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NFL Picks Week 4: Predicting Playoff Contenders That Will Falter

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts during the first quarter in a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2013

Week 4 of the 2013 NFL season is upon us, and it’s time to pick the playoff-caliber teams that will falter and fail against the stiff competition.

All of the following teams have postseason aspirations, but with a rough Week 4 matchup, each will find itself on the losing side of the outcome.

All stats via ESPN.

 

Full Week 4 NFL Predictions
DateMatchupPredicted WinnerTime (ET)TV
Thursday, Sept. 26San Francisco at St. LouisSan Francisco 49ers8:25 p.m.NFL Network
Sunday, Sept. 29Baltimore at BuffaloBaltimore Ravens1 p.m.CBS
Sunday, Sept. 29Cincinnati at ClevelandCincinnati Bengals1 p.m.CBS
Sunday, Sept. 29Chicago at DetroitChicago Bears1 p.m.FOX
Sunday, Sept. 29NY Giants at Kansas CityKansas City Chiefs1 p.m.FOX
Sunday, Sept. 29Arizona at Tampa BayArizona Cardinals1 p.m.FOX
Sunday, Sept. 29Indianapolis at JacksonvilleIndianapolis Colts1 p.m.CBS
Sunday, Sept. 29Seattle at HoustonSeattle Seahawks1 p.m.FOX
Sunday, Sept. 29Pittsburgh at MinnesotaPittsburgh Steelers1 p.m.CBS
Sunday, Sept. 29NY Jets at TennesseeNew York Jets4:05 p.m.CBS
Sunday, Sept. 29Washington at OaklandWashington Redskins4:25 p.m.FOX
Sunday, Sept. 29Philadelphia at DenverDenver Broncos4:25 p.m.FOX
Sunday, Sept. 29Dallas at San DiegoSan Diego Chargers4:25 p.m.FOX
Sunday, Sept. 29New England at AtlantaAtlanta Falcons8:30 p.m.NBC
Monday, Sept. 30Miami at New OrleansNew Orleans Saints8:30 p.m.ESPN

 

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots dominated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3, but they haven’t found the elite form that the perennial Super Bowl contenders have become accustomed to over the years.

Unfortunately for head coach Bill Belichick and the boys, a trip to the Georgia Dome to play the Atlanta Falcons is not the remedy to the team’s woes. While New England is undefeated, Atlanta will be playing angry as the team has already lost two games.

The Patriots offense currently ranks 22nd with 217.7 passing yards and 12th with 122.7 rushing yards per game. Those numbers will have to drastically improve if the team wants to keep up with the Falcons’ seventh-ranked passing attack (289 yards per game).

With both defensive units being inconsistent through the first three weeks of the regular season, the team that steps up and shuts its opponent's explosive offense down will ultimately win the game.

Atlanta’s unit will shine brighter Sunday night.

Prediction: Atlanta 34, New England 24

 

Dallas Cowboys

In what could become the highest scoring game of the week, the Dallas Cowboys will travel to San Diego to square off with an explosive Chargers offensive unit that has put America’s team on upset alert.

San Diego’s defense has been putrid this season—28th against the run and dead last against the pass—but Week 4 could be the perfect storm for the Chargers. Led by quarterback Philip Rivers and the pass-happy offense, Dallas and its 22nd-ranked pass defense (allowing 274.7 yards per game) will be in serious trouble all day.

There has to be a point in the season where the talented players on the defensive side of the ball step up and play well for San Diego, and there is no better time than playing the Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium.

While Dallas has the talent to win this game, the Cowboys are on upset alert.

Prediction: San Diego 27, Dallas 24

 

Sep 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions

There is nothing better during the NFL regular season than divisional matchups. Week 4 provides the fans with several, but none as impactful as the NFC North battle between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears.

Too bad for the Lions faithful, but Detroit will walk out of this matchup with a loss.

The battle between the rivals will be as fierce as it always is, but this matchup will be won and lost in the trenches. Both Detroit and Chicago have offensive lines that will face serious pressure from two of the toughest defensive lines in football, but the unit that holds up longer will lead its team to victory.

Chicago is getting great play from rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills as they protect Cutler along the offensive front, and with a stud like Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh attacking on every play, the Bears QB will have the time needed to pick Detroit's secondary apart.

This will be a close game that the Lions won’t be able to win.

Prediction: Chicago 31, Detroit 27

 

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