Ramblin’ Fan’s NFL Picks and Predictions: Week 4

NFL Picks
Sep 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin (11) celebrates with quarterback Sam Bradford (8) after a touchdown in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports /

Week 3 of the regular season is in the books and its time to review our record from last weeks NFL picks, as well as make our NFL picks and predictions for Week 4. Last week was a pretty dreadful week of NFL picks for us here at Ramblin’ Fan as we went 6-10, hopefully we can right the ship. Last week was just full of surprises for us here at Ramblin’ Fan and our record suffered for it.  This week I expect that the NFC West will post a pretty respectable 3-1 record as I am picking the Arizona Cardinals to take down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road in a mild upset.  Also I am not predicting another tie between the Rams and 49ers, I demand that someone win!  Lets get to this weeks NFL picks and predictions, again the NFC West games have been put in bold font in the table to make them easier to find. Thanks for reading and as always Go Rams!!!

San Francisco 49ers @ St Louis Rams (TNF).  The Rams will play host to their biggest rival under the bright lights of primetime football.  Unfortunately some of the luster has worn off this game as each team has struggled mightily over the last two weeks.  The Rams can at least claim an advantage over the 49ers in terms of health, as the 49ers may be missing Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis due to injury. Unless you have been living under a rock you know the 49ers will certainly be without their best receiver, Michael Crabtree, and All-Pro pass rusher Aldon Smith.  With both of these teams struggling so much right now, and coming off a short week it is hard to imagine either offense will find much success against two talented yet underperforming defenses.  For the first time this season the Rams defense wont have a top-level wide receiver to worry about, which may give them an opportunity to be a tad more aggressive.  Since this is a Rams fan website we are naturally going with the home team in what should be a very close and hard-fought game.  Perhaps a penalty free special teams play finally occurs, providing the spark the Rams need to secure the W.  Rams win 16 – 10.

Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills. EJ Manuel has looked pretty impressive so far this season for the Bills, but last week the Jets defense gave him some troubles.  The Ravens offense on the other hand, has struggled since the loss of Jacoby Jones in the season opener.  Fortunately the defense and special teams have been stepping up in a big way to help them reach their 2-1 record.  If I knew Ray Rice was going to be available to help bolster the offense this would be an easier selection, but still I gotta go with the Ravens to win in a battle of defense and field position.   Ravens win 20 – 14.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns. The Browns came up with a surprise victory at the Vikings last weekend despite not having their regular starting QB, and having traded away the teams most talented player during the week.  The Bengals on the other hand rode their punishing defense (and a little good fortune) to a victory over the Green Bay Packers.  This Bengals team looks to be as good as advertised in the offseason, as Andy Dalton and AJ Green continue to grow to compliment the defense.  The Browns are at home and may still be riding high after their upset last weekend, but the Bengals should wear them down and secure the victory.  Bengals win 30 – 20.

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions. If the Lions get Reggie Bush back from injury this week it could be enough for them to squeak out a victory, but its hard to go against the Bears on this one.  The Bears defense still gets the job done, and Jay Cutler has been fairly efficient if unspectacular so far.  This game would be worth a watch as there will be some big time players making big time plays in one of the leagues oldest rivalries.  If seeing guys like Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Reggie Bush and Matt Forte aren’t enough to get your interest perhaps you don’t really like watching football.   Bears win 24 – 21.

New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs.  Has any team looked worse so far this season than the New York Giants?  Perhaps the Jacksonville Jaguars, but since everyone expected that it makes the Giants struggles seem much worse.  Eli Manning has had major turnover issues this season, and their defense hasn’t been very effective either.  When Manning isn’t throwing interceptions ( he has 8 already) the running backs are more than happy to cough up the football.  If the Giants don’t figure out a way to win the turnover margin in this game it could get ugly.  Yes the margin of victory I am predicting is a little larger than I really anticipate, but it’s certainly not out of the question.   Chiefs win 45 – 10.

Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the bombshell of Josh Freeman being benched for Mike Glennon having been dropped this week it makes this game tougher to gauge.  I really don’t know much about Glennon, but he is a 3rd round rookie QB so I would have to give a slight edge to the Carson Palmer led Cardinals.  Darrell Revis will do his best to shut down Larry Fitzgerald, and this Bucs defense really hasn’t been too bad this season, but I am going to go with the veteran signal caller in what I anticipate to be a very tight game. Perhaps the Bucs fail on a two point conversion in the final minutes after mounting a furious comeback?  Cardinals win 28 – 26.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts are fresh off a thorough beatdown of the 49ers in San Francisco while the Jaguars found themselves on the other end of an even more thorough beatdown by the Seattle Seahawks. Andrew Luck continues to impress, and Ahmad Bradshaw and the newly acquired Trent Richardson provide a powerful 1-2 punch in the running game.  The Jaguars should get Blaine Gabbert back, but with Justin Blackmon still out with a suspension I can’t imagine it will matter much.  The Colts appear ready to challenge the Texans for the AFC South crown while the Jaguars seem ready to challenge anyone in the Teddy Bridgewater/Jadveon Clowney sweepstakes.  Colts win 31 – 10.

Seattle Seahawks @ Houston Texans. From top to bottom the Seahawks are the better team, but this is another dreaded 10 a.m. start on the road for the team from the Pacific Northwest.  Entering the 4th week of the season all that chatter about the Seahawks practicing at 10 am to prepare for these types of games means a whole lot less as they almost certainly haven’t been maintaining that schedule.  In light of the fact that the Texans are a very talented team and they will be at home I consider this to almost be a coin toss, however the Seahawks defense has been impressive so far and should help carry them to a close victory.  If the Texans are going to win this game Matt Schaub needs to be more than just his old reliable self, he needs to throw in some big plays to spring an upset.  Seahawks win 24 – 21.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Vikings. Big Ben travels to London to visit his namesake on his way to taking Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings.  There now that the obvious, and sure to be over used line about the Big Bens is over we can talk football.  Each of these sits at 0-3 and has to be very disappointed with the way they have performed.  Christian Ponder is dealing with a rib injury this week, which may  inspire the Vikings to give the ball to Adrian Peterson 30 times this game.  Of course I might be inclined to do that with a 100% healthy Ponder, but that’s not really the point.  The Steelers look like an old team in need of an overhaul and a trip halfway across the world isn’t likely to help that.  Vikings win 24 – 17.

New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans.  Can Geno Smith and the New York Jets stay on the plus side of .500?  Victories over the  Bucs (0-3) and Bills (1-2) don’t exactly inspire high levels of confidence, but then again the Titans victories over the Steelers (0-3) and Chargers (1-2) provide only a slightly higher level of confidence.  When in doubt go with the home team right?  Well that is what we are going to do here, expect a low scoring physical game that has the home team just barely eking out the win.  Titans win 16 – 13.

Washington Redskins @ Oakland Raiders. If Terrelle Pryor were cleared for play at the time I am writing this article I would go with the Raiders in this one.  The home team with the exciting young athletic quarterback just screams for a selection.  Unfortunately if the person under center is Matt Flynn than you just might see the Redskins defense finally start to shine.  The Raiders offensive line is not very good, which is why Pryor gives the Raiders the best chance to win.  Matt Flynn will likely be harassed by Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo all day long.  Honestly after watching the perfect pass thrown by Darren McFadden I might be tempted to run the “wild hog” (have Raiders fans coined their own name for the Raiders version?) offense to get the ball in the hands of the teams best player.  The Raiders defense still has plenty of missing pieces, and if RGIII can shake off some more of that rust the Redskins just might get their first win of the season.  Redskins win 20 – 16.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Denver Broncos. Has anyone played better this season than Peyton Manning?  Seriously, and even when he makes a mistake his receivers make ridiculous plays to bail him out.  Averaging 381 yards and 4 touchdowns per game he is currently on pace to throw for over 6,000 yards and 64 touchdowns.  Of course I don’t expect him to maintain this blistering pace all season, but with the up tempo Philadelphia Eagles coming to town he just might exceed that pace.  The Broncos on the other hand have shown some defensive weaknesses in the absence of Champ Bailey and Von Miller, weaknesses that Chip Kelly and his offense will certainly try to exploit.  The strength of the Eagles offensive system really is the running game though, and the Broncos are averaging only 43 yards per contest so far this season.  For fans of big plays and break neck paces, this is a game to tune into as it will likely be a high scoring affair that sees both defenses completely gassed by the 4th quarter.  Of course you gotta go with the home team with the superior quarterback, especially when that home team looks like they have a solid argument as the best in the NFL.   Broncos win 42 – 36.

Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers. The Dallas Cowboys will hit the road after their comfortable win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.  While DeMarco Murray wont be playing against his favorite team this weekend, the Chargers have allowed an average of 130 rushing yards per game so far this season.  If the Cowboys can continue to get solid production out of Murray it makes that offense virtually impossible to defend (or at least that’s what Rams fans are telling themselves).  The Chargers seem to be enjoying a little bit of a resurgence this season under their new head coach, and their 1-2 record is 2 lucky breaks away from being 3-0.  Philip Rivers is playing the best he has played in years as he has been efficient as well as relatively turnover free.  Still the Chargers defense hasn’t really slowed anyone down yet as they are surrendering 471 yards and 27 points per game.  Still I am a little wary of this pick as I just never can trust Tony Romo and the Cowboys.  Cowboys win 20 – 17.

New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons (SNF).  This Sunday Night Football matchup was supposed to feature a showdown of two former Rams stars in Danny Amendola and Steven Jackson, but in shocking news both will likely be out with minor injuries.  The Falcons have been struggling to find their rhythm so far this season, while Tom Brady and the Patriots just continue to churn out wins.  It is tough going against the Falcons at home as they have been so good there under Matt Ryan and Mike Smith.  The Patriots defense has been better than anticipated so far this season, and if they can contain the Falcons dynamic receiving corps they should be in good shape.  I am thinking this will be a tight game, maybe the Falcons kicker Matt Bryant misses the first extra point of the season?  Patriots win 28 – 27.

Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints(MNF). A primetime battle between two undefeated teams that almost no one saw coming.  Sure if you said the New Orleans Saints would be 3-0 right now I wouldn’t have been too surprised as the Falcons posed the only real challenge in the first 3 weeks and they got them in the Superdome.  If you had said that the Miami Dolphins would be beat two 2012 playoff teams en route to a 3-0 record I just might have laughed at you.  The Dolphins appear to be the real deal as a potential playoff contender, but so far the Saints have paired the expected offensive juggernaut with an impressive defense to make a formidable team.  Then there is the fact that this game will be played at the Superdome, on Monday Night Football and I just can’t bet on the young upstart Dolphins.  Again its always a good idea to pick the home team with the superior quarterback.  Saints win 35 – 24.

NFL Week 4 Matchups


49ers @ Rams (TNF)


Ravens @ Bills


Bengals @ Browns


Bears @ Lions


Giants @ Chiefs


Cardinals @ Bucs


Colts @ Jaguars


Seahawks @ Texans


Steelers @ Vikings


Jets @ Titans


Redskins @ Raiders


Eagles @ Broncos


Cowboys @ Chargers


Patriots @ Falcons (SNF)


Dolphins @ Saints (MNF)


Last Week


Overall Record