Week four should be an interesting one in the NFL (aren't they all?), and it will be especially interesting to see how the Patriots and Jets respond from their particular losses when looking at AFC West. The Patriots got their heart broken in Buffalo while the Jets were upended in Oakland -- both scenarios that very few saw coming. Suffice to say, their respective opponents this week should expect a focused club.
Here are our picks for week four in the NFL.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati
Remember when the Ravens stuffed the Steelers in week one and then rolled over the next week. That's called getting caught on the rebound. Such an emotional win, like the Bills big upset win over the Patriots last Sunday, has the same vibe about it and the Bengals are in a perfect trap position to take one at home. However, Chan Gailey is the kind of workmanlike coach to keep the Bills grounded and no one on that Bills franchise seems ready to coast just yet. Bills at 4-0? You'd better believe it.
Bills 21, Bengals 14
Tennessee @ Cleveland
The Titans and Browns are both enjoying rather easy schedules thus far and they both likely look better than they should. That said, someone is going to be 3-1 after this game. If any team deserves that designation, it's the Titans who continue to look solid front to back each week despite Chris Johnson contributing absolutely nothing of consequence. Mike Munchak is a solid young head coach and his team should be quite ready for Colt McCoy.
Titans 14, Browns 10
Pittsburgh @ Houston
It should be interesting to see how the heartbreaker last week against the Saints will affect the Texans going into another hard defense. However, instead of playing keep up, the Pittsburgh defense brings an entirely different wrinkle altogether. The Steelers should handle the Texans offensive line just fine and get to Schaub, but the secondary will surely be tested with so many weapons. This should be a great game and while we think the Texans will lose, they're still a very solid team that should contend for a playoff spot.
Steelers 24, Texans 21
Detroit @ Dallas
The Lions are roaring and it's time I paid some respect to Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and company since I've yet to fully appreciate and believe in them. Dallas is waiting and the secondary is simply not able to handle Megatron and Brandon Pettigrew in any capacity. I like Dallas' chances to do something in the long-term, but the Lions should enjoy being 4-0.
Lions 31, Cowboys 24
San Francisco @ Philadelphia
Michael Vick is ready to go even after breaking his non-throwing hand and suffering a concussion recently. Despite the injuries, the Eagles know that to go 1-3 in the first quarter of the season is not acceptable. The 49ers have allowed 11 sacks on the season and you can add four or five more after this Sunday with the Eagles vaunted rush (Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins both have 4 already) on display. Expect a better defensive battle than what you'd believe with the Eagles evening their record (and the 49ers as well) at 2-2.
Eagles 13, 49ers 6
Carolina @ Chicago
Cam Newton travels to Soldier Field to show off his arm in the Midwest and Chicago's defense has surrendered 57 points over the last two weeks. While Newton is hardly Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, he does pack a live arm and should enjoy a few big plays against the Bears. However, the Bears are too good to lose at home to Carolina when they desperately need a win to stay close enough to Detroit in the NFC North.
Bears 24, Panthers 14
Washington @ St. Louis
The Rams' schedule is brutal, but this was supposed to be the easier week before they hit the bye. Instead, the Redskins look good early on and could easily be 3-0. Sam Bradford is just not on his game thus far, completing 50 percent of his passes and throwing only 2 touchdowns. That probably will not change against the Redskins secondary and a team that looked to be on the rise last year should be 0-4 heading into their off week.
Redskins 20, Rams 10
New Orleans @ Jacksonville
Blaine Gabbert gets a chance to play across from one of the best in the NFL on Sunday and he'll have to ring something up early and often in order to keep up with the Saints. If Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson came up short, imagine how Gabbert and Mike Thomas will fare. Meanwhile, the Saints get a chance to move to 3-1 with only that first loss to the Packers marring their schedule.
Saints 30, Jaguars 10
Minnesota @ Kansas City
Both of these teams are 0-3. That's where the similarities end. The Vikings have been close in every game and feature three star players who should be revved up to play. Donovan McNabb has had his mechanics called into question. Adrian Peterson isn't getting enough carries. Jared Allen has reason to show up the Chiefs offensive line. All will spell big trouble for KC this weekend.
Vikings 27, Chiefs 13
New York Giants @ Arizona
The trade for Kevin Kolb should have Arizona in the divisional driver's seat. The 49ers still have SOS at quarterback. The Rams are flopping somehow with Sam Bradford starring as a shell of himself. The Seahawks owner Paul Allen apparently lost a bet in Dubai or something and had to use Tarvaris Jackson as his punishment. Yet the Cardinals laid a big egg last week against Seattle and a rejuvenated Giants team should enjoy the warm weather.
Giants 27, Cardinals 10
Atlanta @ Seattle
Matt Ryan 34, Tarvaris Jackson 0
Denver @ Green Bay
Von Miller is going to be very good. The Broncos are slowly turning things around. They're very close in every game despite their 1-2 record and they should show some toughness on the road in Green Bay. That said, the complete lack of a running game will keep this team from properly controlling the clock and Rodgers will have this game won by halftime.
Packers 31, Broncos 17
New England @ Oakland
For the second straight week, an East Coast power rolls into Oakland. This time, the results will be completely opposite. Despite how excited Richard Seymour is to show up his old employers, the Patriots are smarting from their loss to the Bills. If you think they're going 2-0, you're crazy (and I happen to like the Raiders to win the division this year).
Patriots 33, Raiders 24
Miami @ San Diego
Two fair weather teams with fair weather fan bases. Har har. Not even Tony Sparano cares about this game.
Chargers 27, Dolphins 3
New York Jets @ Baltimore
An incredible match-up. One of these teams will be 2-2 and talk of one of them being overrated will inevitably come in. The Jets could not have expected the Oakland outcome from last week and the Ravens had a shocker of their own in week two. They both know what's at stake here in the early going and both teams will be fired up with so many connections between them. Two young quarterbacks. Two stout defenses. Multiple star players. This is the kind of football you plan your day around.
Ravens 17, Jets 14
Indianapolis @ Tampa Bay
Curtis Painter on the road? Is anyone really betting on that one? Tampa Bay should be wise not to look past the Colts, however, because the defense showed last week they can still keep any team close enough to pull something out. Painter can earn himself mucho dinero in the next few weeks if he finds his talented targets. In fact, I think I just changed my mind.
Colts 17, Bucs 10