Week 4 Cold Hard Locks
The dawn broke a little brighter Friday morning didn’t it? That’s what an Eagles victory does to us Philadelphians. Carson looked efficient, the offensive line looked dominate, and our pass rush harassed Rodgers just enough. Finding our groove! But enough about my Birds. There is plenty of football left this glorious weekend and I’m gonna break down each game at the quarter poll of the NFL season!
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons (-4)
Did you watch the Titans offense last Thursday? I couldn’t, it was that bad. They can’t run the ball and Mariota is playing for his job at this point. Tennessee has an underrated defense that will give Matt Ryan some issues but the Falcons have just enough, plus Julio Jones, at home to eek out an important victory.
Falcons over Titans – 17 to 10
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (+7)
A surprise matchup of undefeated teams as New England heads north. The Bills have won due to a top defense, just enough Josh Allen, and a lucky early schedule that featured the Jets, the Giants, and the Bengals. Time for them to start playing the big boys and it starts with the biggest of them all. The Patriots do come in with some serious offensive line issues that poise to derail their excellent season if they can’t create running holes (someone find Sony Michel, he’s been kidnapped) and keep Tom healthy. But it’s not matter in this one as Allen and Co go up against the best, yeah I said it, the best defense in football. Supremacy of the AFC East still belongs to Foxboro.
Patriots over Bills – 23 to 13
Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions (+6.5)
The Lions’ unbeaten record gets put right to the test after their unlikely win over my Eagles last week. The hottest quarterback in the galaxy arrives ready to roast and weakened Lions secondary. I think Stafford and Kerryon Johnson keep it closer than expected at home but Mahomes does what Mahomes does and gets this victory to stay undefeated. The Chiefs and Patriots meet in Week 12 by the way, circle your calendars.
Chiefs over Lions – 27 to 20
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-6.5)
The Colts are just fine without Andrew Luck. Key word is fine because they don’t have the firepower to run with the biggest dogs but they appear ready to battle for a wild card spot or possibly the division if the Texans stumble. The Raiders came off their emotional Week 1 victory and haven’t gotten back up since. Lot of work to do there. The Colts work hard and Marlon Mack makes up for a hobbled TY Hilton. Back to the drawing board Gruden.
Colts over Raiders – 20 to 16
Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins (+15.5)
The Dolphins are ruining survivor pools everywhere! This isn’t the week to shy away from picking their opponent. The Chargers can’t afford another hiccup after their 1-2 start. The Dolphins are the perfect medicine to get over the cold and Melvin Gordon reporting only adds to the fire. Rivers keeps Keenan Allen leading the league in receiving and this game is over by halftime.
Chargers over Dolphins – 31 to 17
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-2.5)
STOP with all the Daniel Jones love. Yes he scored a bunch and won. But it was against the Bucs and their kicker missed a 34 yard field goal to win. The Redskins have a far superior defense and Saquon Barkley will miss this matchup. The Giants still can’t defend against the pass and the emerging Terry McLaurin will get his. Redskins in the “upset”.
Redskins over Giants – 27 to 24
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-6.5)
This has the makings of a season defining upset. The Ravens have looked like the best team in the AFC North and I still think that’s true. But everyone has turned on Cleveland giving Baker that underdog, disrespect card that he loves. Also, the Browns have one hell of a defense which is being lost. Lamar Jackson struggles and Odell makes a play or two to set up a late field goal to win and shake up the NFL power structure.
Browns over Ravens – 23 to 20
Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans (-4.5)
To preface, I am on the Kyle Allen hype train. He can ball and makes the Panthers a dangerous team. But the Texans are just better. The Watson-Hopkins connection looks as strong as expected and their defense can still get after it. If it was in Carolina, I may say an upset is coming but the smart money is clearly on Houston.
Texans over Panthers – 24 to 17
4 O’Clock Showdowns
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams (-9.5)
Yikes. The Rams come out firing on this porous Buccaneers defense while Aaron Donald forces some bad throws by Jameis Winston that end up in the hands of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. Look for Todd Gurley to have his breakout game as well.
Rams over Buccaneers – 38 to 13
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (+5)
Seattle lost a stunner last week at home against the Saints. Russell Wilson gets his guys ready for this one as Kyler Murray gets hassled by the Seattle defense. A late defensive touchdown makes it look like more a blowout than it really is. I’m more bullish on the Cardinals than I expected but I’m not ready to run for cover with the Seahawks, the talent is still there and Russell Wilson is a difference maker.
Seahawks over Cardinals – 27 to 16
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-2)
I take little stock in Mitch Trubisky’s performance on Monday Night against the Redskins. I’m far more interested in the eggs he laid against the good defenses of Green Bay and Broncos. The Vikings are stout in all three levels and are going to give this Bears offense a lot of trouble. On the flip side, the Bears will be all over Kirk Cousins but the Vikings simply have more difference makers on offense with Diggs, Thielen, and dynamo Dalvin Cook. That swings the pedulum in this divisional rivalry. By the way, is this the best division in football? All four teams having winning records. Something to watch going forward.
Vikings over Bears – 17 to 13
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos (-3)
I’m actually interested in this game featuring two goin’-nowhere teams. The Minshew show is must watch TV and will the Broncos ever get a sack? This should be a low scoring affair in Mile High with two very good defenses. Not sure who I trust more so I’ll take the Broncos slight advantage of offensive weapons to carry the day.
Broncos over Jaguars – 20 to 17
Sunday Night Football
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (+2.5)
The Dak and Cowboys hype has been unbearable. They have beaten the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins. Spare me. Dallas finally gets a test against a steady Saints team with a good, not great, defense and a good, not great, offense. If they win, the Cowboys get my respect. But they won’t. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are good enough to beat this very good Cowboys defense but more importantly Dak will struggle throwing the ball against good Saints corners while the defense puts 8 in the box to stop Zeke. The Superdome also plays a huge factor as it will be loud Sunday night.
Saints over Cowboys – 27 to 24
Monday Night Football
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
Not the game I was hoping for to end the week. Should have switched this with the Eagles-Packers matchup. Plenty of fantasy implications here though with James Connor, JuJu, John Ross, Joe Mixon, and Tyler Boyd on the field. The Bengals are stuck in the mud and require a shakeup to get back to relevancy. The Steelers fall from grace has been sudden but I’m a believer in Mason Rudolph. He pushed them to a victory at home.
Steelers over Bengals – 28 to 24