The Infallible NFL Week 4 Straight Picks

In a week that started with a bunch of scoring in a one-sided affair, several games through the weekend were close while continuing the high-scoring trend. While the Jags, Raiders, and Bucs remain winless, the Bengals and Eagles were able to stay a perfect 3-0. Look for a bunch of great matchups beginning with the Thursday night game.

Last Week: 13-3
Overall: 33-15

New York Giants at Washington Redskins. Eli got the Giants going for the first time this season against a solid defense. Rashad Jennings has really been a bright spot in the slow start for the New York football Giants. Victor Cruz also decided to make an appearance for the first time this season while the rest of the Giants receivers have continued to be no-shows. Rueben Randle keeps getting lots of targets as his rapport with Manning increases. If the offense gets going the NFC East might be up for grabs. Gotta start with this game against divisional foe Washington. The Redskins lost in a thriller this past Sunday against the Eagles, who are really impressive thus far, but looked very good in keeping in this game. The Skins defense is above average and Kirk Cousins is a better fit for this offense than RG III. With Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson carrying the load as receivers and Alfred Morris bringing a consistent effort, this still may be a playoff team if they can get on track with a win here. Redskins 28, Giants 24

Healthy again, Arian Foster is experiencing a rebirth on the football field.
Healthy again, Arian Foster is experiencing a rebirth on the football field.

Buffalo at Houston. In a matchup of two teams with plenty of potential but no real expectation to be this competitive this soon, the Bills come to town to take on the Texans. CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson are currently co-existing with solid numbers and rookie Sammy Watkins is playing through apparent injuries and scoring big for fantasy owners. EJ Manuel has minimized his turnovers and the defense has played like we saw at the beginning of last year. On the other side, we have the Texans who came in with an aging, but still effective receiver in Andre Johnson, one superstar in his prime in JJ Watt, and a potential star in Jadeveon Clowney who have played well to begin the season. Last week was sort of a let-down but no one expected Houston to start the season 3-0. Hell, 3 wins over the course of the season wasn’t that far out of the realm of possibility. But the best player on this team so far has been Arian Foster. The guy is still healthy! And he’s been a legitimate threat each time he’s gotten the ball. Dude should be proud for the effort he put into getting back to this level. Texans 24, Bills 17

Green Bay at Chicago. As Packer fans (or maybe just the media) begin to freak out about a 1-2 start that hasn’t been that pathetic, let’s take a step back and realize this is only Week 4 and both losses weren’t all that surprising. Losing on the road to Seattle isn’t something to feel bad about and losing at Detroit to a good defense and a potent offense is not a bad deal either. Sure, the way they lost was probably not what you’d expect but they haven’t had Eddie Lacy at full strength just yet. And what can you expect with that defense? We need to see Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb get involved at the same time. As soon as that happens the Packers should even out and wins will come. It might come this weekend against a terrible Bears defense. Chicago comes in to the game after playing a game they should have walked through. Jay Cutler has been very consistent inconsistent when it comes to receiver Brandon Marshall. he’s either always looking for #15 or never looking for him. Luckily, they have another all-world talent in Alshon Jeffery. Look for a big day from Matt Forte. Bears 34, Packers 24

Detroit at New York Jets. Geno Smith hasn’t been great, but he hasn’t gotten worse either. The same can be said for his team. The Jets have to find a consistent top runner and stick with it. That running back is Chris Ivory right now and shifting between the two players has made it tough to find much consistency for this offense. Smith doesn’t have many options in the passing game but Jeremy Kerley has done a good job as the slot guy while Decker is attempting to help out somehow. Meanwhile, Golden Tate has quietly had about as good a second-fiddle season to Calvin Johnson as any receiver in his career. Reggie Bush has also had a better year than expected while Joique Bell has been up and down. Both teams have good defenses and this one will come down to how many times Matthew Stafford can find Megatron open downfield. Lions 27, Jets 10

Tennessee at Indianapolis. While Andrew Luck has been compared as the lesser player to Russell Wilson (and when considering intangibles it is deservedly so) he has had a great season thus far. The early leader in fantasy scoring has been able to find open receivers consistently whether it’s been TY Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Allen, or Hakeem Nicks. He’s gotten a good effort out of Trent Richardson and an even better (career-revival level) performance out of Ahmad Bradshaw. Chuck Pagano’s influence on defense and the personal they’ve brought in the past two years has finally equaled good results. The Titans are struggling with a project QB in Jake Locker who still doesn’t look the part. They have a few decent receivers but still haven’t been able to promote Bishop Sankey above underperforming Shonn Greene. The defense is better than many think but gets bad field positioning from the offense. Colts 38, Titans 7

Miami at Oakland. After a season-opening surprise win at home against the Patriots there was some expectation that the Dolphins may continue to move forward with a talented group on both offense and defense. That hasn’t happened. Instead they have suffered consecutive 19 point losses. Luckily for them, the next opponent is the winless Raiders who haven’t had much on offense going on. While the Raider defense is a stiff test for an offensive line that is learning, there’s just not enough talent for Oakland steal this one so early in the season. Mike Wallace will continue his bounce-back season. Dolphins 24, Raiders 16

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh. Not sure anyone saw these two teams coming into the game with such opposite records, and that’s not to say the Bucs were expected to be good. Too many injuries on top of a backup QB that should have stayed a backup have been too much trouble for a team with a promising young group on defense. Conversely, there was talk of a tiny rebuild for a Steeler team that didn’t have the defense to compete this year. Well, the defense definitely isn’t very good, but the offense is easily a top 10 unit. If Ben Roethlisberger can get some production out of his second receiver Markus Wheaton and some help from Heath Miller, then the run game will continue to flourish with Le’Veon Bell (and even LeGarrette Blount). Steelers 34, Buccaneers 13

Carolina at Baltimore. Coming off a last-second win over Cleveland last week, the Ravens will look to keep the winning going at home against the Panthers. Also of interest is the mini-drama of Steve Smith’s first game playing against his former team. Smith has been great so far this season leading Baltimore in receptions and yards while Torrey Smith continues to post duds. Injuries have made the Baltimore backfield shuffle a bit each game but three separate backs have had exemplary performances in separate games to start the year. Bernard Pierce is back from injury and Justin Forsett will see the snaps on passing downs meaning Lorenzo Taliaferro will likely be the odd man out even after his solid performance in meaningful minutes against the Browns. The Panthers have done well to win 2 of their first three games even without a solid run game. Two things that will be good just about every game this year: Kelvin Benjamin and the Carolina defense. Ravens 21, Panthers 17

Jacksonville at San Diego. Blake Bortles will likely get a whole game under his belt. Toby Gerhart hasn’t been the answer so far either, but getting behind early and often doesn’t help either. With Marquise Lee out, there’s even fewer options for the rookie QB to look for. Philip Rivers is back at it again. Having another good year with a rag-tag group of students, Rivers has made Donald Brown look good even as underdog Danny Woodhead got hurt and Ryan Mathews had already gone down. The Chargers have even done well on defense. Chargers 37, Jaguars 21

Atlanta at Minnesota. It’s the wrong time for the Vikings to be forced into starting a rookie QB in Teddy Bridgewater on top of facing a team hitting their stride on offense. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones were stellar last week and Steven Jackson has been good for a score here and there. With Roddy White returning, Minnesota will need a great performance from blossoming young talent Cordarelle Patterson. Falcons 41, Vikings 14

Philadelphia at San Francisco. Two questions: Are the Eagles this good? And are the 49ers this average? Well, it’s safe to say the Eagles have a legitimate chance to continue on this trajectory. Jeremy Maclin has been a good story as have the various receivers to step up to the plate along with RB/WR Darren Sproles who has been better than LeSean McCoy in the early going. While the defense hasn’t been great, they frankly haven’t needed to do much more than perform in the clutch as they did against Washington last week. The 49ers are a tougher cookie to crack. With all the different current and impending suspensions on top of injuries mixed in with the young star talent of Colin Kaepernick, a deep receiver corps, and young runner with a nose for the endzone (Carlos Hyde); San Francisco has been lukewarm to begin the season. Still, they haven’t had an easy schedule and there’s plenty of time to make it all up. With what’s on the line early for these guys, this will be close but the right team will come out ahead. 49ers 27, Eagles 24

Doing his best NFL version of the Heisman, DeMarco Murray has started the year off in grand fashion.
Doing his best NFL version of the Heisman, DeMarco Murray has started the year off in grand fashion.

New Orleans at Dallas. Two good offenses come into this game with equally bad defenses. The Cowboys have a chance to get to 3-1 at home while running back DeMarco Murray is having a banner year. Dez Bryant is starting to come around and Tony Romo is even playing okay. For the Boys to come through in this one they need to keep the ball in Murray’s hands and keep it close. The Saints really can’t afford to fall to 1-3 in a season where winning the division was pretty much expected. While the backs have had some trouble with injury, Pierre Thomas has been consistently effective. Khiry Robison has done a nice job coming in for an injured Mark Ingram and Jimmy Graham has been awesome thus far. Cowboys 38, Saints 28

New England at Kansas City. These aren’t the same New England Patriots of 5 years ago. Hell, they aren’t the same New England Patriots of 2 years ago. There’s no reason to panic in Beantown, mostly because their division isn’t very good, but the defense has been suspect to begin the year and the passing game isn’t explosive enough to offset an inconsistent run game. Jamaal Charles has a chance to make a big statement as he comes back from a short break due to inury. Alex Smith has been solid even in the losses. The talent just doesn’t allow much margin for error. KC misses what Dexter McCluster brought to the team last season. While Travis Kelce has been a bright spot at tight end, keeping a player like Knile Davis on the field in a position similar to McCluster may be a good way to increase the options on offense for Smith. Here’s my upset special of the week. Chiefs 24, Patriots 20

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