Looking strictly at statistics, it would appear the Seahawks lost their third consecutive game in Week 4. However, Seattle righted its ship in a big way with a 28-21 road win over division rival San Francisco. Russell Wilson’s 149 passing yards was easily his lowest output of the season, but he remained efficient as he completed 16 of 23 passes while throwing for two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The Seahawks totaled 234 yards, far less than the 457 gained by the 49ers. Seattle took advantage of San Francisco’s miscues as the Niners finished with two turnovers to the Hawks’ zero. Mitch Wishnowsky missed his only field goal attempt (41 yards) as well as one of his two extra point attempts.
Seattle plays another division rival in Week 5 as it hosts the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday. The Seahawks (third) could jump ahead of LA (second) in the NFC West standings with a victory this week.
Now for this week’s picks.
My season picks record: 9-7 last week, 40-24 overall
Los Angeles Rams (3-1) at Seattle (2-2) – Thursday
The Rams were beat handily by Arizona in Week 4, losing 37-20. Matthew Stafford had 280 yards and a pick to go with 14-yard touchdown strikes to Van Jefferson and Robert Woods. Jefferson broke out with 90 yards on six catches, while Woods finished with four receptions for 48 yards.
Wilson added 26 rushing yards in Week 4, including a 16-yard scoring scamper to give the Seahawks a 14-7 lead in the third quarter. DK Metcalf and Freddie Swain were the recipients of Wilson’s TD tosses. Metcalf’s made up 12 of his 65 yards on four catches. Swain’s gave him 13 of his 20 yards, and he totaled three grabs.
Seattle’s defense looked strong, which isn’t good for LA’s offense.
Pick: Seahawks 27, Rams 24
New York Jets (1-3) at Atlanta (1-3)
It wasn’t pretty, but the Jets walked away with their first win of 2021 – a 27-24 overtime victory over Tennessee. The Titans missed a potential game-tying 49-yard field goal attempt with 19 seconds left in OT. Corey Davis led the charge with four catches for 111 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown. Zach Wilson had 297 yards through the air with a pair of scores and an interception.
Cordarrelle Patterson is apparently pretty good. He turned five catches into 82 yards and three touchdowns in the Falcons’ loss to Washington. The 30-year old receiver/running back also churned out 34 yards on six carries. Matt Ryan finished with four scoring throws and wasn’t picked as he netted 283 yards passing.
Despite the loss, Atlanta’s offense seems to be picking up steam.
Pick: Falcons 34, Jets 23
Green Bay (3-1) at Cincinnati (3-1)
Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of touchdown passes to Randall Cobb and added another with his legs in the Packers’ win over Pittsburgh. Rodgers finished with 248 yards through the air. Cobb totaled 69 yards on five catches.
The Bengals escaped with a 24-21 win over winless Jacksonville as Evan McPherson’s 35-yard field goal was good as time expired. Cincy overcame a 14-point halftime deficit behind CJ Uzomah, who scored a pair of touchdowns and netted 95 yards on five receptions. Tyler Boyd finished with 118 yards on nine grabs.
Expect Rodgers to outlast Burrow in this one.
Pick: Packers 29, Bengals 26
Denver (3-1) at Pittsburgh (1-3)
Things were looking good for the undefeated Broncos as they held a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter, but it wasn’t enough to beat a surging Ravens team that has now won three straight. Teddy Bridgewater suffered a concussion and couldn’t play in the second half. His 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Noah Fant proved to be the only score for Denver. Fant finished with 46 yards on six catches.
The Steelers’ struggles continued in their loss to Green Bay. Following a surprising Week 1 win over Buffalo, Pittsburgh has now dropped three straight games. Diontae Johnson hauled in nine receptions for 92 yards, including a 45-yard score that put the Steelers up 7-0 in the first quarter.
If Bridgewater plays, Denver should take advantage of the mess in Pittsburgh right now.
Pick: Broncos 21, Steelers 17
Detroit (0-4) at Minnesota (1-3)
The Jared Goff era hasn’t been pretty so far as the Lions remained winless in Chicago. Goff threw for 299 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kalif Raymond caught both of Goff’s scoring strikes and finished with 46 yards on three grabs. Quintez Cephus rebounded from a one-catch-for-eight-yards performance against Baltimore in Week 3 with 83 yards on four catches.
The Vikings lost a low-scoring game at home against Cleveland, 14-7. Justin Jefferson scored the lone touchdown for Minnesota and netted 84 yards on six receptions. Dalvin Cook (34 yards on nine carries) injured his ankle and had to leave the game.
Even if Cook is forced to miss this game, the Vikes have too much firepower for Detroit.
Pick: Vikings 38, Lions 28
Miami (1-3) at Tampa Bay (3-1)
The Dolphins were held to a mere 35 yards rushing as a team in their loss to the previously winless Colts. Devante Parker and Mike Gesicki each had touchdown-scoring grabs for Miami. Parker led the way with 77 yards on four catches, while Gesicki finished with five receptions for 57 yards. Former Indy QB Jacoby Brissett couldn’t find revenge in this one.
It was closer than this columnist expected, but the prediction stood correct – Tom Brady got his revenge over New England. Much like countless other games featuring Brady, it came down to a field goal as Ryan Succop’s 48-yarder with 1:57 left to play proved to be the difference in the 19-17 outcome. Ironically enough, Brady didn’t score a single touchdown as he finished with 269 yards on 22-of-43 passing. Ronald Jones II was the only Buccaneer to find pay dirt with his 8-yard run in the third.
Unless there’s a massive post-revenge game letdown, Tampa beats Miami easily.
Pick: Buccaneers 31, Dolphins 17
New Orleans (2-2) at Washington (2-2)
The Saints squandered a 21-10 fourth quarter lead and ultimately fell in overtime to the previously winless Giants. Alvin Kamara had 120 yards on 26 totes but was held without a catch. Jameis Winston had 226 yards and a touchdown with zero interceptions through the air.
Washington’s JD McKissic also got revenge in Week 4 as the former Falcon took a shallow pass 30 yards for the game-winning touchdown against Atlanta. He finished with 44 yards on five catches. Taylor Heinicke passed for 290 yards and three scores.
New Orleans just isn’t the same without that guy named Drew Brees under center. Washington should take this one.
Pick: WFT 23, Saints 21
Philadelphia (1-3) at Carolina (3-1)
Jalen Hurts led the Eagles in rushing yet again with 47 yards on eight tries – and Philadelphia fell to Kansas City. It’s Philly’s third straight loss. Hurts also threw for 387 yards and a pair of scores. Rookie wideout Devonta Smith broke out with 122 yards on seven catches.
The Panthers were another unbeaten team entering Week 4 but came out on the wrong end against Dallas. Sam Darnold and DJ Moore clearly have a connection as they hooked up for a pair of touchdowns. Darnold finished with 301 yards and was picked off twice. He also ran for 35 yards and two scores on six carries. Moore hauled in eight catches for 113 yards.
Philly’s defense doesn’t seem to know how to stop anyone. Carolina’s offense should thrive.
Pick: Panthers 34, Eagles 26
Tennessee (2-2) at Jacksonville (0-4)
Being without your top two receivers would be difficult for any team, and it was no different for the Titans as they fell in overtime to the previously winless Jets. Tennessee played without both AJ Brown and Julio Jones, but nearly overcame their absences as Randy Bullock’s 49-yard field goal attempt could have tied things up at 27 with 19 seconds to go in the extra period. Derrick Henry took 33 carries for 157 yards and a touchdown.
After leading 14-0 at halftime, the Jaguars were down 21-14 in the fourth quarter. James Robinson’s second touchdown of the game knotted things up, but a field goal as time expired handed Jacksonville its 19th straight game dating back to last season. Robinson finished with 78 yards on 18 carries.
Assuming one or both of the Titans’ wideouts return, Tennessee should win.
Pick: Titans 30, Jaguars 22
New England (1-3) at Houston (1-3)
As mentioned above, the Patriots were downed by Tom Brady’s Buccaneers in Tom Brady fashion – a late field goal. New England was held to minus-one rushing yard on eight attempts. Nelson Agholor finished as the only Patriot with more than zero yards on the ground as he had four on his lone carry. Mac Jones threw for 275 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
Not much to say here; the Texans were shut out 40-0 by Buffalo. Houston turned the ball over five times (four interceptions, one fumble) and netted an abysmal 109 total yards on offense (61 passing, 48 rushing). Brandin Cooks had 47 of those yards on five catches.
New England should emerge as the better 1-3 team in this one.
Pick: Patriots 25, Texans 13
Chicago (2-2) at Las Vegas (3-1)
David Montgomery led the way with 106 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ win over Detroit. Darnell Mooney had the best game of his two-year career as he finished with 125 yards on five catches, besting his previous high of 93 yards on 11 catches in the final game of last season.
Yet another formerly undefeated team that fell last week, the Raiders, lost to the Chargers on Monday. Entering Week 4, Derek Carr averaged over 400 yards passing per game, but he was held to 196 against LA. He also threw a pair of touchdown passes as well as a pick.
Las Vegas could have a rough time with Chicago’s running game.
Pick: Bears 24, Raiders 23
Cleveland (3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)
The Browns won a “dawg” fight in Minnesota, downing the Vikings 14-7. Kareem Hunt’s 1-yard plunge paired with Andy Janovich’s two-point conversion catch gave Cleveland an 8-7 lead in the second quarter. A pair of Chase McLaughlin field goals rounded out the rest of the scoring. Nick Chubb finished with 100 yards on 21 totes.
Austin Ekeler powered the Chargers to a divisional win over Las Vegas on Monday. The 26-year old running back picked up 117 yards rushing on just 15 attempts, and added 28 yards on three catches. He found the end zone twice with a 14-yard catch and an 11-yard run. Tight end Jared Cook had 70 yards and a score on six receptions.
LA will put up a good fight, but Cleveland’s defense is clicking right now.
Pick: Browns 20, Chargers 17
New York Giants (1-3) at Dallas (3-1)
Daniel Jones was the only passer to reach 400 yards last week as he totaled 402 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in the Giants’ come-from-behind overtime win over New Orleans. Saquon Barkley scored a pair of TDs – a 54-yard catch and the game-winning 6-yard run – while tallying 74 yards on five catches and 52 yards on 13 carries.
The Cowboys racked up 245 yards on the ground in their win over Carolina. Ezekiel Elliott led the way with 143 yards and a score on 20 carries. Dak Prescott threw for 188 yards with four touchdowns and zero picks.
The Dallas offense is a force right now.
Pick: Cowboys 37, Giants 25
San Francisco (2-2) at Arizona (4-0)
Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a calf injury in the 49ers’ loss to Seattle. Garoppolo hit Ross Dwelley for a 21-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter to put San Francisco up 7-0 and finished with 165 yards and an interception. Deebo Samuel had a 76-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the third quarter and added an 8-yard TD catch in the fourth. Samuel had eight catches for 156 yards in all.
Following their 37-20 dismantling of the Rams, the Cardinals sit atop the standings as the league’s only undefeated team. Kyler Murray threw for 268 yards and two scores. Chase Edmonds took 12 carries for 120 yards while James Conner found the end zone twice to go along with his 50 yards on 18 rushes.
Arizona will remain unbeaten.
Pick: Cardinals 35, 49ers 23
Buffalo (3-1) at Kansas City (2-2)
The Bills’ defense toyed with Houston in their 40-0 blanking of the Texans. Buffalo won the total yardage battle 450-109, including a 251-61 edge in passing yards. The Bills’ defense came away with four interceptions and a fumble recovery. Josh Allen found tight end Dawson Knox for both of his touchdown passes as the QB totaled 248 yards and was picked once. Stefon Diggs hauled in seven catches for 114 yards.
In the Chiefs’ win over Philadelphia, Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdown passes, including three to Tyreke Hill. Mahomes had 278 yards and an interception as well. Hill finished with 186 yards on 11 grabs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire took 14 carries for 102 yards and had a 1-yard touchdown catch.
In a potential AFC Championship game preview, it’s hard to argue taking KC at home.
Pick: Chiefs 32, Bills 27
Indianapolis (1-3) at Baltimore (3-1) – Monday
Carson Wentz finally got a win as a Colt – against the Jacoby Brissett-led Dolphins. Wentz tossed a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Mo Alie-Cox and totaled 228 yards through the air. Jonathan Taylor rumbled his way to 103 yards on 16 carries.
A controversial call on the final play of the Ravens’ win over previously unbeaten Denver stole the headlines. Up 23-7 with three seconds left, the Ravens ran the ball rather than take a knee to increase their rushing total from 97 yards to 102, marking the 43rd consecutive game reaching 100 yards on the ground, tying the mark set by the 1974-77 Steelers. Understandably, the Broncos players and coaches were livid at the decision. Lamar Jackson threw for 316 yards and a touchdown in the game.
That record will likely sit at 44 soon as Baltimore is clearly better than Indy.
Pick: Ravens 41, Colts 21