NFL Week 4 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 4 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 3 results: Rick: 5-11; Coin: 7-9
Cumulative: Rick: 19-28-1; Coin: 23-24-1

UPDATES: Colts at Bears game moved to 3:25 pm ET Sunday; Steelers at Titans rescheduled for October 25; Patriots at Chiefs moved to Monday night on CBS.

Thursday, October 1

Denver Broncos (-3, 40) at New York Jets 8:20 pm (NFLN) - Favorites and underdogs were evenly split, 8-8, last week, so to start off this week, a stinker of a game in which practically nobody knows the names of the starting QBs for these two 0-3 squads (Sam Darnold, Jets; Jeff Driskel, Broncos).

While the Jets are quite possibly the worst team in the league, allowing 97 points (T-26th), scoring 37 (32nd), the Broncos aren't far off, having scored just 45 points while allowing 70. Given that the Jets are at home a second straight week and Denver was just bamboozled at home by Tampa Bay, 28-10, taking a flyer on the Big Apple's second best football team - getting points - seems almost logical.

Coin Flip: New York Jets

Prediction: Jets 27 Broncos 20

Sunday, October 4

Arizona Cardinals (-3 1/2, 52) at Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm (Fox) - Carolina is coming off their first win (21-16 at the Chargers) while the Cardinals are commiserating over their initial loss - 26-23, hosting Detroit - of 2020.

Kyler Murray tossed three picks in that Arizona defeat, something young QBs often do, but don't expect a repeat of that performance here, although The Panthers forced three turnovers in their win. Carolina QB Teddy Bridgewater has been solid, mostly, and the Panthers' defense really showed up. This won't be easy for the Cardinals and an upset looms.

Coin Flip: Arizona

Prediction: Panthers 33 Cardinals 30

Indianapolis Colts (-2 1/2, 45) at Chicago Bears 1:00 pm (CBS) - Here's another line expecting the Bears to lose, but, so far, the Chicago squad hasn't complied, racing to a 3-0 record after knocking off Atlanta last week, 30-26. Now, with Nick Foles apparently getting the nod at QB, the Bears might just be better than they've already been.

At home, getting points, this looks suspiciously like a sucker play for favorites players.

Coin Flip: Indianapolis

Prediction: Bears 24 Colts 21

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals (-3, 48) 1:00 pm (CBS) - Everyone's in love with Cincinnati rookie QB Joe Burrow, and for good reason. He's completed 64.5% of his passes for 821 yards, five TDs and only one pick. However, the Bengals have yet to win a game, coming up with a tie last week against the Eagles, 23-all.

At 1-2, Jacksonville seems improved over last season, but still doesn't have all the parts working in sync. Last week's 31-13 loss at home to the Dolphins was embarrassing, as Ryan Fitzpatrick had his way with the Jacksonville secondary, hitting 18 of 20 for 160 years and two TDs.

The Bengals being on a par with the Dolphins defensively, this looks like a good spot for the Bengals to notch a victory.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Bengals 26 Jaguars 20

Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys (-4 1/2, 55 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Cleveland moved to 2-1 with a 34-20 win at home over Washington last Sunday. Meanwhile, the Cowboys played well enough to just lose late in a 38-31 shootout at Seattle. The Cowboys could easily be 0-3 or 3-0, but they stand at 1-2, their lone victory a weird comeback win over the Falcons.

The Browns are solid on both sides of the ball. Their 38-6 loss to the Ravens week 1 was worse than expected, but they're coming around nicely. Their 2-1 mark is the first time in six seasons that the Browns show a winning record. Hard to see Dallas at 1-3, but Cleveland is likely to hang tough here. Dallas defense has to come up with stops late.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Prediction: Cowboys 31 Browns 26

New Orleans Saints (-4, 54) at Detroit Lions 1:00 pm (Fox) - Say what you like about the Saints being so good, their 1-2 record says they are not an elite NFL team. The losses were to Las Vegas and Green Bay, both fourth quarter collapses, something good teams don't do.

The Lions got a much-needed win last week, 26-23, at Arizona, and their defense is better than the stats show. This is a real trap game for the Saints. Despite the Saints needing a win badly, the Lions aren't going to just hand them one.

Coin Flip: New Orleans

Prediction: Lions 30 Saints 27

Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans (-3 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Who would have imagined that these two teams would start out 0-3? But, there it is. The Texans got no relief at Pittsburgh in a 28-21 loss, while the Vikings could not hold off Tennessee, 31-30, last week.

For what it's worth, the two teams they played - Tennessee and Pittsburgh - face each other this week. As tough a call as there is on this week's slate, the Texans got Randall Cobb into the mix last week and need to get their running game going. They rushed for just 29 yards against the Steelers.

Minnesota's Dalvin Cook was a terror against the Titans, rushing for 181 yards on 21 carries with a spate of big plays.

Coin Flip: Houston

Prediction: Vikings 24 Texans 20

Seattle Seahawks (-6 1/2, 54 1/2) at Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm (Fox) - As much as the Dolphins looked very good defensively in their 31-13 Thursday night win at Jacksonville, hosting the Seahawks isn't exactly the same kind of match-up. Russell Wilson is having an MVP-like season and the Seahawks are leading the NFC West with a 3-0 mark.

Miami's defense may keep this one close for some time, but eventually, the superior talent of Seattle will have them pulling ahead and possibly rolling up the tally. Seattle's offense is second to Green Bay, having put up 111 points on three opponents. The Dolphins have neither the firepower to keep up or the defense to slow down the Seattle express.

Coin Flip: Miami

Prediction: Seahawks 34 Dolphins 23

Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7 1/2, 45) 1:00 pm (CBS) - 1-2 Chargers find themselves up against it on the opposite side of the country facing the rising Buccaneers, who lead the NFC South after winning their last two by commanding margins, 31-17 over the Panthers and 28-10 at Denver last week.

The Chargers don't seem to be capable of generating much offense, which will be a deciding factor here. If LA can't sustain drives, the Bucs will be sure to take advantage.

Coin Flip: Los Angeles Chargers

Prediction: Buccaneers 31 Chargers 14

Pittsburgh Steelers (-1 1/2, 47) at Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm (CBS) - This game has been rescheduled for Week 7, October 25 due to multiple Titans testing positive for COVID-19.

Both teams are 3-0, but the Pittsburgh defense looks to be one of the best in the league. They've allowed the fifth-fewest points (57) league-wide through three games. Tennessee has managed to win three close games, their margin of victory a total of just six points.

Tennessee's defense hasn't quite jelled, but the offense continues to rise to the occasion. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski has supplied game-winning field goals in each victory.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 23 Steelers 20

Baltimore Ravens (-13 1/2, 51) at Washington Football Team 1:00 pm (CBS) - The Ravens got steamrolled by the champs, Kansas City, 34-20, on Monday night, but the good news is that they won't have to travel far for their next road game. A drive down I-95 to meet the Washington team, losers of two straight after stunning Philadelphia in week 1, takes about 30 minutes, even at the speed limit.

Baltimore should be able to bounce back on the road against a team from the NFL's worst division. The NFC East has a combined record of 2-9-1. Ugly.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Ravens 38 Washington Footballers 17

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