After last week’s Thursday Night shootout, the NFL has its oldest rivalry on the slate to start Week 4. The Green Bay Packers have been shaky at times falling behind in the first half of each game but were able to rally and win two of three. The Chicago Bears meanwhile delivered a surprising overtime win over the Steelers. In recent years, the Packers have dominated the series, winning 14 of the last 17 games. While the Bears usually keep it close, Aaron Rodgers always seems to be the difference.
It could not have been humanly possible for the Miami Dolphins to have played worse last week in their 20-6 loss to the lowly New York Jets. The team did not get past the 50 until the third quarter, and their only score was on the last play of the game. It is clear as day that the horrendously terrible Jay Cutler is beyond awful and is a gargantuan disaster of epic porpoise-tons for the Dolphins. The New Orleans Saints meanwhile will take advantage of a defense that will be worn down by the second quarter and have a big day in London.
The Atlanta Falcons are one of two teams to start 3-0, as they have shown no signs of a Super Bowl hangover. That being said there have been traces of the collapse repeating themselves as they have struggled down the stretch of all three games. Against the Bears, a dropped pass saved them, against the Packers a big enough lead saved them and last week a controversial call and reversal saved them. This week they won’t need to be saved as they go home and beat the Buffalo Bills easily.
Each of these teams are coming off bad losses in Week 3, after winning their first two games. The Baltimore Ravens went to London and got thoroughly embarrassed by the Jaguars 44-7 as Joe Flacco had one of the worst games of his career. The Pittsburgh Steelers meanwhile lost in overtime to the Bears. When these teams meet sparks usually fly as the hatred they feel for each other can be seen from Mars. The best thing though is that the game is usually close and decided by a field goal, and that will be the case again as the Ravens win in overtime.
The battle of OhiO brings extras emphasis on the two O’s as both teams come into the game 0-3. The Cincinnati Bengals who scored just nine points in the first two games, played well in Green Bay last week but lost a heartbreaker in overtime. The Cleveland Browns meanwhile after starting 0-14 last year have played better in their first three games but have nothing to show for it. The Bengals have won five straight over their Buckeye State rivals. That means one thing the Browns are due. Look for the Browns to win and the heat to get even hotter under the seats of Coach Marvin Lewis and Quarterback Andy Dalton in Cincinnati.
The Los Angeles Rams have shown signs they are vastly improved, winning two of their first three games. The Dallas Cowboys meanwhile, have looked just as good as last year’s team with the exception of their stinker in Denver. Coming home, expect the Cowboys offensive line to be the big factor here as they keep the Rams front seven off balance, with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott being allowed to have a big game and getting a solid win at home.
If the Houston Texans are to keep their hopes of winning the AFC South alive, this is a game they must win this game against the Tennessee Titans at home. The Titans along with the Jaguars are off to 2-1 starts and have won division games already. A loss here and Houston will have a problem as they will be 0-2 in the division. The Texans played well in Foxboro last week, and against any other team would have won, but Tom Brady being Tom Brady spelled doom in the end. This week’s game will be another struggle, but I see Houston doing just enough to win the game.
Last week the Detroit Lions suffered another one of those losses that seem to happen to them more than any other team as it appeared they had the game won, but replay came in and reversed the call and with a ten-second runoff they did not get another chance to get a last-second touchdown. The Minnesota Vikings meanwhile showed they can win with Case Keenum as they took apart the Buccaneers. With this game in Minnesota and Sam Bradford possibly coming back look for the Vikings to get the win.
Both quarterbacks in this game have won MVP awards and have played in the Super Bowl in the last two seasons. Tom Brady at the age of 40 looks like he is in his prime, while Cam Newton at the age of 28 looks like he is breaking down after taking a beating in the last few seasons. Brady after struggling in Week 1, has looked like an MVP again the last two weeks leading the New England Patriots wins, while Newton and the Panthers have been quite shaky. It’s hard to see that trend reversing as the Patriots win by three touchdowns.
Both of these teams ate their Wheaties last Sunday as they delivered rollicking wins. The New York Jets came out in their home opener and dominated the Dolphins, with a fine defensive effort, while the Jacksonville Jaguars went international in their whipping of the Ravens. The Jaguars defense should be good all season, while the Jets showing last week was most likely because Jay Cutler is incompetent and the absolute worst quarterback in the NFL. Look for things to return to normal as the Jets get back to losing.
The San Francisco 49ers looked sharp on Thursday Night in Week 3 but had nothing to show for it as they dropped to 0-3 with a shootout loss to the Rams. The Arizona Cardinals meanwhile have been just as bad as they are a few plays from being 0-3 themselves. The loss of David Johnson has crippled the Cardinals have to rely on Carson Palmer who thus far has been bad. The Cardinals should be able to find to win this game since they are the home team and the Niners know what they are and that’s a team in the running for Sam Darnold.
Last week Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott put his name into iconic status in the City of Brotherly Love as his 61-yard field goal beat the rival Giants in their home opener. The Los Angeles Chargers meanwhile have had two left feet with Younghoe Koo’s misses in the first two games. Last week the Chargers were not close enough to allow Koo to miss a third clutch kick. Though they are 0-3 somehow you have to feel they deserve better, while the Eagles don’t seem as good as 2-1 indicates.
The New York Giants offense finally came to life last week in the fourth quarter, as they scored 24 points. However, their defense faltered as the Eagles won on Jake Elliott’s miracle field goal. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers meanwhile stumbled in Minnesota. The Bucs losing a tough road game is fine, the Giants meanwhile looks like a mess. The offensive line is terrible and it’s becoming obvious that Coach Ben McAdoo is in over his slicked-back hair. His mishandling of Odell Beckham’s childish behavior is becoming a problem as the talented receiver is starting to become a burden, more than a boost for Big Blue.
Both teams after winning their first two games in impressive fashion tasted defeat on the road last week. The Denver Broncos have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL despite last week’s letdown. The Oakland Raiders last week may have been exposed as the Redskins by putting pressure on Derek Carr forced the Raiders quarterback into making some big mistakes. The Broncos can do much the same, and have one of the best secondaries to boot, look for the Broncos to get a big win in the division at home.
Last week the Seattle Seahawks offense finally got on track as they scored 27 points in a loss to the Titans as they could not stop Marcus Mariota. The Indianapolis Colts meanwhile got their first win of the year as Jacoby Brissett played well against the Browns. However, going up to Seattle is a whole different story. Even with a healthy Andrew Luck, it would be difficult to envision the Colts winning this game in Primetime with the presence of the 12th man. This is one of those get healthy wins for Seattle as they win going away.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been the most impressive team in the NFL over the first three weeks, as their season-opening win in Foxboro has been the launching point to a 3-0 start, with Kareem Hunt taking their early lead in the race for Rookie of the Year. The Washington Redskins, themselves have delivered impressive wins in the last two weeks, but when it comes to Mondays the Redskins are taking their cue from the Boomtown Rats. In the Dan Snyder era, the Redskins are 1-16 on Monday Night Football. That’s even worse than the Mets on Sundays in baseball.