The New Orleans Saints enter Week 4 with a 0-3 record and a 50/50 chance Drew Brees returns from injury in time to play this week. The Saints are desperate for injured starters to return to help ease the substantial burden the roster has taken on in the early stages of this season. This week's opponents, the Dallas Cowboys, are dealing with significant injuries as well, headlined by the losses of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. They are also reeling from a bitter home loss to Atlanta, their first of the season.
NBC must have sure they had a winner with the matchup of Tony Romo and the Cowboys visiting Drew Brees and the Saints, but now with Brandon Weeden and, most likely, Luke McCown heading the bill, they must be regretting the choice this week. Now let's take a look at all of the games on the Week 4 NFL schedule.
Last week I went 13-3
Thursday, October 1st - Thursday Night Football
Baltimore will finally pick up their first victory of the season by beating their arch-rivals in Pittsburgh. Mike Vick will be in for a long night, as he struggles to lead what should be the NFL's most potent offense.
Sunday, October 4th - Very Early Game
Leaving America may be the best thing that could happen to the Dolphins at this point. The change of continents could be enough to see Miami pick up a mildly surprising win over the stingy Jets at 8:30am CST.
Sunday, October 4th - Early Games
Contrary to popular belief, Buffalo is playing better on the offensive side of the ball than on defense. Actually, in terms of yardage allowed, this game features two of the bottom three defenses in the NFL. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. will put up some big yardage, but the outstanding play of LeSean McCoy will be the biggest key in Buffalo's home victory over the Giants.
Indy will continue to take advantage of the soft underbelly of the AFC South as they climb back to .500 with a home win.
Panthers(3-0) at Buccaneers(1-2)
Cam Newton will have a big passing day in his first head-to-head matchup against Jameis Winston in Tampa.
Philly will escape Washington with a victory, thanks to a last-second field goal, 17-14.
After getting punched in the mouth in Week 1, Oakland has responded with two consecutive wins. They will make it three straight, with a win over the "Everyone must go! All trades final!" Chicago Bears.
Texans(1-2) at Falcons(3-0)
The sublimely mediocre Texans will get absolutely torched by Atlanta's Julio Jones as he continues his league domination tour.
Kansas City has been pretty yawn-inducing so far this season, but their rushing game will keep them competitive in Cincinnati. The Bengals are just too well-rounded for the Chiefs to beat though.
Browns(1-2) at Chargers(1-2)
San Diego continues to underachieve, as usual. Cleveland continues to do nothing well, as usual. The underachievers will win at home.
Sunday, October 4th - Late Games
This is the game Green Bay has waited for, for a very long time. This will resemble an exorcism on a football field, as Aaron Rodgers and the Pack will thoroughly obliterate the Niners, sending them back deep into Earth from whence they came. Pack wins 53-7.
Top to bottom, there is no more well-rounded team in the NFL than Arizona. Even though St. Louis is a divisional rival that knows them well, they won't stay close with the Cards.
Vikings(2-1) at Broncos(3-0)
Denver's top-ranked defense will shut down the Minnesota rushing game, while Peyton Manning will have one of those vintage games that many don't believe he still has left in him. Broncos air it out in a win at Mile High.
Sunday Night Football
Cowboys(2-1) at Saints(0-3)
Even without Romo and Bryant, Dallas is the better team here, especially in the trenches Dallas should run on the Saints and stop the run in turn, fundamental football. Dallas should win this game, whether Brees plays or not. Here's the thing though, the Saints are going to win some games this season, and in typical fashion they'll be the games they have no business winning.
Many of the things the Saints have done so well for so long have evaporated, but the last one standing is the Saints' ability to show up big when playing in the Superdome on Sunday Night Football. The likelihood that that falls as well is high, but I'll bet on that 'Ol Superdome Sunday Night magic one more time. Why, you say? In the face of certain crushing defeat to a bitter rival? I say, what the hell, why not?
Monday, October 5th - Monday Night Football
Seattle will dismantle the Lions piece by piece. Not sure if Matthew Stafford will have more completions or interceptions and sacks by the end of this game
That's how I see Week 4 playing out, as the Saints look to see if there is even a single drop of that Ol' Sunday Night Superdome magic left. Leave us your picks, insight, and comments below!