The New Orleans Saints enter Week 4 with a 2-1 record as they head to East Rutherford to face the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Although the Giants have struggled to a 1-2 record this season, they remain within striking distance in the NFC East, and they know falling to 1-3 could put them in a nearly insurmountable hole very early in the season.
It may not be Broadway, it may not have the glitz of Times Square, it may not really be New York, since the game actually takes place in New Jersey, but it’s still a marquee matchup. Whether its in the Empire State or the Garden State really doesn't matter. What matters is that the Saints capitalize on their momentum from winning their last two games and hopefully improve their record to 3-1 when this matchup is done. Who Dat!
Now let’s take a look at this and all of the games on the Week 4 NFL schedule.
Last week I went 8-8
I told you so: Saints over Falcons!
What do I know: Bucs over Steelers?
Thursday, September 27th - Thursday Night Football
Vikings(1-1-1) at Rams(3-0) - Game of the Week
This is clearly one of the most anticipated matchups of the early season and it should live up to the billing. This is a pretty even matchup, but LA’s balance will be key against Minnesota here. Los Angeles’ defensive line will be the biggest factor in this game, and their ability to shut down Minnesota’s running game will put stress on Kirk Cousins and his offensive line in pass protection. This one will come down to the wire, but Los Angeles will send the Coliseum crowd home happy. Los Angeles wins 26-23.
Sunday, September 30th- Early Games
Jets(1-2) at Jaguars(2-1)
This will be a better game than it may appear on the surface, but Jacksonville’s defense will be too much for Sam Darnold and the Jets to handle for four quarters. Jacksonville wins 26-21.
Dolphins(3-0) at Patriots(1-2)
I can hardly believe I’m saying this, but the Dolphins are going to leave Foxboro with a win this week. It’ll come down to Miami’s ability to run the ball and control the clock on offense, while their defense shuts down New England on the ground. Miami wins 24-20.
Eagles(2-1) at Titans(2-1)
Tennessee’s inability to attack the Philly defense through the air will keep them from getting much going in this one. Philadelphia wins 31-25.
Texans(0-3) at Colts(1-2)
Houston’s early season struggles are one of the most surprising stories so far this year. Those struggles will continue this week in Indy against Andrew Luck and the Colts. Indianapolis wins 24-12.
Bills(1-2) at Packers(1-1-1)
Buffalo may be coming off of the most surprising upset of this early season, but they’ll come back down to their previous level at Lambeau against the Pack. Green Bay wins 24-14.
Lions(1-2) at Cowboys(1-2)
Detroit could easily find themselves set up for an emotional letdown after last Sunday Night’s huge win over the Pats, but thankfully for them they are facing a Dallas offense that is taking aerial football back to the days before the forward pass. As usual, both Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas defense will be asked to carry the load. The burden will be too much to lead the Cowboys to a win though. Detroit wins 32-24.
Buccaneers(2-1) at Bears(2-1)
This matchup is as opposite as you can get. Tampa relies solely on their passing attack, while Chicago relies on their dominant defense and solid ground game. While the signs point to Chicago getting the win here at home, I get the feeling Tampa’s passing game is going to stretch the Bears’ secondary, surprising Chicago with a big performance. Tampa Bay wins 29-14.
Bengals(2-1) at Falcons(1-2)
This is a very solid matchup on paper and will be pretty even through the first half, but Atlanta’s passing attack will dominate the second half at home over Cincy. Atlanta wins 34-19.
Sunday, September 30th- Late Games
Seahawks(1-2) at Cardinals(0-3)
Seattle’s defense will force turnovers at will against the worst offense on “God’s Green Earth” in Arizona. Seattle wins 21-9.
Browns(1-1-1) at Raiders(0-3)
Something wonderful is in the air for Baker Mayfield and Cleveland. Whatever is in the air for Jon Gruden and Oakland is putrid right now. The Browns double their win total over the last two seasons. Cleveland wins 23-19.
49ers(1-2) at Chargers(1-2)
Without Jimmy G under center for San Francisco, their season is about to unravel rapidly. Los Angeles wins behind a stellar effort from their defense shutting down the Niners running game. Los Angeles wins 31-13.
Saints(2-1) at Giants(1-2)
New Orleans knows what stiff challenges await their defense in this matchup, and it’s not just the Giants air attack, but the potential from their ground game. The Saints have had a poor habit of making rookies look like All-Pros the first time they see them, (like Calvin Ridley). They can ill afford to let that happen against Giants running back Saquon Barkley. The Saints have a deceptively stout run defense and will need to keep that going against the dynamic rookie runner.
For the Giants, this game will hinge on the success of the Giants’ receiving tandem of Odell Beckham Jr, and Sterling Shepard. If the Saints defense can mitigate some of the damage those two wideouts can dish out, victory can be had on the road here. Of course, much of that pressure will fall on the Saints ability to disrupt Eli Manning at the line, taking pressure off their damaged secondary. Cam Jordan and Marcus Davenport will need to make life difficult for Eli all game long.
The spotlight on this game will fall on Michael Thomas, as usual for this season, as he will be expected to have another monster performance, but the dark-horse player of the game will be Benjamin Watson, who could be a huge difference maker for the Saints in this one. Drew Brees and Eli Manning will have huge passing yards. Thomas, Beckham, snd Shepard will all get their monster stats too, but it will be Ben Watson stealing the spotlight for the Saints in this big win not far from the Big Apple. Saints win 37-30.
Sunday Night Football
Ravens(2-1) at Steelers(1-1-1)
One of the NFL’s best rivalries of the past few decades continues here. Baltimore’s solid defense will keep the Pittsburgh aerial attack from overwhelming them, while surprisingly looking good through the air themselves. This one will come down to a late, game-winning field goal. Baltimore wins 27-24.
Monday, October 1st - Monday Night Football
Chiefs(3-0) at Broncos(2-1)
Despite having the worst-ranked defense in the NFL, Kansas City has stayed undefeated thanks to the stellar play of first-year starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The young gunslinger will have success once again in this one, but it won't come too easy at Mile High. Kansas City wins 28-21.
That’s how I see Week 4 playing out. Leave us your picks, insight, and comments below!