The Week 4 slate of the NFL schedule is loaded with exciting matchups, particularly during the late-afternoon window. The NFC West showdown between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams has the appearance of must-watch television. One of these undefeated teams will finally fall on Sunday, and it promises to be an entertaining contest.
Elsewhere, there’s the matter of Sunday night’s primetime game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots. It’s rare that two teams who meet just once every four years could combine to create this amount of buzz leading up to their matchup, but I guess some guy is making his much-anticipated return to some city. All kidding aside, Tom Brady heading back to Foxboro to take on Bill Belichick and the Patriots will continue to dominate the headlines throughout the weekend, and we wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the most-watched games in NFL history.
Week 3 brought us plenty of surprises that included Cincinnati’s shocking win at Heinz Field, and Justin Herbert’s well-deserved road victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Week 4 should keep the excitement rolling. We’ve compiled three bold predictions for this weekend’s slate of games.
LIONS “UPSET” BEARS AT SOLDIER FIELD
I don’t feel particularly comfortable calling any Bears loss an “upset” at this point, but every betting line you can find favors Chicago in this one, and I’m not convinced it’s warranted. The Lions entered the season with a ton of negative fanfare. In the interest of honesty, they are 0-3, but they’ve looked better than anyone expected. In Week 1, they nearly pulled off a miraculous come-from-behind victory against the 49ers. They competed with the Packers for longer stretches than anyone expected them to in Week 2, and likely would have beaten the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3 if the referees had appropriately penalized Baltimore for a delay of game near the conclusion of the contest.
Dan Campbell’s men are playing hard for him, and I’m not sure we can say the same about Matt Nagy and the quarterback debacle we’re currently witnessing in Chicago. Nagy continues to play musical chairs with his signal-callers. Chicago’s on-the-hot-seat head coach refused to name a starter for this Sunday’s game while speaking with the media on Friday, claiming that all three of Andy Dalton, Justin Fields and Nick Foles are in consideration. Yeah, sure.
A home loss to the Lions in Week 4 would potentially represent a previously undiscovered rock-bottom for Nagy and his Bears, and we envision it coming to fruition.
RAMS FALL AT HOME TO CARDINALS
As previously stated, this is the must-watch game of Week 4. What happens when two immovable objects meet? We’ll find out when Kliff Kingsbury’s high-flying Cardinals take on Sean McVay’s new-look Rams in their first of two scheduled matchups. The Cardinals are off to an electric start, averaging a second-best 432.3 yards per game while scoring a league-high 34.3 points per contest. The Rams aren’t too shabby either, averaging an impressive 388 yards and 31.7 points per game on the back of new starting quarterback Matthew Stafford.
On the defensive side of the ball, there’s little to separate these two units. The Rams hold the slight edge, and I do mean slight edge in the points allowed category, holding their opponents to 20.7 points per contest while the Cardinals are allowing a single point more at 21.7.
The Rams are flying high after last weekend’s triumph over the defending champion Buccaneers, with many analysts now pointing to them as Super Bowl favorites. Kingsbury’s Cardinals have been excellent and look for them to gather more national attention if they pull off a victory on Sunday.
COLTS GET THEIR FIRST WIN IN MIAMI
Of the five winless teams around the league, the Colts are certainly the most surprising. Frank Reich’s men went 11-5 a year ago, earning themselves a playoff berth in the process. It’s a stark and swift reminder of how quickly things can change in the NFL. Indianapolis will go on the road with a sense of urgency on Sunday, in hopes of avoiding a haunting 0-4 start.
The good news? They’ll encounter an average Miami Dolphins team that has lost two games in a row. Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett will once again be under center, as starter Tua Tagovailoa continues to nurse a ribs injury. The box score was somewhat kind to Brissett a week ago. He completed 32-of-49 passes for 215 yards and added 37 yards and a touchdown via seven scrambles in a thrilling 31-28 overtime loss to the Raiders. But Brissett’s pedestrian 6.7 yards per completion was more representative of his less-than-desirable play. Brissett played a safe and boring brand of football, and his penchant for the check-down eliminated several big-play opportunities.
Much like the Detroit-Chicago game we wrote about above, the Dolphins are considered slight favorites in this contest, but I like the underdog’s chances of pulling off an upset.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022