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(Lindsey Wasson/AP Photo)
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Pullett’s NFL Picks - Week 4

Last Week’s Record: 8-8

Overall Season Record: 17-15

Lions @ Packers

There have been two common themes for the Green Bay Packers and their start to their season. The first of which is their worrisome start to games. Green Bay has scored more points in the second half of every game so far. This wasn’t a glaring problem in the Packers’ first two games, but in Week 3, they were shut out in the first half. This leads to an inexperienced Jordan Love needing to lead the team to a comeback victory, which happened, but you can’t always expect that to happen, especially against stronger defenses. The second theme of Green Bay’s season has been the injury bug. Three former pro bowlers missed last week for the Packers, and it showed up on the offensive side of the ball. Without Aaron Jones and Christian Watson, Green Bay struggles to move the ball due to a lack of playmaking ability. Combine this with the missed presence of David Bakhtiari on the offensive line, the Packers could struggle again against the Lions in Week 4. Detroit’s offensive game plan will be something to watch for on Thursday night. Will they try to attack the Packers’ weak secondary, which is missing all-pro cornerback Jaire Alexander, or will they attempt to power through a Green Bay defense that allowed the Atlanta Falcons to dominate them in Week 2? Either way, any mix of these two styles could work against the Packers, especially if Alexander is out. 

Lions 27, Packers 24

Falcons @ Jaguars

This year’s first London game will be between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Atlanta Falcons. An interesting storyline to watch for in this matchup will be how the Jaguars practice and prepare for this two-week London series they have. Playing Atlanta and then Buffalo across the pond, they could give a few players veteran rest days, hoping for them to be ready for both of these next two weeks. The Jaguars are fairly familiar with playing in London, playing nine games there since 2013. Trevor Lawrence has struggled to start the year, with only three touchdowns through three weeks, as well as two interceptions. However, like most games the Falcons will play this season, this game should come down to how efficiently Atlanta can run the ball. Last week, Bijan Robinson had 33 yards on 10 carries. If these struggles continue against a competent Jaguars defense, Jacksonville should be able to take care of business pretty easily in London.

Jaguars 24, Falcons 17

Game of the Week: Dolphins @ Bills

This matchup should be a very entertaining one, as the Dolphins are coming off the second-highest-scoring game in NFL history, scoring 70 points, and the Bills have scored 75 points in their last two games combined. Tua Tagovailoa is second in passing yards, with 1,024, and his leading receiver, Tyreek Hill, is second in receiving yards with 412. As if their passing attack was hard enough to stop, their run game with Raheem Mostert and Devon Achane is elite as well. Last week, they ran the ball 43 times for 350 yards (8.1 yards per carry). Buffalo’s offense has been great as well, with James Cook as a top-three rusher in the NFL in terms of total yards, with 267. Josh Allen has also looked great after his underwhelming Week 1 performance. Both the Bills and Dolphins have looked like true Super Bowl contenders early on. This game will likely come down to Miami's ability to score against Buffalo’s stout defense. The Bills’ defense has been great in their last two games, allowing only 13 points combined. However, after scoring 70 points, it’s hard to imagine the Dolphins are going to slow down that much.

Dolphins 35, Bills 34

Broncos @ Bears

Neither the Chicago Bears nor the Denver Broncos have won in their first three contests. The Broncos allowed the second most points ever (70) in an NFL game in Week 3. The Bears, on the other hand, were losing by 34 at halftime. These two teams have had more than their fair share of flaws at the start of the season. The best unit between these two teams is Dennver’s defense, despite giving up 70 points last week. Chicago’s offense has struggled to start the season, and there are no signs of change. Although the Broncos’ haven’t moved the ball that efficiently themselves, it hasn’t been a total debacle like it has with Chicago. This game could be very close, but Denver likely has the better all-around team.

Broncos 17, Bears 13

Ravens @ Browns

Although missing their superstar running back, the Browns dominated in Week 3. Nick Chubb’s presence in the run game was heavily missed, but Deshaun Watson stepped up. Watson and Amari Cooper connected on a high level for the first time, leading to an electric passing attack for Cleveland. The Browns’ lack of rushing attack could hurt them against the Baltimore Ravens though. Cleveland used seven different players to run the ball in Week 3, totaling 31 carries for 78 yards. The Ravens, on the other hand, lost their Week 3 contest to the Colts. Baltimore lost that game due to turnover issues, which allowed Gardner Minshew to do just enough to secure the upset. Despite the loss, the Ravens played well and should give the Browns a good game. However, Cleveland’s defense has looked amazing to start the season, giving up only 18 points on defense so far. This defensive dominance should continue against Baltimore in Week 4, following their lackluster start on offense.

Browns 24, Ravens 17

Bengals @ Titans

Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase look like they are back to their elite levels. Playing through a calf injury, Burrow threw for 259 yards, with 141 of them going to Chase. Cincinnati’s defense also performed well in Week 3, forcing five three-and-outs, two interceptions, and six sacks, albeit against a quiet Rams offense. If the Bengals can keep building off this win, they could very well make the playoffs again despite their 0-2 start. The Titans struggled immensely on offense against the Browns in Week 3, with just 130 yards of total offense last week. If the Titans’ offense still relies on Derrick Henry and their run game, these struggles could continue. Henry isn’t the problem in Tennessee’s run game. It is their offensive line, which has struggled when they play above-average rush defenses. Given how the Bengals’ defense performed last week, they should be able to take down the Titans in Week 4.

Bengals 27, Titans 20

Rams @ Colts

The Rams and Colts face off in one of the more intriguing matchups in Week 4, despite their uninspiring records. The Colts have looked like two different teams this season, depending on whether Gardner Minshew or Anthony Richardson is at quarterback. Richardson signifies a more run-heavy attack for the Colts, while Minshew tends to air it out more. The availability of Richardson will be something to monitor this week, as it could lead to the Colts favoring the pass against a weak Rams secondary. Zack Moss has looked impressive to start the season, rushing 48 times for 210 yards in two weeks of action. On the other hand, the Rams slowed down offensively in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals. A big problem for Los Angeles this season has been their poor offensive line play. On Monday night, they gave up six sacks. These sacks mean a lot, but the overall pressure that teams can get, regardless of whether or not it ends in a sack, has been a concern for the Rams. If the Colts' defense can pressure Matthew Stafford, they should be able to pull out a win.

Colts 24, Rams 21

Buccaneers @ Saints

Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints lost their Week 3 games, falling to 2-1. A big factor in who will win this game will be how the Saints can run the ball against Tampa Bay’s great rush defense. Although allowing the Eagles to run on them at will, the Buccaneers' defense was good in their first two weeks, and their dominance could resume in Week 4 against a lighter rushing attack. Given New Orleans will get Alvin Kamara back from suspension, their run game could significantly improve though. However, the Buccaneers dominating defense might be able to take advantage of the Saints this week, considering Jameis Winston will likely start at quarterback for an injured Derek Carr. Winston is known for struggling with turnovers, and his former team may know a few of his tendencies and put him in situations they know he isn’t as comfortable in.

Buccaneers 24, Saints 17

Commanders @ Eagles

A.J. Brown is one of the receivers who bounced back to their usual form last week, having 131 receiving yards on nine catches. Don’t expect the Commanders to slow him down in Week 4. In Week 3, the Commanders defense let up 38 points to the Buffalo Bills. Sam Howell struggled, throwing four interceptions. Antonio Gibson has also fumbled the ball twice so far this season, creating a potentially disastrous combination against one of the best teams in football. The Commanders have twice as many turnovers so far this season as the Eagles (8-4), and this trend will likely continue in Week 4. The Eagles’ defense should be able to take control of this game pretty handily.

Eagles 31, Commanders 17

Vikings @ Panthers

The Minnesota Vikings have had an opposite season in comparison to last year. The Vikings went 0-11 in one-possession games last year, and to start this season, they have lost three of those in a row. After a questionable decision to go for it on fourth down in their own territory, the Chargers gave Minnesota the ball with 1:46 remaining. Kirk Cousins ended up throwing an interception to give the game away, and now the Vikings are in do-or-die mode. They should be able to continue their offensive success against a weaker Panthers defense. Carolina’s start to the season has been slightly worse than the Vikings, considering they have lost by multiple scores in two games. With or without Bryce Young at quarterback, the Panthers will struggle to score with their lack of weapons, in comparison to Minnesota’s.

Vikings 27, Panthers 17

Steelers @ Texans

 The Houston Texans might be the most exciting young core in the NFL. With C.J. Stroud, Tank Dell, and Dameon Pierce, Houston has a very promising future Their current play is showing the right kind of signs for progression too. Stroud is fifth in the league with 906 passing yards, and he has passed the eye test with his poise and comfor level. After three weeks, he is by far the most impressive rookie QB, and his ability will be put to the test against a shutdown Steelers’ defense. Pittsburgh has forced seven turnovers in the last two weeks and going against a rookie quarterback, this game will be decided by how Stroud will be able to keep his turnovers down against the Steelers' defense. At home, he should be able to keep it together.

Texans 27, Steelers 20

Raiders @ Chargers

Brandon Staley is one of the most entertaining coaches in professional sports due to his aggressive playcalling. He went for it on fourth down in his own territory with 1:46 remaining a week ago and was saved from embarassment by Kirk Cousins throwing a bad interception to end the game. Despite this, Staley’s aggressiveness has cost the Chargers in the past. However, this week against the Las Vegas Raiders, this shouldn’t matter. Justin Herbert is third in the NFL in passing yards (939), and with the potential return of Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles should be able to handle the Raiders pretty easily. Mike Williams will be missed in the Los Angeles offense, but rookie Quentin Johnston should be able to fill in his place as the big-play receiver. Josh Jacobs has been significantly worse this season than last, and without a strong run game, Las Vegas doesn’t have much hope on offense outside of Davante Adams.. Jimmy Garoppolo has also struggled to move the ball, and the Raiders probably miss Derek Carr and his big arm right about now. The Chargers' defense should be able to stop Las Vegas and gain some needed momentum.

Chargers 28, Raiders 17

Patriots @ Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys were one of the hottest teams in football after two weeks, but after losing to the lowly Cardinals, they looked very vulnerable. Three of their five starting offensive lineman are injured, as well as All-Pro defensive back Trevon Diggs, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. This could be a very big concern against the New England Patriots, whose defense has looked relatively good, considering the teams they’ve had to play this season. The Cowboys should bounce back this week, as Mac Jones has struggled this season with a lack of talent on the New England offense. The Dallas offense also needs to get better this week, especially in the red zone. The Cowboys had four possessions in the second half, all of them going to the red zone, but turning into six points and two turnovers. If they can find out how to convert in the red zone, Dallas can get back to the elite level.

Cowboys 27, Patriots 23

Cardinals @ 49ers

Although having low expectations for the season, the Arizona Cardinals haven’t been awful to start the season. In Week 3 against the Cowboys, Joshua Dobbs managed the offense well, against one of the league’s top defenses. In the second half, the Cardinals' defense showed up in the red zone, holding Dallas to two field goals and two turnovers. With this being said, the 49ers have proven to be a tougher opponent. In each of their last two matchups, San Francisco has scored 38 points. This trend could continue if Brock Purdy plays as well as he did last week, as he’s shown more consistency than Dak Prescott thus far.

49ers 38, Cardinals 17

Chiefs @ Jets

The Chiefs and Jets have had opposite seasons so far. Kansas City lost a disappointing game in Week 1, while New York won in walk-off fashion. The Chiefs bounced back from their loss, dominating in their last two games. Meanwhile, the Jets have scored 10 points in back-to-back weeks, taking losses in both games. These trends should continue, as Kansas City’s defense has looked much better since the return of Chris Jones. New York’s defense has played well in two games so far, and the path to the Jets winning would be through their defense. If New York can limit Travis Kelce, the Chiefs may struggle to move the ball offensively. However, this is much easier said than done, and Kansas City should increase their winning streak to three games at the behest of a middling Jets offense without Aaron Rodgers.

Chiefs 28, Jets 13

Seahawks @ Giants

The Seahawks offense has bounced back from their Week 1 loss to the Rams, scoring 30+ points in each of their last two games. Geno Smith seems to be back to the level he was at last year, and if he keeps it up, he could lead Seattle back to the playoffs. The Giants, on the other hand, have struggled in every game so far this season. They have played two elite teams, the Cowboys and the 49ers, but they also struggled against the Cardinals. Without Saquon Barkley, New York doesn’t have much of a short-yardage game. This could lead to a lot of third and short situations that the Giants cannot convert. If Saquon is out again this week, Seattle should be able to slow the Giants down offensively. However, if he plays, the Seahawks’ defense will be challenged. With this being said, D.K. Metcalf and Kenneth Walker III should both be able to have a few explosive plays this game, and with the New York offense lagging behind Pete Carroll’s, Seattle should leave MetLife with a 3-1 record.

Seahawks 23, Giants 17

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