Best NFL Straight Up Picks Week 4 2021
Jaguars vs. Bengals
The Jaguars haven’t been nearly the team that everybody was expecting at the start of the new year. Urban Meyer really hasn’t transitioned well from college to the pros, which has hurt a lot of areas on their team. Specifically, James Robinson. They just don’t feel like utilizing him anymore, and without a strong run game Trevor Lawrence is left to throw the ball 40 times a game. Meanwhile, the Bengals have Joe Mixon to take some pressure off of Joe Burrow’s shoulders. Their defense is also significantly better than Jacksonville’s, that just goes to show how bad their unit is. I would roll with Cincinnati all the way. Though if there were ever a time to pick an upset this might be the one to do.
Giants vs. Saints
These two teams are completely unpredictable. On one hand, you have the Daniel Jones led Giants. They haven’t been incredibly successful this year, but their offense has shown flashes of greatness. Their defense has struggled but that is because their offense has a tendency to leave them out on the field too long. Then the Saints are led by Jameis Winston. Winston, much like Jones, has shown MVP ability at times but it just isn’t consistent enough. However, their defense is fantastic when they are healthy. The Giants could be in line to pull off an upset, but I feel like the Saints defense is going to cause Jones more problems than Winston is going to have against New York’s defense.
Chiefs vs. Eagles
This game shouldn’t need much explanation. The Chiefs are a fantastic football team top to bottom while the Eagles have battled inconsistency. Patrick Mahomes has proven time and time again that he is arguably the best quarterback in the league right now with tremendous weapons. The Eagles haven’t looked bad at all to start this season but to beat the Chiefs they are going to need to be a lot more than okay. It’s just too difficult to pick against Mahomes and company on any occasion.
Texans vs. Bills
Don’t get me wrong, the Texans have been surprising this year under Tyrod Taylor. However, he isn’t going to be starting in this game once again. Without Taylor this offense looks a lot different. Their defense isn’t strong enough to hold the Buffalo Bills offense, which means whoever gets the start at quarterback will have to outduel Josh Allen to win this game. So far it seems likely that their rookie Davis Mills will be getting another chance to start. It’s already difficult to score more points than the Allen led Buffalo offense, now throw in a rookie quarterback and this game might not be close at all.
Panthers vs. Cowboys
I am super excited to see this game. It isn’t the most hyped up game in the league this week, but it is an intriguing matchup between two offenses with a number of weapons. Carolina can’t be counted out because they have played great this year, especially with Sam Darnold and Chirstian McCaffrey forming a terrific backfield. The Cowboys on the other hand have tremendously improved their defense this season and with a healthy Dak Prescott, there is a lot to like about this roster. Neither defense is excellent, but they both get the job done, which means this will likely come down to which offense comes in more prepared. Personally, this game is a toss up and could go either way. At the end of the day though, I like the Cowboys here due to the leadership that Prescott brings to this roster, he’s always a spark that pushes his team over the edge.
Browns vs. Vikings
The Vikings have shown some offensive talent but that just won’t be enough here. Yes, they have weapons all across the field, but their defense hasn’t been able to stop a fly this season. Cleveland is amazing at controlling the clock and dominating time of possession, something that Minnesota has to win or else it will be a blowout. Cleveland’s defense hasn’t been like everybody had hoped to start the year, but they are still leaps and bounds ahead of wherever the Vikings stands. I have to go with the Browns here.
Colts vs. Dolphins
This is a tricky game to predict. Neither team has a truly reliable quarterback heading into this. Carson Wentz and Tua Tagovailoa are both dealing with their own injuries that could keep them each out of the game. Assuming they both can’t get onto the field; we have to look at the overall rosters these teams have. From what I’ve seen this year so far, I can say that I have more confidence in the Colts than the Dolphins. Indianapolis has kept it close against a couple of talented teams while Miami was dominated by a division opponent pretty easily. I like the Colts here.
Titans vs. Jets
This is a game that shouldn’t take much thought to predict. The Titans defense may be absolutely atrocious right now, but their offense is undeniably one of the best groups in the league. Meanwhile, the Jets can’t seem to put any points on the board offensively. Zach Wilson has been constantly under duress, causing him to throw interception after interception. It doesn’t help that their running game is non-existent either. Take the Titans with absolute confidence.
Lions vs. Bears
Here we have another matchup with a tricky quarterback situation. Andy Dalton is relatively healthy, but will Justin Fields get yet another start? Either way, the Bears have been the better team all year long. Yes, the Lions and Jared Goff have shown flashes of brilliance throughout their early games but that hasn’t been sustained long enough to win consistently. Their defense has also been terrible while Chicago defeated the Bengals two weeks ago purely because of their defense. I would take the Bears.
Football Team vs. Falcons
I absolutely love the weapons that the Falcons have on offense but let’s face it, they just aren’t going to have much success against the Football Team this week. Washington has one of the best overall defenses in the league, led by a dominant pass rusher group. Pass rush is one area specifically that Atlanta hasn’t been able to stop on offense, which has killed their momentum on numerous occasions throughout the year. Washington may not have as talented and consistent of an offense, but that defense will win them this game.
Cardinals vs. Rams
This is the most hyped up game of the week and for good reason. Two of the best performing teams in the league with incredibly talented rosters. Both teams could have legitimate MVP candidate quarterbacks by the time this year is done. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins have been as exciting to watch as Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. Then defensively, Chandler Jones and JJ Watt and rivaled the duo of Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald. As I mentioned before, division rivalries are usually wildly difficult to predict. However, I think that the Rams are going to steal this first matchup. It won’t be easy, and I don’t think that either team wins both games this season, but the Rams should be able to get this first win.
Seahawks vs. 49ers
The Seahawks shouldn’t have lost their game against the Titans two weeks ago, without that they could be thought of as one of the best teams in the league. Russell Wilson has been great, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Chris Carson have been excellent as well. They just have some inconsistencies defensively, much like the 49ers have offensively. Jimmy Garoppolo will be starting this game and he has actually been surprisingly average. Deebo Samuel has been fantastic and their defense has had their fair share of ups and downs. These two are known for having very close games that come down to the wire, but I am going to roll with Wilson and the Seahawks. He is just playing at such a high level right now.
Steelers vs. Packers
We have an interesting one here. The Steelers could be playing this matchup without Ben Roethlisberger, as he is still dealing with a minor injury. Mason Rudolph is a wild card so nobody really knows what we could see from him week to week. However, this Pittsburgh defense is phenomenal and considered one of the best in the league for a reason. Though, I see them having some difficulty containing such an explosive Green Bay offense that has really grown since the beginning of the year. Aaron Rodgers looks back on his MVP path with Davante Adams and Aaron Jones at his side, but their defense is mediocre at best. It’s going to be great offense against great defense. I usually roll with the side of defense but in this one Rodgers and the Packers will get their win.
Ravens vs. Broncos
Both of these teams have honestly been seriously impressive. The Ravens have dealt with so many brutal injuries and yet are still competing in every game thanks to Lamar Jackson. Then you have the Broncos, who did have a pretty easy schedule and yet are dominating defensively. Jackson and the Ravens will be their steepest test yet, and as much as I love their defense, they won’t be able to win this game. Teddy Bridgewater has been great this year and has helped them win ball games, but he doesn’t have that explosiveness that Jackson brings to Baltimore. It’ll be a defense-oriented game here, but the Ravens have a much more well-rounded offense.
Buccaneers vs. Patriots
Tom Brady returns to face his former team. The Buccaneers are absolutely loaded with talent and have the same roster as last year, quite literally. Brady is getting the most out of this team and they are flying high on both sides of the field. The Patriots are kind of a mixed bag but have seen great improvement out of their rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Jones seems like he is fitting right into this offense and their running back room is seriously helping to ease some of his growing pains. New England has something special brewing once again, but this time I don’t think that they will be able to grab a win. Let’s face it, Brady is going to be back in his old stadium, against his old team and coach, playing the man who is hoping to take his former job. I think he is going to be more than motivated to not only win this game but absolutely dominate every aspect of it.
Raiders vs. Chargers
Yet another division game that could honestly go either way. The Raiders have caught the world off guard, winning tough game after tough game. Somehow, their defense went from a laughingstock to one of the best groups in the league over one offseason. Their offense behind Derek Carr and Darren Waller has also improved. The Chargers are equally improved all around also, with a far better offensive line and some defensive weapons back healthy and ready to go. The Raiders have constantly been proving their doubters wrong, but I just have always been a fan of this Chargers squad. They have so much talent, they just have to figure out a way to avoid losing one possession games. They pulled a win out in Week 1 against Washington though, maybe their new head coach can help flip that script in this game. I am rolling with the Chargers in this one.