowout, I mean more than 14 points. After watching the Pats and Bucs the last weekend, I think we see that Mac Jones has really solid potential. Granted, Tampa Bay has the lowest ranked passing defense in the league, but to be able to slow down and even stand toe to toe and trade blows with the GOAT and this star studded Bucs offense says a lot. They are finding their identity and Belichick will always at least put this team in a position to compete in this league and they happen to have the Texans who are operating under a new coach and still searching for their team identity as well. The Texans sit at 30th in team offense and are also bottom 5 in team defense, while the Pats are top 5 in team defense. Granted they did just trade away their top DB, but this is a good week to test their other options. I give the win this week to Belichick and the Pats by a solid margin.
NE 27 HOU 9
DOLPHINS @ BUCS
Another game that I think will be a blowout. TB12 and this Bucs team have showed a bit of a weak spot in their team the passed two weeks as they got beat by the Rams two weeks ago and they just squeaked by the Pats this passed week. It’s not news to anyone that the defending champs are a high powered offense and are a staple in the top 10 of offenses this season. Brady is the GOAT and is surrounded by top talent. They have a tougher time on the defensive side as they rank in the bottom half of overall defense, but they don’t allow a ton of points and they can string together turnovers and pressure when they need to. They’re a talented team with good coaching to put the right plays together. They also happen to be matched up with a team that is 30th in overall offense and in the bottom 10 in defense. They’re 29th in scoring defense and 30th in scoring offense. They were struggling before with Tua under center and it’s only gotten worse since he went down with a tough rib injury. I just can’t see Miami giving the Bucs any bit of trouble this week. I see Brady and the defending champs winning this in another blowout.
TB 34 MIA 13
EAGLES @ PANTHERS
I would rather not see more blowouts than close games, but this has the potential to be another one. The Panthers are looking very strong this season with a rejuvenated Sam Darnold under center. Since leaving New York, he’s looked very sharp. He has finally found coaches and surrounding talent for him to thrive with. They find themselves as the 13th ranked offense overall and they are 8th in passing offense. They also have the 3rd best defense overall and are 2nd against the pass. This team moves the ball well and they rarely allow teams to score. Last week they let Dallas have their way, but who isn’t against that talented Dallas offense. The Eagles have had good luck on offense this season, not much different from where Carolina ranks, but their defense is about average, they struggle against the run though. They sit at 24th in points per game allowed and they don’t generate a ton of pressure on opposing QBs. That being said, I don’t see this being a blowout, but I do think Carolina wins comfortably at home.
CAR 30 PHI 20
TITANS @ JAGUARS
We have our second divisional matchup of the week and I’m thinking it will be another blowout. A lot of experts have Tennessee winning this one pretty comfortably. Tennessee is coming into this week with a sour taste in their mouths, having lost last week to the Jets in OT. In typical King Henry fashion, Henry is dominating on the ground, leading the league in rushing by a solid margin. The Titans have a top ten offense and have the 4th best rushing offense in the league. However, they also give up the 3rd most turnovers in the league. Luckily for them Jacksonville gives up the most turnovers and are bottom 10 in overall offense. Jacksonville also is the 30th ranked defense and has only forced 1 turnover at this point in the season. They’re also dead last in sacks and are allowing the second most rushing touchdowns. This team is struggling to put anything together on either side of the ball and they are also trying to deal with the buzz of Urban Meyer’s club scandal. I think the Titans win this one easily
TEN 24 JAX 10
LIONS @ VIKINGS
Yet another game that doesn’t seem like it’ll be very close. The Lions have been a little tougher to play at home, but in their road games, they’ve been pretty rough. Couple that with the fact that they are missing Ragnow and maybe Sewell as well, and it’s not looking too promising for them this week. That’s 2 Pro Bowl linemen they’re missing now along with the rookie stud. The Vikings just so happen to be ranked 4th in sacks. They have a strong front seven and are very solid on the interior. The Lions lean heavily on the services of Williams and Swift to open up the passing attack. It doesn’t look like they’re going to have much luck and we all know how well Goff handles pressure in his face. Couple that with the fact that Detroit’s defense ranks in the bottom half of the league overall and that they don’t generate a whole lot pressure and it doesn’t look too good for the Lions this week. I’m giving Minnesota the big win this week.
MIN 27 DET 13
PACKERS @ BENGALS
This game is going to be closer than people think. Green Bay is expected by some to roll into Cincinnati and bulldoze the Bengals. Am I going to go out on a limb and say Green Bay wins? No, I’ve learned to never doubt Aaron Rodgers. However, I do think Cincy will surprise the Packers. Green Bay has performed below average this season in all three aspects in terms of yardage. Granted the offense has been a lot stronger since that week 1 embarrassment at the hands of the Saints. The real story for Green Bay and their success is their 6th ranked defense. They’re playing well against the run and the pass. They’re also forcing turnovers, and don’t commit a lot of dumb penalties. However, their defensive weakness is scoring. Teams score on 42% of their drives and they’re allowing 25 points per game. The Bengals offense may not be much better than mediocre, but it’s better than it was last year. They are a top 10 defense that gets to the QB and keeps them out of the endzone. This game will be a close one, but I can’t see Green Bay losing this one.
GB 23 CIN 17
SAINTS @ FOOTBALL TEAM
We’re finally getting less blowouts and getting some games that should be pretty close and competitive. It’s a tale of two sides in this one. New Orleans is the stronger team on the defensive side of the ball and Washington is the stronger team on the offensive side of the ball. Washington scores the ball well on offense, but is last in the league in scoring allowed per drive. The Saints are towards the bottom of the league in scoring offense, but they’re towards the top in scoring defense. Neither side generates a lot of pressure on the opposing QBs, but they also don’t allow a lot of pressure also. It’s a very close game because they both excel and areas where the other is lacking. a key difference maker in this one could be the talent on the offensive side of the ball. Winston has been shaky and eventually Chase Young will wake up and start wreaking havoc. The Football Team also has more weapons for a QB that’s more prone to take chances downfield and be more aggressive. I think Washington takes this one in a close game.
WFT 17 NO 13
BRONCOS @ STEELERS
Another game that should be a close one, you love to see it. The Steelers are sitting at 1-3 on the bottom of the AFC North. The Broncos are sitting tied for first at the top of the AFC West. The Steelers are licking their wounds and looking for answers. The Broncos too are looking to bounce back after a loss and budding feud with the Ravens. The drama was ramped up in the game, and Fangio made his feelings heard. They really went stale on offense without Bridgewater and Lock tends to make mistakes. Throw in the fact that Pittsburgh has a strong defense that takes any weaknesses and mistakes thrown their way and it certainly doesn’t look good for the Broncos this week. I don’t think they’ll get beaten up on by the Steelers, but when the score is close and all bets are on, I just can’t see Lock making the plays necessary to win the game. I’m giving the edge to Pittsburgh and this defense that is known for pressuring the QB and forcing mistakes
PIT 23 DEN 21
BEARS @ RAIDERS
This game is actually tougher to make a prediction on then people might realize. The Chargers just showed some glaring weaknesses in Las Vegas’ defense. Derek Carr has been exceptional, but even he can’t overcome injuries and a lack of all-around talent. The Raiders have a handful of guys doubtful for this game and that could make a world of difference. Carr and this offense have found their stride and the spark they’ve needed to put together a great 3-1 start to the season. However, this Bears defense lead by Khalil Mack is pretty strong and they do lead the league in sacks. The defense has shown up in a big way and have kept them at least competitive in some games this season. With Fields starting, it’s hard to know what to expect on offense. The offense looked completely abysmal with Dalton in there, and even with Fields in there, he was very rough in his first road game. He could be poised for a rookie bounce back like Wilson, Lawrence, and Jones have had, but I still think Carr has enough talent and weapons around him to pull this one out, but they will have to fight to get the win.
LV 24 CHI 23
BROWNS @ CHARGERS
Now here is a fun game that I really like. This one is full of good matchups and talent and will be a lot of fun to watch. Both team feature really tough defenses. The Chargers have the 9th ranked defense overall and the Browns come in at number 2. They have played very stout and physical defense up to this point. The Browns just grinded Minnesota to a 14-7 win and Los Angeles is coming off a win where they stymied a hot Raiders offense. The main areas off difference for these teams is that Cleveland generates more pressure and sacks on the QB, and LA forces more turnovers. The defense makes this game interesting, and on paper, the Browns get the slight edge on defense. On offense it should be fun to see how this shakes out. So far Cleveland hasn’t shown the same level of fiery explosiveness that we saw last season. The Chargers are ranked 7th in passing yards while the Browns are all the way down at 26th. On the flipside, the Browns boast the best rushing attack in the game right now with the Chargers sitting at 18th in rushing offense. With a matchup so close with 2 of the league’s top teams facing off, I’m going to pick the one area where I always feel comfortable leaning on, QB play. I like Herbert’s poise, accuracy, and hot streak right now to get the win.
LAC 27 CLE 23
GIANTS @ COWBOYS
You can always assume you’re in for a good game when it’s a matchup between divisional rivals, especially one as old and historic as this one. The Cowboys offense looks very strong right now, and Dak is making his case for both Comeback Player of the Year and MVP. Their offense sits firmly inside the top 5 so far this season and they’re the type of offense that moves the ball and scores at will. With weapons all over the field, the Cowboys have a fearsome offense that not many can stop. The Giants however, sit just down at 21st on the overall offense rankings. The Giants have struggled the first 3 weeks, but we finally saw the awakening of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones as they looked strong to overcome the Saints in OT. Neither team struggles with turnovers or allows many sacks. That points to the defense, maybe it has the answer for how this game will turn out. As it turns out, neither team is stout on defense. Both have defenses that are in the bottom half of the rankings. The key is the run defense and the turnover battle. The Cowboys actually have a solid run defense and have forced the second most turnovers. Jones does have a history of being too aggressive with some ill-advised throws and the Cowboys may be able to at least limit Barkley’s ability to spark the Giant’s offense. I have to give the edge to the Cowboys in this one.
DAL 30 NYG 24
49ERS @ CARDINALS
Well we are certainly finding out early that the buzz was warranted around Kyler Murray, but also the Cardinals as a team are the real deal. They were looking like a good team, then they came in and completely rocked a strong Rams team. Murray and the Cardinals offense is firing on all cylinders and nobody has managed to stop or even slow them down yet. They’re currently the 2nd ranked offense, and that’s only because the Rams played Thursday and bumped up to first after that game. They are averaging 35 points per game, which is good for 1st in the league. On the defensive side of the ball, they are in the top half of the rankings and are actually 3rd in turnovers forced. They take the ball away, and Murray and company almost always makes good on those turnovers. The 49ers haven’t been too bad themselves. They could be doing better on offense, but with each passing week, Lance gets more comfortable and settled in this offense. Once they mesh and find a rhythm they could piece and string of wins together. Even with some uncertainty, they’re still hovering around the middle of the league in total offense. On defense they find themselves just in at number 10 overall and they do very well against the pass. They don’t force many turnovers though, while the Cards are one of the best teams at forcing turnovers. It will be somewhat close since it’s a divisional game, but I’m giving the nod to the Cardinals in this one as they stay undefeated.
ARI 31 SF 20
BILLS @ CHIEFS
So it seems that some teams in the league are beginning to figure out the Chiefs kryptonite. Granted, they are still the Chiefs, so we have the take that with a grain of salt. They’re still a team lead by Mahommes and Reid that’s brimming with talent and form fitting play schemes. The Bills this season look like the unstoppable juggernaut of a team that the Chiefs were last season. The thing that makes the Bills really scary is that they’ve figured it out on both sides of the ball. They’re a top 10 offense that is 2nd in scoring and doesn’t turn the ball over very often. They put up points often and move the ball with ease. They also have the ball often as they are the number 1 defense in the league and force the most turnovers. This team is all around dangerous and nobody wants to play them right now. Mahommes and company are one of the teams that could really test them though. They haven’t quite looked the same this season, but they’re still deadly. They’re the 3rd ranked offense in the league and are tied with the Bills for 2nd in scoring. Mahommes, Kelce, and Hill will always be a deadly combo that is hard for anyone to stop. The difference in this game is defense. The Bills are easily the best defense in the league right now, while the Chiefs are one of the worst. I just can’t see them stopping or even slowing down Allen and company, while Mahommes and the Chiefs are surely gonna have their hands full with this Bills defense.
BUF 38 KC 27
COLTS @ RAVENS
If Wentz is healthy and plays his best football, this can be a very fun and exciting game. It’s a chance for Justin Houston to play his old team, and Houston is also 1.5 sacks away from hitting 100 sacks in his career. The Ravens have put on a new identity this year as they’ve developed into more of a passing team lately. Lamar and the offense are thriving in this new identity. They threw the ball all over the field on a 3-0 Broncos team last week, albeit without Bridgewater. Lamar is currently averaging more air yards per attempt and completion than anyone and has found his rhythm going forward. Bateman is a possibility to join the team for his debut, and they get healthier and healthier as the season rolls along. The Colts have been a slightly below average offense, but they thrive on not turning the ball over and they manage the clock very well. They do allow a decent amount of pressure though which is always trouble for anyone. The Ravens have an average overall defense, but they really excel in run defense, as they are top 10 in that area. They’re also 3rd in pressure generated and top 10 in sacks. The Colts do struggle with pressure, as they rank 31st in pressures on the QB. However, they’re top 5 in forcing turnovers, while the Ravens really struggle to force turnovers. I think this game will be fun, but i see the Ravens winning this one somewhat comfortably.
BAL 26 IND 17
Well there you have it folks another week of predictions and breakdowns and hopefully another week of exciting football. We have potential records that could unfold this week, good rivalries, and even our season’s first London game. I’m excited to see how things unfold this week as the picture for the season will become even more clear as the early chaos will begin to settle. The contenders will begin to separate from the pretenders and we’ll have the fortune of trade deadline drama on the horizon. Hope everyone liked the article this week and please comment your opinions and share with fellow fans. Thank you and tune in next week for the next pickem and predictions.