And on the fourth week of the 2014 NFL season, they rested.
Well, some of them, at least.
Hard to believe, but as we reach Week 4 in our way-too-early NFL predictions, the first group of teams go onto the bye week. The initial crew consists of the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams.
Talk about a bad break for some of these teams. I’d count five legitimate playoff contenders in that group (sorry, Cleveland), including two who have real aspirations of winning a Super Bowl this year (Denver, Seattle). After three weeks they get their bye, and then come back for 13 straight. Ouch.
Before we press ahead with the Week 4 picks, here’s a look at the standings:
|New England Patriots||3||0|
|New York Jets||1||2|
|Kansas City Chiefs||1||2|
|San Diego Chargers||0||3|
|New York Giants||3||0|
|Green Bay Packers||1||2|
|New Orleans Saints||2||1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||3|
|St. Louis Rams||2||1|
|San Francisco 49ers||2||1|
Six teams still perfect. Five teams without a win. And a whole lot of teams in between. Let’s see who might be separating themselves from the pack at the quarter-poll.
Giants @ Redskins: A Thursday Night NFC East clash. I have the Giants at 3-0, which just seems ridiculous. They’re probably better than the Redskins, but on a short week, fortune favors the hosts. Washington 21, New York Giants 16
Packers @ Bears: After three weeks, I have the NFC North without a team at or above .500. The Packers will being their move. Green Bay 30, Chicago 14
Bills @ Texans: I have the Bills at 3-0. Can they go 4-0? I don’t think so. Again, I like the moves the Bills have made and think they’re a playoff team, but they’re not above being tripped from time to time. Houston 27, Buffalo 21
Titans @ Colts: It’s going to be a long year for football fans in Tennessee. Indianapolis 24, Tennessee 15
Panthers @ Ravens: A battle of unlikely unbeatens in Baltimore. This is going to be a tough, ugly, defensive football game. Again, the home team has a slight edge. Baltimore 10, Carolina 7
Lions @ Jets: The Lions don’t really do themselves any favors in terms of adding quality personnel to a team that consistently underachieves, but the Jets are, well, the Jets. Detroit 31, New York Jets 20
Buccaneers @ Steelers: I read an article today about the Steelers making the right moves to become a playoff contender again. I don’t buy it. Tampa Bay 28, Pittsburgh 14
Dolphins @ Raiders: This is one of those late afternoon games that no one will want to watch. Oakland 20, Miami 17
Jaguars @ Chargers: I have both of these teams a 0-3. Something has to give. San Diego 26, Jacksonville 17
Falcons @ Vikings: It’s at this point in the season Minnesota will remember that no matter how good Adrian Peterson is, you really need to have a decent quarterback to win in the NFL. The Falcons have that in Matt Ryan. Atlanta 34, Minnesota 24
Saints @ Cowboys: It’s not often the Saints have the support of Philadelphia Eagles fans. Drew Brees > Tony Romo. New Orleans 36, Dallas 21
Patriots @ Chiefs: Andy Reid could never quite figure out how to beat the Patriots. Why should that change now? New England 26, Kansas City 13
Last, but not least…
Eagles @ 49ers: Another tough road game early in the season for the Philadelphia Eagles. Reviewing my previous predictions, the 49ers will be coming off a tough defeat to Arizona. They’re home, with the Eagles making a cross-country trip. The Birds aren’t quite ready to take flight yet. San Francisco 28, Philadelphia 20