Picking the Winner of Every Game in NFL Week 4

The third week of the NFL season was a wacky one. There were quite a few surprising upsets and close games that people didn’t expect would be close. Football is a tough sport to predict year in and year out. There is so much parity in the NFL, especially with the new rookie wage scale leading teams to stay young and get the most bang for their buck (hello, Odell Beckham Jr’s current contract).

Week 4 is chalk full of great match ups, and we’re going to predict the winner of each here.

Chicago Bears (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (2-1)
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The Bears got a shocking overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, who played uncharacteristically sloppy football by turning the ball over twice and getting smoked for 220 yards rushing. I don’t envision the Packers coming out like that at home against a division rival.

Winner: Packers

New Orleans Saints (1-2) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-1) in London
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Each of these teams were involved in an upset this weekend, only on opposite sides of the coin. The Saints dominated the Carolina Panthers on the road, while the Dolphins were thoroughly smacked around by the New York Jets. The NFL is crazy. It’s especially crazy in London, where jet lag and an early start time make it an unusual game (see: 44-7 Jacksonville Jaguars win over Baltimore Ravens last week). I like the Dolphins to bounce back as I don’t see a repeat defensive performance from the Saints, and the team that can run the ball is usually the winner in London.

Winner: Dolphins

Buffalo Bills (2-1) at Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
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It’s tough to beat this Falcons team in their dome, but the Bills just earned a shockingly dominant win over the previously undefeated Denver Broncos. I expect this to be closer than people think, but the Falcons ultimately have too much firepower.

Winner: Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) at Cleveland Browns (0-3)
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Each of these teams are searching for their first win, and neither have looked particularly great on offense through three weeks. Even though they blew a 21-7 halftime lead against the Packers, new Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor seems to understand Joe Mixon is his best running back and A.J. Green is his best weapon. The Cleveland Browns got torched by T.Y. Hilton, and I expect they won’t be able to stop Green either.

Winner: Bengals

Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
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The Rams are the darling of the first three weeks of the season. Sean McVay has turned around an offense that was abysmal in 2016; they have scored 40+ in two of their first three games. The Cowboys got back on track with a win at the Arizona Cardinals and did it on the back of their running game. I think the Rams actually matchup well with the Cowboys and should be able to slow down that rushing attack. Meanwhile, the Dallas defense has struggled at times this season. I’m taking an upset.

Winner: Rams

Detroit Lions (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
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The Lions lost a heartbreaker against the Falcons when it was determined a game-winning score in the last 10 seconds was actually short. The refs enforced the 10-second runoff rule that almost never happens, and the game ended. The Vikings surprised many when they blew the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the building without starting QB Sam Bradford. The Vikings are ferocious on defense and will be able to tame the Lions.

Winner: Vikings

Carolina Panthers (2-1) at New England Patriots (2-1)
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This is pretty simple. One team has Tom Brady, and the other doesn’t. The other also has a host of injuries to weapons and couldn’t move the ball against a woeful Saints defense. When in doubt, take the Patriots at home

Winner: Patriots

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)
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The Jags attention to defense in the draft and free agency the last couple of seasons is paying off. They held the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens to just seven points each. Their ability to dominate the line of scrimmage makes them a formidable, albeit surprisingly competitive team. The Jets got a fantastic win over the Dolphins, who made the playoffs last year, but the Jags are just more talented.

Winner: Jaguars

Pittsburgh (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
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Both teams suffered ugly losses in Week 3 and are looking to bounce back in a rivalry game. These match ups are typically impossible to predict. It’s a safe bet to take the home team, but I think the Steelers have way more to prove after their loss to Chicago.

Winner: Steelers

Tennessee Titans (2-1) at Houston Texans (1-2)
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After a Week 1 loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Titans have come back with two impressive victories. They thoroughly dominated the Jags and handled a tough Seattle Seahawks team this past Sunday. I’m not sure the Texans will have enough offense to keep up with Tennessee, who’ve moved the ball extremely well the last two games.

Winner: Titans

San Francisco 49ers (0-3) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
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The 49ers may have yet to win a game, but they’ve been competitive the last two weeks when nobody gave them much of a shot. They showed a lot of heart and determination in their Week 3 loss to the Rams, coming back from a double digit deficit to nearly tie the game late. Meanwhile, the Cardinals found a rhythm in their passing attack on Monday night, but in the end the Cowboys were just too much. Call it a hunch, but I think this week the 49ers get in the win column.

Winner: 49ers

Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (0-3)
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The Chargers were a popular sleeper pick to make the playoffs this year, but aren’t making winning plays at the end of games. Younghoe Koo missed a game tying field goal against Denver (it was partially blocked), then missed a game winner against Miami. They could very easily be 2-1, but such is life in the NFL. The Eagles are missing several defensive starters, especially in the secondary, and are facing a desperate LA squad while making the cross country trip.

Winner: Chargers

New York Giants (0-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
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The Buccaneers have looked like two different teams in their two games. They handled the Bears, then lost to the Vikings who were without their starting QB. The Giants have struggled mightily on offense aside from the fourth quarter in their last game. New York might be without defensive end Olivier Vernon who is nursing an ankle injury. They were a different defense when he went out of the Eagles game. The Bucs have a stellar defensive line, which plays right into the weakness of the Giants. They will make a huge difference

Winner: Buccaneers

Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Denver Broncos (2-1)
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This is another matchup with both teams coming off surprising Week 3 losses. Albeit both on the road, nobody expected the Broncos and Raiders to lose by double digits to the Bills and Washington Redskins, respectively. Denver’s defense has looked strong all season, but their offense is also turning heads, especially the play of Trevor Siemian. It may come down to a final possession, so I’m taking the home team.

Winner: Broncos

Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
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The Seahawks have two losses against very good teams, so they may not be in panic mode just yet. However, they should be able to make quick work of the Colts, who are still without Andrew Luck. That defense, plus the home crowd, is just too much.

Winner: Seahawks

Washington Redskins (2-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
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The Redskins defense stepped up in a major way in their win against the Raiders. The silver and black managed just 10 points as they flustered Derek Carr and the two big time receivers all game. However, the Chiefs have been impressive in their own right, starting with the Week 1 dispatching of the Patriots in Foxboro. They are almost unbeatable in front of their home crowd, so I like the Chiefs in a close victory

Winner: Chiefs