NFL Pick ‘Em: Week Four Breakdown

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Antonio Brown l Getty Images

Through the first three weeks of the NFL, many upsets have taken place, and many teams have emerged as early favorites. This week was an off one for myself, as I posted a 6-10 record for the week, bringing my overall to 27-21. With that being said, let’s take a look at who I have winning in this week’s NFL Pick ‘Em Series:

Miami Dolphins (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)
For The Dolphins: In a much-needed overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Dolphins are continuously one of the biggest roller coasters in the league. With an injured Arian Foster, it’ll be interesting to see if Tannehill can continue to put up points for the team early on.

For The Bengals: I had a feeling that Dalton wouldn’t be able to get the job done against the best defense in the NFL, and I was exactly right. This week. He will have to play against a Miami defense that has allowed 415 total yards per game (28th in NFL).

Prediction: The Dolphins are looking to keep their chances alive in this game, but I don’t think their chances look great at this point. I’m taking the Bengals in this one, as the run game will accel greatly on Thursday night.

Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
For The Colts: Andrew Luck was able to secure his first W last week against the Chargers, and now looks to snag another one as the team heads into London. With Luck currently ranking #9 in passing yards per game, he will need to continue to pile on points to outscore a winless Jaguars squad.

For The Jaguars: Losing for a third straight week, lots of folks are admitting to this team being all hype (myself included). Ranking 17th in points per game, as well as 31st in rushing yards per game, the offense needs to learn how to keep the defense off of the field.

Prediction: I liked the Jaguars initially, but there really is no home team here. The Jags are 1-2 in games in London, and I think they’ll fall to 1-3 by the end of this one, making their overall record 0-4 to start off 2016.

Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1)
For The Titans: The running game is all that fans have to be optimistic about when it comes to the Titans because they’re only posting 14 points a game with one of the worst passing offenses in the league. Unless this is a low-scoring game, it’ll take a lot from Mariota to win this one.

For The Texans: Suffering an upset loss to New England last week, the Texans just looked completely out of sync for the first time this season. Going up against a team that struggles on both sides of the ball, this is the Texans game to lose.

Prediction: I think it’s pretty clear to many that I’ll be taking the Texans in this one. They made me doubt them a little bit last week, but I think this matchup suits well for them.

Cleveland Browns (0-3) at Washington Redskins (1-2)
For The Browns: Due to a missed field goal, the Browns suffered their third straight loss and head into game four as an underdog. With questions at quarterback, due to health reasoning (as well as talent), could the Browns take advantage of a struggling Redskins roster?

For The Redskins: Currently last in the NFC East, you have to assume that this is a game that the Redskins should win. With that being said, this team has looked a mess and I think it’ll be a lot closer than many seem.

Prediction: While I do believe the Browns are capable of keeping this game close, I think the Redskins will wind up making this game theirs and advancing to .500.

Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)

For The Seahawks: Many questioned if the Seahawks offense could get going without Lynch this season, and they did just that on Sunday against the 49ers. Posting 37 points, the only worry going forward is the health of Russell Wilson.

For The Jets: After being blown out, a lot of folks are already giving up hope on the Jets. In order for them to prove critics wrong, they’ll need to beat the Seahawks, proving they can defeat the best of the NFC.

Prediction: Even though the Seahawks do poise as a threat in the NFC, I think the Jets come away with this one. Wilson is not expected to win, so if he is out, I think the Jets could bounce back.

Buffalo Bills (1-2) at New England Patriots (3-0)

For The Bills: After upsetting the Bills, Rex Ryan will head to New England in hopes of beating the Patriots, who are possibly the best team in the conference at the moment.

For The Patriots: With three straight wins, the Patriots proved they can win with just about anyone at the quarterback position. The rivalry between Ryan and Belichick is always a good one, so this AFC East matchup is a must-watch.

Prediction: I’ve bet against the Patriots twice now, and I think it’s about time I jump on the bandwagon. I’ll take the Patriots in this game, by an easy margin of 10 points.

Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

For The Panthers: This is a team that lost one game all last season, and have already lost two in 2016. The Panthers didn’t target Kelvin Benjamin at all in week three, so look for him to eat some targets here.

For The Falcons: The Falcons have been so underwhelming for so many years, so maybe now is the time for Matt Ryan and company to wake up? This is a team that has question marks all around, so it’s hard to pinpoint what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Prediction: This is a great divisional matchup, but I do think the Panthers take this one in Atlanta. Cam Newton has been mediocre through three games, so this needs to be a statement game from him.

Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (3-0)

For The Raiders: This defense finally woke up last week and helped the Raiders to their second win of the season, and they’ll need to boost the team up again if they want to improve 3-1.

For The Ravens: The Ravens are 3-0 to start, and I think this shocked just about everyone in the nation (including Ravens fans). For the Ravens to win this one, they’ll need to shut down this Raiders offense.

Prediction: Even though the Raiders are younger and debatably more talented all around, I think the Ravens are going to pull this one out somehow. Flacco has been solid this season, and this Raiders defense has been overrated.

Detroit Lions (1-2) at Chicago Bears (0-3)

For The Lions: The Lions have played in way too many close games this season, and this game against the Bears needs to be a big win in order to establish themselves.

For The Bears: The Bears have dropped three straight now, and not even Jay Cutler has been able to stay on the field. It may only be week four, but unless a miracle takes place, the Bears may be in trouble.

Prediction: The Bears may finish with a top three to five pick in the draft, but that’s all they’ll have to look forward to. I’m picking the Lions, and this one shouldn’t be down to the wire like past weeks have been.

Denver Broncos (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)

For The Broncos: The Broncos topped ESPNs power rankings heading into this week, and I think that’s with good reasoning. This defense may be better than what it was than in 2015, and this offense is gelling together.

For The Bucs: Winston started out of the gate strong, but has failed to follow through. For the Bucs to win, he’ll need to play like he did in week one.

Prediction: While I do think the Broncos defense can be beaten, I don’t think the Bucs will be able to do it. The Broncos should and will win this game, solely because of the defense.

Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)

For The Rams: I don’t know how, but the Rams somehow have come together and won two of their first three games in 2016. There is nothing special about them, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can pull away with another upset.

For The Cardinals: The Cardinals have played sloppy football so far, and they haven’t played like the NFC contender I thought they could be.

Prediction: Even though Arizona is a sloppy team right now, I think they are better than the Rams. I’ll take Cardinals because the Rams haven’t proven much to me this season.

New Orleans Saints (0-3) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)

For The Saints: I didn’t expect the Saints to be this bad after three weeks, but I guess Drew Brees’ stellar season so far won’t result in much.

For The Chargers: Knock on wood, maybe the Chargers can stay healthy for a change this week and win a game. With a 1-2 record, this has to be a game the Chargers win at home.

Prediction: I’m not a fan of either of these teams, but I think the Chargers will win this one at home, improving to .500 on the season.

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Fransisco 49ers (1-2)

For The Cowboys: After a needed victory over the Bears, the Cowboys now sit only one game behind in the NFC East. With a win over the 49ers? This could be a bright path for a young Dallas offense.

For The 49ers: I didn’t expect the 49ers to do much this year, but in order for them to win, they’ll need to pressure Prescott and keep the Dallas offense off the field.

Prediction: Like I said, I don’t expect much from the 49ers, so I’ll take Dallas in this one, where Elliot will continue to carry the ball well.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

For The Chiefs: After a huge win over the Jets last weekend, the Chiefs will go into this one as the underdog. For them to win, they’ll need to slow down Lev Bell, as he is now set to return from suspension.

For The Steelers: For Pittsburgh, they’ll need to do the opposite; they need Lev Bell to perform well. If this happens, the Steers could win this one.

Prediction: I think Bell has a chip on his shoulder, and that’ll launch the Steelers into a 3-1 record by the end of this week.

New York Giants (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-0)

For The Giants: The Giants may have lost to the Redskins last week, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that this could be the best receiving core for now in the NFL.

For The Vikings: Could anyone have guessed that Sam Bradford could have beaten out Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton? I think it’s about time people start seeing the Vikings as the Broncos of the NFC.

Prediction: Eli wasn’t himself last week, and it wouldn’t be safe to bet on him again this week. I’ll go with the Vikings, but it’ll be closer than many think.

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