WEEK FOUR PICKS (Winners in Bold), Enticing Games with Stars:
Thursday (8:30pm on CBS/NFL)-
Baltimore Ravens (0-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
-The Ravens’ luck should improve against the division rival Steelers, who will be without their elite quarterback, the sturdy Ben Roethlisberger. A knee sprain and slight ligament damage will keep the aforementioned Big Ben sidelined for 6 (or more) weeks. This is a perfect time for the Ravens, now 0-3 on the season, to strike back and keep their playoff hopes alive. Slow starting teams such as the Chiefs, Chargers, Colts, and Dolphins take away the big pressure, as many favored teams have started the season struggling. Expect the Ravens defense to find its mojo against the now ancient Michael Vick, and for the Ravens’ Joe Flacco to find some rhythm with the passing game against a weak Pittsburgh secondary. The Ravens are a sturdy 0-3, losing on the road to the Broncos and much-improved Raiders in close games, and then barely losing to a strong Cincy team at home last week. Their record is not indicative of their talent.
Sunday (9:30am on CBS)-
***New York Jets (2-1) @ Miami Dolphins (1-2)***
-The London Game! It’s exciting to be able to watch football all day, I may set an 8:30 alarm to be able to watch this game between AFC East Rivals. The Dolphins, projected by many to be a playoff team this year have really struggled, barely beating Washington, losing to the Jaguars, and then getting crushed by the Bills last week. Lamar Miller and Ryan Tannehill have not made the successful strides forward offensively, leaving a capable, but inconsistent defense to fend for itself. The Jets meanwhile, dropped a game they should’ve won at home to Philly last week, and the questions have to start about how far they can go with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. He may be better than Geno, but is he better than Petty? We don’t know yet. This is such an important game for Miami, attempting to crawl back to .500 and get their season back on track. Their defense should be able to stop the Jets, especially with both Chris Ivory and Eric Decker banged up, and perhaps a game of stopping the run could get Suh and the front seven back in the swing of things. It’s going to be interesting, but its time for the Dolphins, like the Ravens, to get going.
Sunday (1:00pm on CBS)-
***Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)***
Houston Texans (1-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
Oakland Raiders (2-1) @ Chicago Bears (0-3)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
-The prized game here involves the poor Chiefs, who pulled Denver and Green Bay the past two weeks, going to Cincinnati to play the RED HOT Bengals. The Bengals look great, like always, to start the season, and their solid defense, committed running game, and lethal passing game has been enough to rank them in the top 5 of the NFL so far this year. The Chiefs, winning in week one and gifting a game to Denver in week two, should really be 2-1, allowing them to lose this game on the road without much serious detriment. Instead, because of Charles’ fumble in the Denver game, the Chiefs have a pretty important game against a Cincinnati team that will probably smoke them.
The other games involve a potential 3-1 Raiders team after their Derek Carr-led passing game takes them over the dismal Chicago Bears, a Colts team on the mend with a home win over Jacksonville, and the 3-0 Falcons continuing their stingy defense and big play offense against a putrid Texans team.
Sunday (1:00pm on FOX)-
***New York Giants (1-2) @ Buffalo Bills (2-1)***
Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) @ Washington Redskins (1-2)
Carolina Panthers (3-0) @ Tampa Bay Bucs (1-2)
-The Giants, fresh off a win against Washington, were looking like they were the team to beat in the NFC East with the Eagles struggling and the Cowboys missing their two superstars in Romo and Bryant. It may be hard to make that case after this week, as the Giants head to Buffalo to take on a really tough Bills team. This Bills team is fearless and confident, and the Giants will have to strictly rely on the pass to beat them, hoping that Eli can play a flawless game to keep it close. Buffalo, however, is missing LeSean McCoy, so the Giants get a much-needed break on defending the fast-paced Bills attack. It’ll be a good game, but the Giants fall.
The Eagles will beat the Redskins, they’ll continue to improve, and the Panthers are too good to lose to Tampa right now. Tampa has looked absolutely inept through most of this young season.
Sunday (4:00 on CBS and FOX)-
CBS- Cleveland Browns (1-2) @ San Diego Chargers (1-2)
FOX- Green Bay Packers (3-0) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
***Minnesota Vikings (2-1) @ Denver Broncos (3-0)***
St. Louis Rams (1-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-0)
-The winner here, although it probably will not be shown nationally, is an increasingly compelling match-up between AP’s Vikings and the Broncos. The Broncos are a really good club, their defense is continually stopping good offenses, and Minnesota has their work cut out for them, but the inconsistency in Manning’s game (and the Denver offense as a whole) could make this a really good chess match.
Other games include the Chargers getting back on track, Aaron Rodgers obliterating the 49ers, and the Cardinals improving to 4-0 at home against the mediocre Rams.
Sunday (8:30pm on NBC)
***Dallas Cowboys (2-1) @ New Orleans Saints (0-3)***
-Call me crazy, but I trust Drew Brees to come out from injury and score 30 on a now-barren Dallas team. It’ll be close, but the Saints will overcome under their hall of fame quarterback.
Monday (8:30 on ESPN)
Detroit Lions (0-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
-It doesn’t get any easier for the Lions. Seahawks will win.
Bye Week Teams: New England Patriots (3-0), Tennessee Titans (1-2)
- New England Patriots (3-0)
- Green Bay Packers (3-0)
- Arizona Cardinals (3-0)
- Cincinnati Bengals (3-0).
- Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
- Buffalo Bills (2-1)
- Denver Broncos (3-0)
- Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
- Carolina Panthers (3-0)
- Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)
- New York Jets (2-1)
- New York Giants (1-2)
- Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
- Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
- Oakland Raiders (2-1)
- Tennessee Titans (1-2)
- Baltimore Ravens (0-3)
- Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
- Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
- San Diego Chargers (1-2)
- Detroit Lions (0-3)
- Miami Dolphins (1-2)
- San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
- Washington Redskins (1-2)
- New Orleans Saints (0-3)
- St. Louis Rams (1-2)
- Houston Texans (1-2)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
- Cleveland Browns (1-2)
- Tampa Bay Bucs (1-2)
- Chicago Bears (0-3)