Buffalo Bills @ Atlanta Falcons. The Boy-I-Love-Losing-SuperBills look like a better team this season. However, they'll struggle this week against another team that loves losing Super Bowls, the Falcons. Atlanta wins this one. Final score: Falcons 28, Bills 3.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens. This is a game a lot of people expect Baltimore to win, but is Joe Flacco ok? I'm not sure, and I'm picking the Steelers to win this one...even if they got beat by Chicago after not taking the field for the National Anthem. Final score: Steelers 27, Ravens 20.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns. As a die-hard Bengals fan, it hurts me to say this, but I do not believe in this team's capability to compete this season, not with a complete lack of offensive linemen. While the Bengals SHOULD win this game, their suspect free agency moves leads one to wonder whether they actually could. The Browns defense is better than people think, and the Browns could surprise this week. Final score: Browns 17, Bungles 7.
LA Rams @ Dallas Cowboys. This is going to be a great matchup of two second year quarterbacks and two great running backs. The Rams will keep this game close given their dominant defense, but do they have enough weapons to beat the Cowboys? I'm not sure about that. That being said, the Cowboys are coming off of a short week, the Rams are well-rested, and Wade Philips is looking for revenge. This smells like an upset. Rams win. Final score: Rams 24, Cowboys 14.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans. This is one of those rivalry games that could logically go either way. In what amounts to a coin flip matchup, I have to go with the team who's quarterback, DeShaun Watson, donated his first game check to cafeteria workers effected by Hurricane Harvey. Watson just put himself into the running for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and this week he makes a statement against Tennessee that puts him in the conversation for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Texans win. Final score: Texans 27, Titans 17.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings. Matt Stafford and the Lions look like one of the better teams in the NFC right now. Although Keenum has done wonderfully for the Vikings, I think the Lions are actually the better team. In fact, both of these teams will be competing for a playoff game, and this game will prove to be pivotal towards the end of the season. I think the Lions squeak out a close one, however, with Bradford injured. Lions win. Zach Zenner surprises and runs in the game winning touchdown. Final score: Lions 21, Vikings 20.
Carolina Panthers @ New England Patriots. Two words. Tom Brady. Two more words. Gillette Stadium. Two more words. Bill Belichick. This is a game that the Panthers are capable of winning. However, this is the type of game the Patriots usually shine in. I have to go with the Patriots in this one. Final score: Patriots 28, Panthers 17.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Jersey Jets. The Jaguars are an NFL team. The Jets, even after winning last week, look more like a farm team. Jaguars win this one. Final score: Jaguars 27, Jets 7.
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are clearly the better team in this matchup, but crazier things have happened. The 49ers had a breakout game against the Rams and nearly won against the Rams. After a long period of rest, they face a struggling Cardinals team. For the first time in forever, I'm going for the 49ers here! 49ers win. Final score: 49ers 17, Cardinals 13.
Philadelphia Eagles @ San Diego Chargers. The Eagles have lost eight out of their last 9 road games. The Chargers have lost their last eight games. This is going to be an ugly matchup between two ugly teams, but I think the Chargers squeeze out a close one. Final score: Chargers 14, Eagles 13.
New Jersey Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I've lost faith in the Giants this season. I still believe in the Buccaneers. Buccaneers win. Final score: Buccaneers 23, Giants 21.
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos. This might be the game of the week, as both of these teams have shown that they are playoff-caliber teams so far this season. That being said, the last time the Raiders beat the Broncos, they did it on the ground. The Broncos held Zeke Elliott to only 8 yards when they faced the Cowboys this season. Broncos win, barely. Final score: Broncos 21, Raiders 20.
Indianapolis Colts @ Seattle Seahawks. I don't trust the Colts at all. I do trust the Seahawks to get hot after a cold start to the season, like they always do. They'll begin to get hot this week at home against Indy. Final score: Seahawks 28, Colts 13.
Washington Redskins @ KC Chiefs. The Redskins had a great game against Oakland, but the Chiefs look phenomenal this season. Chiefs win, because more weapons. Final score: Chiefs 28, Redskins 24.
Week 4 Of the NFL: We want to be clear with what is going on around the NFL because it has now become the focus of the league so it seems. The National Anthem is supposed to be just a simple measure of respect to stand with your hand over your heart while we remember those who died for this nation’s flag. We believe in the idea of peaceful protests but there is a better way to reach out and do so then during a moment of respect for our nation. The staying in the locker room though is an insane joke and the NFL allowing that to happen even though it is against their own rules is mind blowing and is causing a large amount of hate and disgust towards each other as American citizens. I hope these athletes one day soon see that they are causing hate more than a belief in peaceful protest. Anyway on this week’s games which will have another game in Wembley in London.
Sunday 9:30 AM (London):
Saints (1-2) @ Dolphins (1-1): I had a hard time last week figuring out why everyone was against the Saints and I stood by them with a pick and they rewarded me with a dominant performance on defense and offense against the Panthers. I love seeing this team show they can be competitive still against teams considered at the top because Atlanta and New Orleans could always be a fun offensive showdown at the end of the year for the division if they find a way to stay in the picture. The Dolphins on the other hand went from lucking their way past the Chargers to getting flat out embarrassed by the Jets, I mean losing to the Jets is embarrassing in itself. They found no offense and their defense couldn’t do much to stop the Jets either and sadly for them they are playing a more complete team this weekend. Saints win 30 – 17 over the Dolphins.
Bills (1-2) @ Falcons (3-0): The Bills last weekend shocked the NFL world by making the Broncos look bad and gave us all the question of is this team legit. I thought I had them figured but now with the impressive win they put together last weekend I am questioning what the Bills really have for the rest of the league but this weekend in the ATL against the Falcons should be the perfect showing of what they might really be. Now the Falcons left Detroit with a win but they left with a win handed to them by a horrendous officiating crew who were blind and cost the Lions the game. The Falcons though are a top team and there is no doubting that and I expect them to be unbeatable at home in their beautiful brand new stadium where the fans were going nuts in week 2. This should be a fun season to watch for ATL fans. Falcons win 28 – 20 over the Bills.
Bengals (0-3) @ Browns (0-3): Alright well the Bengals almost caused the Earth to stop rotating last weekend when they took the Packers to overtime. If they would have pulled off that win I think the entire league would have been completely lost in confusion. Maybe they just suck at home and will be good on the road this season? Or maybe they really did just need to replace their offensive coordinator? I am not sure what the case was but if they can finish this game unlike last week with the way they started this one they will be set. The Browns almost came back against the Colts last week but fell short and are still looking to get a 1st win in a season where I expected them to get 8 they aren’t looking as good as I hoped. But they do have a rookie QB who I do not believe was fully NFL ready and he has shown that with some bad decision throws for INT’s that have put the Browns down early in games or stopped drives for the Brown’s, but he is learning. I would love to see a tie and both teams remain winless just you know, for fun but I don’t see that happening here. Browns win 23 – 21 over the Bengals.
Rams (2-1) @ Cowboys (2-1): The Rams played one of the ugliest yet most entertaining Thursday night games we have seen in a long time last week and walked out with a narrow victory in the process. Now they go on the road to Dallas and take on a much tougher opponent. I don’t see the Rams offense keeping pace with the Dallas offense regardless of the points they have scored this season. I mean realistically look at the Rams two wins. The 49ers who are in rebuild mode and the Colts who are denial mode of needing a rebuild. So the real teams are where I think we will see what the Rams really have this year and it will be an improvement to last year but not fully there yet. The Cowboys defense is weak but they did what they had to last week to stop the Cardinals and showed the other teams in the league to beat Arizona all you need to do is stop JJ Nelson. Zeke woke up in the 2nd half last week for the Cowboys and their offense took off and Dak showed his ability to escape the pocket and make great throws on the run are where he excels. In the pocket I don’t think Dak is that great but if he can continue to bootleg and throw he will have Russell Wilson type success which could mean a future ring. Cowboys win 33 – 24 over the Rams.
Lions (2-1) @ Vikings (2-1): Well I mentioned earlier that the Lions were robbed of a win last week against the Falcons so I won’t go into that. The Lions in order to win games seem to just need to be behind in the 4th quarter and then they will most likely win. That has actually become a strong belief of mine that to beat the Lions you must either blow them out or be behind and take away the comeback from them in the 4th, certainly do not be up by less than 13 points entering the 4th because then watch out for the comeback kid Matt Stafford. Now the Vikings on the other hand even with Case Keenum looked incredibly good last week. That being said the Buccaneers had a case of the flu running rampant through the team and could have really helped the Vikings look better than they are. So I am not fully convinced of what the Vikings bring to the table yet without Bradford or Bridgewater but we could see Teddy back soon honestly as we are approaching week 6. For now they will go on with Case Keenum and I do not believe he will out sling Matt Stafford. That being said Lions win 23 – 17 over the Vikings.
Panthers (2-1) @ Patriots (2-1): The Panthers showed their true colors last weekend against a great offense and a weak defense. They are going to have to figure out a way to get Cam to take less hits and get McCaffery games like he had last weekend at the same time. They could be close to becoming a contending team again but I believe they need to get Cam more than just Kelvin Benjamin out wide to throw to. Without Greg Olsen though who is Cams security blanket and possibly no Kelvin this weekend I do not expect to see the Panthers figure out offense at all. The Patriots on the other hand struggled last week to face a rookie QB who looked much more improved last week. The Patriots are going to come into this game with passion though as they heard questions about them after last week’s performance. They will blow the Panthers out without their weapons. Patriots win 37 – 23 over the Panthers.
Jaguars (2-1) @ Jets (1-2): The Jaguars embarrassed the Ravens last week in London and showed how good they can be if their defense plays lights out like that. The offense even looked really good which is weird considering Bortles is their QB but maybe he gained some much needed confidence and momentum. We will see this week returning from their trip to London. The Jets pulled off a win which I honestly didn’t see coming this season at all so they impressed me last week a small bit. The Jets are still a bad team but they have some confidence now especially in the face of all the hate and doubt they were receiving. The Jaguars though defensively aren’t the Dolphins and will stop everything the Jets have. Jaguars win 26 – 13 over the Jets.
Steelers (2-1) @ Ravens (2-1): The Steelers got a serving of American justice last week with their idea to sit in the locker room and get mad at Villanueva for standing on his own for the anthem on the field. So they were rewarded with a loss to the Bears and now they get to go against Baltimore who they have technically struggled with the past few years especially in Baltimore. The Ravens are coming off a complete beat down at Wembley in a game where they were so embarrassed by the Jaguars and had to eventually remove Flacco from the game. He looked horrendous posting a 12.0 QBR through the first 52 minutes of the game. If he is really hurting that bad they might need to consider Mallet for a few weeks so Flacco can get his knee and back to 100% because last week it looked like it was really affecting him. I am torn on this game because I believe the Ravens defense if they are back to the way they looked the first 2 weeks then they are set to go. I am going with my gut here though. Ravens win 24 – 21 over the Steelers.
Titans (2-1) @ Texans (1-2): Well the Titans seem to be firing on all cylinders but they definitely need to figure out how to slow down the Texans pass game because they seem to be struggling with slowing down pass games. The Titans are incredibly talented and I hope they can get healthier on offense with Corey Davis hopefully returning soon to the team. The Texans are coming in off a really disappointing loss for them considering they controlled their fate against the Patriots last week and chocked the loss away late. They are a good team but their defense is so banged up I am not sure how long they can hang with the Titans because their secondary doesn’t seem all that great with the
injuries they have piled up. Titans win 31 – 26 over the Texans.
49ers (0-3) @ Cardinals (1-2): The Niners are really weak defensively and their QB situation is horrible because they are auto starting Hoyer but I believe they have better behind him in Beathard. Carlos Hyde has shown what a monster he can be and to believe they thought about cutting him earlier this summer. Kyle Shannahan and John Lynch are really building something great in San Francisco. The Cardinals offense is inconsistent and to really be high scoring like we are used to from Palmer they need JJ Nelson to remain healthy and continue to do damage. The Cardinals without David Johnson need that spark plug on offense from somewhere and JJ is easily the best player for that job in this offense and they must get him going this weekend. Cardinals win 29 – 24 over the 49ers.
Eagles (2-1) @ Chargers (0-3): The Eagles are looking really good right now they just need the offense to find some more consistency and really put some pieces together. I believe the loss of Sproles is sad but they could get Corey Clement into this offense and he could do some damage with this unit. The one negative for the Eagles offense I have found is that I would like to see Alshon really pick it up and become a constant threat for Wentz. The Chargers are just not great defensively and Rivers needs to get his INT numbers back down and keep the defense off the field and the offense on the field. This game will be a test for the Chargers at home because they need to really make sure they don’t fall to 0-4 but they seem to be headed that way here with a tough opponent rolling into LA. Eagles win 30 – 27 over the Chargers.
Giants (0-3) @ Buccaneers (1-1): The Giants are struggling all over. They can’t run the ball, they can’t protect Eli, Odell is still bringing them a weekly distraction. The Giants are in a world of trouble if they don’t right the ship now because they will lose sights of the Cowboys and Eagles quickly if they continue to spine their wheels. The Buccaneers on the other hand have played a good game followed by an atrocious car wreck last week. They were sick with the flu last week as a team and they played like it. I really like what the Buccaneers have as a team regardless of last week. Buccaneers win 23 – 14 over the Giants.
Raiders (2-1) @ Broncos (2-1): Offense vs defense once again this season. The Raiders were embarrassed on Sunday night last week and I was blown away by such a terrible performance. Their offensive line really needs to step up and show that they can protect Carr and give him some time to get the ball to his great wide receivers. The Broncos need to find just some good flowing consistent play on offense and Siemien needs to get his decision making to improve. I am worried that if the Broncos defense has a bad game against an offensive team like the Raiders they will get blown out because of the lack of a real offense. That being said no Crabtree means the Raiders passing game is going to much easier to stop for the no fly zone defense especially at home. Broncos win 17 – 13 over the Raiders.
Colts (1-2) @ Seahawks (2-1): The Colts got lucky with a win last week and held on to survive against the Browns. The Colts have shown some improvement with Brissett and Hilton’s connection starting to form as he learned this offense. If that continues to happen things are going to get good in Indy really fast. The Seahawks need to find their footing soon which I did mention last week that they tend to start slow and they are looking like that is the case this year but they need to get moving soon. The offensive line for the Seahawks needs to become a serious fix for them because they can’t protect the ground game and they definitely can’t protect Russell and this team needs to build some offensive firepower. Seahawks win 27 – 18 over the Colts.
MNF 8:30 PM/ET:
Redskins (2-1) @ Chiefs (3-0): The Redskins impressed the hell out of me last week because I thought they were dead to rights with that game but they really turned it on in primetime and blew us all away with their impressive performance. The Chiefs are so good and if their defense can keep playing at an elite level they might honestly be the best team in the league. The Kareem Hunt and Alex Smith are really making this offense so good this year and I love that they finally seem to have an elite offense. Watch out for these Chiefs this season because they are legit. Chiefs win 32 – 24 over the Redskins.
--- Matt Koontz
Saints @ Dolphins - Saints win, 24-16.
Bills @ Falcons - Falcons win, 34-16.
Steelers @ Ravens - Steelers win, 28-13.
Bengals @ Browns - Browns win, 23-17.
Rams @ Cowboys - Cowboys win, 23-19.
Titans @ Texans - Titans win, 27-17.
Lions @ Vikings - Lions win, 29-24.
Panthers @ Patriots - Patriots win, 30-17.
Jaguars @ Jets - Jags win, 24-13.
49ers @ Cardinals - Cardinals win, 16-13.
Eagles @ Chargers - Eagles win, 19-17.
Giants @ Bucs - Bucs win, 23-20.
Raiders @ Broncos - Broncos win, 26-20.
Colts @ Seahawks - Seahawks win, 23-10.
Redskins @ Chiefs - Chiefs win, 26-17.