NFL picks Week 4: Lions-Bears and every other game

Jan 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) directs his offense against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) directs his offense against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

While the Green Bay Packers sit on bye, which teams will emerge Week 4 of the NFL season victorious?

An early, yet much needed bye week awaits the Packers, sat at 2-1 on the season. Will division rivals Minnesota be handed its first loss, and can Chicago get its first win over the 1-2 Lions?

Let’s take a look at each game on the menu this weekend, the only week without Packers football until at least January.

Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals

Miami (1-2) is not a good football team. Cincinnati (1-2) has made a slow start, but they will be too strong for the Dolphins at home.

Pick: Cincinnati 28, Miami 10

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (London)

This game has particular interest for me as it takes place in the UK, and it should be an exciting game. Jacksonville (0-3) were the offseason darlings, but a poor start gets worse at ‘home’ to Indianapolis.

Pick: Indianapolis 30, Jacksonville 20

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots

New England (3-0) has won despite losing Tom Brady for a quarter of the season. Who would have thought they would welcome Brady back at 4-0? This Buffalo (1-2) team isn’t stopping them, no matter the quarterback.

Pick: New England 23, Buffalo 14

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

Houston (2-1) is without J.J. Watt for at least the remainder of the season, but they will get back on track after an awful display in New England last week. The 10-day break helps them, and they roll past the AFC South’s worst team.

Pick: Houston 27, Tennessee 10

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Chicago (0-3) has been the worst team in the league through three games. A stuttering offense has been held up by a rebuilding defense, which is now decimated with injuries. It’s hard to see this Lions (1-2) offense not moving the ball for fun.

Pick: Detroit 32, Chicago 20

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Carolina (1-2) has disappointed to date, losing more games in three weeks than they did all of last year. Atlanta (2-1) owns the league’s No. 1 offense, but it runs into trouble against a rebounding Panthers team.

Pick: Carolina 30, Atlanta 27

Seattle Seahawks at New York Jets

Seattle (2-1) may hit a banana skin in Week 4 during its visit to New York. Russell Wilson is banged up, and the Jets (1-2) boast one of the league’s best defensive lines, capable of dominating the Seahawks’ poor offensive line. If the Jets can disrupt the Hawks offensively, this game will be very close.

Pick: New York 17, Seattle 14

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore (3-0) feels like the worst of the undefeated teams, and a defeat finally arrives at the hands of Derek Carr and a Raiders (2-1) looking for a third win on the year.

Pick: Oakland 27, Baltimore 20

Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins

Cleveland (0-3) keeps finding Cleveland ways to lose, while Washington (1-2) looks to steady the ship after a rough start. It’s hard to see the Browns, with all their injuries, taking a game on the road against this strong offense.

Pick: Washington 28, Cleveland 17

Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston has been an exciting player to watch for his good play and poor play. This will be his toughest test to date, and it’s one I don’t see him passing. Denver (3-0) stays undefeated.

Pick: Denver 20, Tampa Bay 14

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

Is Arizona (1-2) simply in an early-season funk, or is this team not very good? Sunday may give us the answer. For now, I can’t see them dropping another at home.

Pick: Arizona 23, Los Angeles 9

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

Dallas (2-1) has played well without Tony Romo, and a favorable road game gives them a great opportunity to win a third and keep the pressure on Philadelphia, who sit on their bye week.

Pick: Dallas 24, San Francisco 20

New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers

Drew Brees takes on his former backup at San Diego (1-2). These two quarterbacks deserve better from their teams, but on this day it’s Philip Rivers taking advantage of an awful New Orleans (0-3) defense.

Pick: San Diego 42, New Orleans 27

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

This is a tough game to call. We could see the return of both Jamaal Charles and Le’Veon Bell, but how much of the ball will either back see? After a slip-up at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (2-1) gets back on track at home.

Pick: Pittsburgh 32, Kansas City 27

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings

Mike Zimmer has done an outstanding job with this Minnesota (3-0) team, despite losing their QB, RB and LT. Sam Bradford is playing well considering the short time he’s had to learn the offense, but it’s the defense winning the day for the Vikings. At home, against an improved yet still flawed Giants (2-1) team, the Vikings pull it out.

Pick: Minnesota 20, New York 17