Every week, we’ll look at the matchups of the week, and give our predictions for each of the games. If you’re a betting man…I’d take the opposite of these picks.
Last week, your resident expert went 9-6, and is sitting at 37-26 on the year. It was a tough week.
Arizona Cardinals (1-3) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-3)
The Cardinals are reeling, losing two in a row, and two to division opponents. They are sitting in last place and need a win. The 49ers are feeling the same effects, looking like a shell of the team (and defense) that routed the Rams during the opening week. The Cards will be missing Carson Palmer, but this defense is too good to lose this must-win.
Prediction: Cardinals 24-20
New England Patriots (3-1) @ Cleveland Browns (0-4)
It would be Cleveland, right? Tom Brady finally returns after a four-game suspension, and the Browns are the unfortunates that get his first game. Brady may be rusty, and the Browns are fighters. But the Patriots aren’t going to lose this. But what a story that would be, huh? Closer than the experts think, Pats win.
Prediction: Patriots 27-21
Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) @ Detriot Lions (1-3)
Detriot comes home after a slide and loss to Chicago, and get a rested Eagles team that has looked like one of the best in football. It should be a high-scoring affair, with the Lions able to put up points. For some reason, this game feels fishy to me. Coming off the BYE, the Eagles should be rested. But for some reason, I think the Lions are going to catch them.
Prediction: Lions 24-21
Chicago Bears (1-3) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
This week is the latest installment of ‘Will Chuck Pagano survive?’ The Colts are out to a rough start, and Andrew Luck has been left on his own without much talent. Still, the Colts need a win desperately, and I don’t see Pagano surviving a loss to the lowly Bears. Colts take this one at home.
Prediction: Colts 31-20
Tennessee Titans (1-3) @ Miami Dolphins (1-3)
The Titans were a team expected to make a jump in the new season behind second year QB Marcus Mariota, and are instead staring at a rough start and last in the division. On the plus side, three other teams in the division are 1-3, and they can still rebound. The Dolphins are fresh off a pummeling from the Bengals. I like the Titans to get the upset.
Prediction: Titans 28-21
Washington Redskins (2-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
The Redskins are getting back their groove after taking care of New York and getting the Browns. The Ravens are fresh off a loss, but still look like the real deal. The offense is good enough, and the Redskins defense hasn’t pieced together. The Ravens just look like the more talented team, but Washington could very easily win this one.
Prediction: Ravens 21-20
Houston Texans (3-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-0)
The Texans, aside from an embarrassing game against the Pats, have looked like a solid team. The defense is carrying the offense, however, and it should see a decline without JJ Watt. The Vikings defense has been murderous, and the offense has been solid. It’s tough to beat the Vikings right now, especially in their own building.
Prediction: Vikings 24-17
New York Jets (1-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
The Jets have been one of the more disappointing teams in football, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is a massive reason why. The QB has turned the ball over at an alarming rate in the last two weeks and the team has imploded around him. The Steelers are back on track after the loss in Philly and have been in a groove. Jets keep sliding.
Prediction: Steelers 31-21
Atlanta Falcons (3-1) @ Denver Broncos (4-0)
Well, the Falcons offense is the best in football, and they’re meeting the Broncos defense, which is the best in football. It should be a slugfest, but a trip to Denver is daunting. And while the Falcons have been solid, I’m yet to become a believer. A win here would change a lot of minds, but how do you not go with the defending champs?
Prediction: Broncos 28-27
Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
The Bengals are back in groove, routing the Dolphins to get back in the win column after losses to two of the best teams in football. Now they’ll take their show on the road to Dallas, who is also in a groove. The Cowboys beat around the 49ers last week, but things aren’t going to be that easy this time around. The Bengals defense is stout, and the offense is the best the Cowboys depleted defense has faced this season.
Prediction: Bengals 27-17
Buffalo Bills (2-2) @ Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
Sexy Rexy and the Bills got a much needed confidence boost in beating the Patriots last week. Albeit the QB was out, but you take what you can get. The defense has been solid, and the offense alright. The Rams are a surprise team that just can’t stop winning. Someone’s streak has to come to an end here, and while I was high on the Rams, I think Rex gets it done one more week.
Prediction: Bills 21-17
San Diego Chargers (1-3) @ Oakland Raiders (3-1)
You’ve got to hand it to the Chargers and Philip Rivers: these guys don’t quit. Of the 39 players on the injured reserve for the league, 18 are from the Chargers. They are depleted and hurting, but still keep fighting. The Raiders are rolling, and have proved most everyone right about what they could do. Winning a game like this can help prove the Raiders are consistent, and I think they can do it.
Prediction: Raiders 34-20
New York Giants (2-2) @ Green Bay Packers (2-1)
The Giants are trending in the wrong direction this week, with the team getting handled against the Vikings. There is drama with Odell Beckham Jr., and Eli tossed him under the bus. It’s no fun in NY right now. They’ll meet the rested Packers off a BYE week – and Aaron Rodgers is not the guy you want to play when you’re reeling.
Prediction: Packers 28-17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) @ Carolina Panthers
Two surprising teams for the wrong reasons matchup on Monday Night Football. The Bucs have been slaughtered in two of their losses, and can’t seem to get going again. Jameis Winston has regressed and the turnovers are mounting. The same can be said for the Panthers, whose turnovers and lackluster offense is hurting. Cam is probably out, and that’s bad news for a bad offense. But the defense should have better success on Winston than they had with Matt Ryan. The Panthers need this bad, or it’s time to panic.
Prediction: Panthers 28-24