Four weeks in, we've already got some upsets, some undefeated teams, and some huge victories over strong teams. But still, this is week four, and it's a completely different ballgame this week.
Last week, for the most part, I did pretty well in my predictions, but I could still mess up big time this week. Let's see how I do:
1 PM GAMES:
Packers vs. Da Bears:
Who Should Win: Packers. I know they haven't had the greatest last few weeks, but they're still a decent team, and Rodgers is still having a pretty nice season. Besides, this week they're against a not-as-confident-as-Detroit-is Bears team, so they could have an easier time. Only problem is that both of these teams are in the middle of the NFC North, and neither one is particularly impressive this year. I'm saying the Packers are the potential favorite because of their past wins.
Who Will Win: Packers. I think this game will be very close, and I think Chicago will start the game with a huge lead, and the Packers will pull something together in the fourth. This rivalry provides for a lot of close games like that. Hopefully, this one is a Packer victory, though it could go either way.
Overall: Packers over Bears.
Bills vs. Texans:
Who Should Win: Bills. These are two perplexing, middle of the pack teams, that are playing each other this week. Both have won and lost games, and can be perceived as loose cannons in surefire spots. I'm going to say that EJ Manuel is currently playing slightly better than Ryan Fitzpatrick, which isn't to say that Fitz is a bad QB. Also, I feel like this is a Bills squad that could go somewhere big in the division this year. I don't know if it will, but it could.
Who Will Win: Bills. Texans will fight hard, but they're missing a lot of their key players, and it's going to show. Bills have a lot of youth that will likely do some damage this year.
Overall: Bills over Texans.
Titans vs. Colts:
Who Should Win: Colts. I have a feeling that this Colts squad is going to do a lot of really good things this year, and by that I mean they're going to get further than the first round of the playoffs. They have that kind of potential, to not just be a modest team, but a great team. Plus, I like Andrew Luck. He's good for the team. The Titans are starting Charlie Whitehurst instead of Jake Locker, which is an "ABOUT DAMN TIME" moment for the team, as Locker's been disappointing since his call up. While the Titans have a few stragglers, and a few players that are alright, they don't have the foundation that Indianapolis has.
Who Will Win: Colts. It might not be too close, and it might not be that much of a high-scoring game, but either way, this should be an easy victory for the Colts.
Overall: Colts over Titans
Panthers vs. Ravens:
Who Should Win: Ravens. Both teams are strong, but the Panthers have been losing a lot of strong pieces, as Cam Newton has been on-and-off, and they've lost a lot of momentum that they had last year. Meanwhile, the Ravens have gained so much more momentum after their comparatively down year last year, gaining a lot of players who still know what they're doing. Flacco has been consistent this year, too. Besides, the Ravens lost one of their best players to scandal, and unlike the Dolphins, they're still battling on through it all, and winning a lot of crucial matches.
Who Will Win: Ravens. Here, it looks like the Ravens are the better team, though the Panthers have a chance of defying my expectations and squeezing in. The game will likely be close for a while, and the Ravens will likely pull out halfway through.
Overall: Ravens over Panthers.
Lions vs. Jets:
Okay, funny story, first. I'm going to college in Westchester, NY, which is basically Giants-Jets territory, and they're all diehard about it. My history professor came in Monday with a Jets tie, and ended class five minute early because he needed to get home, as "the Jets are playing Monday Night tonight".
Who Should Win: Lions. Unless the Packers divvie up some kind of late rally, like last year, the Lions will be dominating the North this year, and they have the exact right squad for it, even without Ndamukong Suh, who is likely leaving after this week. They have a monster squad, and Matt Stafford is FINALLY playing like an Elite QB, which is fantastic. This week they're facing a subpar Jets roster. No contest.
Who Will Win: Jets. I wonder if the Jets will get so desperate that they'll have to bring in Michael Vick. And then they'll probably get so desperate that they'll wish they still had Tim Tebow.
Overall: Lions over Jets.
Buccaneers vs. Steelers:
If you guys want proof that the NFL just gave the Steelers the easiest schedule in the world, look no further than this matchup, as well as the last couple. Man, oh man.
Who Should Win: Steelers.
Who Will Win: Steelers. Josh McCown is gonna face palm so hard.
Overall: Steelers over Bucs. It's gonna be so embarrassing.
Dolphins vs. Raiders:
Who Should Win: Raiders. I really don't know how else to say this, but POOR OAKLAND. So many years of having a good roster, and then everything just crashing and burning immediately out of the gate. This year...my gosh. It just keeps getting worse. Not even Khalil Mack and Derek Carr could help. However, unlike last week, this is not an unbeatable team. The Dolphins have some flaws, and Tannehill is not looking too great. So, this looks like it could happen.
Who Will Win: Dolphins. Which is why it probably won't.
Overall: Dolphins over Raiders.
4 PM GAMES:
Jaguars vs. Chargers:
I mean...did they even mean to make this remotely close??
Who Should Win: Chargers
Who Will Win: Chargers. When the Chargers end up getting the Wild Card again, look to easy games like these.
Overall: Chargers over Jags.
Falcons vs. Vikings:
Who Should Win: Falcons. All they needed was a splash of youth, and the Falcons are back at it. Matt Ryan is playing well again, the rookies are working, and the acquisitions are definitely helping. It may have just been the Hard Knocks stint that revitalized these guys. Either way, they're back, and they're killing it.
Who Will Win: Falcons. This shouldn't be too difficult. Vikings have already had to resort to Teddy Bridgewater, after discovering the shocking fact that Matt Cassel isn't a very reliable QB. The Vikes are falling apart, especially with the whole AP thing. The Falcons will definitely take advantage of this.
Overall: Falcons over Vikings.
Eagles vs. 49ers:
Who Should Win: Niners. Yeah, this game is going to be painful. The Niners are still a strong team, and Kaepernick is still throwing bombs out there. The Eagles, by comparison, aren't very well developed, and are a bit weak. I have a feeling the first quarter is going to be vicious, and the Niners will put up a good 21 points right off the bat. And it's going to suck for all of the Eagles fans.
Who Will Win: Eagles. Now...it may take a while, but the Eagles might be able to break through. The Niners have lost some games this year. They're not as strong as they were in 2012. The Eagles, on the other hand, are stronger than ever. I'm not just saying this because I'm an Eagles fan. I'm saying this because I mean it. This game is going to be close, but the Eagles are going to win, somehow.
Overall: Eagles over Niners.
Saints vs. Cowboys:
...oh, come on now.
Who Should Win: Saints
Who Will Win: Saints
Overall: Saints over Cowboys.
(UPDATE: Well, that's what I get for giving a four-word kiss-off to a matchup that I thought was self-explanatory. Sorry if I pissed off any Cowboys fans.)
I'll fill in the Monday night matchup later.
Those are some bold predictions, and let's see them hit the wall.