Welcome to Week 4 of the NFL season. I am trying really hard to be optimistic but I feel like I am going crazy. After going 8-7 in Week 1, I proclaimed that I should have just flipped a coin in Week 2. While I didn’t flip a coin, I managed to still go a mediocre 8-8 somehow. Thinking it was some crude joke, I once again mentioned I should flip a coin for the next week. You aren’t going to believe this, but I somehow once again went 8-8 in Week 3. So yes. I went 8-7, 8-8, and 8-8 to start the year on my picks. I almost feel scared to make this joke, but after starting 24-23, I truly believe I could flip a coin this week and achieve better results. This NFL season has been all over the place, and we now enter Week 4 with a confusing feeling, low morale, and an eerily average record. I guess let’s make some picks? Although at this point I would rather go 0-16 than somehow once again end up at 8-8 on the week. Let’s get started.
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Winner: Miami Dolphins
Summary: The Dolphins are one of two teams that remain undefeated, and we all probably look as confused as Tua did after taking that hit last week in the win against Buffalo. The Dolphins claim he is good to go though after making it through concussion protocol. That means we get a battle of former draft classmates in Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. I think Tua will get the upper hand here, even after the Bengals finally looked good last week. This should be a fun game to watch and likely a high-scoring one. I see Tua finding both Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle for touchdowns, and Burrow hits Ja’Marr Chase for one of his own in a star-studded battle in Cincy. Miami moves to 4-0 on the season.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Winner: Minnesota Vikings
Summary: We have seen two games in a row in which Jameis Winston completely sunk the Saints, he misses open receivers and refuses easy first downs on short passes to Alvin Kamara. It has to change if this talented Saints roster can live up to its expectations. Minnesota, on the other hand, feels good after making quite a comeback against the division rival Lions. This London game will be a messy one most likely, as we have two first-year head coaches and two quarterbacks that could struggle. Chris Olave continues his strong start with a touchdown, and Justin Jefferson matches him after two down weeks. Does this game count as a primetime game? The Saints probably hope so, they would love to see primetime Kirk Cousins on Sunday morning.
Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons
Winner: Cleveland Browns
Summary: Atlanta finally got their first win of the season after a collapse and near comeback in their first two games, and Cleveland got a quality win against a division rival. Both of these teams are surprisingly on the rise, and this could be a close game. I see the Browns doing enough to hold off a gritty Falcons team here. Amari Cooper keeps up his hot start with 100 yards and another touchdown, and Drake London catches two of his own, but the Falcons still fall at home to a Browns team that is now 3-1.
Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens
Winner: Buffalo Bills
Summary: The Bills had a tough loss that saw coordinator Ken Dorsey lose his mind, and the Ravens make a good comeback after getting embarrassed by a Dolphins comeback a week prior. This seems like the kind of game where momentum can sway it towards the Ravens right? No. The Bills remain the best team in football and they will be looking to bounce back in a big way against the Ravens here. A great quarterback matchup will ensue, as Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen each score four touchdowns and accrue 300 yards. Buffalo touches the ball last, and that will be all they need as Josh Allen moves them down the field and wins the game to move to 3-1 on the season.
Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys
Winner: Dallas Cowboys
Summary: The Cooper Rush saga continues to put the NFL community on high alert. He has been efficient and smart in every start and is now 3-0 as a starter. He now walks into a divisional matchup against the Commanders team that is coming off a bad loss to the Eagles. They’ll look to bounce back against Rush, but he will be having none of it as he throws for 250 yards, and both Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard score. Carson Wentz struggles because of the Cowboys’ pass rush, and the Commanders lose again. After a 0-1 start, Rush has the Cowboys at 3-1. A Dak Prescott return could lead to some interesting drama.
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions
Winner: Detroit Lions
Summary: I thought that the Lions were going to finally get the traction they needed to become a playoff-caliber team last week against Minnesota, as they went up early and looked good. They quickly forgot how to play football though and allowed a Vikings comeback that probably destroyed the team’s morale. This will be a crucial week, but I think Dan Campbell will have his team ready to bounce back against a weak Seahawks team. They’ll control the game from start to finish and get a much-needed win to move to 2-2 as Jared Goff throws two touchdowns and Jamaal Williams builds on his league-leading touchdown total.
Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans
Winner: Los Angeles Chargers
Summary: The Chargers got smoked last week against a Jaguars team that pretty much everyone underrated. It should serve as a wake-up call to a team that can’t afford many more losses in such a tough division. They’ll have to lick their wounds and handle business in Houston this week. I think they will, though Justin Herbert could struggle again because of his rib injury. He’ll do enough to get the win as he throws for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Williams catches one of those scores and Austin Ekeler scores on the ground himself. The Chargers get a much-needed win to move to 2-2.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
Winner: Indianapolis Colts
Summary: The Colts had two bad games to start a season in which hopes were high, and they turned around and beat a good Chiefs team a week later. I don’t know how to feel about them, but I know that I am not very high on the Titans. A win last week against the Raiders does not convince me that the Titans can match their performance from last year, and I think the Colts can take them down. Any division matchup is flaky, but the Colts seem to be the better team here. Matt Ryan throws two touchdowns and Jonathan Taylor scores one on the ground. Ryan Tannehill struggles, and Derrick Henry’s two scores won’t be enough for the Titans to get back-to-back wins.
Chicago Bears at New York Giants
Winner: New York Giants
Summary: This is the “how are you both 2-1?” matchup of the week. Both of these teams have played pretty poorly but they still sit pretty at 2-1. The crazy part is one of these teams will be 3-1 after this matchup. The Giants seem to be the slightly better team overall, and I don’t know how long the Bears can survive with a nonexistent passing game. All of this leads to the Giants doing just enough to beat this Bears team. Saquon Barkley scores twice, and Justin Fields throws one and runs one but his effort falls short as this Giants team somehow moves to 3-1, a reminder that it is a long season.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles
Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
Summary: When I looked at the NFL schedule before the season, I didn’t see this game as being a matchup of seemingly elite teams. Here we are though, a 2-1 Jaguars team travels to take on an undefeated Eagles squad. The craziest part is that this also looks like an elite QB matchup between Lawrence and Hurts. The NFL landscape is truly always changing. This should be a fun game to watch, as Doug Pederson goes against the team he won a Super Bowl with. Trevor Lawrence throws for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Jalen Hurts scores three times while doing work through the air and on the ground to propel this Eagles team to a 4-0 start.
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers
Summary: This game should be the return of Zach Wilson, but it won’t be much else. This will probably be one of the more boring games of the week as two weak offenses face off, and it will likely come down to who makes fewer mistakes. And I will never bet on the Jets in that category. All the Steelers’ offense has to do is limit their mistakes, and they should be good after that. They score 22 points via one touchdown and five field goals. Their one touchdown will be the first of George Pickens’s career and end up being crucial in beating the Jets in Wilson’s return to stay afloat in the AFC North.
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
Winner: Arizona Cardinals
Summary: The Panthers got a nice win against the Saints on Sunday and their defense looks somewhat formidable. They’ll be tested again by a streaky Cardinals team. The Cardinals are very poorly coached, and a symptom of that is slow starts and then playing desperate and aggressive football to get back in the game. They got ran out of Kansas City in a blowout loss, they had to make a 20-point comeback to win against the Raiders, and they lost 20-12 against the Rams after trailing by 13 points in the second quarter. These slow starts need to be avoided, and the best way to do that is to fire Kliff Kingsbury. I don’t see that happening right now though, so it’ll be up to Kyler Murray and company to send a message. They will do just that as Murray throws for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Marquise Brown has over 100 yards and a touchdown of his own. McCaffrey scores twice but the Panthers fall to 1-3 and the Cardinals move to what feels like a required 2-2.
New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers
Winner: Green Bay Packers
Summary: The Packers went into Tampa Bay and got a quality win last week, but their offense still looks somewhat stagnant. This should be a perfect game for them to get going, as the Patriots will be without starting quarterback Mac Jones. This is a must-win game for the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers needs to get his offense going in what should not be a close game. I see Rodgers throwing two touchdowns and AJ Dillon running for the other. Bailey Zappe will throw his first career touchdown but won’t do nearly enough to get the win. The Patriots’ free fall continues and the Packers handle business.
Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
Winner: Las Vegas Raiders
Summary: The chants of “Let Russ Cook” seem like a distant memory, as he’d be lucky to microwave a hot dog correctly right now. The Broncos are poorly coached and not as good as many thought they would be. Yet, they are still 2-1 after back-to-back wins against Houston and San Francisco that were just painful to watch. They will go against the winless Raiders here, who have a lot to prove. To get their first win of the season against a division rival would be a necessary boost for this underachieving squad. This could very well be a matchup of the two worst coaches in the league right now, as both Hackett and McDaniels are flat-out awful. Derek Carr impresses with 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, two of which go to Davante Adams. Russell Wilson continues to not cook as he barely eclipses 200 yards with a single touchdown.
Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
Summary: The Chiefs and Buccaneers both suffered frustrating losses after 2-0 starts, and both will be looking to redeem themselves. They play very different styles of football, as the Bucs have relied on their defense to stay in games, and the Chiefs use their explosive offense to take down opponents. Which will win? I would usually say the defense, as I am a believer of defenses being more important and there are statistics to back that. However, this time I am taking the offense led by Pat Mahomes. I think he will get the best of the Bucs defense that bullied him in the Super Bowl two years ago. Mahomes throws for 350 yards and 4 touchdowns in an electric effort, and Tom Brady tries to turn back the clock with 300 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own, but the Chiefs hang on and get a quality win.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Winner: Los Angeles Rams
Summary: The Rams have looked surprisingly shaky to start the season, with a loss to start the season, followed by nearly allowing a Falcons comeback, and then a stagnant offensive effort against a weak Cardinals defense. They need to get back on track and shake off their Super Bowl hangover. They have a perfect chance here against a 49ers team that looked awful on Sunday night and is without their starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. They won’t skip a beat and will, finally, look like the elite offense that we know they can be as Stafford throws for 4 touchdowns and Kupp is the recipient of two of them. The 49ers never sniff the lead and fall to 1-3 on the season after this loss to their division rival.