NFL

NFL Week 4 Predictions: Can Chiefs Hold #1 Spot?

If you saw my post last week in the “Power 32” segment, you know I have the Kansas City Chiefs as the best team in the NFL followed by the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons.  The Chiefs match up with the Redskins at Arrowhead on Monday after the Hogs 2.0 beat down the Raiders on Sunday Night Football in week 3.  The Falcons host the Bills who have proven to be a tough opponent after grabbing their 2nd victory of the season against Denver last Sunday.

The NFL can be tricky and it’s hard to make predictions given its parity and the any given Sunday tradition.  However, those who know me and have read my articles know I’m not afraid to publish my picks.  The Sports Prophet went 11 – 4 last week (Thursday night games not included) so let’s see if I can one up myself.  I welcome you all to make your predictions and challenge The Sports Prophet in week 4!  See some of the “experts” picks here CBS Sports Experts Predictions

Saints vs Dolphins:  Back to London we go!  This will be Miami’s 4th trip to Wembley Stadium since the NFL started bringing their game across the pond in 2007.  In fact, the first game played in London by the NFL was the Dolphins vs the Giants where Miami lost 13 – 10.  This will be the Saints first European vacation since their shootout victory against the Chargers in 2008.  Maybe Miami has the advantage in experience like Jacksonville did last week after stomping the Ravens.  Yet, the Dolphins haven’t exactly gelled together with Cutler under center.  The Saints are coming off a nice win over Carolina and have built some confidence.  I think the Phins will be the better team come week 16, but right now the Saints have the upper hand.  Saints 32 – Dolphins 30

Bills vs Falcons:  Buffalo won last week in part due to the Broncos traveling east for a 1:00 pm start and also because of a strong defense led by first year defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.  Atlanta may have their toughest task offensively this weekend with the Bills coming to town.  But Buffalo has an issue scoring points — especially on the road.  Matt Ryan has been fantastic in Atlanta’s home dome with a record of 49 – 22 with even better stats on his home turf.  Unless the Bills can get constant pressure rushing 4 players then they have next to no chance to defeat the best team in the NFC.  Falcons 23 – Bills 13

Steelers vs Ravens:  One of the NFL’s best rivalry’s since the early 2000’s.  It seems every game they play is won by a field goal with the clock running out.  Both Pitt and Baltimore got embarrassed last week by lesser opponents.  Both teams are now 2 – 1 and the winner will take hold of 1st place in the AFC North.  I think it’s about time Le’Veon Bell busts free for a 150-yard day.  Look for the Steelers to feed Bell the ball at least 25 times through the air and the ground.  This will open up his pass catchers over the middle and in one-on-one situations.  Martavis Bryant should get some 50/50 balls from Big Ben.  Steelers 20 – Ravens 9

Bengals vs Browns:  While Pittsburgh and Baltimore fight it out for 1st place in the AFC North, the Browns and Bengals will be fighting to avoid last place.  Cincinnati looks like the better team and blew a chance for their first win in Green Bay last week.  The Browns continue to have problems and are as inconsistent as ever!  The Bengals have so much more talent. If they don’t manage to defeat Cleveland, than Marvin Lewis should lose his job following the game.  Bengals 24 – Browns 20

Rams vs Cowboys:  You look at the team names and automatically think that Dallas should win by a landslide.  Not so sure about that one!  The Cowboys have struggled to get to 2 -1 this season while the Rams have looked solid at 2 – 1 even in defeat against Washington in week 2.  The Rams can score points with their new weapons and they have a nasty defense.  Dallas is still trying to find a running game with Ezekiel Elliott and attempting to restructure their secondary on defense.  Right now, the Rams are playing with house money and confidence.  The Cowboys are trying to get back to 2016 form.  Rams 26 – Cowboys 24

Titans vs Texans:  This is a tough game to predict.  DeShaun Watson is that wild card player who can turn a 3rd and 13 into a 55 yard touchdown.  And he can do it with his arm or legs.  Tennessee is a good looking football team.  They’re committed to running the ball and their quarterback can use his feet pretty darn well himself.  I like both defenses but I give Houston the edge there.  Watson has changed things for the Texans as evident by his eye popping play making ability over the past two weeks and almost taking down the Patriots in New England.  I think these teams are evenly matched so I’ll let home field determine the outcome.  Texans 27 – Titans 24

Lions vs Vikings:  Last week I said I’d pick Minnesota if Bradford were playing.  Obviously I was wrong as Case Keenum, Stephon Diggs and Dalvin Cook took Tampa Bay to school.  The Vikes are tough to beat at home and their defense is as advertised.  The Lions are an inch away from being 3 – 0 after Golden Tate came up just short of the goal line last Sunday in a controversial loss to the Falcons.  This may be the best Lions team I’ve seen since the 1998 Detroit team led by Barry Sanders.  The question is can they play well on the road.  They took care of the Giants at Met Life Stadium in week 2 so why not!?  But the Vikings are better than the Gee-Men (not a typo).  However, I believe Detroit comes into this game with a chip on their shoulder from last week and get their 3rd win this time around.  Lions 29 – Vikings 16

Panthers vs Patriots:  Neither of these squads are playing the way I thought they would be so far.  Carolina is lucky to be 2 – 1 and so are the Patriots for that matter.  Too many close calls.  I know New England will improve because…well…Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  I expect the Panthers to make better use of their tools offensively and not rely on the defense to bail them out all the time.  We saw what happened last week against the Saints of all teams where Carolina was held to 13 points.  That just doesn’t seem right.  This could be a “get right’ game for the Pats.  Patriots 31 – Panthers 16

Jaguars vs Jets:  Yes, I did pick the Jets to defeat the Dolphins last week but that was situational.  That may be the only game they win all season.  The Jaguars have made people look twice as they have had a couple of impressive performances in this young season.  Last week in London, the Jags smacked the Ravens around winning 44 – 7 to get their second victory.  As long as Blake Bortles doesn’t turn the ball over Jacksonville should fly back home at 3 – 1 and in 1st place in the AFC South.  The Jags simply have more talent.  Jaguars 22 – Jets 16

49ers vs Cardinals:  We know we always get one major upset each week in the NFL.  But this isn’t it!  The Cardinals have been underachieving since their star running back David Johnson went down in the first week of the season.  They still have talent  — especially on defense.  The only thing the 49ers do well is run the football.  As long as Arizona can stop Carlos Hyde from gaining chunks of yards they’ll win this game easily.  Cardinals 27 – 49ers 13

Eagles vs Chargers:  Poor Chargers.  Seems they have the toughest schedule in the league every year.  They’re better than 0 – 3 but not by much.  Philadelphia is a solid team all around and as their chemistry improves, so will their record.  The difference in this game will be the Eagles defense.  They should be able to get after Rivers frequently and cause turnovers by applying pressure.  Eagles 30 – Chargers 22

Giants vs Bucs:  Maybe you consider my Rams over Cowboys pick as the upset of the week.  But it may just be the New York Giants on the road to take on Tampa Bay.  It was the “Bad News Bucs” last week when the Vikings handed them a beat down after looking unstoppable against Chicago in their first game.  The Giants are 0 – 3, but lost on a 61-yard field against Philly in week three.  It’s desperation time for New York, so look for head coach and offensive play caller Ben McAdoo to spice things up a bit on offense with some trickery and deep passes.  Giants 28 – Bucs 24

Raiders vs Broncos:  What in the world happened to Oakland last week?!  Nobody saw that coming!  The Redskins wiped the field with silver and black paint during that one-sided victory.  Looks like a glitch on the radar to me and Oakland will get back to form.  But that will be difficult against a Broncos team also coming off a lob sided loss to Buffalo.  This is a big week 4 match up as the loser could fall 2 games behind in the AFC West.  I think these teams are evenly matched but playing at Mile High usually favors Denver.  Broncos 24 – Raiders 17

Colts vs Seahawks:  This is a bad time for Indianapolis to have to play the Seahawks up in Seattle.  The Hawks fell to 1 – 2 after the Titans ran away with the game in the 2nd half while Seattle continues to struggle on offense.  If you’re in an eliminator league than the Seahawks may be the best pick.  I don’t see Richard Sherman and that defense allowing the team to drop to 1 – 3.  Seahawks 31 – Colts 10

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