NFL Week 4 picks, times, channels: Steelers win AFC North shootout over Ravens, Bengals over Falcons
Wondering which NFL teams are going to win in Week 4? You've come to the right place to find out
I never thought we would live in a world where the Browns have a better record than the Patriots three weeks into the season, but here we are. It's a world I don't understand, much like the Bills don't seem to understand geography.
Of course, the Bills just pulled off the biggest upset of the past 20 years, so if they say the Vikings are located in Wisconsin, then the Vikings are located in Wisconsin. If you know anyone in Minneapolis, please let them know they now live in Minneapolis, Wisconsin.
The Bills game wasn't the only thing that was bonkers over the weekend. We also saw Drew Brees rush for two touchdowns in one game for the first time ever and we saw a possum somehow rally the Browns to their first win in 18 months. Now, I don't usually like to credit wild animals for wins, but it can't possibly be a coincidence that a possum just happened to be in attendance on the same night the Browns picked up their first win in 635 days. Everyone knows possums are good luck.
Unfortunately, this possum got treated like a second-class citizen and didn't even get to stay for the entire game.
This poor possum got treated like a drunk guy thrown out of a bar, which is absurd, because that possum didn't even look drunk at all. Instead of kicking the possum out of the stadium, the Browns should've given their little good luck charm a key to the city and free season tickets for life.
Even though he got booted from the stadium, the possum still seems to be a Browns fan, and I know that because he started a Twitter account. Sure, a possum starting a Twitter account doesn't sound believable at all, but neither does that whole thing about the Browns being better than the Patriots, but that happened. As a matter of fact, the possum PROVED exactly why the Browns are better in a tweet. I didn't even know that possums knew what the transitive property was.
That's a pretty smart possum. I'm going to see if he wants to help me with my picks next week.
Speaking of my picks, let's get to them.
Actually, before we get to my picks, here's a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. The reason you should click over and check out the other experts this week is because Will Brinson bested EVERY other media member in the country. That's right, for the second week in a row, someone at CBS Sports out-picked everyone, and let me just say that I am absolutely shocked that Brinson pulled this off.
For one, I didn't even know the guy actually put any time into his picks. Generally, Brinson spends roughly 50 percent of his week doing his hair, 10 percent of his week tweeting, 10 percent of his week podcasting and then I think the other 30 percent of his week is spent feeding his kid cupcakes.
The thing is, I'm obviously now going to have to update these percentages because Brinson is clearly spending a large portion of his week coming up with his picks. I mean, that's the only way to explain how he dominated everyone in the country over the weekend with his Week 3 picks. According to our friends at Pickwatch, Brinson's record of 11-5 was tied for the best showing out of the 117 media members they keep track of.
I wanted to give you guys his phone number so you could call him for pick advice, but apparently, that's frowned upon here. Clay Matthews isn't allowed to sack quarterbacks and I'm not allowed to give out a co-worker's phone number on the internet, some rules just make no sense. Since I can't give you Brinson's phone number, I guess I'll just give you a link to his Twitter profile so you can follow him and ask him about his NFL picks. For all you Dolphins fans reading, he actually picks your team to win sometimes, which is way more than I can say about myself.
So which teams should you back in Week 4 of the NFL season? And which team with postseason aspirations gets absolutely stunned on the road by an underdog? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has outperformed 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com the past two seasons.
Alright, let's get to the picks, and no, I'm not picking the Dolphins to win.
NFL Week 4 picks
Cincinnati (2-1) at Atlanta (1-2)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
The most shocking I've learned over the past month is that Matty Ice isn't the only nickname that Matt Ryan has in Atlanta. Apparently, Falcons fans have also started calling him "Indoor Andy," which is now officially my favorite nickname of all-time.
Although I do like the nickname for Ryan, I have to admit that "Indoor Andy" sounds more like the name of a character in a children's book who can't go out in the sun due to the fact that he has a genetic disorder. Anyway, I think the Bengals might be no board with this "Indoor Andy" thing.
They're the same quarterback! And by the same, I mean they both seem to struggle in certain oddly specific situations.
For the real Andy Dalton, most of those struggles come when the Bengals get to the playoffs. If you've seen one Bengals playoff game with Dalton, you've seen them all. For Indoor Andy, the struggles come when he faces a team from the AFC. For some reason, Matt Ryan turns into Ryan Leaf when he plays an AFC team. The Falcons are just 1-5 in their past six games against the AFC and 7-13 since the beginning of the 2013 season. This is not a playoff game, but Matt Ryan is playing an AFC team, so I know who I have to pick: Afternoon Andy. And just so there's no confusion, that's the Andy who played for the Bengals, not "Indoor Andy."
The pick: Bengals 27-24 over Falcons
Philadelphia (2-1) at Tennessee (2-1)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
I'm going to be honest here, I've whiffed on every Titans game I've picked this season. I never have any idea what they're going to do. When I think they're going to zig, they zag. When I think they're going to zag, they start Blaine Gabbert and he somehow wins two games in a row. In Week 3, they beat one of the best defenses in the NFL with an injured quarterback.
I mean, Tom Brady couldn't beat the Jaguars, but a combination of Blaine Gabbert and a barely functional Marcus Mariota had no problem. The Titans quarterback situation is so bad right now that they're literally one injury away from their season turning into the plot of "Invincible." Mike Vrable is going to have to hold open tryouts for the quarterback job if Gabbert or Mariota don't get healthier this week.
By the way, "Invincible" is my second favorite football movie behind only "Remember the Titans," and now that I'm thinking about it, that's probably a sign I should take Tennessee in this game. Normally, I ignore signs like that, but I'm 0-3 picking Titans games this year so it's probably in my best interest not to ignore anything. Based on what I've seen from these two offenses, we're going to be lucky if we see two total touchdowns on Sunday.
The pick: Titans 19-16 over Eagles
Tampa Bay (2-1) at Chicago (2-1)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Of call the crazy things that happened in Week 3, the only thing that made sense was Ryan Fitzpatrick's mini-meltdown. The only reason it wasn't a full-blown meltdown is because Fitzpatrick somehow unmelted down in the second half against the Steelers after throwing three interceptions in the first half on Monday night. Watching him throw three picks might have felt like rock bottom for Buccaneers fans, but trust me, he's not even halfway there. We won't see a full Fitzpatrick collapse until he plays a good defense, and unfortunately for the Buccaneers, that's coming this week.
The Fitzpatrick midseason collapse has been studied so closely over the years that there's now a chart so you know exactly what's coming next in the cycle.
As you can see, we're in the spot where he's "playing very well." Up next is the "get paid" slot, but he's already been paid so that means we're skipping straight to the "suck" part of the chart. If this chart is accurate -- I found it on the internet, so I'm assuming it is -- we might see a full-blown meltdown on Sunday. After studying the chart closely, I don't think seven interceptions is out of the question for this week's game.
Fitzpatrick struggled when he was under pressure against the Steelers and now he has to play against the defense that leads the NFL in sacks. At that point, the Bucs' best chance of winning will be if the officiating crew decides to throw 19 roughing-the-passer penalties on the Bears. Even though I'm predicting the full Fitzpatrick meltdown, I'm still picking a close game and that's mainly because the Bears' offense is an abomination to football.
The pick: Bears 24-23 over Buccaneers
Baltimore (2-1) at Pittsburgh (1-1-1)
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
I'm going to a bachelor party this weekend, which I'm only mentioning because the bachelor is a Steelers fan. The good news here is that I'm 99 percent sure his relationship with his fiancee is going to last longer than the one Le'Veon Bell has with the Steelers. I give that one six more weeks, max.
The relationship between Bell and the Steelers is now at the point of no return. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure the Steelers are ghosting him right now, which is usually what people do to each other after meeting on Tinder. I mean, they TOOK HIM off their online roster, which I think qualifies as the NFL's version of ghosting. By the way, if you don't know what ghosting is, that's definitely for the best.
The irony here is that Steelers are now 1-0 since removing Bell from their roster.
With Bell out, the Steelers' offensive strategy has become, "Let Ben Roethlisberger throw the ball as many times as possible." Through three weeks, Big Ben has thrown for 1,140 yards (380 yards per game), which is the fifth-highest total OF ALL TIME through three weeks. I don't think Bell's coming back, so I fully expect Roethlisberger to be putting up huge numbers every week and I especially expect him to put up a huge number this week and that's because he's playing the Ravens. Last season, Big Ben threw for 506 yards in a game against the Ravens and I'm fully convinced he can hit that number again this season since the Steelers have basically ripped the rushing portion out of their 2018 playbook.
The one thing I will say about the Ravens is that they've been unstoppable in the red zone this season. Like, NFL record unstoppable.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, this streak doesn't seem sustainable to me, and I don't see it lasting. However, one streak I do like is the Steelers' winning streak in primetime. In their past 11 night games, the Steelers have gone 11-0, including Monday's win over Tampa. I'm taking the Steelers, but only because Jeff the Bachelor promised to buy me a Smirnoff Ice this weekend if I picked them. It was a deal I couldn't possibly turn down.
The pick: Steelers 33-30 over Ravens
NFL Week 4 picks: All the rest
Packers 24-20 over Bills
Patriots 27-20 over Dolphins
Jaguars 23-16 over Jets
Raiders 23-20 over Browns
Best pick: Last week, I Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. In this example, the Chiefs were clearly Mike Tyson and the 49ers were tiny guy who gets mauled by Mike Tyson.and beat the 49ers and then the Chiefs went out and scored 38 points and beat the 49ers. Now, did I know that the Chiefs were going to score five touchdowns in the first half and put this game away by halftime? Of course I did. I played a lot of video games growing up and watching the Chiefs offense is like watching a video game come to life. The twist on Sunday though is that the video game was actually
Let's be honest here, unless the Chiefs start playing like King Hippo, no one is going to beat them.
Worst pick: Last week, I spent two paragraphs talking about how you should never pick the Raiders to win because they're the worst second-half team in the NFL, but then I picked them anyway. Well, the joke was definitely on me, because guess what happened: The worst second-half team in the NFL blew a second-half lead. A friendly Dolphins fan even tried to talk me out of taking the Raiders by pointing out the numerous flaws in my pick...
However, I didn't listen to him because: 1) You can't ever trust people on the internet and 2) I'm still mad at Dolphins fans for the time they vandalized Ray Finkle's house. That man didn't deserve that.
Bills fans didn't do that to Scott Norwood. I'm picking against the Dolphins every week for the rest of the season until someone cleans up that graffiti.
Straight up in Week 3: 8-8
SU overall: 28-18-2
Against the spread in Week 3: 8-8
ATS overall: 23-24-1
Exact score predictions: 1
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