Week 4 Record: 9-6
Correct: Bengals, Texans, Raiders, Broncos, Cowboys, Redskins, Saints, Steelers, Vikings
Incorrect: Rams, Seahawks, Lions, Bills, Falcons, Jaguars
Overall Record: 36-27
A solid bounce back from a 10-loss campaign in week three.
Cardinals 14, 49ers 17
I want to believe that somewhere within the 1-3 Cardinals is the same team that made it to the NFC Championship game last season. This game is tough to pick considering the injury to Carson Palmer and his status on a short week. I see David Johnson having a big game against a short-handed Niners defense that just lost Navorro Bowman for the rest of the year. Since Drew Stanton is starting, however, I’m going to give the Niners a three-point edge at home, dropping Arizona to a 1-4 start, a deadly blow to their playoff hopes.
Texans 14, Vikings 21
This Minnesota defense is for real. In two home games thus far, they’ve shut down Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning. And who would of thought through three games Sam Bradford would complete nearly 70 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and no interceptions? Brock Osweiler has been up-and-down in his first season in Houston, and now faces his toughest task with the resurgence of the “Purple People Eaters.”
Jets 19, Steelers 31
What a difference a week makes. After losing by 31 points to the Eagles, Pittsburgh came back with a dominating performance over the Chiefs, opening up a 36-0 lead before coasting to a 29-point victory. Le’Veon Bell made a big splash in his debut, racking up 178 yards from scrimmage. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown nine interceptions in the last two weeks and you know there is a big problem when some people are calling for Geno Smith to go under center. Pittsburgh moves to 4-1.
Eagles 21, Lions 24
The Lions laid an egg against Brian Hoyer and the Bears last week, a team that many speculated as the worst in the NFL. Philadelphia is coming off the aforementioned domination of the Steelers and are well-rested following their bye. Carson Wentz is drawing comparisons to Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers through just three games. Yeah, it’s a little early in my opinion to throw Wentz in the Hall of Fame, but there’s no denying that he’s playing good football.However, I think the Eagles’ luck runs out when they head to Detroit, where Matthew Stafford seems to play better in front of his home crowd. A close affair, but the Lions pull it out in the end.
Redskins 27, Ravens 20
The Ravens came back down to earth with a loss to Oakland last week. Baltimore rode an easy schedule to a 3-0 record, but with a loss under their belt, they face a Redskins team on a two-game winning streak. This will be a close game, because I don’t think the Redskins are that special of a team. They had to come from behind to defeat Cleveland last week. However, Kirk Cousins is still racking up yards (1,172) and running back Matt Jones has 217 yards from scrimmage in the last two games.
Bears 17, Colts 27
If this game was in Chicago, I’d give the Bears the upper hand. I don’t know why I’m putting my trust in Andrew Luck and the Colts’ abysmal offensive line and defense, but I just don’t see them losing at home to a team as bad as Chicago. Luck is tied for 5th in the NFL with eight touchdown passes this season.
Titans 21, Dolphins 10
Miami showed no heart in their loss to Cincinnati last Thursday. A 74-yard touchdown to Kenny Stills gave the Dolphins an early lead, but they managed less than 200 yards for the remainder of the contest. If it weren’t for three missed field goals by Cody Parkey in week two, Miami would be the only winless team in the NFL and would be contending for the no. 1 pick in next April’s draft. Tennessee’s defense is still an above-average unit, and I see them harassing Ryan Tannehill on Sunday and picking up their second win of the season.
Patriots 31, Browns 14
I said last week I would never pick against the Patriots again. That backfired when they were shutout by the Bills, 16-0. However, Tom Brady is back this week and I see him picking apart a terrible Browns’ defense. Rob Gronkowski has one catch in two games this season, but with Brady’s return, he finally has a breakout game that New England (and his fantasy owners) have been waiting for. Cleveland drops to 0-5 — Hilarious.
Bengals 23, Cowboys 20
Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot are all the rage right now after starting 3-1. Maybe that’s because they’re from Dallas and the NFC East (Redskins’ locker room turmoil, Odell Beckham Jr. being unhappy, Carson Wentz being the next Joe Montana) is all the media likes to talk about. Prescott faces his toughest challenge this week in the Bengals, who are welcoming back a few key pieces. Vontaze Burfict returned last week against Miami and the defense nearly pitched a shutout. Andy Dalton gets his Pro Bowl tight end, Tyler Eifert, back from injury this week, which will help their red zone woes. Mike Nugent kicks the game-winner and the Bengals win their first game in Dallas since 1988.
Bills 20, Rams 13
Who would of thought the Bills would respond like this? Buffalo started 0-2, fired their offensive coordinator, and have won two straight against Arizona and New England, respectively. Jeff Fisher and the Rams have been a feel-good story through four games after being shutout in their opener, but that luck runs out when they face the Ryan brothers in California this Sunday.
Falcons 17, Broncos 24
It doesn’t matter to me if Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch is under center, the Broncos’ defense will pave the way to a 5-0 start. Matt Ryan is coming off a 500-yard outing against Carolina, but now runs into the daunting task of heading to Mile High to face the defending Super Bowl Champions. Denver has allowed just two 300-yard passers in their last 28 regular-season games, and they get after Ryan and the Falcons on Sunday.
Chargers 27, Raiders 30
Three hard-fought road victories have put Oakland at a 3-1 mark through the first quarter of the season. The Chargers are an interesting story. If not for losing three second-half leads, they could be 4-0. I see a lot of points being scored at the Black Hole on Sunday, but Derek Carr leads the Raiders to a 4-1 start while San Diego continues to struggle at putting games away. One has to feel bad for the Chargers’ many injuries. They’ve lost Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen for the season, Antonio Gates is old and fragile, and now defensive back Jason Verrett is done for the year with a torn ACL. It’s going to be a 4-12 or 5-11 season for San Diego, but somehow they stay competitive in nearly every game.
Giants 23, Packers 28
Aaron Rodgers is a bad man as they say. He stays home for a primetime matchup with the Giants who seem to be more concerned with their star wideout than their opponent. Eddie Lacy is the x-factor for this game. He’s coming off his first 100-yard game of the season in week three as the Packers were able to open up a huge lead in a win over Detroit. Lacy keeps it going against the Giants and Green Bay moves to 3-1.
Buccaneers 20, Panthers 24
Like the Cardinals, the Panthers are a struggling team with three losses already. I forecast Jameis Winston continuing to be a turnover machine when the Buccaneers head to Carolina on Monday and the Panthers get a bounce-back win. Given that Cam Newton plays after suffering a concussion in the loss to Atlanta last week.