30 September 2015

2015 NFL Predictions: Week 4

(USATSI)
We have arrived to the fourth week of the 2015 NFL season and you know what that means: the start of bye weeks! Two teams are not in action this week and they are the Tennessee Titans and America's beloved New England Patriots. Don't forget, byes are great!

Here are my Week 4 picks.

Last Week: 11-5
2015: 30-18
Locks: 2-1

Thursday, October 1st
Ravens (0-3) vs. Steelers (2-1) - CBS/NFLN, 8:25
This is a prime chance for the Ravens to get their first win of the season. After all, the Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger after his injured his MCL Sunday against the Rams. Now Michael Vick could be effective for Pittsburgh under center but he has been largely inconsistent over the past few years. On the short week for Vick to prepare, I like the Ravens to get off the schneid.
Ravens 27 Steelers 19

Sunday, October 4th
Jets (2-1) vs. Dolphins (1-2) - London - CBS, 9:30 am
Quite frankly, I don't get the Dolphins right now. They started off the 2015 season with a comeback win in Landover over Washington but then they bounce-back with losses to Jacksonville and then a blowout at the hands of the Bills. The Jets are not that hard to figure out: they have a strong defense but they lack a quarterback. We do love the action at Wembley (or at least I think) and I'll go with New York here.
Jets 19 Dolphins 14

Jaguars (1-2) vs. Colts (1-2) - CBS, 1:00
Indianapolis was a club that did finally got their first win of the season this past Sunday in Nashville but it was a win not all that impressive considering that the Titans came close to tying the game late. They still have their fair share of flaws that they have to address, like Andrew Luck taking care of football and fixing a dreadful offensive line, but the Jaguars aren't stout enough to get the road win.
Colts 20 Jaguars 10

Eagles (1-2) vs. Washington (1-2) - Fox, 1:00
The NFC East is a total mess right now and thus even though both teams are sub-.500, they are very much in the divisional race. Philadelphia did look much better on the road against the Jets in getting their first win while Washington came back to Earth with a disappointing performance on Thursday night. Sam Bradford still looks awful but the Iggles did find some semblance of a running game with Ryan Mathews and I think you'll see more of the same.
Eagles 23 Washington 21

Raiders (2-1) vs. Bears (0-3) - CBS, 1:00
The Bears, with Jimmy Clausen starting at quarterback, were utterly ineffective offensively in Seattle as they only put up 161 total yards. We all know that Clausen is not good enough to carry an offense but it looks like he may be starting again for the Bears this Sunday and even against a team in Oakland not nearly as good as the Seahawks, they'll still probably be in trouble.
Raiders 17 Bears 14

Giants (1-2) vs. Bills (2-1) - Fox, 1:00
Is Tyrod Taylor actually a solid NFL quarterback? Has Rex Ryan finally found a legitimate starter under center? I'm not ready to answer confidently in the affirmative but the early results have been pretty promising as he looked strong late in the loss to New England and looked very good in the blowout road win of Miami. The Giants have been all over the place this season and their sole win over Washington wasn't all that impressive so they still have a lot to prove to me. However, the Giants do seem to give Rex Ryan some trouble so keep that in mind.
Bills 31 Giants 30

Texans (1-2) vs. Falcons (3-0) - CBS, 1:00
Take a look at the upcoming schedule for the Falcons and it would be surprising to see them not end up in the playoffs, even as it still is early. The Atlanta offense has looked pretty good thus far and while their defense is still questionable but that may be irrelevant against an offense as bad as Houston's offense is. Sure, their offense was able to get some things going against the Buccaneers but even still, that is not exactly a tough defense to be honest. Give me Atlanta.
Falcons 24 Texans 13

Panthers (3-0) vs. Buccaneers (1-2) - Fox, 1:00
 
I'm not sure why but I am getting a funky feeling about this game, even as I do think the Panthers are a better club on both sides of the ball (even with their inconsistent offense) than are the Buccaneers. And their offense could benefit from playing a relatively weak defense like the one Tampa Bay has. Maybe it is best to counter a feeling with the reality of the situation.
Panthers 15 Buccaneers 9

Chiefs (1-2) vs. Bengals (3-0) - CBS, 1:00
Are the Bengals for real? They certainly have looked pretty darn good thus far this young NFL season including their quarterback, Andy Dalton, who has the highest passer rating in the AFC right now (for what that's worth). As I have made note before, they are also a solid team when playing in the early window. I think the Chiefs are a solid club despite their two consecutive losses but I'm sold on their defense slowing down what is a hot Cincinnati offense.
Bengals 31 Chiefs 27

Browns (1-2) vs. Chargers (1-2) - CBS, 4:05
Here's a fun stat for you (although probably not for the Chargers): Philip Rivers has thrown an interception in nine straight contests. Rivers, of course, is still a very good NFL quarterback which is certainly more than you can say about Browns starter Josh McCown, who has lost his last eight starts. He is actually doing something extraordinary: making fans want to see more of Johnny Manziel.
Chargers 26 Browns 17

Packers (3-0) vs. 49ers (1-2) - Fox, 4:25
Following their surprising victory over the Vikings in the opener, the 49ers have been outscored 90-25. Granted those two contests have come against two quality teams in the Steelers and the Cardinals and on the road but I think that this is the real 49ers team and not the one we saw against Minnesota. Their defense is a real concern and that isn't a good thing when going up against a player on a roll like Aaron Rodgers is this season. The Packers are my Lock of the Week.
Packers 35 49ers 17

Rams (1-2) vs. Cardinals (3-0) - Fox, 4:25
It certainly still is early but through their first three games, the Cardinals are making a case that they are in the mix to be the class of the NFC. Their three victories have a combined score total of 126-49. I haven't seen anything from the Rams in their last two games, both losses, that will make me thing they can go into Glendale and get the road victory.
Cardinals 31 Rams 21

Vikings (2-1) vs. Broncos (3-0) - Fox, 4:25
Fun fact: this is the sole contest between two teams with winning records this week. It is interesting to see a Denver franchise that has been powered predominantly by their defense with the offense lagging behind at times. However it does appear that come the second half, Peyton Manning comes alive and does just enough to secure the win. I'll think you'll see something like that against the Vikings.
Broncos 28 Vikings 20

Cowboys (2-1) vs. Saints (0-3) - NBC, 8:30
A quarterback matchup of Brandon Weeden and Luke McCown really does not have the ring of Tony Romo v. Drew Brees, does it? No, of course not but that doesn't make it not an interesting contest. Weeden did show some promise in the Dallas home loss to the Falcons while McCown also wasn't terrible on the road in Charlotte, albeit he lost as well. I think the homefield advantage as well as a heightened sense of urgency for the Saints will propel them to the win. And I will stick with the Saints regardless of whether Brees plays or not.
Saints 28 Cowboys 24

Monday, October 5th
Lions (0-3) vs. Seahawks (1-2) - ESPN, 8:30
The Seahawks needed to get a win against the Bears before falling further behind in the NFC and they completely shut down the Chicago offense in winning 26-0. They get to stay at home, always a benefit for them, and they'll take on a Lions team that is really struggling, especially on offense right now. That sounds like a winning combination.
Seahawks 23 Lions 6

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ben
    Your LOTW is spot on though I think you have been rather generous to the 49ers. The offence is all over the shop and the defence is not as good as the offence. Pack could get 50. My spineless Dolphins must be praying the Jets Defence has an off-day but even if it does have we still won't win.

    ReplyDelete