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  • Ben Matthews

NFL Week 4 Picks: Early Games

Early Game Slate – 6pm (BST)

Seahawks (3-0) @ Dolphins (1-2)

A banged-up Miami secondary could see Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf go off. Simply the threat of this should allow the Seahawks to run at will even with Chris Carson less than 100%. The same to sentences could be said for Miami, as Fitzmagic could see some joy challenging the back end unit of Seattle – who will be missing Jamal Adams, Quinton Dunbar and Marquise Blair – but the Dolphins will not quite have enough firepower to keep up.

The pick: Seahawks 31, Dolphins 23

Browns (2-1) @ Cowboys (1-2)

The key to this game could be whether Dallas can jump out to a lead. If Dak Prescott can open up the scoreboard early and then obliterate all Cleveland hope later on via the run game and Ezekiel Elliott, then the Browns will struggle to stay competitive. Admittedly, this is a classic blueprint for which most teams strive, but there could be an upset on the cards if the Browns can manage to keep this game close throughout the first three quarters.

The pick: Cowboys 34, Browns 20

Ravens (2-1) @ Washington (1-2)

Expect the Ravens defense to confuse and befuddle Dwayne Haskins and Washington’s young offense. This is the perfect bounce back opportunity for Baltimore and they should ease to 3-1. Terry McLaurin is less than 100% and so Washington will have to rely on a less than stellar run game, resulting in long third downs that Haskins will not be able to convert. Next game please…

The pick: Ravens 41, Washington 16

Saints (1-2) @ Lions (1-2)

The Lions are a better team than their record suggests, but this is not the week to face the Saints despite absence of star wideout, Michael Thomas. New Orleans will look to continue their momentum from week 3 on offense and come out firing here, ensuring that they fall no further behind the division leading Buccaneers. There is a glimmer of hope for Detroit as the Saints defense has been less than stellar and undisciplined so far this season, but Sean Payton will ensure that these issues are cleaned up in a ‘get right’ game for Cameron Jordan and the crew.

The pick: Saints 30, Lions 17

Chargers (1-2) @ Buccaneers (2-1)

This pick would be an upset win for the Chargers IF their offensive line were fully healthy. However, Trai Turner, Bryan Bulaga and Mike Pouncey will all miss the game due to injury and so Los Angeles will struggle to contain the potentially dominant Bucs front seven. Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette will be missing for Tampa Bay and so the Chargers defense should be able to keep the matchup close, but Tom Brady will start to pull away from Justin Herbert as the game wears on.

The pick: Buccaneers 27, Chargers 13

Colts (2-1) at Bears (3-0)

As we keep saying, the Bears are easily the worst 3-0 team in the NFL, and this is the week that they will be found out. Nick Foles is not the answer as he has been given the keys to the offense and David Montgomery is not a true workhorse back that can be counted on in the absence of Tarik Cohen relieving some of the pressure. Frank Reich worked with Foles in Philly and will shut down the Bears QB unceremoniously with this excellent Colts defense. Expect Jonathan Taylor to run over the Bears as they continue their tear on the ground.

The pick: Colts 28, Bears 16

Vikings (0-3) @ Texans (0-3)

Both teams are desperate for their first wins of the season and it will be Houston who sneak the win here. Dalvin Cook is coming off a career best 180 yards on the ground last week and could continue to roll on a soft Texans run-D, but the same could also be said for David Johnson. Johnson has not had the greatest start to his Texans career, but will find joy against a Vikings defense who will be missing linebacker Anthony Barr. This is also the easiest defense that Deshaun Watson has faced this season after a brutal start, with a naive secondary that has been routinely scorched so far this year, so expect Watson to outduel Kirk Cousins in a thrilling matchup.

The pick: Texans 34, Vikings 31

Cardinals (2-1) @ Panthers (1-2)

Kawann Short could be back for the Panthers and will partner rookie Derrick Brown up the middle on Carolina’s defensive line. This will be key for the Panthers in creating pressure against the electric, but turnover prone, Kyler Murray. Teddy Bridgewater will be able to move the ball on an average Arizona secondary and this game could be closer than some expect, but Murray will make just enough plays to eke out the win, despite taking some lumps along the way.

The pick: Cardinals 31, Panthers 24

Jaguars (1-2) @ Bengals (0-2-1)

Joe Burrow will gain his first career win this weekend over Gardner Minshew, who is coming back to earth with a bump. Both defensive lines will be able to get after their opposing QBs, which could lead to a tight, low-scoring affair, but Burrow’s poise and superior talent will win through in a game between two rebuilding sides.

The pick: Bengals 19, Jaguars 16


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