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2016 NFL Predictions Week Four
Bye Week: Packers, Eagles
The Redskins, Colts, Dolphins, and Bills each saved their season with a win last week. The Jaguars, Browns, Saints, and Bears have yet to win a game but two teams might get lucky this week. Is it panic time for Carolina and Arizona? Here is week 4:
Dolphins @ Bengals: The Bengals seemed to have found their run game last week and will look to continue pounding the ball against this Miami defense who are allowing the second most rush yards/game. Now it is time for the defense to follow along and have a big performance. The X-Factor will be the return of linebacker Vontaze Burfict after serving his three-game suspension.
Colts @ Jaguars: The season is still alive for Indianapolis thanks to the work by T.Y. Hilton on the touchdown reception and the turnovers recovered by the defense to end the game. With Frank Gore and help from the offensive line, the run game has shown some effectiveness. Despite the Week 3 loss, The Jaguars had a good performance to keep themselves in the game and look to improve on that at home. Andrew Luck will get careless with the ball so expect some turnovers.
Bills @ Patriots: New England looks like they can win with whomever starts at quarterback. Both Jimmy Garappolo and Jacoby Brissett have yet to turnover the ball. Expect a smart game plan for the offense. They don't want to get too crazy after Buffalo's performance last week (Held Arizona to 18 points and forced 5 turnovers). Rex Ryan won't care who starts at quarterback as he will have the defense ready. Luckily, New England has one more week before Tom Terrific comes back.
Titans @ Texans: Even if All-Pro Defensive End J.J. Watt is out for the year (hopefully it is not career threatening), the Texans should still be in good shape. After the slight shot Denver General Manage John Elway threw last week, what response does Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler have? He talked on Wednesday about how that the offense has to step up but it is really about his performance so far (4 INTs and only 3 passing TDs). It will be a tough game against the Titans but Osweiler gets it done.
Lions @ Bears: The Bears have looked out of sorts since the season started. All the injuries on defense hasn't been a help either. First year running back Jordan Howard has been the only bright spot on the team. Expect Detroit to take advantage of Chicago's woes after a close loss last week.
Panthers @ Falcons: After being held to zero catches last week, Kelvin Benjamin needs to be more involved in the Panthers offense. Easy to say but will be hard to do against Atlanta who will look to duplicate the punishment Cam Newton felt last week. Something just doesn't feel right with Carolina.
Seahawks @ Jets: Russell Wilson is expected to suit up for Seattle and he won't let the East Coast trip (10 AM start Pacific Time) have an effect on the team. We'll see what sort of impact, newly signed running back, C.J. Spiller has on the run game for the Seahawks. It will be tough against this Jets defense who are the allowing the third fewest rushing yards in the league. I'm sure Ryan Fitzpatrick burned last week's tape and wants to move on after throwing six interceptions in that loss. In a game dominated by defense, the Jets squeak by containing the pressuring the hobbled Wilson.
Raiders @ Ravens: A tough opponent last week defensively, expect Baltimore to have more success on offense running and passing the ball against this Oakland defense. It is pretty surprising Khalil Mack (a potentlal Defensive Player of the Year candidate) has yet to record a sack this season. Hopefully Baltimore will tighten up defensively and not let the Raiders keep the score close.
Browns @ Redskins: With no Robert Griffin III to lead Cleveland against his former team, this game certainly has lost its appeal. It still should be an entertaining (and frustrating) game when Josh Norman and the Browns are involved.
Broncos @ Buccaneers: Ideally, you would want the Buccaneers to find some early success running the ball so Jameis Winston won't have to chuck the ball around the field. He leads all quarterbacks with most pass attempts (142). Give this man's arm a rest. Probably not too far from reality as this might be the game where Tampa will look to focus heavily running the ball. The Broncos haven't exactly been stellar defending the run (4.7 yards per rush) but they will make some plays to get the win.
Rams @ Cardinals: Which Arizona team will show up? The team that put up 40 points a couple of weeks ago and was a nightmare on defense or the team that offensively took a nose dive turning over the ball five times? The Rams are gonna want to play it safe and run the ball due to the play by their defense as of late. After letting LeSean McCoy run all over them, Arizona will have to prepare for Todd Gurley. This would be a good time for the Arizona offense to turn it around.
Cowboys @ 49ers: Running the ball has been the staple for the Cowboys and 49ers this season. Dallas is second in the league in rushing attempts (101) and lead in the league in rushing touchdowns (7) with one Dak Prescott contributing on two of them. San Francisco is the next team in line on both categories. The key will come down to passing the ball. Dez Bryant might be limited in this game but I still think the Cowboys and Prescott can make some plays.
Saints @ Chargers: Welcome to New Orleans, Coby Fleener. What was a slow start to his season (3 receptions for 35 yards in first two games), he will be another player defenses will keep an eye on. Defense is optional in this game when two teams in the bottom seven in total yards allowed go at it. Look for Drew Brees to have a better game.
Chiefs @ Steelers: Expect Pittsburgh to be aggressive offensively with coordinator Todd Haley calling plays against his former team (and the return of Le'Veon Bell in the backfield) but the key will be the defense getting pressure on Chiefs signal caller Alex Smith and forcing turnovers. In last weeks loss to Philadelphia, the Steelers couldn't do either. Unlike the poor guy Kansas City took advantage of last week, Ben Roethlisberger will be smart with the ball. The Chiefs defense will have to find a spark somehow.
Giants @ Vikings: This will be the biggest test for the Giants offensively going up against probably the best defense this season in the Minnesota Vikings. On the flip side, the Giants receivers will be another big test for Minnesota's secondary. Odell Beckham, Jr. was absent in last year's game against the Vikings due to a suspension so there will be some new faces in this meeting including Victor Cruz (although not a new face but didn't play in 2015 due to a calf injury) and Sterling Shepard (rookie). Can the Giants keep their cool and limit the penalties, which were a big factor in last week's loss? The extra day will help out guard Alex Boone who will be recovering from a hip injury.
2016 Record: 28-20
Last Week: 9-7
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Brock Osweiler looked like anything but an $18 million per year quarterback on Thursday night as the Texans were shut out in New England, and the guy who nearly signed him for not much less than that noticed.