NFL Week 4 Preview
30 September 2017 Sports
By: Chad Flannery
1. Carolina Panthers @ New England Patriots
Tom Brady is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He has proven time and time again he has what it takes to win. This Patriots offense is arguably the best he has had in a long time. Brady seems to be on the same page with his new toy, Brandin Cooks, after a huge outing last week, which included the game-winning touchdown against the Houston Texans. The only question mark for this team is its defense, and I do not believe Cam Newton will be able to take advantage of it. The Panthers are an injury-ridden team who simply does not have enough firepower to beat the Patriots. With Greg Olsen out, they will have to rely heavily on Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey to develop a run game and catch passes out of the backfield. Even if they manage to do that, it will not be enough to topple the perennial Super Bowl contenders.
Prediction: Patriots 31-17
2. Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
After an embarrassing 44-7 loss to the Jaguars, the Ravens are seeking redemption. Joe Flacco is not the quarterback he used to be, but he can still manage the offense like a starting NFL quarterback. Baltimore’s top ten defense will be what keeps them in this game. The Steelers are also coming off a shocking OT loss to the Bears last week. Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense can put up points in a hurry but have not faced a defense like Baltimore’s yet this season. Expect the same hard-fought battle that we have grown accustomed to seeing in this rivalry.
Prediction: Steelers 24-21
3. Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
Last week did not pan out like the Lions hoped. It all came down to the final play of the game – a pass from Stafford to Tate – which at the time seemed like a touchdown. After a review, Tate’s touchdown was overruled, and he was down at the half-yard line, making the Lions 2-1. The Lions will look for revenge against a fellow NFC North opponent. The Vikings, in particular Case Keenum, were phenomenal in their 34-17 win against the Buccaneers. Keenum threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns in a dominating performance in Bradford’s absence. Bradford has been ruled out again this week, and if Keenum can play like that again, the Vikings may have a chance to win. Stafford will have a tough test against a strong Minnesota defense, but he will more than likely welcome the adversity.
Prediction: Lions 27-20
4. Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
The Raiders played horrible on Monday night; it was a lackluster effort on both sides of the ball. Derek Carr has not played that bad since his rookie year but do not expect it to happen again this week. The Raiders offense will get back on track and put points on the board. However, so will the Broncos, who suffered a loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills last week. This will be a battle to see which defense can stop the opposing offense more often and who can force more mistakes from the opposing QB. Although Denver has a fantastic defense, I do not trust Trevor Siemian not to make mistakes. My money is on Carr and the Raiders. The win will not come easy for either squad, though.
Prediction: Raiders 34-28
5. Washington Redskins @ Kansas City Chiefs
This is the Monday Night Football matchup for Week 4, and it is a good one. Kirk Cousins and the Redskins are coming off a dominant showing against Carr and the Raiders. It is clear that running back Chris Thompson will become a huge part of the Redskins offense. However, I do not believe their defense can stop the high-powered attack of the Chiefs. Kareem Hunt is looking like a steal in the draft and the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. The passing attack is as dynamic as it has been since Andy Reid became head coach in 2014. The Redskins will put up a fight, but it will not be enough.
Prediction: Chiefs 28-17