October 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles fans tailgating before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Pittenger

Predicting The Entire NFL Season: Week 4

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:

AFC EASTWinsLosses
New England Patriots30
Buffalo Bills30
New York Jets12
Miami Dolphins12
AFC NORTHWinsLosses
Baltimore Ravens30
Cincinnati Bengals21
Pittsburgh Steelers12
Cleveland Browns12
AFC SOUTHWinsLosses
Houston Texans21
Indianapolis Colts21
Tennessee Titans03
Jacksonville Jaguars03
AFC WESTWinsLosses
Denver Broncos21
Kansas City Chiefs12
Oakland Raiders12
San Diego Chargers03
NFC EASTWinsLosses
New York Giants30
Philadelphia Eagles21
Dallas Cowboys21
Washington Redskins12
NFC NORTHWinsLosses
Green Bay Packers12
Detroit Lions12
Chicago Bears12
Minnesota Vikings03
NFC SOUTHWinsLosses
Carolina Panthers30
New Orleans Saints21
Atlanta Falcons12
Tampa Bay Buccaneers03
NFC WESTWinsLosses
Seattle Seahawks30
St. Louis Rams21
Arizona Cardinals21
San Francisco 49ers21

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

 

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