NFL Week 4 Picks, Predictions: Broncos, Patriots among teams moving to 4-0

Photo: Karen via Flickr.com

Photo: Karen via Flickr.com

Another week is in the books and at this point in the season, five teams remain undefeated while four teams are winless.

Some of those streaks may be in jeopardy this week. Which ones?

Let’s take a look:


Thursday, Sept. 29

Miami Dolphins (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)

Andy Dalton has been throwing the heck out of the ball, but it hasn’t led to any points. He has nearly 1,000 passing yards already, but has only thrown two touchdowns.

The Dolphins lead the league in total tackles (257) but the secondary hasn’t been as good as the front seven. If Cincinnati wants to win they need to utilize A.J. Green and focus less on the run game.

The Bengals should come out on top against a Dolphins team that needed overtime to beat Cleveland in Week 3.

 Q’s Pick: Bengals, 24-20


Sunday, Oct. 2

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2)

It’s worth noting first and foremost that this game is in London, so don’t think the Colts have homefield advantage in this contest.

That being said, Jacksonville could be 2-1 right now but they’ve blown close games to the Packers and Ravens.

Andrew Luck is 17-2 in his career against divisional opponents, but I don’t trust his offensive line and the Jaguars are ready for a win and have played overseas before. The Colts have not.

 Q’s Pick: Jaguars, 27-21


Cleveland Browns (0-3) at Washington Redskins (1-2)

I didn’t have much faith in Cleveland last weekend, but Terrelle Pryor had other thoughts.

He had 144 receiving yards and Cody Kessler looked comfortable in his first career start. It’s just bad timing for the Browns as they head East to take on a Redskins team fresh off a road win and upset of the division-rival Giants.

Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdowns against Cleveland last weekend, I like Kirk Cousins to do the same on Sunday.

Q’s Pick: Redskins, 29-22


Buffalo Bills (1-2) at New England Patriots (3-0)

Apparently the Patriots could put a mop behind center and find a way to win the football game.

They are now on their fourth-string quarterback, at least, we think. Even the Patriots haven’t yet announced who their starter will be.

The bad news for the Bills is they have lost 14 of their last 15 games at Gillette Stadium and New England will have had 10 days to prepare for them. There’s a solid chance the Patriots will likely go 4-0 without Tom Brady.

Q’s Pick: Patriots, 30-20


Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)

The biggest question mark surrounding this game is Russell Wilson, who sprained his knee last week and is currently listed as questionable.

If he can’t play, Trevone Boykin makes his first career start; and it would be without Thomas Rawls in the backfield as he recovers from a leg injury.

I’m looking more at the other side of the ball, though. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six interceptions last week against the Chiefs and the Seahawks defense feasts on matchups that include teams that pass the ball a lot.

Q’s Pick: Seahawks, 23-17


Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

The Panthers looked like a mediocre team in a 12-point loss to the Vikings last week. The Falcons looked like legit players in posting 45 points against the Saints.

I don’t expect either team to act like that again this week.

Cam Newton needs to protect the ball (he’s thrown five interceptions this year) but as long as he does, Carolina’s defense should pose a greater challenge to Matt Ryan and company than New Orleans did.

The game should still be a shootout and a close one.

Q’s Pick: Panthers, 30-26


Detroit Lions (1-2) at Chicago Bears (0-3)

The Bears are an absolute mess and have lost six-straight to Detroit.

Chicago is also not a very good team at home having gone 1-8 at Soldier Field since last season; and they may be without Jay Cutler again.

It’s a good combination for Matthew Stafford and the Lions who were only a touchdown away from upsetting the Packers last weekend.

 Q’s Pick: Lions, 31-23


Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1)

Houston will have had 10 days to prepare for a Titans team that hasn’t been able to put much together offensively just yet.

The talent is there — between Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray, but the former has just a 79.3 QBR this year and the latter has only one rushing touchdown.

Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller won’t be shut out again like they were in New England, and playing at home against an average Titans defense is a good way to break out of their offensive funk.

Q’s Pick: Texans, 27-20


Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (3-0)

This may end up being one of the best games of the weekend, so expect a hard-fought, close game.

The Raiders only loss this year was because of a defensive collapse against the Falcons, but they figured things out last weekend. The Ravens have played in some close games, but they’ve won them.

Joe Flacco hasn’t looked like his usual self and Derek Carr has looked better than usual. I like Oakland in what might be an upset.

 Q’s Pick: Raiders, 28-23


Denver Broncos (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)

In case you haven’t noticed, Trevor Siemian is for real. He’s led the Broncos’ offense to some outstanding performances in his short time at the helm.

Jameis Winston has helped the Bucs play better than their record shows, but Denver’s defense has been on a roll lately, including racking up 12 sacks, second-most in the league.

 Q’s Pick: Broncos, 31-23


Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2)

Dak Prescott has continued to impress as the leader of an offense that includes Ezekiel Elliott, whose 274 rushing yards are tied for the second-most in the league.

The 49ers have had two different defenses so far this year — one that dominated and shutout the Rams, and one that got blown out allowing 37 points to the Seahawks last week.

Which one shows up against the Cowboys?

They need the first one to because Dallas also has Dez Bryant and Jason Witten playing well.

 Q’s Pick: Cowboys, 30-21


New Orleans Saints (0-3) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)

The Saints defense needs to figure something out, fast. They’ve allowed 35, 16, and 45 points in their three losses this season.

The offense isn’t the problem — Drew Brees leads the league with 1,062 passing yards and eight touchdowns, so the defense must counter against a Chargers offense that hasn’t scored fewer than 22 points this season.

This should be a high-scoring game. Oh, and it’s the first time Brees is playing in San Diego since leaving 11 years ago. That should be a fun story-line to follow.

 Q’s Pick: Chargers, 36-31


Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)

The Rams have shown that they don’t mind being the dark horse in the NFC West, but the Cardinals are going to treat this as a must-win game in order to stay competitive atop the division.

David Johnson continues to be dominant in his sophomore season with the Cardinals, but the Rams have an outstanding run defense.

At the end of the day, Carson Palmer will need to shoulder the load and take on the L.A. secondary head on. Arizona’s passing game will be the difference maker on Sunday.

 Q’s Pick: Cardinals, 29-23


Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

The Chiefs are a good team and have a great defense — just ask Ryan Fitzpatrick and his six interceptions last week.

Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t figure to throw as many and Antonio Brown is a weapon the Chiefs haven’t had to face yet.

The Steelers got blown out against the Eagles last weekend but they should rebound in a big way back in front of their fans and in front of a national audience.

 Q’s Pick: Steelers, 27-21


Monday, Oct. 3

New York Giants (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-0)

The Vikings are turning into the Patriots in the sense that they keep losing key players (Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson) and keep winning anyway.

They dominated the defending NFC champion Panthers last weekend and have convincingly beat the Packers as well this season. The Giants could be the next casualty.

New York just learned Shane Vereen, the team’s leading rusher, is headed to IR and Rashad Jennings isn’t healthy either.

If they lose the running game, they could be in for a long night in front of a Minnesota crowd ready to roar on a national stage.

 Q’s Pick: Vikings, 31-26


Last Week’s Record: 11-5

Season Record: 29-19


** Bye Week: Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles

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