Although more than three-quarters of the season are still remaining, a number of teams are in trouble after only four weeks.
These squads had high expectations entering the year, but a few disappointing performances have put them in bad situations in the standings. Another loss could be enough to end their hopes at a playoff run.
However, a win would help turn things around and get them back on track for the rest of the season. Fortunately for these squads, that will happen this weekend.
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
The Packers won the NFC North the last two seasons and were the overwhelming favorite to win again this year. However, the squad stands in third place at 1-2 and remains two wins behind both the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.
If Green Bay cannot get this home win over the division rival, it will fall three wins behind the Lions and will have a hard time coming back.
Fortunately, the Packers should expect one of their best offensive efforts of the season in this game. Last week's bye gave the team a chance to game-plan as well as rest injured players, and the squad will be much healthier.
Rookie running back Eddie Lacy is cleared to play after being out with a concussion since Week 2, and he will help maintain the recent balance that the team has utilized. Additionally, Aaron Rodgers should once again prove he is among the best in the NFL against a defense that ranks only 22nd against the pass.
While Detroit might be able to put up some points, the Packers should be able to pull away in this one.
Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Jets
Last season, the 13-3 Falcons had the best record in the NFC and almost represented the conference in the Super Bowl. However, the squad has already matched its losses from last season.
At 1-3, Atlanta is significantly behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South and could be in trouble for even a wild-card berth if the struggles continue.
Fortunately, the Falcons are not as bad as their record indicates. All three losses were by less than a touchdown, and the opposing squads have a combined record of 11-1. The schedule gets easier from here on out, and it should lead to more wins.
This easy slate of games starts in Week 5 as the Falcons host the New York Jets.
Opposing quarterback Geno Smith has shown potential to start his career, but he has already thrown eight interceptions to go with three lost fumbles. Atlanta will take advantage of these mistakes and earn an easy victory.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants
On one hand, both of these teams remain firmly in the playoff hunt due to the overall struggles of the NFC East. The division has a combined record of 4-12, and two of those wins came from divisional teams playing against each other.
Still, the 1-3 Eagles and the 0-4 Giants have to start making something happen before the season gets away from them.
While New York will have the home-field advantage in this game, Philadelphia will get the much-needed win. The Eagles offense has been doing a good job of moving the ball and should be able outscore its own defensive mistakes.
On the other hand, the Giants have seen very little go right this season. The defense has given up the most points in the NFL, while the offense is responsible for a league-high 16 turnovers.
Even with a three-game losing streak, the Eagles have been the better team this year and should earn a key road win in this game.
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