Week 4 NFL Preview
Saints @ Lions
After a COVID scare turned out to be a false positive, this game will be played. The Saints have been a shell of themselves so far this season and will once again be without WR Michael Thomas. They will also be missing 5 other starters-- including both starting corners and tight end Jared Cook. That means we should see a lot of Alvin Kamara and Tre'Quan Smith Sunday. Detroit saw their offense find another gear with the return of Kenny Golladay last week. With both defenses playing below their potential, this should be a shootout.
Colts @ Bears
First start for Nick Foles in Chicago. In relief last week, Foles engineered a 4th quarter comeback against Atlanta. The Colts rolled over a pedestrian Jets team. Indy has a good defense, and its offense has been pretty good so far. This is definitely the best defense they've seen so far, so it will be a good test for where the offense is. Chicago's offense isn't overwhelming at all. I expect a lower scoring game with turnovers being the key factor.
Jaguars @ Bengals
This should be a big offensive game for both teams. Both defenses have given up 30+ points in 2 of their 3 games. Neither team has a good defense, and their quarterbacks have played mostly well this season. Cincinnati has been better against the pass than run this season, so it could be a big day for rookie James Robinson. Meanwhile, the Jags haven't allowed a 100 yard rusher yet this season and will be facing an injured Joe Mixon.
Browns @ Cowboys
The Browns have found their offense the past couple of weeks and get to face a struggling Cowboy defense. However, Dallas may have just too much for Cleveland to keep up. While Cleveland has good weapons, Dallas just has a couple more. If the Browns can capitalize on turnovers, they can give themselves a chance. But, if both teams take care of the ball, Dallas will win a high-scoring affair.
Seahawks @ Dolphins
The Seahawks offense has carried them thus far. Russell Wilson is playing like an MVP, and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are quickly becoming one of the league's best receiving duos. On defense, they've been giving up points, largely due to injuries in the secondary and lack of a pass rush. The Dolphins have definitely improved this year. This one will be close, but Seattle just has a little too much offense and will pull away.
Chargers @ Buccaneers
Despite finding some inspiration from rookie QB Justin Herbert, the Chargers' offense has struggled to score this year, and they have not played very good defenses so far. On the bright side, their best outing came against the best defense they've played (Kansas City). The Chargers do have a good defense that could hold their own against Tampa's offense, but the Bucs defense is much better than they get credit for and will cause fits for the rookie. He'll need Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen to play their best to make this a game.
Ravens @ Washington
The Washington defense had an uncharacteristic outing against Cleveland last week, allowing the Browns to pull away in the 4th quarter. The Ravens dug themselves a hole early against the Chiefs and had to rely on the passing game to try to make it a game. That's not how Baltimore wants to operate. They like having balance and they usually establish that with a powerful running game. This week should be a little easier. Although Washington has a good run defense, there should be plenty of opportunities for Lamar Jackson and company. Washington does not have the offense to compete against Baltimore's stellar defense.
Cardinals @ Panthers
Carolina has been okay considering all the coaching and personnel changes. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have had a good offensive start to the season, and their defense is very underrated. The best way to stop them is to get them to turn the ball over. If Carolina can do that, they might have a chance for the upset. I just don't think they have anyone who can shut down DeAndre Hopkins enough to stay in this one.
Vikings @ Texans
I don't think anyone had either of these teams at 0-3, but yet, they both are. Houston had a very tough schedule to start and looked much better against Pittsburgh last week. The Vikings lost Stefon Diggs on offense, yet it's the defense that has held them back. They've struggled to replace some key players on that side of the ball and are now dealing with quite a few injuries. While Houston doesn't have the offense it used to, the Texans are still the more balanced team. Minnesota need Kirk Cousins to play mistake-free, its offensive line to hold up against JJ Watt and the Houston defense, and someone to step up to help Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook. That's a bit much to ask in my opinion.
Giants @ Rams
The Giants offense looked pretty bad without the real threat of a running game. Devonta Freeman ran for just 10 yards filling in for Saquon Barkley, as the NY offense was held without a touchdown. The Rams took a while to get going in Buffalo, and ultimately lost the game in the last minute. They managed 32 points against a good Buffalo defense. The Giants' defense is definitely not as good as Buffalo's. On top of that, the NY offensive line is just plain bad. Aaron Donald and the Rams' defense should feast on a dormant offense and give plenty of chances for Jared Goff and the offense.
Patriots @ Chiefs
This game has been moved to Monday night because players on each team tested positive for COVID. The good news is that there were no more positive tests, so they will be able to play. Unfortunately for New England, QB Cam Newton is one of the positive tests. Newton has been playing well and has brought an element to the position that New England hasn't had with his running ability. The Chiefs defense has played decently this year but still gives up some plays. There just won't be enough for New England to keep up without Cam.
Bills @ Raiders
Stefon Diggs has been a huge addition for the Bills' offense. He has given Josh Allen a true number one target and allowed other players on the offense to excel in just playing their roles. The Raiders have been a surprise so far this season but are coming off a big loss to New England. This will be a challenge for the Vegas offense. I think this is close for a half, but Buffalo finds a way to get it done.
Eagles @ 49ers
Both teams are riddled with injuries. The 49ers didn't lose a bit against the Giants last week, despite missing 9 starters. The Eagles are missing 3 offensive tackles and have struggled on offense so far. Carson Wentz has not looked good with the limited weapons Philly has surrounded him with. He really needs to start taking better care of the football. Both teams have good defensive lines, so don't expect much from the running backs. Whichever passing game plays better wins this one.
Falcons @ Packers
Two prolific offenses against two questionable secondaries. Yes, Atlanta has blown some leads, but they've still put up points and yardage. Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones have dominated for Green Bay. The Packers will be without WR Allen Lazard and could be without WR Davante Adams as well. That shouldn't be a big problem this week. Another shootout here.