NFL Week 4 Match-Ups To Watch

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 | 0

NFL Week 4

The bye week will hit the NFL hard early on this year with six teams off in Week 4. The schedule is still full of some intriguing matchups, however, as several teams try to shake off sluggish starts to the 2014 regular season.

Some teams have shot right out of the gate with impressive efforts in the early going, and will look to hold on to their leads. And then there are the teams that are simply struggling to find their identities amidst injuries, poor play, and brutal scheduling.

The NFL has been as unpredictable as usual thus far in 2014, and it will most likely stay that way. Here are four top quality matchups to keep an eye on in Week 4:


Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears:

This game is absolutely crucial for the 1-2 Packers, who need a win to quiet their critics and avoid dropping to 0-2 in the NFC North. The Pack has looked terrible in most facets of the game, with their run game nonexistent and their pass protection lackluster at best. Chicago, on the other hand, brings in the momentum of two straight wins over San Francisco and the New York Jets. They’ll have the home field advantage here, but the Packers have played far more difficult defensive units in their brutal start to the season. This should be the week that Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rodgers, and the rest of the Green Bay offense gets in gear. If not, then it may be time to worry. The Bears might be missing a key player in star wide receiver Brandon Marshall, but they still have enough weapons to torch the suspect Packers defense. This one could be a high-scoring affair, but we thought that about last week’s Green Bay vs. Detroit contest too.

Prediction: Packers 24-21


Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens:

The Panthers have a lot of question marks after their Week 2 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their once-stout run defense was exposed in a big way and is clearly suffering without star defensive end Greg Hardy in the fold. On offense, quarterback Cam Newton is dealing with a multitude of nagging injuries and is seemingly more hobbled with each passing contest. Meanwhile, Baltimore is winning in their typical fashion. But the main dynamic of this game is the return of longtime Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, who has now become the favorite target of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. He’s ready to prove that the team made a big mistake by letting him go, and if the Panthers defense plays anything like they did last week, he very well might. The Panthers have a blossoming star in receiver Kelvin Benjamin, but are suffering from some injuries at quarterback and running back. This one could be ugly, and that definitely favors Baltimore in a big way.

Prediction: Baltimore 23-20


Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers:

The Eagles have put up a ton of points with Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offensive attack, but they’ve also allowed nearly just as many through the air. They let Kirk Cousins tear them up in Week 3, so a veteran quarterback like the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick should be able to pick them apart. But Kaepernick has looked less than impressive at home lately, and the 49ers have just appeared out of sorts. Philadelphia is 3-0, but they are by no means unbeatable. If the 49ers can get back to their patented brand of hard-nosed defense and stop the Eagles’ skill players, they could be able to right the ship and silence their doubters for the time being. If not, then we could be hearing whispers about the end of head coach Jim Harbaugh’s tenure in San Francisco, despite his overall success.

Prediction: Philadelphia 31-24


New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys:

The Saints have been a bit of a disappointment this year, but they picked up their first win over Minnesota in Week 3. The Cowboys got off to a horrific star against San Francisco in Week 1, but have since rebounded with two straight victories thanks to the punishing running of lead back DeMarco Murray. Longtime quarterback Tony Romo is still getting back to full strength from offseason back surgery, and he’s stated that his strength is coming back. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and his bevy of offensive weapons should be poised to hang a ton of points up on the Cowboys’ suspect defense, which will regain formerly suspended cornerback Orlando Scandrick this weekend. If the Saints try to stack the box in an effort to stop Murray, don’ be surprised if Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant turn this into a Sunday Night Football shootout. The new look Cowboys have too many ways to win this game.

Prediction: Cowboys 35-32

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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