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NFL Week 4 schedule and game-by-game predictions

The NFL Week 4 schedule starts with the injury-plagued Denver Broncos heading to Jersey to take on the hapless New York Jets. It concludes with a pretty lopsided matchup between the Green Bay Packers and a struggling Atlanta Falcons team. .

The NFL Week 4 schedule starts with the injury-plagued Denver Broncos heading to Jersey to take on the hapless New York Jets. It concludes with a pretty lopsided matchup between the Green Bay Packers and a struggling Atlanta Falcons team.

In between, the Minnesota Vikings will take on the Houston Texans in a must-win game for each team while the Patriots and Chiefs will do battle in a great AFC matchup.

Here’s a look at the NFL Week 4 schedule with game-by-game predictions.

Updated: Oct. 3, 1:25 PM EST

Note: Titans-Steelers Week 4 game postponed until later in the season due to COVID-19 outbreak.

Related: NFL power rankings

NFL Week 4 Sunday games

Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Colts-Bears point spread: Colts -2.5 (over/under 43.0)

Injury update: Bears RB Tarik Cohen (knee) injured reserve

Chicago headed into Week 3 with a perfect record. It ultimately benched Mitchell Trubisky for Nick Foles as the team looked to pull off an upset against a winless Atlanta Falcons squad. After Foles threw a pick in his first pass of the game, he was on absolute fire. The former Super Bowl MVP threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to lead Chicago from behind and move the team to 3-0 on the season.

Related: Ranking NFL defenses

On the other hand, Indianapolis followed up a brutal season-opening loss to Jacksonville with an equally resounding win over Minnesota that saw the Matt Eberflus-led Colts defense hold Kirk Cousins to less than 100 net passing yards while picking the quarterback off three times. Indy then took out the Jets 36-7 in Week 3. This should be a darn good Super Bowl rematch from eons ago. We’ll go with Philip Rivers and Co. in this one.

Week 4 NFL prediction: Colts 23, Bears 16

New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, FOX

Saints-Lions point spread: Saints -4.5 (over/under 54.0)

Update: Adrian Peterson to take over Lions starting RB job

At some point the Lions are going to have to seriously consider firing head coach Matt Patricia. A defensive-minded coach dating back to his days with New England, Patricia oversaw a unit that gave up 34.5 points over the first two games. However, something clicked during an upset Week 3 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Detroit’s previously loose defense intercepted MVP candidate Kyler Murray three times.

Related: NFL coaches on the hot seat

As for the Saints, they have been pretty darn bad on the defensive side of the ball during a 1-2 start to the season. That included getting torched by the Raiders in Week 2 and the Green Bay Packers this past Sunday night. Even with the Saints as decent favorites in this one, I would not discount Detroit.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Saints 31, Lions 24

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, FOX

Cardinals-Panthers point spread: Cardinals -3.5 (over/under 51.5)

The Arizona Cardinals shockingly dropped their first game of the season this past Sunday to a previously winless Detroit Lions squad. It’s a game that saw Kyler Murray throw three interceptions after he played at an MVP level to open the season. We’re not 100% sure what to make of that loss.

Related: Top 2020 NFL MVP candidates

On the other hand, Carolina snapped a 10-game losing streak with a narrow win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. It’s a game that still saw this defense struggle en route to yielding north of 300 passing yards to rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. Expect Murray to take advantage of that with a rebound performance.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Cardinals 34, Panthers 20

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Jaguars-Bengals point spread: Bengals -3.0 (over/under 49.0)

Jacksonville nearly pulled off a dramatic comeback against the Tennessee Titans back in Week 2, only to lose by the score of 33-30. Second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew (six touchdowns, two interceptions) and underrated running back James Robinson (210 total yards) paced a surprisingly good offense. That changed dramatically with Jacksonville falling to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 by the score of 31-13. It was an ugly overall performance from the Jaguars.

In a matchup of two good young quarterbacks, rookie No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow will look to lead Cincinnati to its first win after a shocking tie against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Burrow has now accounted for north of 800 passing yards with five touchdowns and one interception in three career games. Look for him to lead the Bengals to a win here.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Bengals 24, Jaguars 21

Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Browns-Cowboys point spread: Cowboys -5.0 (over/under 56.0)

Dallas’ shocking Week 2 comeback win notwithstanding, this team has struggled to an extent through two games. Primarily, it’s been issues on defense. That unit is giving up over 30 points per game. The good news for struggling head coach Mike McCarthy and Co.? Dak Prescott is playing out of his mind. He’s amassed north of 1,200 total yards in three games. Dallas heads into Week 3 having just dropped a close game to the Seattle Seahawks.

Related: Best QB/WR duos in the NFL

On the other hand, Cleveland is coming off a solid Week 3 win over the Washington Football Team. That came after a disastrous performance in its season opener against the Ravens. The Browns find themselves with a winning record after three games for the first time since 2011 and just the second time since 2002. Don’t expect that to be the case after Week 4.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Cowboys 31, Browns 20

Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, FOX

Vikings-Texans point spread: Texans -4.0 (over/under 54.0)

Update: Positive COVID-19 tests could force postponement

The Vikings have been so bad through three weeks that there’s been some talk about the team firing longtime head coach Mike Zimmer. This included an ugly 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3 in which Kirk Cousins threw another two interceptions and the Vikings’ defense yielded 444 total yards of offense.

As for the Texans, their performance through the early stages of the season has also been disastrous. It’s also one of the reasons why Bill O’Brien finds himself on the hot seat. Primarily, the issues protecting Deshaun Watson has created the biggest problems. Houston also finds itself at 0-3 and on the brink. That’s one of the primary reasons I pick Minnesota here.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Vikings 24, Texans 16

Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, FOX

Seahawks-Dolphins point spread: Seahawks -6.5 (over/under 54.0)

To say that Russell Wilson is playing at an MVP clip would be a gross understatement. The Super Bowl quarterback is completing north of 75% of his passes with 14 touchdowns and one interception after a brilliant performance against Dallas last week. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, their defense is also giving up nearly four touchdowns per game. 

That likely won’t be much of an issue against a talent-stricken Dolphins offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 4. Despite their win over the Jaguars back in Week 3, the Dolphins just don’t have enough talent on either side of the ball to keep up with Wilson and Co.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Seahawks 35, Dolphins 17

Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Chargers-Buccaneers point spread: Buccaneers -7.5 (over/under 42.5)

Injury update: Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) out

As if the 2020 season wasn’t weird enough amid the pandemic, a recent story breaking from Los Angeles indicating that a team doctor was responsible for Tyrod Taylor’s Week 2 absence adds another layer to this. Apparently, the doctor punctured Taylor’s lung while giving him a shot for pain. This led to rookie No. 6 overall pick Justin Herbert getting the start under center. He almost led the Chargers to a surprising win over Kansas City before playing extremely well this past weekend. Despite that, the Chargers dropped another one-score game — their 11th such affair since the start of the 2019 season.

Related: Top 100 NFL players of 2020

As for the Buccaneers, they are coming off a solid 28-10 win over the injury-plagued Denver Broncos last week. Tom Brady threw for nearly 300 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. After a season-opening loss to the Saints, Tampa Bay has won two consecutive. Expect that trend to continue in Week 4.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Buccaneers 27, Chargers 20

Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Ravens-Washington point spread: Ravens -14.0 (over/under 46.0)

Washington’s upset Week 1 win over Philadelphia might have given fans in D.C. false hope that the team will be competitive in 2020. Dwayne Haskins (401 yards, two touchdowns in two games) is very much a work in progress. And while Washington’s defense has improved under new head coach Ron Rivera, it’s not going to make up for ineptitude on offense.

The Ravens are in a dramatically different situation. Despite their blowout loss to the Chiefs in Week 3, the Ravens still look to be a contender. Lamar Jackson and Co. fell down 27-10 at the half Monday night, only to make it a one-score game before this happened. Washington is not even in the same galaxy as the Ravens right now.

Related: NFL Week 4 odds and point spreads

NFL Week 4 prediction: Ravens 38, Washington Football Team 10

New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams

Time/station: 4:05 PM EST, FOX

Giants-Rams point spread: Rams -13.0 (over/under 48.0)

The loss of Saquon Barkley to a season-ending torn ACL is not going to do second-year quarterback Daniel Jones any favors. We saw that first-hand as the Giants were absolutely blown out by an injury-plagued 49ers team in Week 3 by the score of 36-9. How bad was it? San Francisco did not punt a single time in a game for the first time since 1993.

Related: Should the Giants trade Saquon Barkley?

For some reason, the Rams’ offense has improved from a season ago. That’s shocking given that Sean McVay and Co. lost both Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks during the offseason. One of the primary reasons for this is the return to relevance of embattled quarterback Jared Goff. He almost led Los Angeles back from a 28-3 deficit against the Bills last week before the Rams lost in controversial fashion. This game will not be close.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Rams 31, Giants 14

Buffalo Bills at Las Vegas Raiders

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, CBS

Bills-Raiders point spread: Bills -3.0 (over/under 53.0)

Injury update: Raiders WR’s Henry Ruggs (hamstring) and Bryan Edwards (ankle) doubtful

Last year’s surprising playoff team heading to Vegas to take on a Raiders squad looking to join the Bills in that category. Surprisingly, this is one of the funnest matchups to detail heading into Week 4. Josh Allen’s emergence to elite status has been stunning. He’s now accounted for over 1,100 total yards and 12 touchdowns through three games for the undefeated Bills. That included a game-winning 80-yard touchdown drive in the final seconds.

Related: Josh Allen, NFL MVP?

While Derek Carr continues to struggle getting the ball down the field, he’s the most-accurate we’ve seen the Pro Bowl quarterback be in years. It led to an upset Week 2 win over the New Orleans Saints before a disastrous performance in a blowout loss to the Patriots in Week 3. Carr struggled getting the ball down the field as Las Vegas’ defense was ripped to shreds on the ground. Look for Buffalo to win this one going away.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Bills 31, Raiders 17

NFL Sunday Night Football Week 4

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, NBC

Eagles-49ers point spread: 49ers -7.0 (over/under 46.0)

Update: 49ers place Jordan Reed on IR

Injury update: 49ers TE George Kittle (knee) will play. Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) out

Now, this is one interesting matchup. Despite their plethora of injuries, the 49ers head into Week 4 with a 2-1 record and having outscored their past two opponents, 67-22. Last week saw Nick Mullens lead an offense that did not punt for the first time since Steve Young was doing his thing back in 1993. We have no idea whether Mullens will remain under center for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. In reality, it might not matter.

Related: Doug Pederson on his way out?

Philadelphia heads into this game with a 0-2-1 record after tying with the Cincinnati Bengals last week. Carson Wentz has been an unmitigated disaster through three weeks. The offensive line continues to struggle. It’s hard to envision a team in free-fall mode like Philadelphia putting up much of a fight here, especially with Kittle and Deebo Samuel returning.

NFL Week 4 prediction: 49ers 30, Eagles 17

NFL Monday Night Football Week 4

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, ESPN

Falcons-Packers point spread: Packers -7.0 (over/under 57.5)

Injury update: Packers WR Allen Lazard (core muscle) out

Two teams going in vastly different directions. Atlanta ranks dead last in the NFL in scoring defense and just let another double-digit late-game lead slip through its hands. It really has been a disastrous first three weeks of the season for head coach Dan Quinn and Co.

That’s why a five-point spread makes absolutely no sense heading into Week 4. Green Bay dropped 40-plus points in each of its first two games before taking out New Orleans by the score of 37-30 this past Sunday night. Atlanta does not have a fighting chance in this one.

Week 4 NFL prediction: Packers 35, Falcons 21

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs game postponed

Time/station: TBD

Patriots-Chiefs point spread: TBD (over/under TBD)

Cam Newton against Patrick Mahomes. Former NFL MVPs duking it out in a huge AFC battle. This was going to be a whole lot of fun, then Newton tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the latest development in a week that saw the Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans game rescheduled for Week 7 due to the Titans’ coronavirus outbreak.

The Chiefs are coming off an absolutely dominant 34-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens. It’s a game that saw the reigning Super Bowl MVP record five total touchdowns compared to zero interceptions. There doesn’t seem to be a force in this universe (or any other) capable of stopping the freight train that are these Chiefs.Whether this game is played on Monday or Tuesday, maybe even later in the season, the Chiefs will be favored.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Chiefs 31, Patriots 17

NFL Week 4 Thursday Night Football

Denver Broncos at New York Jets

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, NBC

Broncos-Giants point spread: Broncos -1.0 (over/under 41.0)

Update: Brett Rypien to start at QB for the Broncos

The wide array of injuries for Denver would normally New York a fighting chance here. Taking on a skill group headed by Brett Rypien, Melvin Gordan and Jerry Jeudy is much different than going up against Drew Lock, Phillip Lindsay and Courtland Sutton, the latter two of whom are Pro Bowlers.

Related: Adam Gase calls the Jets out

With that said, the Jets are just terrible. Sam Darnold threw three interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns against the Colts last week. He has no real help from the skill positions or embattled head coach Adam Gase. Despite their injury issues, the Broncos come out on top by double digits in Week 4.

NFL Week 4 prediction: Broncos 27, Jets 17

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