23 September 2013

2013 NFL Predictions: Week 4

The only week four matchup of undefeated clubs will take place this week on Monday night in the Big Easy. The Saints being without a loss probably would not surprise anybody, but how about the Dolphins? They looked strong against Cleveland in the opener, held off the Colts the following week and in their home debut, a Ryan Tannehill touchdown pass to rookie tight end to Dion Sims lifted them past the Falcons. Who will head to 4-0? Here are my week four picks.

Last Week: 8-8
Locks: 2-1
Season: 31-17

Thursday, September 26th
San Francisco 49ers (1-2) vs. St. Louis Rams (1-2) - NFL Network, 8:30
After the victory over the Packers in their opener at home, I would have thought the Niners would be on the path towards another excellent season. Flash forward (awful show by the way) two weeks, and now the team looks like a question mark and coming up flat the last two weeks, compiling ten points against Seattle and Indianapolis, and have lost both games by a combined 46 points. You watch, they are going to St. Louis and they will lose to a fine Rams club, even one that looked like garbage against Dallas, that will send Frisco into even more questions.
Rams 22 49ers 20

Sunday, September 29th
Arizona Cardinals (1-2) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) - Fox, 1:00
It has gone from bad to worse for the Buccaneers after getting embarrassed by the Patriots in Foxborough a week after their second straight loss at the horn. Josh Freeman didn't play with any confidence yet again and while the Patriots were not great on offense, they were able to move the ball without that much difficulty. However, I do think the Buccaneers will end their slide and get their first win this week. They should be able to slow down Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona passing attack, plus they have the benefit of a western team playing an early game.
UPDATE: Mike Glennon will be under center for Tampa Bay instead of Freeman. While I don't think that Glennon is ready to play, fortunately the Cardinals are not that great.
Buccaneers 28 Cardinals 24

Chicago Bears (3-0) vs. Detroit Lions (2-1) - Fox, 1:00
Did you think that this would be a key game in the North? I would have guessed that the Bears would have been in this position, but the Lions have been better than I thought they would be and I have been impressed. However, this defense has not been great thus far and with how well Jay Cutler has been under Marc Trestman, I don't think they as a unit can slow them down. We will see plenty of offense, and we love that (generally).
Bears 35 Lions 32

New York Giants (0-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) - Fox, 1:00
Holy crap, the Giants were a complete and utter embarrassment against the Panthers on Sunday in Charlotte. And it was not even like the Panthers are that good, they were winless going in and had a struggling offense that couldn't move the ball. They have already given up 115 points on the year. And yet, and I know this is an awful reason, I really can't see a Tom Coughlin club falling to 0-4 and coming out lame one week against a disgrace. The Chiefs have been sharp to start off 2013, making this pick more difficult, but I feel like the Giants have to get going at some point. I think.
Giants 31 Chiefs 28

Seattle Seahawks (3-0) vs. Houston Texans (2-1) - Fox, 1:00
Seattle has been great thus far this year, although it was more than just a little hairy in their opener against Carolina but that's not relevant, and completely trounced the Jaguars last week (but who hasn't?). Meanwhile, the Texans have had to encounter a couple nailbiters against San Diego and Tennessee, winning them both, before coming up flatter than some old 7 Up in Baltimore on Sunday. I'm big on the Hawks and I like them here, albeit not that comfortably.
Seahawks 31 Texans 27

Baltimore Ravens (2-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (1-2) - CBS, 1:00
The Bills have been in every game thus far, and they still find themselves in the cellar of the AFC East. Meanwhile, the Ravens' offense has been inconsistent all year but their defense has stepped up big time in the last two weeks to carry the club to solid wins. I think their defense will force E.J. Manuel to make some mistakes en route to another ugly victory.
Ravens 20 Bills 12

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-2) - CBS, 1:00
Who does not love the Battle of Ohio? Well I mean, Ohio isn't that great of a state but hey, it could be worse. Anyways, the Bengals seemed to do everything they could to give the game to the Packers on Sunday, and yet they won. Meanwhile, Brian Hoyer looked sharp and led the Browns to a nice win over Minnesota. I am thinking that was somewhat of a fluke performance, no matter who is under center, so give me Cincy.
Bengals 28 Browns 16

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-3) - CBS, 1:00 in London
My goodness has this game developed into an awful game, one our friends across the pond will probably not enjoy. Of course, both clubs need a victory in just about the worth way or their seasons could fall apart in a hurry. I have a little more confidence in Ben Roethlisberger righting the ship than Christian Ponder, even if he has Adrian Peterson next to him.
Steelers 17 Vikings 13

Indianapolis Colts (2-1) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) - CBS, 1:00
As expected, the Jaguars got creamed by the Seahawks in the Emerald City as the defense was awful, Maurice Jones-Drew again could not find any running room and Chad Henne was ineffective in the passing game. The Colts surprisingly manhandled the 49ers at the Stick Sunday afternoon and they will look to do the same to this division rival.
Colts 26 Jaguars 6

New York Jets (2-1) vs. Tennessee Titans (2-1) - CBS, 4:05
We have got the Titans of old and the Titans of the present (I know you love that). Tennessee has not been great but they took advantage of a pitiful Pittsburgh offense and they rallied late against San Diego as Jake Locker played some very good ball. The Jets are also 2-1 but they have not looked great either as Geno Smith has been here and there. Has Locker turned a corner? I wouldn't say that yet, but I have been impressed with him this year.
Titans 20 Jets 16

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) vs. San Diego Chargers (1-2) - Fox, 4:25
I love how well Philip Rivers has looked and the Chargers have been much better this year under new coach Mike McCoy as they have been in a position to win every game. Plus, this play is already the play of the year. The self proclaimed "America's Team" has looked pretty good as well, plus they seem to be the only competent team in the NFC East. We will see plenty of passing yards, and I know you love that, and I think the Bolts will off a bit of an upset.
Chargers 37 Cowboys 34

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) vs. Denver Broncos (3-0) - Fox, 4:25
It's interesting that save for their blistering first quarter in their opener against Washington, the Eagles really have not looked that good, and Washington probably has the worst defense in the NFL, certainly in the conference. Considering that, and how sharp the Broncos have been to start off their 2013, this will probably be a long game.
Broncos 35 Eagles 17

Washington Redskins (0-3) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-2) - Fox, 4:25
We have been waiting for Washington to finally show up this year and it has not happened at all. In fact, it's been a disaster. Robert Griffin III has been good but not great, Alf Morris has been sound, but the defense has been a bigger fiasco than the 13th Warrior. Meanwhile. the Raiders have not been great but at least Terrelle Pryor has given the offense some life. But you know what, I'm going to go out on a limb but this team is going to show up in a big way. Washington is my Lock of the Week.
UPDATE: As Pryor is likely out due to his concussion that he suffered on Monday night, I feel even more confident.
Redskins 33 Raiders 25

New England Patriots (3-0) vs. Atlanta Falcons (1-2) - NBC, 8:25
For a team that is 3-0, the Patriots really have not looked that impressive thus far. I mean, winning is the name of the game but Tom Brady has been frustrated with a rag-tag receiving unit and the defense has had to win them some games. That's all fine and well against the Bills, Jets and Buccaneers but against the Falcons in the Georgia Dome, they will have to work out something else. Give me the Falcons to bounce back after a tight loss to the Dolphins.
Falcons 33 Patriots 28

Monday, September 30th
Miami Dolphins (3-0) vs. New Orleans Saints (3-0) - ESPN, 8:30
I will tell you this, I am a little surprised with how good the Fins have been in 2013, but I am also not that surprised either. I would have thought their running game would have been but I am not that surprised that Ryan Tannehill has looked pretty good. Could they go into New Orleans and take out the Saints? I could see it, and I would pick them if the game was in Miami Gardens, but it is just so hard to go into the Superdome and pull off a win.
Saints 38 Dolphins 30

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