Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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NFL Week 4 picks: Patriots stun Cowboys with upset in Dallas, Bills beat high-flying Dolphins in thriller

I’m not saying the NFL should cancel Week 4, but the NFL might want to think about canceling Week 4 because there’s no way it’s going to top the craziness of Week 3. Actually, you don’t even have to cancel it. Roger Goodell just needs to postpone Week 4 for about a month so that we can all try and process everything that happened in Week 3. 

I mean, I thought for sure that an NFL team scoring 70 points would be the biggest story of the day, but then Taylor Swift showed up at the Chiefs game, and I’d like to tell you what happened next, but I have no idea, because the internet broke. 

I have no idea what’s going on with Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, but I can tell you right now, this is going to end in one of two ways: Either they’re going to get married or Kelce is going to end up as the main subject in Taylor’s next album. There’s no in-between. 

I would love to keep talking about Taylor, but as it turns out, Goodell did not postpone Week 4, so we need to get to the picks. 

Actually, before we get to the picks, here’s a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here, but you were probably already well aware of that since I mention it every week.

One thing that I don’t mention every week is that I also write an NFL newsletter for CBS Sports and if you want so subscribe to it, you just need to go here and enter your email. If you sign up, you’ll be getting an email to your inbox every week day that’s full of football news and maybe cat pictures. 

Alright, I’m going to stop begging you to sign up for things so that we can get to the picks. 

NFL Week 4 picks

Detroit (2-1) at Green Bay (2-1)

Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET (Amazon Prime)

For the first time in NFL history, a division title is on the line in Week 4. OK, well, technically, the division title won’t be up for grabs on Thursday, but I feel like I can confidently say that the winner of this game is going going to end up winning the NFC North. The Bears are the worst team in football, so let’s go ahead and count them out. The law of averages is taking out the Vikings, who are 0-3 in one-score games after going 11-0 last year. That leaves us with these two teams battling it out for the division title. 

The Packers aren’t an easy team to figure out, because they could easily be 3-0 if they hadn’t blown a huge lead in Week 2 to the Falcons, but they also could very easily be 1-2 if the Saints hadn’t blown a huge lead in Week 3. For two quarters of every game, Jordan Love plays he’s going to be the next Aaron Rodgers. But then you have the other two quarters, where Love plays like someone who is thinking about retiring from football to raise alpacas on a farm in South America.

In Week 2, Love completed just 7 of 17 passes in the first half, which is a big reason why the Saints were able to jump out to a quick lead. If Love plays two bad quarters in this game, the Lions are going to roll to a win.  

Another problem for the Packers is that I’m not sure they’re going to be able to stop the Lions offense. For some reason, Jared Goff turns into Joe Montana whenever he plays the Packers — he’s 4-2 against Green Bay in his career with 10 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. I can’t pick against Joe Montana. 

The pick: Lions 24-17 over Packers

If you want a more detailed breakdown of Thursday night’s game, then I suggest you go to SportsLine so you can check out R.J. White’s pick. White is a gambling guru who has hit on an absurd number of Packers’ picks, going 60-21-2 against the spread in his last 83 picks involving Green Bay. It’s almost like the NFL is sending him the script for the game because he seems to know what’s happening in Packers games before they’re even played. 

Miami (3-0) at Buffalo (2-1)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

If you have anything planned for Sunday at 1 p.m., I would go ahead and cancel it now, because you definitely don’t want to miss this game. I don’t care if you’re scheduled to deliver a baby on Sunday at 1, tell the kid to wait three hours. As we all know, babies are very patient, so asking a baby to wait three more hours shouldn’t be a big deal. 

This is just the 11th game in NFL history to feature two teams that are both coming off a win of 34 points or more. I’m sure you heard about the Dolphins and the fact that they scored 70 points, but the Bills were also impressive in Week 3. Their 37-3 win over the Commanders somehow flew under-the-radar, but that’s probably because Miami’s 70-point game broke the radar. 

This game is giving us the unstoppable force (Miami’s offense) against the immovable object (Buffalo’s defense). The Dolphins have the NFL’s highest-scoring offense and they’ll be going up against a Bills defense that has surrendered the second-fewest points in the league through three weeks. 

I would break down how those two sides are going to do agianst each other, but I’m not going to, because I think this game is going to do come to the play of Josh Allen. If there is one team that Allen has absolutely dominated in his career, it’s the Dolphins. Miami just hasn’t been able to figure out how to stop Allen. It’s like asking a toddler to solve a puzzle that has 7,000 pieces. They don’t even know where to start. 

In Allen’s last 10 games against the Dolphins, including the playoffs, he’s gone 9-1 against them and the only loss was by two points. He’s thrown at least two touchdown passes in 11 straight games against the Dolphins, which is an NFL record for consecutive games with multiple touchdowns against one team. He’s averaging 276.2 passing yards per game and 52.2 rushing yards per game in his career against Miami, which makes him just one of two quarterbacks in NFL history to average at least 250 yards passing and 50 yards rushing against a single team. 

When Josh Allen plays the Dolphins, he is the unstoppable force AND the immovable object. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but if there is one thing that does make sense, it’s Allen beating the Bills. 

If the Dolphins score 70 this week, Allen will make sure the Bills score 71. 

The pick: Bills 34-31 over Dolphins

Denver (0-3) at Chicago (0-3)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Once a year, the NFL should be allowed to flex a game to 3 a.m. and this year, I think the league needs to seriously consider putting this game there so that no one has to watch it. Instead of putting it on CBS, we’ll hand it off to our corporate cousin Comedy Central and then we can all laugh together while the Broncos and Bears try to play football. I could even announce the game, but only if I’m given a bottle of tequila that I can drink while I watch. 

Trying to pick a winner in this game is like trying to pick what you want for lunch, but your only two options are grilled hamster and a rock. 

On one hand, you have Chicago. If I’ve noticed one thing about the Bears this season, it’s that they show up every week with no offensive game plan and then they make it up as they go along. Not surprisingly, this has been working out horribly for them, and to be honest, I think people are starting to notice. I mean, we’ve barely played two weeks and Justin Fields is already having an existential crisis. 

That’s what playing for the Bears does to you. 

As bad as things are going with the Bears, things aren’t much better in Denver. We’re only three games into the season and the Broncos defense is already playing like its given up all hope for the year. Giving up 70 points to the Dolphins was bad, but they also gave up 35 points to the Commanders in Week 2, which is basically the same thing as giving up 70. 

Through three weeks, the Broncos are surrendering 40.7 points per game, which makes me think the Bears offense might actually have a little bit of success on Sunday. Ha ha. I’m just kidding. The Bears offense isn’t going to have any success. We all know that. 

This is a big game for both teams, but I have to think it’s a bigger for the Broncos because the only thing more embarrassing than giving up 70 points in an NFL game is losing to the Bears. If that happens to the Broncos in consecutive weeks, they might as well just forfeit the rest of the season. The good news for Broncos is that I don’t think they’re going to need to forfeit the rest of the season. 

The pick: Broncos 27-24 over Bears

New England (1-2) at Dallas (2-1)

4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

I’m not sure what rock bottom is in the NFL, but getting blown out by the Cardinals has to be pretty close. I mean, I’d rather give up 70 points in a game than get boat raced by the Cardinals. 

As someone who picked the Cowboys to make the Super Bowl this year, I have to say, I’m highly concerned with what I’ve seen so far. Sure, they’re 2-1, but after watching them play for three weeks, I’m starting to think their offense might not be that good. I’m not sure if it’s Dak Prescott’s fault or if it’s Mike McCarthy’s fault (now that he’s calling plays), but it’s someone’s fault. 

In Week 1, the Cowboys beat the Giants 40-0, a score that makes it look like the offense had a huge game, but that’s not what happened. In that game, Dak Prescott didn’t even throw for 150 yards and he completed just 54.7% of his passes. That’s not great. 

In Week 2, the Cowboys beat the Jets 30-10. Once again, the score makes it look like the Cowboys offense rolled, but once again, that wasn’t the case. Dak was much better in that game, but the defense forced four turnovers, which is a big reason why the blowout happened. 

In Week 3, Dak got outplayed by a guy (Joshua Dobbs) who had only been with his team for ONE month before beating the Cowboys (Dobbs was traded to Arizona on Aug. 24). If your franchise QB gets outplayed by a quarterback who’s only been on his team for one month, that’s a problem. 

What I’m trying to say here is that the Cowboys offense has been struggling all season and Bill Belchick is the last guy you want to face when your offense is struggling. I mean, Belichick devised a defense that held the Dolphins to 24 points in Week 2, which right now I think qualifies as one of the best game plans in NFL history considering the Dolphins put up 70 on Sunday. 

I think Belichick out-coaches McCarthy and let’s Ezekiel Elliott score two touchdowns on his old team in a game where the Patriots pull off the upset. 

The pick: Patriots 23-20 over Cowboys

London special

Atlanta (2-1) vs. Jacksonville (1-2) in London

9:30 a.m. ET (ESPN+)

It’s officially my favorite time of year: The first London game is here. I actually used to hate London games because I live in the central time zone and they kick off at 8:30 a.m. here, but now, I have a toddler, which means I’ve usually already been awake for four hours by the time 8:30 a.m. rolls around, so now I enjoy London games. 

Also, I enjoy the London game because it’s the only Sunday every year where I have tea and crumpets for breakfast, even though I don’t really like tea and I’m still not quite sure what a crumpet is. 

This first London game this year features the Jaguars, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone since the Jags play in London every year. However, there is a small twist this year and that twist is that the Jaguars are actually playing two consecutive games in London. After facing the Falcons on Sunday, the Jags will play the Bills in England in Week 5. 

To be honest, it’s probably for the best the the Jaguars are spending so much time in London because at the rate things are going, they’re going to be moving there soon. 

For me, the pick in this game is simple: The Jaguars can stop the run and if we learned one thing about the Falcons in Week 3, it’s that they have no chance of winning if you stop them from running. 

In their two wins, the Falcons averaged 170.5 rushing yards per game. In their one loss, the Falcons were held to just 44 rushing yards. The Jags are surrendering just 84 yards per game on the ground. You do the math. 

If the Falcons can’t run, that means Desmond Ridder will have to come up big for Atlanta, and well, let’s check in and see how Falcons fans feel about him after three weeks. 

I guess that means I’m picking the Jaguars. 

The pick: Jaguars 27-20 over Falcons. 

NFL Week 4 picks: All the rest

Browns 26-23 over Ravens
Bengals 19-16 over Titans
Rams 27-20 over Colts
Buccaneers 20-16 over Saints
Eagles 27-20 over Commanders
Vikings 30-20 over Panthers
Steelers 23-16 over Texans
Chargers 27-24 over Raiders
49ers 27-17 over Cardinals
Chiefs 34-16 over Jets
Seahawks 31-24 over Giants

Last Week

Best pick: Last week, I predicted that the Steelers would go into Las Vegas and win as an underdog, and guess what happened? The Steelers went into Las Vegas and won as an underdog. Now, did I know that their plane was going to have make an emergency landing in Kansas City on the way home? Of course, I did. If you’ve ever been to Vegas, then you know that there’s a 100% chance that something totally bonkers is going to happen on the way home. On my last trip to Vegas, I spent 20 minutes at the gate next to a guy who wouldn’t stop puking, which be weird if it was any other city, but in Vegas, that qualifies as normal. 

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” is a great slogan for the city, but let’s be honest, if they started using “Vegas: Where puking at the airport gate is normal,” no one would even think that’s weird. 

Worst pick: I’ve made some bad decisions in my life — like the time I tried to use a Kroger coupon at Burger King — but I have to say, picking the Titans to beat the Browns last week might end up going down as my worst decision of the 2023 season. At one point, Deshaun Watson threw what appeared to be an inexcusable backwards pass in the game, but now, I’m starting to think he only did it out of pity for the Titans.

Watson’s pass on this play was almost as bad as my garbage pick. 

Picks Record

Straight up in Week 3: 11-5
SU overall: 30-18

Against the spread in Week 3: 7-9
ATS overall: 25-22-1


You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he’s not doing one of those things, he’s probably out looking for some special crumpets that he can eat before the London game on Sunday.  

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