By Joel Deering and the Fourth Quarter Sports Staff
Last Week’s Prediction Records:
Overall Prediction Records:
Last week was another great week for NFL football. We saw a lot of surprise upsets, mixed with a lot of what we all expected. It was a better week for some of us in Week 3 than for others. Above are our prediction records for Week 3, along with our overall records. Adam had the lead after Week 2, but now Cullen is the man to beat. We’ll see if anyone can catch up or take him down this week. So let’s see who we all have winning each Week 4 game!
Vikings vs Rams (Thursday)
Minnesota got wrecked by the Bills last week, but it didn’t make half of us lose confidence in them against the NFL’s best team right now. Here’s one reason why: The Rams are missing Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. Their two top corners are out. Peters still has a chance to play, but even if he does, he won’t be at full strength. With Peters and Talib out, who’s going to cover Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and company? Todd Gurley and Jared Goff better keep the offense moving if they’re going keep the Minnesota offense off the field. Despite what we saw last week, this Vikings defense is tough. If anyone can get through it though, it’s Todd Gurley. I suspect the Vikings will be focused on Gurley, much like everyone is, so Jared Goff will need to make some key plays to win this game.
Texans vs Colts
Houston continues to fall short of victories and has now started 0-3. This game becomes a must win for them. Most of our staff believes they’ll come through this week against the Colts. I’m the only one who’s choosing the Colts to win. Indy is 1-2 this year, which isn’t great, but they’ve been better than expected in my mind. They came close to beating the Eagles last week. Aside from Week 1, their defense has actually been pretty good. The offense needs to be better though. The key for the Texans to win continues to be protecting QB Deshaun Watson. He hasn’t played great football this year, but his offensive line isn’t helping him. They’ve given up 10 sacks, which is 8th most in the league. The Colts’ defense has 10 sacks, which is tied for 4th. Which line will win this division battle in Week 4?
Bills vs Packers
Does anyone believe the Bills are for real after the beat down they put on the Vikings last week? Aman is the only one of us picking the Bills to beat the Packers. I don’t know about the rest of our writers, but for me at least, I’m taking Aaron Rodgers over Josh Allen any day. Even an injured Aaron Rodgers. Josh Allen will have his good games, but he’ll also have his bad ones. I just can’t see him outperforming the best QB in the league. If the Bills win this week, the NFL might start taking them seriously. Will that motivation be enough to carry them to another big win in Week 4?
Buccaneers vs Bears
How will FitzMagic do against this Chicago defense? Or will we see FitzTragic again? This game will likely come down to whichever defense can disrupt the opposing offense more. If you think about last week’s game against the Steelers, they had 30 points on the Bucs at halftime. Guess how many points they had at the end of the game. Yeah, 30. They didn’t score at all in the second half. The main reason why they scored in the first half is because their defense got 3 INTs and put the offense in a good position. This Tampa Bay defense can be nasty, but so can the Chicago defense. Khalil Mack has been a force this year, being a thorn in everyone’s side. If FitzTragic is going to happen again, Mack will likely be the reason. Which defense wins in Week 4? Will it be the Bears against Fitzpatrick, or the Bucs against a young Mitch Trubisky?
Dolphins vs Patriots
It’s time to find out if the Dolphins are real and if the Patriots are not. Miami has started off very well this year, going 3-0, which pretty much nobody expected. The thing is, those three wins have come against the Titans, Jets and Raiders. Not really the most convincing 3-0 start. New England has started off 1-2, which is not like them at all. Even though they don’t have a winning record right now, the Dolphins getting a win over them would give us all a lot more confidence in their good start. I think most of us would like to see the Dolphins win and move the Patriots to 1-3, but all of us except Aman picked the Patriots to overcome their early season struggles and get a much needed win over their division rival.
Cowboys vs Lions
With a win over the Patriots last week, the Lions are being looked at differently now. Matthew Stafford and the offense put up 26 on the Patriots while holding them to 10 points. If they can hold the Patriots to 10 points, they can probably shut out the Dallas Cowboys. I’m a Cowboys fan, so if I’m saying the Cowboys could be shut out, you know it’s bad. I thought there was hope for Dallas after scoring 20 points on the Giants, but much like in Week 1, they decided to make stupid play calls and do nothing on offense until the fourth quarter against Seattle. By that time it was too late. Jason Garrett has said there won’t be any changes offensively, so I’m thinking the Cowboys probably won’t score until it’s too late to come back, if they score at all.
Bengals vs Falcons
Atlanta seems to have figured out their offensive woes. Even though they lost last week to the Saints, they still scored 37 points. Calvin Ridley stepped up big last week, and Julio Jones is always going to be a threat. The Bengals seemed to take a step back last week against the Panthers. Their offense didn’t perform well against a tough Carolina defense. Here’s what’s interesting about this game. The Falcons’ defense is banged up. Can the Bengals take advantage of that and attack their weak spots enough? If they don’t, and the Falcons offense continues to score in bunches, this game could get away from the Bengals quickly.
Jets vs Jaguars
All of us picked the Jaguars to beat the Titans last week, which didn’t go in our favor after a 9-6 victory by the Titans. We’ve all picked the Jaguars again this week. Here’s to hoping it works out better this time. Sam Darnold has shown promise at times, but he’s also shown us he’s still a rookie. One of his biggest problems in college was giving the ball away, which is exactly what he did at the end of last week’s game against the Browns. Jacksonville needs to get after Darnold and force him into bad throws. We’re all pretty confident they can do that.
Eagles vs Titans
None of us have picked the Titans to win so far, but they keep finding ways to squeeze out victories. They pulled off a victory against a tough Jaguars defense last week, but can they do it again against the Eagles? The Eagles’ offense should get better and better the more Carson Wentz plays. He played decent last week, and that should be enough to get them past the Titans this week. We can’t see the Eagles scoring only 6 points, so the Titans offense will have to do more if they’re going to win this one.
Browns vs Raiders
If the Browns were excited about getting their first win in 635 days, imagine how excited they’ll be if they get two wins in a row! This is a great opportunity for them to do so. Baker Mayfield entered last week’s game and played great football. He was exactly what the Browns needed. This Browns team has been tough all year, even though they’ve only got one win. They tied the Steelers and almost beat the Saints. The defense is doing their part to keep them in games. If Mayfield can play another great game and the defense continues to play well, the Raiders could be looking at 0-4. For Jon Gruden, this game has to be won. He has a veteran QB and veteran playmakers. They’ve been in games, but they can’t win them. Can they finally play a complete game in Week 4?
Seahawks vs Cardinals
The Cardinals looked decent for a little while last week, but then Sam Bradford was terrible and was replaced by rookie QB Josh Rosen. Rosen wasn’t great either, as he threw an INT late in the game which sealed their loss. This week Rosen has been named the starting QB. How will he perform against a still surprisingly tough Seattle defense? We’re all taking Russell Wilson to make more plays than Rosen in this one.
Saints vs Giants
If the Saints score 40+ points again, the Giants aren’t winning this game. Even though they have Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley, the Giants offense hasn’t been great this year. They’re nowhere near as good as the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are a much better combination right now than what the Giants have. The Saints have given up a lot of points defensively, but they’re still not bad enough to give up that many points to the Giants. Are they? We sure hope not, but if they do, we have confidence in Drew Brees and the offense.
49ers vs Chargers
No more Jimmy G for the 49ers this year. The starting QB spot goes to CJ Beathard now. With Beathard at QB last season, the 49ers weren’t good. They haven’t been great already this year with Jimmy Garoppolo, but now their hopes of a playoff appearance have pretty much vanished. The Chargers have had a tough schedule so far, having to play the Rams and Chiefs in two of their first three games. This game looks to be a game they can easily win, as long as they don’t make dumb mistakes to keep setting them back like they’ve been known to do.
Ravens vs Steelers (Sunday Night)
Ben Roethlisberger has been relied on to carry this team so far this season. Now that can either go really well or very poorly. Ben can throw the ball all over the field. He has a lot of weapons who can make plays for him. The problem is when he tries to do too much. He threw an INT against the Buccaneers trying to do exactly that. He tried to do too much on the play, throwing the ball to a bad spot, which was then picked off. There’s the key for the Ravens in this one. Make Roethlisberger try to do too much. Make him uncomfortable. The Browns did it to him in Week 1, forcing him to throw 3 INTs. The Chiefs didn’t do it in Week 2, which led to 37 points by the Steelers. Good thing Mahomes threw 6 TD passes. The Buccaneers did it, but not soon enough. How much pressure can the Ravens put on Big Ben in Week 4?
Chiefs vs Broncos (Monday Night)
Patrick Mahomes continues to light up the NFL. He’s thrown 13 TD passes in the first three games, which is most in NFL history. Can he keep up this pace? You’d think it’d have to slow down sometime right? If you read yesterday’s Buy or Sell article by Cullen, RahimAli, and Mickayeen, you’ll notice they talked about this very thing. Both Cullen and RahimAli were selling the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. They also believed a game would come where the Chiefs offense would slow down and they’d have to rely on their defense to win. Will it be this week? Division games are always tough, but it’s even tougher when they’re against Von Miller and the Broncos. Can Denver slow down Mahomes in Week 4?