Philadelphia Eagles Vs. Green Bay Packers-In Year 4 of the Doug Pederson era, the Eagles are under .500 for the first time through the first three weeks, due to Zach Ertz coming up a yard shy of a first down against the Atlanta Falcons and JJ Arcega-Whiteside dropping a deep pass against the Detroit Lions. As for the Packers, they’ve been doing it with mostly defense in their 3-0 start, with three forced turnovers and six sacks of Joe Flacco being the latest display of defensive brilliance in a 27-16 win against the Denver Broncos. Current trends suggest I pick the Packers in this game. However, this game is a must win for the Eagles, thus me picking the Super Bowl LII champions to win this week.
Tennessee Titans Vs. Atlanta Falcons-Last week marked the second time in which Marcus Mariota got sacked at least nine times in a single game, as he suffered that many sacks against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 20-7 Tennessee loss. As for the Falcons, they failed to get late-game defensive stops against the Indianapolis Colts, thus losing 27-24. Both teams are 1-2 heading into this game yet are still alive in their respective divisions. The Falcons are minus Keanu Neal, as their star strong safety suffered a season-ending injury for the second year in a row. Neal’s absence will hurt against a Titans team that features 6-3, 240-pound battering ram Derrick Henry, a player that will punish the Falcons defense early and often. Look for Henry to have more than 100 yards rushing, look for the Titans to win the time of possession battle, and look for them to leave the state of Georgia with a 2-2 record.
New England Patriots Vs. Buffalo Bills-Through three weeks, the Patriots have outscored opponents 106-17, with those teams (Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets) having a combined record of 0-9. However, they face a much stronger opponent in Buffalo that has maintained its strong pass defense and is much improved against the run. Barring a tie, one team will get knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten. And as for who will get knocked from those ranks, it’s going to be the Patriots, as I see the Bills making an early-season statement against their longtime AFC East tormentors.
Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Detroit Lions-For the third consecutive season, the Chiefs are 3-0. And just like last season, their offense is flying high with Patrick Mahomes at the helm. As for the Lions, their offense continues to be a work in progress, only to be bailed out by their defense the past two weeks. The Lions have talent on the defensive side of the ball, but not enough to slow down Showtime Mahomes and that high-octane Kansas City offense. Chiefs to go 4-0 for the third year in a row.
Oakland Raiders Vs. Indianapolis Colts-After a 24-16 victory against the Broncos in Week 1, the Raiders have been outscored 62-24 against the Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings during Weeks 2 and 3, respectively. As for the Colts, all three of their games have been decided by six points or less and have a 2-1 record to show for it. Derek Carr faces his longtime tormentor in Justin Houston, the latter of whom did his damage against the Raiders during his time with the Chiefs. Look for Houston to continue his damage against the Raiders and look for Marlon Mack to punish the Oakland defense on the ground. Colts to go 3-1.
Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Miami Dolphins-The Chargers could easily be 3-0 right now, as they lost by three points against the Lions, along with losing by seven points against the Houston Texans. As for the Dolphins, they have lost to their first three opponents by a combined score of 133-16. Miami’s atrocity suggests to pick the Chargers. However, the Chargers never seem to make things easy on themselves, along with oddly enough struggling in “early window” games in the Philip Rivers era. And with both those factors being said, I’m taking the Dolphins in an upset.
Washington Redskins Vs. New York Giants-As predicted, the Redskins got their butts kicked against a ferocious Chicago Bears defense, which was/is led by Khalil Mack. As for the Giants, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has given them new life, as evidenced by his statistical dominance in a 32-31 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones makes his first career home start and I look for him to put on a show for the home crowd, as well as lead the Giants to a 2-2 record.
Cleveland Browns Vs. Baltimore Ravens-In the two losses against both the Titans and Los Angeles Rams, the Browns scored exactly 13 points in each of those games. As for the Ravens, their elite defense got shredded by a Chiefs offense starring some guy with the last name Mahomes in a 33-28 Week 3 loss. The Browns have an early must win game this week, but I can’t go against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Ravens to rebound with a win.
Carolina Panthers Vs. Houston Texans-Minus Cam Newton, the Panthers won convincingly 38-20 against the Arizona Cardinals. It was a game where Kyle Allen threw for four touchdown passes, Christian McCaffery ran for 176 yards, and the Luke Kuechly-led Panthers defense had eight sacks of Kyler Murray. As for the Texans, they are coming off a huge road victory against the Chargers, as they rallied from 10 down at the half for the final score of 27-20. It was a brilliant game for Deshaun Watson, as he went 25-of-34 for 337 net passing yards and three touchdowns. Plus, he only got sacked twice last week. The Texans defense also made timely stops, among them the first two sacks for all-world defensive end J.J. Watt. Will the Panthers win a second consecutive road game without Cam Newton? Well given that the Texans are a more superior team than the Cardinals, I’m going to say no. Texans to get their third win a row.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Los Angeles Rams-Jameis Winston, Mike Evans and Shaquil Barrett all had excellent games individually last week against the Giants, only for them to go for naught in 32-31 loss. The Rams are 3-0 for the second consecutive season, but could be 1-2 right now, as two of their wins were by three points apiece against the Panthers and Browns. This week, they’re back at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where they are 1-0, courtesy of 27-9 victory against the New Orleans Saints. Dating back to last season, the Rams are 9-1 at The Coliseum. Make it 10-1 this week.
Seattle Seahawks Vs. Arizona Cardinals-The Seahawks blew a perfect opportunity at The Link, as they fell behind by as many as 20 in a game where the Saints were minus Drew Brees. As for the Cardinals, they failed to get a late-game stop against the Ravens in Week 2 and were throttled last week against the Panthers. Kliff Kingsbury’s bunch is 0-2-1 and have allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of the past two games. Look for Chris Carson to hit the century mark on the ground as well, and look for the Seahawks to rebound with a win this week.
Minnesota Vikings Vs. Chicago Bears-Two of 2018’s most talked about players, in terms of playing on new teams, face off against each other for the third time, as Kirk Cousins and his Vikings take on Khalil Mack and his Bears. In their two wins, the Vikings have outscored their opponents 62-28. In their first three games, the Bears championship-level defense has only allowed 13 points per. Plus, they swept the Vikings last season. Look for them to suffocate the Vikings offense, and look for them to extend the current winning streak in the series to three games.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Denver Broncos-Points are going to be hard to come by in a game that features the return of the Sacksonville Defense, and the Broncos dynamic duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, both of whom are a part of a Denver defense that oddly enough has ZERO sacks thus far this season. That stat will change for the Broncos, but not the stat in the win column, as Calais Campbell & Company will get the Jaguars back to .500 for the first time since Week 6 last season.
Dallas Cowboys Vs. New Orleans Saints-Through three games this season, the Cowboys have outscored their opponents 100-37 and are 3-0 right now. As for the Saints, they are coming off a big win at The Link against the Seahawks and that was without their best player in Drew Brees. The Saints return home after a two-game road trip out west to face the Cowboys in the Sunday Night Game. Ever since Al Michaels has been doing Sunday Night Football, these two teams have met in this exact spot four times, with the Saints winning three of them. I’m tempted to pick the Cowboys here, given how dominant that they’ve been this season. However, I picked against the Saints last week, only to look foolish. So given that, coupled with them looking increasingly comfortable with Teddy Bridgewater in place of Brees, I’ll pick the Saints this week instead of picking against them.
Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers-Week 4 concludes with a battle of winless teams, with the Bengals losing two of their three games by four points or less, whereas the Steelers have played better since getting blown out 33-3 against the Patriots back in Week 1. Oddly enough, both of the close losses for the Bengals occurred on the road. However, Heinz Field has been a house of horrors for them lately, as they’ve lost their past three games there, along with having a current overall eight-game losing streak against the Steelers. The deepest that the Steelers have gone into a season without a win in the Mike Tomlin era was four weeks, as they went 0-4 back in 2013. I honestly don’t see Mike Tomlin allowing his team to go 0-4 six years later, along with the fact that they were reportedly pissed off following last week’s loss against the San Francisco 49ers. So with both of those things being said, I’m picking the Steelers in this game.