Here are the top five games to watch for Week 4 of the 2014 NFL season:
Last year this matchup would have qualified to be the game of the week, but both the Patriots and Chiefs have stumbled out of the gate this season. New England might be 2-1, but their offense can’t get anything going. The defense has been sensational, but when you only beat the Raiders by seven points at home then something is wrong. The Chiefs are 1-2, and their road win in Miami last Sunday might have saved their season. Jamaal Charles is probable this week, and they are going to need him to carve the Pats defense if they want to win. The Arrowhead crowd is going to be wild on Monday night, and this game should live up to the hype.
Edge: New England
The Patriots defense has been one of the best in the league, and their only worry is a non-100% Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs secondary is terrible too, so this is Tom Brady’s chance to turn things around. I like New England to narrowly win on the road.
No one thought the Saints would be 1-2 heading into Week 4, but all of a sudden every game is becoming more and more important to them. The offense has been good but not dominant, and the defense has reverted back to their old ways of giving up way too many big plays. After a disastrous opening game, the Cowboys are 2-1 and look like contenders. Tony Romo led a 21-point comeback last week against the Rams, and this team’s confidence looks like it is at an all-time high. Expect a good old fashion Texas shootout in this one.
These two teams just seem to be going in opposite directions. Drew Brees will put some points on the board, but overall things just don’t seem to be right with the Saints. But on the other hand, Tony Romo and the Dallas offense are just clicking. DeMarco Murray has been the best running back in the league thus far, and he should have another big game. I like Dallas to move to 3-1.
The headline of this game is Steve Smith going against his old squad. He’s definitely out for revenge, and I think he’ll make a few big plays in this game. The rest of the Baltimore offense has struggled this season, but the Panthers defense has looked awful. Last week they allowed two 100-yard rushers, so Baltimore should be able to score fairly easily. The Carolina offense has not reached their full potential either, as Cam Newton is clearly playing injured. For them to win, Newton has to be his Superman self.
The Panthers are just really banged up, and the Ravens are coming into this game with momentum. Add the home crowd behind them, and I think Joe Flacco will do enough to lead his team to victory.
This is one of the best rivalries in the game, and a lot is on the line for this edition. The Packers are only 1-2 and might be the most disappointing team in the league so far. Aaron Rodgers has not looked like an MVP, and Eddie Lacy has done absolutely nothing out of the backfield. The Bears are 2-1 and are coming off a close win over the Jets. Jay Cutler has looked great the past two weeks, and with weapons everywhere their offense will be tough to stop. I’m expecting a high-scoring shootout in this one.
Edge: Green Bay
On paper the Bears have the clear edge, but I just don’t see Aaron Rodgers letting his team fall to 1-3. The Bears defense isn’t very good, so I think the Rodgers/Lacy/Jordy Nelson combo will be too much for them to handle. I’m picking Green Bay to get a huge road win.
The Eagles have definitely been the most entertaining team in the league, and they have a 3-0 record to show for it. Nick Foles has been slinging the ball all over the field, and it’s scary that LeSean McCoy has not even gotten his game going yet. The 49ers are a very disappointing 1-2, and their offense has not been nearly as good. Colin Kaepernick needs to get things going, or else San Francisco will fall behind in the super competitive NFC West. One thing is for sure about this game: it won’t be boring.
Edge: San Francisco
The Eagles have to run out of gas at some point, right? I don’t think their offense will be as good as it has been the past three weeks, and I like the 49ers offense to come alive at home. I think it will be close, but San Francisco will get back to .500 after this one.