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NFL Week Four Is A Pivotal Week For “Super Bowl” Contenders

Associated Press
Recap

After Thursday night’s offensive onslaught between the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams (Rams 38-31), Week 4 kicks into full gear Sunday with pivotal match-ups already occurring.  The most significant occurs at 1 p.m. in Foxborough, Massachusetts when the Miami Dolphins pay visit to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  Another key match-up sees the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers clash at Hienz Field as the Ravens could potentially have a multiple game lead on the struggling Steelers.

Texans (0-3) vs. Colts (1-2) 1 p.m.

Not that this game has much significance in terms of the division, but for consecutive seasons, the Texans look disjointed (Watson did tear his ACL last season).  A loss to the struggling New England Patriots, the Titans and Giants is sure to turn some heads.  If they do lose in Indianapolis, will it be Bill O’Brien‘s last game? Texans 17, Colts 20.

Bears (2-1) vs. Buccaneers (2-1) 1 p.m.

The fact that both of these teams are a top their division is unbelievable.  If it wasn’t for a questionable trade by Jon Gruden to send one of the best defensive players in the NFL to the Bears, they might be staring at an empty win column.  And if it wasn’t for Jameis Winston being suspended, Ryan Fitzpatrick wouldn’t have revived his career (again).  The Bears are the stronger team, but can the Buccaneers offensive line slow down the Khalil Mack pass rush? Bears 24, Buccaneers 21.

Dolphins (3-0) vs. Patriots (1-2) 1 p.m.

Offensive struggles were to be expected in New England given Edelman’s suspension and Belichick’s reluctance to retain any offensive talent from last year (almost traded Gronkowski, too).  However, the defense has been atrocious.  After smoke and mirrors in Week 1 against the Texans, the Patriots defense has returned to last season’s form where they let Nick Foles torch them up and down the field.  Week 2 in Jacksonville, they turned Blake Bortles into a Pro Bowl quarterback for one game, allowing 376 yards passing and four touchdown tosses.  In comparison in the other two games Bortles has played he’s thrown for a combined 331 yards and one touchdown.  The Patriots defense (and offense) needs answers immediately.  Dolphins 23, Patriots 24.

Bengals (2-1) vs. Falcons (1-2) 1 p.m.

This inter-conference game sees Andy (Daytime) Dalton take on Matt (Indoor Andy) Ryan.  The Falcons have had a rejuvenated offense the past two weeks, but when their offense shows up, their defense doesn’t.  Likewise, when their defense shows up, Ryan and company can’t seem to find the target.  Already well-known that Dalton plays his best football during the day, and Matt Ryan plays his best football indoors, a high scoring, no defense contest should provide an interesting finale. Bengals 31, Falcons 28

Saints (2-1) vs. Giants (1-2) 4 p.m.

The only defense in comparison to New England’s is New Orleans.  Unlike New England, however, their offense makes up for it.  The Saints gave up 48 points, at home, to Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers and then Week 3 got shredded by Matt Ryan, who wasn’t even throwing to Julio Jones.  As for the Giants, no one knows.  Eli Manning‘s offensive line doesn’t feel like protecting him, and besides their win in Houston, they look lethargic.  However, with the Saints defense, look for an offensive explosion for both teams, at MetLife, Sunday evening. Saints 41, Giants 30.

Ravens (2-1) vs. Steelers (1-1-1) 8:20 p.m.

The Ravens come into this contest after shutting down the Denver Broncos with relative ease last weekend.  The Steelers, who did beat the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, are struggling for form.  LeVeon Bell might as well not even be mentioned in the same name as the Steelers.  There’s locker room issues, sideline tirades and just overall organizational issues that are hovering over the Steelers right now.  The Ravens look more focused and should win this game with relative ease. Ravens 28, Steelers 17.

Chiefs (3-0) vs. Broncos (2-1) Mon. 8:20 p.m.

Through three games, Patrick Mahomes is the league MVP.  He’s torched and destroyed every defense he’s faced and covered for the defense, who have given up at least 27 points in each game so far. The Broncos could (and should) be the next victim as besides a one-two punch pass rush, their secondary has been awful.  With weapons such as Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt, there should be no contest.  Chiefs 31, Broncos 16.

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