Movie quote of the day:
“Rule number 76: No excuses, play like a champion.”
– Jeremy Grey, “Wedding Crashers” (2005)
Here are the matchups for week four:
Week three record: 6-10 (37.5 percent)
2016 record: 27-21 (56.2 percent)
All-time record: 179-126 (58.7 percent)
Miami Dolphins (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)
Paul Brown Stadium
Line: CIN -7
Even though Cincinnati is off to a bad start, I still think the Bengals are a playoff-caliber team. Cincinnati has a very good passing attack, and Miami ranks toward the bottom in pass defense. If Andy Dalton and the Bengals’ offense gets on a roll airing it out, I’m not sure Ryan Tannehill will be able to keep up. I don’t Miami is a good enough team to go on the road and beat a good Bengals team.
Prediction: Bengals 23, Dolphins 17
Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
Line: IND -2.5
It’s the first game of regular season across the pond. I’ll be honest, I expected more from Jacksonville. The Jaguars have the talent to win games, but it’s not coming together and I’m ready to jump ship. Indianapolis got a nice win over San Diego last week and I expect the Colts to keep rolling. I think this game will be a shootout, but I like Andrew Luck to outscore Blake Bortles.
Prediction: Colts 34, Jaguars 31
Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1)
Line: HOU -5
It looks like Houston could be without J. J. Watt for the rest of the season. I think the Texans will come out with a chip on their shoulder after potentially losing their defensive leader for the year, and getting embarrassed last week by New England. I think Marcus Mariota will be able to make some plays and keep the Titans in the game, but I think Houston pulls away in the second half.
Prediction: Texans 28, Titans 17
Cleveland Browns (0-3) at Washington Redskins (1-2)
Line: WAS -7.5
I think Washington got back on track last week after going into the Meadowlands and coming out with a win. Cleveland is still the worst team in the league and I don’t see that changing this week. Terrelle Pryor shouldn’t have ran his mouth about how he thinks the Browns can win out and go 13-3 because it could get ugly for Cleveland. I expect Josh Norman to blanket Pryor and Cody Kessler will struggle to find playmakers. I think the Redskins win comfortably.
Prediction: Redskins 28, Browns 16
Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)
East Rutherford, N. J.
Line: SEA -2.5
Seattle’s offense finally exploded and scored some points last week, but I’m not ready to say that that’s what fans are going to see from here on out. The Seahawks now have to travel across three time zones to play against a really good Jets defense. I expect Seattle to come out flat and get off to a slow start because of the early kickoff. I like the Jets to win in a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Jets 20, Seahawks 16
Buffalo Bills (1-2) at New England Patriots (3-0)
Line: NE -3.5
If there’s any head coach that would love to beat the Patriots it’s Rex Ryan. He’s still coaching for his job, and a win over New England in Gillette will silence his critics. However, it’s the last game without Tom Brady for the Patriots, and I’m sick of picking against either Jimmy Garopollo or Jacoby Brissett. I think the Bills keep it close the whole game, but I like Patriots to win with a late score.
Prediction: Patriots 21, Bills 13
Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
Line: CAR -3
Carolina is off to a bad start mainly because of Cam Newton’s struggles – five interceptions in three games. Carolina’s offensive line hasn’t helped Newton out at all though – Newton has been sacked 12 times so far. However, Atlanta ranks toward the bottom in sack defense with only three all year. I think the Panthers’ offensive line will keep Newton upright in this game and I expect him to make a lot of plays.
Prediction: Panthers 27, Falcons 24
Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (3-0)
M&T Bank Stadium
Line: BAL -3.5
I think Baltimore has been the least impressive of the undefeated teams. The combined record of the teams that the Ravens have played so far is 1-8, and the Ravens have struggled against each opponent. Oakland has been a great road team so far this season, but traveling across the country for an early kickoff will be a challenge for this young Raiders team. I think the Ravens remain unbeaten in a close game.
Prediction: Ravens 26, Raiders 21
Detroit Lions (1-2) at Chicago Bears (0-3)
Line: DET -3
Chicago has lost to Detroit at home for the last three years. If Jay Cutler were playing this week, I’d say that they would have a decent chance of breaking that streak. However, Detroit’s offense is off to a pretty good start and I don’t think Brian Hoyer can outplay Matt Stafford. I think the Lions get a win in Soldier Field for fourth-consecutive season.
Prediction: Lions 27, Bears 20
Denver Broncos (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)
Raymond James Stadium
Line: DEN -3
I picked Tampa Bay to make the postseason, but I’m close to jumping off the Buccaneers’ ship (no pun intended). The Buccaneers are struggling keeping teams out of the end zone giving up 101 points in three games. Trevor Siemian and the Broncos’ offense is playing very well right now. Denver’s defense is fantastic and I think Jameis Winston is going to make mistakes after taking a lot of hits from the Broncos’ pass rush. I think Denver stays undefeated.
Prediction: Broncos 24, Buccaneers 19
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
U of Phoenix Stadium
Line: ARI -8
Los Angeles has stolen a couple of wins the last two weeks against decent opponents. That could continue this week because Carson Palmer hasn’t been spectacular – throwing four picks in the first three games. Arizona head coach Bruce Arians is one of the best offensive minds in the league, I expect him to get Palmer and Arizona’s offense back on track. I think it’ll start this week.
Prediction: Cardinals 27, Rams 17
New Orleans Saints (0-3) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)
Line: SD -4
This game will be shootout because both offenses rank in the top 10 in scoring, and both defenses are in the bottom half in the league. I still think that San Diego is one of the worst teams in the NFL, but New Orleans’ defense can’t stop anyone. It’s a long road trip for the Saints and I expect their problems to continue.
Prediction: Chargers 38, Saints 33
Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
Santa Clara, Calif.
Line: DAL -2
After the strong performance on Monday Night Football in week one, San Francisco’s defense has given up 83 points in the last two weeks. The 49ers will have another tough task trying to slow down the Cowboys’ offense which has played well every game this season. I know that it’s tough to win on the road in the NFL, but I think Dallas is the better team right now.
Prediction: Cowboys 29, 49ers 28
New York Giants (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
U. S. Bank Stadium
Line: MIN -5
Minnesota’s defense has been lights out so far. The Vikings have made Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton struggle and look like fools. I don’t expect that to change this week because the Giants’ offensive line is average at best. I think the Minnesota pass rush will be too much for Eli Manning, and I expect the Giants’ offense to struggle.
Prediction: Vikings 23, Giants 14
Game of the week:
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
Line: PIT -4.5
Pittsburgh will find ways to score points, but this game will be decided if the Steelers can slow down Alex Smith. Pittsburgh’s defense couldn’t keep Carson Wentz and Philadelphia’s offense off the field last week. The Eagles run a similar offense to the Chiefs and Andy Reid is a great offensive mind. Pittsburgh gets Le’Veon Bell back this week from suspension. I’m not sure how many carries he’ll get but he’ll bring another dimension to Pittsburgh’s offense. I think home-field advantage will help the Steelers get some defensive stops and get a win.
Prediction: Steelers 28, Chiefs 23
Teams with a bye week:
Thanks for reading
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