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NFL Picks: Every Game, Week 4


A quick look at every game on the NFL schedule for Week 4, along with the consensus pick of Athlon Sports editors Mitchell Light, Rob Doster, Nathan Rush, Patrick Snow and Steven Lassan:

Lions (3-0) at Cowboys (2-1)
Is it Thanksgiving already? These traditional Turkey Day hosts square off in the NFC’s game of the week. Big D better be ready for Dallas native Matthew Stafford — who has thrown for 977 yards, nine TDs and two INTs this season.
Lions by 1

Steelers (2-1) at Texans (2-1)
Houston continues to have a problem closing out high-pressure games against elite teams. Last week, Gary Kubiak’s club allowed a Texas-sized 23 fourth-quarter points during a 40–33 loss to Drew Brees’ Saints. This week, Wade Phillips’ defense will look to apply pressure on Big Ben Roethlisberger, who will be playing behind a severely banged-up O-line.
Texans by 1

49ers (2-1) at Eagles (1-2)
Mike Vick’s headache is gone but he has a bruised hand; Vince Young’s hamstring feels better but he has a doppelganger on the loose. Regardless of QB issues, Philly needs this win.
Eagles by 5

Vikings (0-3) at Chiefs (0-3)
The Vikings’ ship just won’t hold water. In three losses, Minnesota has a combined 44–7 lead in the first half but trails 67–6 after opponents’ halftime adjustments. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are falling apart without running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry, arguably the team’s top two playmakers. On the bright side, one of the NFL’s five remaining winless teams will earn a victory this week.
Vikings by 4

Redskins (2-1) at Rams (0-3)
Sam Bradford’s sophomore slump has to end. Catching Washington on a short week after a tough loss could be just what St. Louis needs.
Rams by 1

Bills (3-0) at Bengals (1-2)
Cincy coach Marvin Lewis gave the roaming Buffalo some bulletin board material this week. “At the end of the week, when we’re 2–2,” Lewis said, implying the guaranteed victory vs. a Bills squad fresh off a win over the Pats.
Bills by 5

Titans (2-1) at Browns (2-1)
Two of the top left tackles in the game today — Tennessee’s Michael Roos and Cleveland’s Joe Thomas — will be on display in what could be an ugly, grind-it-out contest. Titans veteran Matt Hasselbeck has taken only four sacks; Browns second-year gunslinger Colt McCoy has hit the turf for lost yards only three times.
Titans by 2

Saints (2-1) at Jaguars (1-2)
These two squads have gone in opposite directions since Week 1. New Orleans has looked like a Super Bowl contender since losing at Green Bay; Jacksonville has looked lost since taking down Tennessee.
Saints by 9

Panthers (1-2) at Bears (1-2)
First-year Carolina coach Ron Rivera returns to Chicago, where he won Super Bowl XX as a linebacker and coached for five seasons.
Bears by 7

Falcons (1-2) at Seahawks (1-2)
Matty Ice and Co. are in desperate need of a road win after losing at Chicago and Tampa. This battle of the birds should cure their jetlag.
Falcons by 7

Giants (2-1) at Cardinals (1-2)
Big Blue returns to the University of Phoenix Stadium, where they won Super Bowl XLII. But it shouldn’t take any miracle helmet-catches to secure a victory this time around.
Giants by 6

Broncos (1-2) at Packers (3-0)
Denver’s 28th-ranked rushing game (76.0 ypg) should fit in against Green Bay’s top-ranked run defense (55.0 ypg).
Packers by 15

Patriots (2-1) at Raiders (2-1)
Expect to see a few dozen “Tuck Rule” replays of the infamous Charles Woodson sack on Tom Brady in the snow in the 2002 AFC Playoffs. While Bill Belichick has led the Patriots to four Super Bowl appearances since that game, the Raiders are on their sixth coach, Hue Jackson.
Patriots by 5

Dolphins (0-3) at Chargers (2-1)
The notoriously slow-starting Bolts face a Fins club that has seemingly yet to start its season. Miami’s Tony Sparano needs a win more than San Diego’s Norv Turner — but not by much.
Chargers by 8

Jets (2-1) at Ravens (2-1)
In Week 1 last year, Ray Lewis’ Ravens won a defensive battle, 10–9, quieting Rex Ryan’s Jets — whose “Hard Knocks” trash talk had grown out of control over the course of the summer. There will be plenty of yapping this week, as Ryan — who coached in Baltimore from 1999-2008 — faces his former team.
Ravens by 3

Colts (0-3) at Buccaneers (2-1)
The Tony Dungy Bowl is not what it once was. With Peyton Manning in the booth play-calling, Kerry Collins questionable after a concussion and Curtis Painter (5-of-11 for 60 yards, one lost fumble, 62.7 passer rating vs. Steelers) shaky at best, the Colts are staggering into Tampa Bay as arguably the NFL’s worst team.
Buccaneers by 8