Three NFL experts from the Prime Time Sports Talk staff came together to share their picks for Week 4.
These three writers will continue to make their picks for the entire season, earning two points for any correct win-loss outcome and an additional three points for correctly predicting the exact score. (Failure to accurately predict a tie will be treated as a loss.) A cumulative points total and record will be listed at the bottom of every article. An archive of all 17 regular-season and four playoff editions can be found here.
Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets
Mike Fanelli: Broncos 17, Jets 13
Thursday’s game is going to be hard to watch. Both teams are 0-3 and have been hit hard by the injury bug. However, one team is coached by Adam Gase, and that means they have a major disadvantage heading into the game. Expect an ugly, low-scoring game.
Joe Heller: Broncos 13, Jets 13
This game will be similar to the Cincinnati and Philadelphia game from Sunday with critical mistakes at crucial times. It seems like it’s all but a must-win game for Jets head coach Adam Gase, who won’t be able to pull out the victory. But at least a tie isn’t a loss and may provide a momentary stay.
Andersen Pickard: Broncos 17, Jets 10
The national stage of Thursday Night Football will keep this one somewhat close, but it’ll still be quite messy. Look for Vic Fangio’s offense to control the running game early to secure a lead. If the Jets don’t fire Adam Gase after this loss, they probably never will.
New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions
Mike Fanelli: Saints 27, Lions 21
Both teams sit at 1-2 with a lot of questions surrounding them. The Saints have Super Bowl goals in mind, while the Lions are hoping to avoid another top-10 draft pick. Knowing that the Buccaneers aren’t slowing down anytime soon, the Saints get their act together and pull out the win.
Joe Heller: Saints 34, Lions 28
Drew Brees coming off of a loss is a dangerous player. The Lions will be playing from behind all game and finish on the losing end.
Andersen Pickard: Saints 31, Lions 21
The Lions pulled off a solid last-second victory last week but will see no such luck against New Orleans in Week 2. Drew Brees might have Michael Thomas back, returning this offense to nearly full strength.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Fanelli: Buccaneers 24, Chargers 16
Justin Herbert has played well so far in his young career but now takes on the G.O.A.T. The Chargers give it their all, and the defense slows down Tom Brady, but not enough to get the win. The future is still bright in Los Angeles.
Joe Heller: Buccaneers 34, Chargers 27
Tom Brady and co. will get another win this week. The Chargers’ Justin Herbert will have to wait at least another game for his first NFL victory. Rob Gronkowski scores his first touchdown as a Buccaneer.
Andersen Pickard: Buccaneers 21, Chargers 17
Justin Herbert and the Chargers were unable to knock off the Carolina Panthers last week, but another close loss to Tampa Bay in Week 3 will provide the team with even more reason to be optimistic. Sooner rather than later, Los Angeles will be on the winning side of these close victories.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Fanelli: Bengals 27, Jaguars 24
Despite the Bengals’ 0-2-1 record, Joe Burrow has looked like a future Pro Bowler. The Jaguars played awful against the Dolphins last week, but they could rebound this week if D.J. Chark is in the lineup. Burrow throws for three touchdowns and gets his first NFL victory.
Joe Heller: Bengals 24, Jaguars 21
This will finally be the week that Joe Burrow gets his first NFL victory. Gardner Minshew will give his team a chance late before coming up short.
Andersen Pickard: Jaguars 24, Bengals 21
Joe Burrow will throw for three touchdowns but it won’t be enough. With D.J. Chark back in the lineup, Gardner Minshew will show off his impressive arm yet again en route to the Jaguars’ second victory of the season.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Houston Texans
Mike Fanelli: Texans 34, Vikings 20
In a battle of 0-3 teams, someone has to win, right? There always could be a tie, but Deshaun Watson will get going this week. Now that the Texans don’t have to face a top-three team in the AFC the rest of the season, look for them to string together several wins in a row.
Joe Heller: Vikings 37, Texans 31
The Vikings found their offense in Week 3 against the Titans, although they still lost. The Texans, much like the Lions, will be playing from behind all afternoon.
Andersen Pickard: Texans 24, Vikings 17
The Vikings’ passing game was not as good as it appeared last week. Outside of a flukey seven-catch, 175-yard game from Justin Jefferson (which should not be discredited), Adam Thielen struggled. Jefferson will quiet back down while Thielen’s woes will continue into Week 4. Dalvin Cook will gash Houston for two touchdowns, but the Vikings will fall to a baffling 0-4.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Miami Dolphins
Mike Fanelli: Seahawks 38, Dolphins 28
Don’t let last week fool you. The Dolphins are still a bottom 10 team in the league. Furthermore, no one is slowing down the Seahawks’ offense right now. The Seahawks might be without Chris Carson this week, which means even more pass attempts for Russell Wilson.
Joe Heller: Seahawks 31, Dolphins 20
Russell Wilson will continue his early-season dominance with another four-touchdown performance. Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t find enough magic to pull off an upset.
Andersen Pickard: Seahawks 41, Dolphins 13
Russell Wilson is making sure he doesn’t get snubbed in MVP voting again this year. The future Hall of Fame quarterback will throw for five touchdowns in the victory, completing passes left and right. Miami will find the end zone once while both teams will connect on two field goals apiece. This will be the biggest blowout of the week.
Cleveland Browns vs. Dallas Cowboys
Mike Fanelli: Cowboys 31, Browns 24
The Browns are over .500 for the first time in forever. However, they aren’t as good as their record would suggest. They got destroyed by the Ravens, then beat up on the two worst teams in football last season. The Cowboys would be 0-3 if not for the Falcons being choke artists. That said, the Cowboys show they are the better team and win by a touchdown or more.
Joe Heller: Cowboys 34, Browns 31
After flirting with an upset, the Browns fall to the Cowboys, who get back in the win column behind a strong game from Dak Prescott. Odell Beckham Jr. will have an impact on the losing end of this game, continuing his resurgence.
Andersen Pickard: Cowboys 28, Browns 23
The Cowboys should be 0-3, but that’s no reason to discount them against the Browns. This won’t be a blowout, but the Cowboys will have a greater grasp on this game than the scoreboard shows.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
Mike Fanelli: Cardinals 35, Panthers 24
Last week, the Panthers got their first win in the Matt Rhule era. However, that came against the Chargers, and now they face an angry Kyler Murray. After throwing three interceptions last week, expect Murray to come out firing on all cylinders and have a big day against a struggling Panthers defense.
Joe Heller: Cardinals 24, Panthers 21
Kyler Murray and co. will pull out the victory over the Panthers late in this one. The Cardinals’ receivers have the advantage over the Carolina secondary.
Andersen Pickard: Cardinals 21, Panthers 17
At first, you’d think the Cardinals would come out more conservative after Kyler Murray’s three-pick game last week. However, with Murray at quarterback and Kliff Kingsbury as the head coach, Arizona will come out firing as a Murray touchdown gives them the early lead. The game will remain close, but the Cardinals will hold on to their lead for the entire game and improve to 3-1.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears
Mike Fanelli: Colts 24, Bears 20
Somehow, the Bears are 3-0 while the Colts have bounced back from a shocking defeat at the hands of the Jaguars with impressive back-to-back wins over the Vikings and Jets. Nick Foles takes over as the starting quarterback for the Bears, but the Colts ruin any hopes he has of winning his first career start as a member of the Bears.
Joe Heller: Bears 27, Colts 20
This one is a tough one to pick. With Nick Foles getting the start, it gives the Bears the edge against Philip Rivers and the Colts.
Andersen Pickard: Bears 24, Colts 18
This game could surprise a lot of people. The Colts lost to the 1-2 Jaguars and beat the 0-3 Vikings and 0-3 Jets. While they won by large margins, those aren’t exactly thrilling opponents. If the Chicago defense can rattle Philip Rivers early, their Nick Foles-led offense will have time to construct a solid performance en route to victory.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Football Team
Mike Fanelli: Ravens 38, Washington 14
After their upset win in Week 1, Washington has struggled to consistently move the ball in the last two weeks. Now, they face one of the best defenses in football. To make matters worse, Washington just lost Matthew Ioannidis for the season with a torn bicep injury. Expect the Ravens to do whatever they want against Washington on Sunday.
Joe Heller: Ravens 34, Washington 13
Andersen Pickard: Ravens 38, Washington 14
There’s not much to say here. Washington had an exciting upset win in Week 1, but the Football Team has struggled since. Lamar Jackson will have a field day against Washington’s banged-up defense.
New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Rams
Mike Fanelli: Rams 38, Giants 17
The Rams were the victim of a bad pass interference call last week against the Bills. If not for that, they would be 3-0 and atop the NFC West standings. Look for them to flex their muscles against an awful Giants squad.
Joe Heller: Rams 27, Giants 13
Andersen Pickard: Giants 24, Rams 21
Making bland picks is no fun, so here’s a fun upset. The Giants had no clue what to expect from their offense or San Francisco’s defense last week, leading to an educational loss. Now that New York knows what they did wrong, they’ll realize that they can run over the Rams’ defense with Daniel Jones while witnessing impressive performances in the passing game from Darius Slayton and Evan Engram.
New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Mike Fanelli: Chiefs 24, Patriots 14
If Brady was under center, this might be an interesting game. However, Cam Newton looked averaged at best against the Raiders last week. The duo of Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead doesn’t bail them out again. Chiefs win easily, though in a low-scoring game.
Joe Heller: Chiefs 31, Patriots 20
The Chiefs will gameplan for Cam Newton and Rex Burkhead as they will contain them while the back-end limits Julian Edelman and co, leading the Chiefs to victory.
Andersen Pickard: Chiefs 34, Patriots 22
If not for the Chiefs’ commanding victory over the Ravens last week, I probably would have picked New England here. However, Cam Newton struggled against the Raiders while Patrick Mahomes looked otherworldly against the Ravens. The Chiefs will take the driver’s seat and pick up their fourth victory.
Buffalo Bills vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Mike Fanelli: Bills 38, Raiders 24
After their impressive Week 2 win against the Saints, the Raiders came out flat against the Patriots. Now, they take on the best team in the AFC East. The Bills have been the most surprising team so far this season and will take care of the Raiders to get to 4-0.
Joe Heller: Bills 34, Raiders 30
It’s hard to pick against the Bills and Josh Allen. The Raiders will keep it close behind a solid day on the ground by Josh Jacobs. Josh Allen will pass for over 400 yards, giving him his fourth straight with over 300.
Andersen Pickard: Bills 31, Raiders 17
The Raiders’ offense was silenced by New England this week, and now Bryan Edwards is hurt. Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller are great options, but Las Vegas can’t rely on them for the whole game. Meanwhile, Hunter Renfrow will see an uptick in receptions but isn’t a valid WR1 yet. Josh Allen and the Bills will win by several scores.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers
Mike Fanelli: Eagles 20, 49ers 14
This game will depend on the health of several 49ers, including George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo. If both play, the 49ers should win the game. However, if both are out this week, expect the Eagles to get their first win of the season.
Joe Heller: 49ers 24, Eagles 17
The 49ers are thankful this game won’t be played at MetLife Stadium after back-to-back games there threatened to derail their entire season. Behind Nick Mullens, San Francisco will keep the Eagles winless.
Andersen Pickard: 49ers 21, Eagles 16
There’s not a lot to say about this one. I’ll continue to pick against the Eagles and their depleted receiving core until they can turn themselves around. The banged-up 49ers will manage to find their way to 3-1.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers
Mike Fanelli: Packers 41, Falcons 27
Will the Falcons blow their third straight game with a two-touchdown lead or more? Probably. Either way, other than the Seahawks, the Packers have the hottest scoring offense in the league. Expect this to be a bloodbath as the Packers win easily.
Joe Heller: Packers 37, Falcons 24
Aaron Rodgers will pick apart a Falcons secondary that has been susceptible to big plays, especially in the last two weeks. Unlike in the last two games, the Falcons won’t blow a lead, because Matt Ryan and the offense will be playing catch-up.
Andersen Pickard: Packers 37, Falcons 27
Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ offense love scoring points, and they will continue to do so this week. The difference, though, is that Green Bay’s offense will rip apart the horrendous Falcons defense. Atlanta falls to 0-4 as Dan Quinn’s seat heats up.
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