It's Football Friday and The Stack is here with week 4 picks. Last week, eh, not so good. 7-9 pushes the yearly record to 29-19. Surely week 4 has to improve right? Maybe not. So far it has though with the San Francisco 49ers taking it to the St. Louis Rams 35-11. It was a boring game to start out with, but once the 49ers got going, there was no stopping them. Frank Gore had a big night on the ground, rushing for 153 yards and a touchdown. Don't know if all of the 49ers problems are solved because of this one, but they certainly are in a lot better shape than the Rams. They were dreadful on offense. There are a lot of toss up games out there, but that's what makes the NFL great. So let's get right to the previews and predictions for week 4 in the NFL in "the stack" for today, Friday, September 27:
Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Ravens played an outstanding game last week against the Texans. They finally looked like the Super Bowl team of a year ago. Like the direction Buffalo is going, but they have far too many injuries on the defensive side of the ball especially. Who are they going to put out there?
Prediction: Ravens 23 Bills 14
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM ET CBS
This smells like an upset brewing. The Bengals are coming off of a high in coming back and beating the Packers last week. The Browns too have to be feeling confident after Brian Hoyer led them to a win on the road at Minnesota. No one expected that. Cleveland is "happy for Hoyer." He'll do some good things this week. Watch out Bengals. Don't be surprised if Cleveland wins.
Prediction: Bengals 24 Browns 20
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions 1:00 PM ET FOX
The matchup to watch in this one is the Bears defense against Lions running back Reggie Bush. If Bush can make big plays in both the running game and the passing game, the Lions win the game. If the Bears contain/limit the big plays, they win. Still not sold on the Bears fully yet, but I think they make enough of a stand to win an entertaining ball game.
Prediction: Bears 27 Lions 23
Seattle Seahawks @ Houston Texans 1:00 PM ET FOX
Seattle isn't a great road team and this is an early kickoff, but they are rolling right now. The Texans have not looked great so far this year despite their 2-1 record and Andre Johnson might not play. Seattle offensive line is an injured bunch as well, but they'll do enough to get by with a win.
Prediction: Seahawks 27 Texans 20
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM ET CBS
This has trap game written all over it. The Colts are coming off of a performance that has everyone talking about just how physical they are and how good they looked in beating the 49ers. Jacksonville is by far the worst team in football, but the Colts shouldn't come into this game sleepwalking. Looking forward to seeing Trent Richardson run now that he has had a full week to digest the new offense.
Prediction: Colts 30 Jaguars 13
New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM ET FOX
It seemed far more likely that the Chiefs would be 0-3 and the Giants 3-0 to begin the season versus the reality that stares us in the face with these two teams. The Giants say no need to panic. They will after this week. While their performance will be much better than what they displayed in Charlotte last week, Andy Reid is quite familiar with the NFC East. He had success last week against the Eagles. He'll have success again this week.
Prediction: Chiefs 26 Giants 20
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM ET CBS (London)
Before the season started, this looked like a pretty good game London was getting. Now though, they will see two 0-3 teams desperate for a win. The Vikings have been closer to winning their games than the Steelers have been at winning any of their games. The Vikings offensive line though, really their offense in general, is in for a long day against the Steelers defense. Most of my mind says Steelers, but part of my mind and heart say the Vikings. They've been in London all week. That may prove to be the deciding factor. They appear to be the better of the two teams. They need to act like it on Sunday. Against my better judgement...
Prediction: Vikings 23 Steelers 17
Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM ET FOX
Dysfunction continued in Tampa this week with the benching of starting quarterback Josh Freeman. Now they turn the team over to rookie Mike Glennon. Arizona is feeling embarrassed after last week's loss to the Saints. They should come out far more focused and ready to make any mistake that Glennon makes pay big time. Or Glennon will have a great game and destroy the Cardinals. One or the other.
Prediction: Cardinals 24 Bucs 17
New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans 4:05 PM ET CBS
Both teams have been pleasant surprises so far this year. They both have good defenses and young quarterbacks who have shown flashes of brilliance at times while mixing it in with some bad plays. Going with the home team in this one.
Prediction: Titans 23 Jets 13
Philadelphia Eagles @ Denver Broncos 4:25 PM ET FOX
First one to 30 wins. Chip Kelly's offense can score against the Broncos defense, but their breath may be taken away a bit a mile above sea level in their fast paced style of play. Plus how can their defense slow down Peyton Manning? They can't.
Prediction: Broncos 41 Eagles 27
Washington Redskins @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 PM ET FOX
Copping out a little bit on this one, but if Terrelle Pryor (concussion) plays, the Raiders win. If he doesn't the Redskins win. The Redskins defense won't be able to stop Pryor. Let's just hope he remembers how to run if he plays.
Prediction: Raiders 30 Redskins 23
Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers 4:25 PM ET
The Dallas Cowboys finally decided to run the ball last week against St. Louis and DeMarco Murray had a fantastic game with 175 yards rushing and a touchdown. Can the Cowboys make the effort to consistently call run plays and keep the offense balanced? That is the key to this game. San Diego could very easily be 3-0. They've outplayed the opposing team in about nine of the twelve quarters they've played in my estimation. This will not be an easy game for Dallas. In fact it seems like a toss up. Whoever wins won't be surprising. It's going to be a good game.
Prediction: Cowboys 27 Chargers 20
New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons 8:30 PM ET NBC
The Falcons can't drop to 1-3 can they? Injuries have really slowed the Falcons down this year. They're losing guys all over the place. Roddy White continues to be something of a decoy, but they're playing a Patriots team that hasn't looked all that sharp themselves. Both offenses will exploit the opponent's defense, but in the end I like the home team to come out on top.
Prediction Falcons 34 Patriots 27
Coming up Monday: Week 4 NFL reaction plus MNF preview