Last week’s games shocked me a bit while I was sitting on the couch. Overall, my picks weren’t terrific but they weren’t terrible either.
I did blatantly miss on my Steelers and Texans picks, and I learned two lessons from that. No. 1, don’t always think a rookie quarterback is going to fail on a big stage and No. 2, don’t pick against Bill Belichick.
I thought that a third string quarterback starting for the Patriots would derail them more than it did, again obviously not.
There were some other Week 3 moments that didn’t surprise me. The Browns lost in typical Browns’ fashion, Odell Beckham Jr. lost his cool on the sideline when adversity was met and Rex Ryan opened his mouth after a win.
The slate of games for Week 4 shouldn’t disappoint.
Last week: (7-9) Season record: (16-16)
Miami Dolphins (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)
The Dolphins found themselves at the end of a lucky victory against the Browns in week three. If it weren’t for a missed field by the Browns’ Cody Parkey, Miami would have been going home with a loss. Miami has been anything but impressive this season and I can honestly say I’m not surprised.
The Bengals had their opportunities to pull out a victory against the Broncos but ultimately failed. Simply put, Andy Dalton needs to play better. Through three games he has a QBR of 54.2, 46.2 and 64.7 respectively.
My pick: Bengals 27, Dolphins 17
Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) September 27, 2016
Football returns to London! How exciting!
With so much young talent how haven’t the Jaguars won a game? They’ve had favorable match ups in two of their first three games and came away with nothing. That’s not a good look for head coach Gus Bradley. This could be a week where they get in the win column. They have had a history of playing the Colts tough and most of the time the game comes down to the wire.
The Colts on the other hand are fortunate enough to have a win. They were able to get a late score to defeat the Chargers but if they want to be a contender in the AFC South, they need to show the league more. It was good that Andrew Luck found T.Y. Hilton on Sunday, he needs to build on his 173 receiving yard performance.
Don’t be surprised if this is a shoot out.
My pick: Colts 34, Jaguars 30
Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1)
— Boston.com Patriots News (@BDCPatriots) September 28, 2016
If getting blanked by the Patriots 27-0 wasn’t bad enough, losing J.J. Watt may be even worse. The Texans received horrible news that the All-Pro defensive end would be placed on season-ending injured reserve because of his back. How do they respond?
The Titans have been one of my early season surprises despite only having one win. In each of their first three games a case could be made for why they should be 3-0. I like the direction this team is heading.
My upset pick of the week is the Titans over the Texans and it’s because I don’t think the Texans are mentally tough enough to overcome a huge loss.
My pick: Titans 23, Texans 20
Cleveland Browns (0-3) at Washington Redskins (1-2)
Everyone can hit the snooze button for this game.
Cody Kessler played well in his first NFL game and if it weren’t for a missed field goal the Browns would have a win.
The Redskins were able to get a much needed win over the division rival Giants. At the same time they were able to get into Odell Beckham Jr.’s head and forced him to have a temper tantrum on the sideline.
OBJ: Ouch, Beckham Jr. https://t.co/pl4vUsIFIS
— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) September 25, 2016
I expect the ‘Skins to force the Browns into the same predicament.
My pick: Redskins 30, Browns 17
Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)
Hey look up in the sky…it’s a bird…no, it’s a plane…no, it’s another Ryan Fitzpatrick interception!
Can you believe he threw six interceptions to the Chiefs? SIX! I think I could go under center for the Jets and not throw six interceptions. That was putrid. To make matters worse, three of those interceptions were inside the red zone, so the Jets had opportunities to win that game.
The Seahawks were able to beat up on the 49ers but it came at a cost. Russell Wilson took some big hits and was hobbling around. All indications point to Wilson playing on Sunday and they’re going to need him if they want to keep on rolling.
My pick: Seahawks 24, Jets 19
Buffalo Bills (1-2) at New England Patriots (3-0)
The Bills got a pretty impressive win last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. They were able to take away what the Cardinals do best, the deep ball. Offensively, Buffalo looked solid in their first game without Greg Roman. They were able to put up 33 points on a defense that some claim to be amongst the top in the league.
Feeling a bit confident after the win, Rex Ryan decided to mock Bill Belichick in his press conference:
Rex Ryan does a Bill Belichick impression… Happy Patriots week. pic.twitter.com/BkeAIgSNs3
— TOM MARTIN (@TomKCTV5) September 26, 2016
Video: Bill Belichick's response when asked about Rex Ryan imitating him at presser. "Not really in tune with that" https://t.co/NjF9a7EANP
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 28, 2016
Rex, will you ever learn?
Nice try, "Walt Patulski"
Rex Ryan tries to ask Julian Edelman if he will play QB for the Patriots this week. https://t.co/72iIhR6YI9
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 28, 2016
My pick: Patriots 30, Bills 17
Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
The Panthers haven’t looked impressive at all on this young season. Cam Newton has been getting shut down by opposing defenses and you can tell the frustration is starting to set in. If they want to get back on track they need to keep it simple, run the ball and throw short route concepts. That was their recipe for winning the NFC in 2015.
This week,Carolina has a favorable defensive matchup. The Falcons come in with a defense that is extremely vulnerable. Granted, they do sit atop the NFC South but they can thank their explosive offense for that.
I can see this game being high scoring. I don’t see Newton losing back-to-back games.
My pick: Panthers 38, Falcons 27
Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (3-0)
"I can’t wait to play them and I’m looking forward to competing.”
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) September 28, 2016
The Ravens continue to be a surprise team on the young season. People didn’t expect them to be horrible but no one had them sitting undefeated to start the year. They have had favorable match ups early on but they don’t make their schedule.
Baltimore has been playing great defense early on which is allowing the offense to take their time with developing a rhythm.
The Raiders were able to squeak out another win and at this point they will take them any way they can get them. In the two games they’ve played on the road they’ve been able to come away with victories, their one loss is at home.
This week’s matchup with Baltimore is on the road.
My pick: Raiders 20, Ravens 17
Detroit Lions (1-2) at Chicago Bears (0-3)
I said it last week and I’ll say it again this week. The Bears are a mess. This team has so many injuries that at this point it may be time to look forward to 2017.
The Lions, despite having two losses, have been playing competitive football. If they could get their defense to make a few key stops they could be sitting at 3-0. One bright spot for Detroit has been the connection Matthew Stafford and Marvin Jones have created. Jones currently leads the NFL in receiving yards while Stafford is third in passing yards.
Calvin Johnson who?
My pick: Lions 28, Bears 16
Denver Broncos (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) September 28, 2016
You’re right Winston, Siemian has been playing great, much better than I expected.
The Broncos may be better than they were a season ago. No, I’m not saying that Trevor Siemian is better than Peyton Manning (career wise) but they way Manning threw the ball compared to how Siemian’s throwing it, this team is better.
Defensively, the Broncos are still amazing and I don’t anticipate that to change. Watch out Bucs, the Broncos are coming and you better watch out.
My pick: Broncos 34, Buccaneers 17
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Who predicted these teams’ records at the beginning of the season? I’ll wait…
The Cardinals have been a huge disappointment to the entire NFL. They couldn’t beat a backup quarterback in week one and in week three they got beat by a team that couldn’t score or play defense. Hey Arizona, the season has started.
If you’re a Cardinals fan, one thing you can lay your hat on is that it’s still early in the season. Things can change.
Yes, the Rams have been playing much better football but the Cards will be determined not to let this one slip by.
My pick: Cardinals 28, Rams 17
New Orleans Saints (0-3) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)
Can the Saints get their first win of the 2016 season? The offense has been scoring enough points to do so but the defense needs to make a stop every once and a while.
The Chargers, despite the injuries, look like a team that won’t win many games but they won’t be an automatic win for others either. Philip Rivers continues to make the best of his situation.
The game isn’t everyone’s top priority but it could have some fantasy implications.
My pick: Chargers 26, Saints 23
Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Fransisco 49ers (1-2)
— Candice Patton (@candicekp) September 26, 2016
So far, Dak Prescott has been my top story line for the 2016 season. This fourth-round pick has been able to fill in for Tony Romo and play exceptional. It seems as if he leads the team down the field every possession and puts up some type of points.
Ezekiel Elliot finally showed off why he was the No. 4 pick in the draft. He had 30 carries for 140 yards on Sunday Night and if he continues to run the ball like that, these two rookies can take the Cowboys places not many people expected them to be.
The 49ers won’t be an easy task though. Yes, they did get blown out by the Seahawks but they played the Panthers tight and they shutout the Rams in week one. Chip Kelley has this team buying into his system.
My pick: Cowboys 27, 49ers 17
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
— Zesty NFL KC Chiefs (@zesty_chiefs) September 28, 2016
Sunday Night Football should be a good one. The Chiefs are feeling pretty good about themselves after having a day full of turnovers. The Steelers, on the other hand, are coming off a game where they got manhandled by the Eagles.
Running back Le’Veon Bell, is returning after his three game suspension which should help get the Steeler’s offense back on track.
If the Chiefs want to continue their strong start, their defense needs to show up again. They can’t just play average because if they do, Big Ben and Antonio Brown will expose them.
I don’t think the Chiefs can do it.
My pick: Steelers 30, Chiefs 23
New York Giants (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
Another huge surprise in this young season has been the Vikings’ play. After Teddy Bridgewater went down with a season-ending torn ACL, things were not looking good for the purple and gold.
However, with a defense that has been legit and Sam Bradford who has taken advantage of his fresh start, this team is one to fear.
The Giants are coming off a tough loss to the Redskins, a game they should’ve won. The defense wasn’t able to get a few key stops and the Giant players weren’t able to get loose when they needed to most.
Odell Beckham Jr. has been criticized this week because of his temper tantrum and to make matters worse, the team lost running back Shane Vereen to a season-ending injury.
This Monday Night matchup will be one that we may see again come January.
My pick: Vikings 24, Giants 20
Bye week: Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers