NFL Contenders and Pretenders for Week 4
There's a mess of 1-2 and 2-1 teams in the NFL right now, and we've got your picks for Week 4 to win those Pick X contests.
Entering Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season at least nine teams will have a record of 1-2: New England, the New York Jets, Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Chargers, the New York Giants, and Arizona. If the Bengals beat the L.A. Rams on MNF, they will become teams #10 and #11 to enter Week 4 at 1-2.
But which of these teams is just off to a bad start and which has a Week 4 matchup they can capitalize on to help you win your weekly Pick X contest on Splash picking straight-up winners? Let’s get into it!
Atlanta (2-1) @ Jacksonville (1-2)
Both teams are coming off tough Week 3 losses: Atlanta fell 6-20 vs. Detroit, and Jacksonville got hammered by Houston at home, losing 17-37 in a shocker. The Falcons are still in contention for a share of the NFC South lead, while Jacksonville now sits third in the AFC South. On paper, Jacksonville is the better team, but they aren’t playing like it so far in 2023. The Jaguars point differential thus far is -17, while the Falcons are +1. To say this is a must-win game for Jacksonville is an understatement, but this team just doesn’t look right to me. Pick the Atlanta Falcons.
Cincinnati (0-2) @ Tennessee (1-2)
If Joe Burrow still looks wonky on MNF, the Bengals will start 0-3, giving them about a 2.5% chance of making the playoffs based on historical data. Tennessee looked very sketchy on the road to a middling Cleveland Browns team in Week 3, allowing 27 points while putting up just 3, to give the Titans a -22 point differential on the season. That’s compared to the Bengals -24. What looked in preseason like a pretty good game now seems like it’ll be a pretty ugly one. That said, if Burrow’s not healthy, there’s no way I can call it for the Bengals. Pick the Tennessee Titans.
Pittsburgh (2-1) @ Houston (1-2)
Who doesn’t love it when a rookie QB leads their squad to a big road win? That’s exactly what Houston QB C.J. Stroud did in Week 1 (he already looks like the most complete rookie QB of 2023; far better than Bryce Young). That said, it’s the Steelers coming to visit next week and this is a team that - even with a minus 14 point differential on the season - has looked pretty good the past two weeks in wins over Cleveland and Las Vegas. I’ll be cheering for Stroud and the Texans because I love that storyline but my money will be laid on the other side: Pick the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Las Vegas (1-2) @ Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)
This is an early season divisional matchup between two teams with the same record but, I think, wholly different momentum and trajectories. After managing just a 1 point win over the lowly Denver Broncos in Week 1, Las Vegas has dropped back-to-back games vs. the Bills and Steelers, posting a -33 point differential in the process. The Chargers, meanwhile, lost a pair of squeakers to the mighty Dolphins in Week 1 and the Titans in Week 2, before finally posting a 28-24 win against a sketchy Minnesota Vikings squad in Week 3. Neither is great so far in 2023, but going into Week 4, LAC is the more complete team. Pick the Los Angeles Chargers.
New England (1-2) @ Dallas (2-1)
New England managed to grab its first win of 2023 in Week 3, holding on to beat the New York Jets 15-10. Dallas managed to embarrass themselves by losing handily to the formerly winless Arizona Cardinals 16-28, despite having one of the top offenses in the league up until that point. Dak Prescott and Dallas ALWAYS collapse at some point but usually not quite this early in the season. Can the Cowboys bounce back against the much weaker Patriots in Week 4, or will Bill Belichick come to town and out-maneuver Mike McCarthy? I don’t like Dallas but I can’t deny they are the better team on paper. I hate to say it, but: Pick the Dallas Cowboys.
Arizona (1-2) @ San Francisco (3-0)
On any given Sunday, any team in the NFL can beat another. The Cardinals proved that in Week 3 with their homefield drubbing of the quixotic Dallas Cowboys; Houston and Indianapolis proved the same with their wins. That said, do the Cardinals really have what it takes to go to Santa Clara, line-up man for man, and beat Brock Purdy, CMCIII, Deebo Samuel, and the entirety of the 49ers defense? In theory, yes. In reality, no. Don’t shoot the messenger, Cards fans. Pick the San Francisco 49ers.
Kansas City (2-1) @ New York Jets (1-2)
After a tough Week 1 road loss to the Detroit Lions early season hype train, the Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs went on to beat the Jaguars and lay a thumping on the Chicago Bears, for a season-to-date point differential of +38, good for sixth highest in the league so far. After a surprising Week 1 win over Buffalo, the Zach Wilson-led New York Jets went on to losses versus the Cowboys and Patriots, for a season-to-date point differential of -19, which is eighth worst in the league thus far. I think you can see where I am going with this. Pick the Kansas City Chiefs.
Seattle (2-1) @ New York Giants (1-2)
After stumbling in Week 1 versus the surprising Los Angeles Rams, the Seahawks offense found its legs, going on to post 37 points each week in back-to-back wins over the Detroit Lions (a road game) and Carolina Panthers. The Giants defense on the other hand has been abysmal to start the season, yielding a total of 101 points combined to the Cowboys, Cardinals and 49ers, landing the Giants with the third worst point differential in the league after only the Broncos and Bears. If you’re not a Giants fan, you probably already know: Pick the Seattle Seahawks.
The best gameplay on planet earth
Enhance the enjoyment of sports through collaboration with others
Make every game more fun
Enhance the enjoyment of sports through collaboration with othersexplore more