NFL Week 4 - 1pm Game Previews, Predictions, and Picks
Let the COVID bowl week began... the last team without COVID gets the Super Bowl! Thankfully it looks like only one game this week will be postponed and I don't know about you but I was quite scared the season was over for second when every other Ian Rappaport tweet was another player testing positive with COVID.
Make sure to wear your mask while reading this, Lets get into the games!
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
Even after losing to the Lions last week, the Cardinals are road favorites.
Kyler Murray is somewhat human after all. Kyler showcased what he can do with a ridiculous one on one juke against 3rd overall pick Okudah at the goal line to score a rushing TD but then followed that up with three interceptions as sometimes he still likes to just toss it up like he's still at Oklahoma. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals are still a work in progress and to make things worse they will be without starters Devon Kennard (OLB), Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) Budda Baker (FS), and Chris Banjo. The Cardinals could also be without star WR Deandre Hopkins as he did not practice all week while dealing with an ankle injury. (expected to play)
The Panthers Offense in week 3:
good ole Joey Slye was 5 for 5 on field goals last week as he put up 15 of the Panthers 21 points. I think the Panthers forgot Christian McCaffrey was on IR as they constantly dumped off the ball the Mike Davis like he was going to eventually break off a 70 yard TD run. While the Panthers offense struggled to finish, the defense forced three turnovers and looked improved. But considering they were considered the worse defense in the league before week three it's not like they could get worse.
The Cardinals' defense is injured the Panthers have struggled mightily, which is why I believe this game should be decided on the offensive side of the ball. I mean good defensive football is overrated anyway (unless you want to win games). Kyler struggled last week with his turnovers but I don't see that happening again, as the Panthers can't stop anyone on the ground and it will open the field for Kyler to throw with ease. Can Teddy keep up? I want to say yes, but the Panthers offense has not utilized its playmakers such a D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel enough to make up for the loss of super RB McCaffrey. The Cardinals score too much for the Panther to keep up and take this one.
Over 52 (-110)
Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team
After an embarrassing performance against the Chiefs, the Ravens are huge favorites in this divisional game.
With Lamar Jackson, the Ravens are elite at running the football but have been quick to get pass-happy when trailing by 10 or more. Last week they abanded their effective run game and struggled to pass the ball mightily. The defense much like the offense excelled in run defense but through the air got torched as bad as when your dad gets put in charge of cooking the turkey on Thanks Giving.
Washinton Football Team
When the head coach openly tells the media that he had to talk to his starting QB and tell him he has to better... you know your offense has struggled. Turnovers and overthrows, Dwayne Haskins is close to getting benched for Zombie Leg Alex Smith. Defensively the Football Team was excelling but last week took a massive hit with multiple key injuries to their fierce defensive line.
Washinton Football Team has their worst defensive performance against the run in week 3 and it basically dismantled their d line with injuries piling up. Ravens just so happen to be very good at running the Ball and unless Dwayne Haskins learns how to throw the ball consistently I don't see how Washington forces the Ravens to throw the ball. Ravens bounce back in style.
Cleveland Browns At Dallas Cowboys
Battle of the inconsistent has the Cowboys as home favorites over the Browns.
The Browns literally ran over the Washington Football Team in week 3 as they forced 5 turnovers on defense than just handed the ball off on offense in a blowout win. The passing game has still very limited and could limit the overall potential for the Browns to win games if...*when they are forced to chase points. The pass rush has impressed, and the secondary is starting to get healthy but the linebacker core makes stoping TEs and RBs consistently very tough.
Offensively the Cowboys have been able to huck the ball all over the field, I mean even Cedrick Wilson Jr. got two receiving TDs last week. Defensively though the Cowboys have been a trainwreck and are grade as the 5th worst coverage team in the NFL. To make things worse Jerry Jones said Dak Prescott not being to pull off the last play of the game against the Seattle Seahawks is the difference between him and Patrick Mahomes or even Tony Romo. They could have pulled it off. I mean not the best thing to say about your star QB, who admitted that he has recently been battling with depression.
Dak is no Tony Romo or Patrick Mahomes but so far in his career, he has shown be a lot better than Baker Mayfield. The Browns defense does not have the talent to shut down the Cowboys completely and it may force the Browns to abandon the run if the Cowboys can get a lead early. The Browns have been able to put up points in recent games but the Cowboys passing attack will outproduce the Browns rushing attack. Cowboys win.
Jacksonville Jaguars At Cincinnati Bengals
Coming off a tie the Bengals are home favorites.
Minshew mania came to a complete halt last week and Gardner shit his pants in prime time last week. A lot of the offensive struggles can be put on Gardner but Chark his number 1 WR was out and his replacement Chris Conely couldn't have played worse. Thankfully Chark is back in this game. The Jaguars have been better than expected on defense but was on the field non stop last game as the offense couldn't get much going.
The last 4 first overall picks in the NFL draft have tied an NFL game before they got their first win. Why are ties still a thing in the NFL... give both teams losses at this point. On a positive note though the Joe Burrow has looked very good, considering how bad the run game is and how many hits Burrow is taking the offense is far from full potential. The defense is still beat with both start DTs out and limiting the run defense tremendously.
With Minshew Mania getting his number 1 WR back the Jaguars will be much better offensively this week and should be able to run all over the Bengals with James Robinson. Joe Burrow survived the eagles pass rush last week and looked good doing so. With a much easier matchup in regards to the pass-rush, he is facing look for Burrow to showcase how special he really is this week. Bengals take this one in a possible shootout.
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins
Seahawks are obvious road favorites.
Russel Wilson is the best player in the NFL and has two of the best WRs in the NFL to throw to in Tyler Lockett and DJ Metcalf. The only thing worse than their defense is Metcalf slowing down at the goal-line last week and getting the ball hit out, like really embarrassing. Looks like Chris Carson survived the Gator Roll by Dallas player Trysten Hill (not spell checking his name, kind of a douchebag) and will play in this game.
Fitzmagic and the Dolphins are coming off an impressive Thursday night performance in week 3 when they put up 21 points. They are still having trouble running the ball, especially when hum Tonka truck Jordan Howard runs the football with his 0.8 yards-per-carry. The Dolphins are still banged up on the defensive side of the football with star CB doubtful for this game. Xavien Howard deflected a pass last week, that ended up being caught behind him but ignored that and continued to celebrate his "pass break up"... at least he is healthy and playing for the Dolphins.
If everything goes as planned this game should end up being a shootout, and the real question is can Miami keep up? Fitzmagic looked good last week and received a lot of praise, so that's the first problem I have backing the Dolphins. You have seen this show before, 5 TDs the week before = 5 Fitzpatrick INTs the next week. I don't expect it to be that bad as neither defense will be able to slow down the opposing team's offense but Dallas is too skilled and pulls away from the Dolphins to win big in this one.
Minnesota Vikings At Houston Texans
The shit bowl has the Texans as home favorites.
Kirk Cousins' last week found out he had a good WR other than Adam Thielen on the roster, as he fed rookie Justin Jefferson to success in the passing game. The Vikings behind Dalvin Cook and Jeffersons monster games ended up putting 30 points on the board but they gave up 31. Coach Mike Zimmer so far in the season has not been able to get much out of his young defense, especially with star D-lineman Danielle Hunter still on IR.
The Texans made it through taking on three top ten teams in the first three weeks with the most respectable 0 and 3 records of all time. The offense started to get on track last game but then went bone dry and didn't score a point in the second half. The Texans are getting run all over this year and have been equally bad against the pass.
These two teams are graded out as the 4th worst (Texans) and worst defense (Vikings) in the NFL, so you can expect this to be a high scoring game. Cook rushed for 181 last week and is set up maybe even crack 200 this week. The Texans are due for positive regression with the level of competition they have played in the early season and while the Vikings passing attack looked good last week it won't produce as many points as the Texans.
New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions
Even with a minor Coivd scare, the Saints are road favorites.
New Orleans Saints
Andrus Peat, Jared Cook, Janoris Jenkins, Marcus Davenport, Marshon Lattimore, and Michael Thomas are all out for this game. Its a mess for the Saints as the overall of their team depth will be put to the test on both sides of the ball. Even with RB screen king Alvin Kamara scoring at will last week the Saints defense could not limit the Packers from scoring but overall has graded out as middle of the pack.
a healthy Kenny Golladay makes the Lions offense much scarier as they locked up a road upset of the Cardinals. Adrian Peterson is getting run into the ground by Lions but for know its working out for the Lions. Defensively the Lions graded out as the 5th worst defense in the NFL, even with "defensive guru" Matt Patricia as a Head Coach.
The Saints Injuries make this game more interesting than it should be as the line reached -3 in favor of the Saints. I can see the Lions taking advantage of a beaten up defense and getting an early lead. The only problem is there terrible second half play calling and reliance on Adrian Peterson. The Saints will continue to feed Kamara dump-offs and it will be enough to sneak out a close win in the second half.
Los Angelas Charger At Tampabay Buccaneers
Buccaneers are large home favorites.
Los Angeles Chargers
It only took one week for the shine to wear off Justin Herbert as he continues to take big hits and have untimely turnovers through two weeks. With both RT Bryan Baluga and RG Trai Turner out on Sunday, there will be even more pressure on Herbert and we will see how he can adapt or if he just continues to take semi-truck coming down the highway hits to the body. Defensively the Chargers have gone from great to average as they are dealing with injuries at almost every position.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are graded as the 4th best team in the NFL right now, and while that may be related to the competition they have faced it doesn't change that they have looked improved every week on offense. Chris Godwin is out this week and with Scotty Miller, questionable Gronk might have to be the Bucs second passing option behind Mike Evans... On defense, the Bucs continue to improve on last year's play.
The Charges with an injured o-line and half their defense on the IR might have to rely on Justin Herbert alone to win this game. If you are a chargers fan, thats a scary thought. Herbert has shown flashes but the Bucs are one of the best defense in the NFL this year and the pressure he will face today will be too much. Look for the Bucs to pull away early and their defense to put Herbert in the dirt for most of the game.