Gerry Dulac's NFL Forecast: Week 4

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

Last week: 8-8 (.500)

Season record: 30-18 (.625

THURSDAY

San Francisco 49ers (1-2) at St. Louis Rams (1-2), 8:30 p.m.

The Skinny: What happened to that revolutionary offense with Colin Kaepernick? The 49ers have managed just 10 points in the past eight quarters in losses to the Seahawks and Colts. If you think it might get easier against the Rams, consider that the 49ers did not beat them in two meetings last season (0-1-1). But, like the 49ers, the Rams have lost two in a row after an opening victory.

Prediction: 49ers, 24-20

SUNDAY

Steelers (0-3) at Minnesota Vikings (0-3), 1 p.m., London, England

The Skinny: Unable to win in the U.S. in 2013, maybe the Steelers' fortunes will change in a new country. Crazy as it sounds, they are actually improving each week, especially on offense. Unlike the Steelers, the Vikings take the ball away (10). Like the Steelers, they give it away, too (10). What better place for Big Ben to stand tall and ring loud against one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

Prediction: Steelers, 30-20

Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Buffalo Bills (1-2), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Here's a novel idea when you're offense is struggling: Try helping them out with an interception return and punt return for touchdown. That's what the Ravens did to come back and beat the Texans. The Bills have been sneaky competitive with rookie QB E.J. Manuel.

Prediction: Ravens, 27-21

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-2), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: OK, the Bengals had four turnovers and let the Packers score 30 unanswered points. But they were able to win because they had four takeaways -- imagine that! -- including the go-ahead fumble return for touchdown. Maybe the Browns should consider shaking up their team more often.

Prediction: Bengals, 20-17

Chicago Bears (3-0) at Detroit Lions (2-1), 1 p.m. -- If the Lions want to rebound from last season and be contenders again in the NFC North, they have to start with a victory against the Bears. If their front four wasn't good enough, rookie DE Ziggy Ansah had two sacks last week against the Redskins. But QB Jay Cutler is 7-1 against the Lions since coming to the Bears.

Prediction: Lions, 27-24

Seattle Seahawks (3-0) at Houston Texans (2-1), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Seahawks have won eight regular-season games in a row, outscoring the opponent by an average score of 35-11 during that streak. After two comeback wins on the final play to start the season, the Texans couldn't come back against the Ravens. Could this be a Super Bowl preview?

Prediction: Texans, 17-16

Indianapolis Colts (2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: All of a sudden, Andrew Luck has some running back weapons with Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw. And they came in handy in the Colts' impressive victory in San Francisco. The Jaguars, meantime, didn't fare well in Seattle. This locale probably won't matter, either.

Prediction: Colts, 30-15

New York Giants (0-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-0), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Chiefs are only the fifth team in NFL history to start 3-0 after losing at least 14 games the previous season. They haven't started 4-0 since they began the 2003 season with a 9-0 run. That is probably not good news for the Giants, who make as many mistakes as the Steelers.

Prediction: Chiefs, 24-21

Arizona Cardinals (1-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Cardinals stayed in Florida this week rather than return home after their loss in New Orleans, hoping to minimize their travel to get ready for the Buccaneers. But, the way Tampa Bay is performing, the Cardinals might have been able to fly to London and back and still beat the Bucs, who have scored an NFC-low 34 points.

Prediction: Cardinals, 17-16

New York Jets (2-1) at Tennessee Titans (2-1), 4:05 p.m.

The Skinny: OK, which is more surprising -- the Jets being 2-1 with Geno Smith or the Titans being 2-1 with Jake Locker? Smith had 331 passing yards and two TDs in last week's victory against the Bills, but the Jets were penalized 20 times. Only the IRS finds that many infractions in one day.

Prediction: Titans, 21-20

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Denver Broncos (3-0), 4:25 p.m.

The Skinny: The Eagles lead the NFC in total offense, averaging 461.7 yards per game with Chip Kelly's revolutionary offense. The Broncos lead the NFL in scoring and total offense, averaging 42.3 points and 486.7 yards per game with Peyton Manning's classic air attack. Two ways to get it done, one more reliable than the other.

Prediction: Broncos, 41-27

Washington Redskins (0-3) at Oakland Raiders (1-2), 4:25 p.m.

The Skinny: The 3 in RG3 stands for the number of losses Robert Griffin III has already endured this season, causing the D.C. crowd to wonder if he is indeed ready to play after his ACL surgery. Too bad Terrelle Pryor (concussion) can't remember anything about the Broncos game because he looked really good, completing 68 percent of his passes for 281 yards and a 73-yard TD.

Prediction: Raiders, 24-23

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-2), 4:25 p.m.

The Skinny: Word of caution to the faint-of-heart: Do not follow the Chargers. They lost to Houston on the final play and last week to the Titans with 15 seconds remaining. Their victory against the Eagles was decided with :07 remaining. They should change the helmet logo from a lightning bolt to a defibrillator.

Prediction: Chargers, 28-27

New England Patriots (3-0) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2), 8:30 p.m.

The Skinny: It is not uncommon to see the Patriots at the top of the AFC East with an unbeaten record. But it is uncommon to see them averaging less than 20 points a game, especially against the Bills, Jets and Buccaneers, teams with a combined three victories. What is really uncommon is Atlanta's sub-.500 record.

Prediction: Falcons, 31-23

MONDAY

Miami Dolphins (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-0), 8:40 p.m.

The Skinny: The Dolphins and Saints are among the early-season surprises, along with the Chiefs -- unbeaten teams that didn't make the playoffs last season. The Dolphins haven't started 4-0 in almost 20 years, since 1995. What's more, a pair of former Steelers -- Mike Wallace and childhood friend Keenan Lewis -- will enjoy facing each other in their hometown.

Prediction: Saints, 27-23

mobilehome - dulacspicks

Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here