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NFL Week 4 preview, predictions: Two undefeated AFC East teams

09/26/2019
Ryan Honey

A preview of what to watch for, what to expect, and predictions for Week 4 around the NFL, including a recap of Week 3.

Ryan Honey

It’s crazy how we’ve already arrived at Week 4 in the NFL. Felt like yesterday that the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears were opening up the season for us on Thursday, Sept. 5.

Week 3 was another week full of surprises, great performances, and show-up-and-show-outs from quarterbacks in their first starts. Let’s take a look at that before we get into the preview and predictions for Week 4.

Week 3 Final Scores // Prediction Results

  • Tennessee Titans: 7 at Jacksonville Jaguars: 20 (Correct)
  • Cincinnati Bengals: 17 at Buffalo Bills: 21 (Incorrect)
  • Miami Dolphins: 6 at Dallas Cowboys: 31 (Correct)
  • Denver Broncos: 16 at Green Bay Packers 27 (Correct)
  • Atlanta Falcons: 24 at Indianapolis Colts: 27 (Incorrect)
  • Baltimore Ravens: 28 at Kansas City Chiefs: 33 (Correct)
  • Oakland Raiders: 14 at Minnesota Vikings: 34 (Correct)
  • New York Jets: 14 at New England Patriots: 30 (Correct)
  • Detroit Lions: 27 at Philadelphia Eagles: 24 (Incorrect)
  • Carolina Panthers: 38 at Arizona Cardinals: 20 (Incorrect)
  • New York Giants: 32 at Tampa Bay Buccanneers: 31 (Incorrect)
  • Houston Texans: 27 at Los Angeles Chargers: 20 (Correct)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 20 at San Francisco 49ers: 24 (Correct)
  • New Orleans Saints: 33 at Seattle Seahawks: 72 (Incorrect)
  • Los Angeles Rams: 20 at Cleveland Browns: 13 (Correct)
  • Chicago Bears: 31 at Washington Redskins: 15 (Correct)
  • Week 3 Results: 10-6
  • Overall Results: 29-19

Recap: What we saw during Week 2

On Thursday night of last week, we saw Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew get his first win as a starter. In a 20-7 win over Tennessee, Minshew completed 20 of his 30 throws for 204 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota only completed 23 of his 40 throws for 304 yards and zero touchdowns. Tennessee is now 1-2 on the year, and Mariota needs to start winning football games if he wants that new deal at the end of the season. There’s no sugar coating that statement.

We saw that I should probably stop betting against Buffalo (even though I’m going to this upcoming week). The Josh Allen-led Bills took down the Cincinnati Bengals 21-17, as Buffalo improves to 3-0 on the season.

In the Broncos-Packers matchup, we saw that the pass rush for Denver is a legitimate problem. Through three games, even with Bradley Chubb and Von Miller, this team has zero sacks. That’s right: zero. A cant-get-any-worse statistic through three games that need to be addressed within this organization. Oh, and Matt LaFleur is still undefeated as the Green Bay head coach, as they took down Denver 27-16. Maybe that was the missing piece this team needed to return to stardom in this league.

Are we experiencing an Indianapolis Colts team that doesn’t need Andrew Luck at quarterback? I mean, I won’t go as far as to say that right now. However, Jacoby Brissett is playing very well. As the team has improved to a quick 2-1 start, Brissett completed 28 of his 37 throws for 310 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 27-24 win over the Falcons. By the way, is Atlanta (1-2) on its way to another lost season?

The matchup of the week (in my opinion) was the Baltimore Ravens traveling to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. Although Lamar Jackson has had a great year thus far (63% completion percentage with 863 yards and seven touchdowns), it’s really tough to compete with Patrick Mahomes. The 2018 NFL MVP completed 27 of his 37 throws for 374 yards and three touchdowns in the 33-28 win over Baltimore.

Are the Carolina Panthers slowly separating themselves from Cam Newton? I get it, he’s hurt. Therefore, it’s not his fault he’s not playing. However, this offense just looked different with Kyle Allen at the helm. The second-year quarterback had 261 passing yards and four touchdowns in his second career start. Newton had zero total touchdowns through the first two games of this year. The Panthers defeated the Cardinals 38-20.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Daniel Jones era is beginning. I didn’t want to believe it last year when the New York Giants made the switch but after their 32-31 win over the Tampa Bay Buccanneers, I’ll admit it’s Jones’ team. In his first career start, he was 23-for-36 for 336 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball four times for 28 yards and two touchdowns. The latter rushing score was the go-ahead touchdown with a little over a minute remaining.

We saw that no matter what you say about Jimmy Garoppolo, you can’t deny he wins games. The San Francisco 49ers have already nearly matched their win total of last season (four). They’re now 3-0 after a 24-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And finally, we saw that Teddy Bridgewater can still win games as a starting quarterback in this league. In only his second start since 2015, he was 19-for-27 with 177 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions as the Saints took down the Seahawks 33-27. This New Orleans team definitely needs to win games before Drew Brees returns, and they’ve gotten off to a good start.

NFL

Preview: What to watch for during Week 4 of the NFL

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-0) – Thursday, Sept. 26, 8:20 p.m. ET

This Thursday night matchup to kick off Week 4 in the NFL is a must-win for Philadelphia. If they fall to 1-3 on the year, it’ll be really tough for them to climb back in a division that includes the undefeated Dallas Cowboys and a Giants team that has newfound confidence with Daniel Jones.

On the other hand, this will be a huge test for Matt LaFleur. There are seven teams in this league that are 3-0, including Green Bay. Only a select few will improve to 4-0. Will LaFleur and the Packers be part of that select few? Will this defense be able to contain an Eagles offense led by quarterback Carson Wentz?

Should be a great matchup at the near-end of the workweek.

Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2) – Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m. ET

I understand that this is a team with a losing record against another team with a losing record. However, the implications of a victory in this game are huge.

If you’re Tennessee, you don’t want to start out 1-3 in a division that includes Houston and Indianapolis, who both could be playoff teams, and a Jaguars team that just beat you by two possessions last week.

If you’re Atlanta, starting out 1-3 in a division with New Orleans and Carolina seems very scary for a team that doesn’t want to experience another lost season. This, especially with the way Carolina’s offense looked in Week 3 with Kyle Allen at quarterback.

New England Patriots (3-0) at Buffalo Bills (3-0) – Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m. ET

One of the top games of the week. If you told me before this season that Buffalo-New England would be an impactful game in Week 3, I’d think you’re crazy. But, here we are.

Although I think it’ll be a close game, I believe the Patriots will be able to pull away with the victory in Buffalo. Even if they do lose, it’s going to be their only in-division loss. Pats will end up 5-1 in the AFC East, if not, 6-0.

Washington Redskins (0-3) at New York Giants (1-2) – Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m. ET

It’ll be interesting to tune in and see Daniel Jones’ first home game as the New York Giants’ starting quarterback. He had four total touchdowns and led Big Blue on an 18-point second-half comeback against Tampa Bay. With the home-field advantage, it’ll be fun to see how he’ll build off that huge performance.

For Washington, will this be Case Keenum’s last start? The Redskins have rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins as their backup, but when will they use him? Head coach Jay Gruden believes they can still succeed with Keenum. However, if they drop to 0-4, maybe his opinion on the quarterback position will change.

Keenum turned the ball over five times (three interceptions, two lost fumbles) in their loss to Chicago on Monday night.

Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) at Detroit Lions (2-0-1) – Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m. ET

Undefeated against undefeated…technically. The Lions haven’t lost a game yet this year, but they have tied, as they head into Week 4 with a 2-0-1 record. As I wrote earlier, it’s really tough to compete against a guy like Patrick Mahomes, but can the Matt Stafford-led Lions get it done?

If Detroit were to emerge victorious in this game, it would be a huge statement win for them. They play in the best division in football right now (NFC North) that has a combined record of 9-2-1. A win against an AFC powerhouse will help this team prove that they could end up becoming a Wild Card team in the NFC. I don’t believe they’ll win that division, as I’m still making the Packers my pick in those regards.

Minnesota Vikings (2-1) at Chicago Bears (2-1) – Sunday, Sept. 29, 4:25 p.m. ET

When either of these teams is fighting for a Wild Card spot in the NFC North at the end of the year, they’ll look back at this game. Even though it’s still early in the season, this matchup has playoff implications.

Again, it’s the toughest division in football right now. A 2-2 start for either of these teams won’t fare well in the long run. A second in-division loss for either of these teams already won’t be beneficial to their eventual playoff chances. This has the makings to be one of the more important games in pro football this week. These quarterbacks vs. these high-powered defenses should make for an interesting and intriguing contest.

Dallas Cowboys (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (2-1) – Sunday, Sept. 29, 8:20 p.m. ET

The Cowboys are undefeated up to this point, but look who they’ve faced: A Giants team before Daniel Jones took over, a Redskins team that has no direction, and a Dolphins team that’s shaping up to be the worst team in the entire league.

Therefore, this will be one of the first real tests for this Dak Prescott-led Dallas team. It’s the first organization they’ll be facing on the year that was a playoff team last season. If they win this game, even though it’s against a Teddy Bridgewater-led Saints team, it’ll be a huge statement to the league that the Cowboys can make a legitimate run.

For New Orleans, another win without Drew Brees will be huge. They need as many tallies in the win column as possible for when he returns from injury.

Week 4 Predictions (In bold)

  • Thursday, 9/26, 8:20 p.m. ET – Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-0)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 1:00 p.m. ET – Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 1:00 p.m. ET – Cleveland Browns (1-2) at Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 1:00 p.m. ET – New England Patriots (3-0) at Buffalo Bills (3-0)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 1:00 p.m. ET – Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) at Detroit Lions (2-0-1)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 1:00 p.m. ET – Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 1:00 p.m. ET – Oakland Raiders (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (2-1)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 1:00 p.m. ET – LA Chargers (1-2) at Miami Dolphins (0-3)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 1:00 p.m. ET – Washington Redskins (0-3) at New York Giants (1-2)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 4:05 p.m. ET – Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at Arizona Cardinals (0-2-1)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 4:05 p.m. ET – Tampa Bay Buccanneers (1-2) at LA Rams (3-0)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 4:25 p.m. ET – Minnesota Vikings (2-1) at Chicago Bears (2-1)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 4:25 p.m. ET – Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) at Denver Broncos (0-3)
  • Sunday, 9/29, 8:20 p.m. ET – Dallas Cowboys (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (2-1)
  • Monday, 9/30, 8:15 p.m. ET – Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3)

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