PFT’s Week Four picks


Well, there really is a first time for everything.

MDS and I have been picking games against each other for four seasons now, and for the first time ever we agree on the outcome of every single game.

The question now is whether you agree. Check out the picks and point out which ones we’re most wrong about in the comments.

Last week, MDS got 13 of 16 right, and I was only 12-4. It has tightened the season-to-date competition to 31-17 for me (64.5 percent) and 30-18 (62.5 percent) for MDS.

Ravens at Steelers

MDS’s take: If Ben Roethlisberger were playing, I’d pick the Steelers in this game without hesitation. But with Michael Vick in at quarterback? I think the Steelers will have a tough time moving the ball, and the Ravens will win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 14, Steelers 12.

Florio’s take: The Ravens last won a game in the 2014 wild-card round in Pittsburgh, against Ben Roethlisberger. Without Roethlisberger, the desperate Ravens should be able to break their streak of bad luck.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 15, Steelers 12.

Jets at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Dolphins’ offense has struggled all season, and the Jets may have the best defense in the NFL. English soccer fans will get just what they like, a game with plenty of kicking and not much scoring, and the Jets will win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Jets 12, Dolphins 6.

Florio’s take: The loser of this game is headed for the AFC East basement. The Jets have shown much more fight this season, and the Dolphins are teetering toward implosion. If Joe Philbin actually had someone on the staff worthy of the interim coaching gig, he’d possibly have to worry about getting whacked on the plane ride home.

Florio’s pick: Jets 27, Dolphins 17.

Texans at Falcons

MDS’s take: Julio Jones will run wild in a suspect Houston secondary, and the Falcons will improve to a surprising 4-0 on the season.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Texans 17.

Florio’s take: We’re getting closer to Correction Weekend, and it wouldn’t be a shock if the Texans beat a Falcons team that perhaps suddenly thinks too much of itself. But then I remembered that: (1) the Falcons have Julio Jones; and (2) no one can stop him.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Texans 17.

Giants at Bills

MDS’s take: The amazing thing about the Bills this season is that they’re winning more with their offense than with their defense. Tyrod Taylor has been excellent, and he’ll continue to play well as the Bills move to 3-1.

MDS’s pick: Bills 31, Giants 21.

Florio’s take: A rematch of Super Bowl XXV comes at a time when the Bills shouldn’t need a last-second field goal to win. A 5-2 or 6-1 record at the bye becomes realistic, if they can take care of a Giants team that just isn’t all that good.

Florio’s pick: Bills 24, Giants 16.

Raiders at Bears

MDS’s take: It says something about how far the Bears have fallen that there’s been talk out of Oakland this week that the Raiders, of all teams, might be getting overconfident. They have reason to be confident, as they’ll win this one easily.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 21, Bears 10.

Florio’s take: The Raiders are suddenly the hunted. The Bears continue to be bad news. Sure, John Fox has won eight of his last nine games against the Raiders. But the Raiders have a pretty good team this year, surprising as that may sound. They could get caught looking ahead to Denver. Even if they do, the Raiders are good enough to pull this off.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 24, Bears 20.

Chiefs at Bengals

MDS’s take: After the Patriots, the Bengals are probably the second-best team in the AFC. They’ve played well on both sides of the ball, and they’re going to improve to 4-0 while knocking the Chiefs down to 1-3.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 28, Chiefs 20.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs say they’re on to Cincinnati. It may not work out the same way it did when the Patriots went there a year ago.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 30, Chiefs 22.

Jaguars at Colts

MDS’s take: The Colts are still struggling on both sides of the ball, but with the Jaguars coming to town, they should get a relatively easy win to improve to 2-2 on the season.

MDS’s pick: Colts 30, Jaguars 23.

Florio’s take: The Colts can’t afford to look past the Jaguars with a pair of prime-time games looming, at Houston on a short week and at home against the Patriots. Indy should be 2-2 come Sunday night; the real question is whether they will be 2-4 two weeks later.

Florio’s pick: Colts 30, Jaguars 20.

Panthers at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: Jameis Winston has really struggled to adjust to the NFL game, and it’s not going to get any easier for him with a very good Panthers defense coming to town. The Bucs are in trouble in this one.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 27, Buccaneers 9.

Florio’s take: A correction could be coming for the Panthers, who don’t feel like a 3-0 team. But the Bucs still don’t feel like a 1-2 team, and the Panthers have to keep pace with the Falcons.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 23, Buccaneers 13.

Eagles at Washington

MDS’s take: Chip Kelly’s offense still has a lot of work to do, but Kirk Cousins will throw a couple of interceptions and the Eagles will win their second straight, even if they’re still struggling to move the ball.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 17, Washington 10.

Florio’s take: Philly played fairly well with their backs against the wall, but the passing game still needs work. With extra time to get ready, Washington could make this one interesting, but Chip Kelly and company should be able to slow down Matt Jones and Alfred Morris just enough to outscore the home team.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Washington 20.

Browns at Chargers

MDS’s take: I’m tempted to pick the Browns in an upset because Cleveland has such a big special teams advantage in this game, and I expect Travis Benjamin to have another big return. But I just don’t see the Browns’ offense getting anything going in San Diego, and as a result I’ll take the Chargers to win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 23, Browns 20.

Florio’s take: The Browns blew their chance to get a second win against the Raiders on Sunday. The Chargers won’t blow their chance to get a second win against the Browns at home.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 34, Browns 20.

Rams at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals have been dominant in their first three games, and they’ll dominate again when the Rams come to town on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 38, Rams 14.

Florio’s take: This is the kind of game the Rams find a way to win, or at least to be competitive. But the Cardinals have looked too good this year, and the even the very best the Rams can do may not be good enough.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 30, Rams 23.

Vikings at Broncos

MDS’s take: This may be the most intriguing game of the week because of the chess match between Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner and Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. I think Phillips’s unit will get the better of that battle and the Broncos will win even without getting much from Peyton Manning and the offense.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 17, Vikings 10.

Florio’s take: If the Viking hope to truly contend in the NFC, they need to take advantage of the opportunity to beat one of the best teams in the AFC. To do so, they’ll need to pound Peyton Manning the same way the battered Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers, and they’ll need to soften up a stout defense with healthy doses of Adrian Peterson. If the game were being played in Minnesota, maybe that would work. In Denver, it’s hard to see the Broncos blowing this one.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 27, Vikings 23.

Packers at 49ers

MDS’s take: Colin Kaepernick has traditionally played very well against the Packers, but Kaepernick doesn’t look like the same player this year. Green Bay’s defense will shut him down.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, 49ers 13.

Florio’s take: The 49ers beat the Packers twice in 2012 and twice in 2013. The Packers haven’t forgotten that. The 49ers will want to forget this one quickly.

Florio’s pick: Packers 38, 49ers 23.

Cowboys at Saints

MDS’s take: Surprisingly, Brandon Weeden and Luke McCown were both fine in place of the injured Tony Romo and Drew Brees last week. So when these two teams meet on Sunday night, I think it will be less about the quarterbacks and more about the defenses. The Saints’ defense has been a disaster this year, so I like the Cowboys to win.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Saints 24.

Florio’s take: The Saints played well against the Panthers, and the Saints have their backs pressed firmly against the wall, with America watching. And I’m tempted to pick the Saints to pull this one off. But Brandon Weeden wasn’t horrible against the Falcons, and it’s still not clear how healthy Drew Brees will be, even if he plays. If the Cowboys stick with what worked against the Falcons and bottle up whoever is carrying the ball, this should be a win.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 31, Saints 24.

Lions at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Lions have been a mess this season. The Seahawks will win their second straight blowout and get back on track.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Lions 10.

Florio’s take: Calvin Johnson isn’t who he once was. The Lions defense isn’t what it was a year ago. While Detroit won’t match their feat of 2008, they’ll be 25 percent of the way there come Tuesday.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 29, Lions 13.

68 responses to “PFT’s Week Four picks

  1. This is so wrong! There’s no way the Lions defense gets blown out like the Bears!

    Just kidding, the Seahawks got this one. But I think the score will be worse because of turnovers by the Lions than the Seahawks offense finally coming to life.

  2. Vikings 24 Broncos 20.

    Blair Walsh nails a 65 yarder to win it all.

    That would be epic. One can dream.

    I’m no mathematician but how is Blair Walsh going to win it all with a 65 yard field goal if the Vikings win by 4?

  3. Agree with the picks, at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vikings or Steelers win.

  4. Vikings 24 Broncos 20.

    Blair Walsh nails a 65 yarder to win it all.

    That would be epic. One can dream.


    Why would Blair Walsh nail a FG to win a game they are already up by one in?

  5. Just to clarify Florio. The Eagle have not dropped the term Redskins. Go their website and click schedule. Washington REDSKINS and later as you scroll down, REDSKINS twice more.

  6. Vikings 24 Broncos 20.

    Blair Walsh nails a 65 yarder to win it all.

    That would be epic. One can dream.

    Only explanation on why he wins the game is that he misses the kick and the Broncos will go on to win it

  7. Luck is hurting and it has been reflected in his stats. I will take the Jags in this one. They have to rebound from such a poor performance from last week.

  8. Blair Walsh will kick the game winner and then flop and yell “AND 1” after being bumped by a Bronco on the follow through.

  9. Hardest game to pick is Cle vs SD. If they were in Cleveland, they get the W. Since they in SD, I think Rivers wins them the game. It’ll be close though.

  10. Jets 30 Dolphins 22

    Jets recover Dolphins onside kick and Sir Ryan “Harvard” Fitzpatrick kneels out the game.

  11. This Titans fan can’t help but notice that the Panthers should soon be 4 and 0. The Panthers … the team that in recent years has come on MUCH stronger in the second half of the season. Could they be looking at a 14 and 2 season? As crazy it sounds, even better?

  12. C’mon guys… Go out on a limb and pick some upsets… It’s the NFL… upsets happen EVERY week!

    Upset watches for Week 4:

    PIT 27 BAL 23
    NYG 26 BUF 23
    WAS 22 PHI 18
    CLE 30 SD 27
    DAL 33 NO 27

  13. Mike,
    I don’t always agree with your views on the Fins but what you said here today is pretty funny, and unfortunately, pretty accurate.

  14. How is walsh gonna kick game winner 24-20?..real football not fantasy FGs are worth 3 even if they are 60 the games not the stats on the computer

  15. Packers aren’t playing in Lambeau, so without the hometown ref’s I wouldn’t count it as a win for them just yet. Kaepernick needs to run, run, run over the Packers suspect defense and the 49’rs will win, win, win.

  16. Dolphins have plenty of great talent on both sides of the ball that have Not risen to the occasion and played well yet this year. This week with their backs against the wall they Will rise and Win in London !!!

  17. I agree with most of the picks, but I think there will be 3 upsets. As much as I hate to admit it the Vikings will not be one of the upsets. I got the Steelers beating the Ravens 16 to 10, I have the Redskins beating the Eagles 24 to 21, and finally I have the Saints beating the Cowboys 38 to 31.

  18. Sorry, but the Bears beat Raiders for the following reasons:

    1. Cutler plays, with Alshon back – the offense will actual function, move the chains, score points.

    2. Think those Bears players on defense won’t be motivated by the recent cuts/trades? Think again.

    3. The return of Jay Ratliffe (after serving his 3 game suspension). Also on that D-line, McPhee and Jarvis Jenkins are just now starting to get pressure. And new starter Sam Acho will make an impact play in his coming out party.

    4. Bears players and coaches will be motivated & confident that this – finally, after the buzzsaw of a schedule they just went through – is a winnable game. At home no less. They’ll be right.

  19. If the Eagles are able to run the ball I think they’ll blow Washington out as the Redskins have a suspect secondary. If Washington is able stuff the Eagles run, then I think it’ll be an ugly game that could go either way.

  20. Keep saying the Packers have a suspect defense and keep not paying attention to the fact that they have a greatly improved defense that shut down Lynch and Charles in consecutive weeks. Top ten in football outsiders. Dominated the Chiefs until KC put up a bunch of garbage time stats when Capers went into prevent.

  21. As a vikes fan I would love to believe they can pull off a victory in Denver, but I’d give it 5%. This is one of the games getting attention as a possible upset by the media – anyone thinking that hasn’t watched Bridgewater regress and the line block for only AP. Denver’s defense is gonna roll that offense and unless the minny def goes crazy no chance. Mdr 17-10 is spot on. Too bad cause the hype machine was in full effect… Paul Allen (local voice of the Vikings) may just end it all this year as I think he had them 4-0.

  22. I think Minnesota reverted back to the Frazier Days for the first game, NO way Zimmer lets that happen.
    They were called out, especially the O line.
    This isn’t going to be as high scoring as some think.
    Payton will dink and dunk those 5 yard passes, so will Teddy, the key here are the 2 Big runs by Peterson
    He hits 1110 yards, and the play of the Special teams
    and the Vikings D..put it in the books. Broncos have the lead early, but Manning gets knocked around enough to shake him up in the 2nd Half for a Pic 6.
    Minnesota 20
    Broncos 16

  23. When you guys agree on all 16 games, does it ever cross your mind that maybe you should put point spreads into the mix to spice this snoozefest up?

    After about 4 games I start skimming to see if you guys disagree.


  24. Believe it or not, most of the Bears I know haven’t bailed on this season – yet. That could change if they can’t pull this one out at home. For that to happen, Fox’s crew will need to keep the Raiders under 20 points, go at least +2 on the turnover margin and keep Amari Cooper in check.

  25. I know this is a passing league but a rushing TD is still 6 points. Just like a passing one. The only difference is the QBs that pad their stats by throwing 5 yard or less TDs probably would have also scored if they ran the ball.

    But some QBs think they need to have passing TDs to pad their stats. Other teams it doesn’t matter. A TD is TD.

  26. The Vikes will have a tough time winning in Denver, but we can hope. It’s a shame the Vikes are playing the same time as the Pack, as it would be interesting to see if the Pack is capable of scoring a rushing TD or if their overweight, out of shape and oft-injured RB tries to comically hurdle a defender and flop around like a bass 2 yards short of the goal line once again.

  27. There is a surprising lack of gloating
    Packer fans, they must pouting because they aren’t #1 in the Power rankings this week.
    Either that or they are too busy Trolling the 3 or 4 Vikings stories here this week.
    It is just a matter of time before they let up, and lose.
    I honestly think Minnesota wins this week.
    They couldn’t stop the run week 1, look what they did the last 2 weeks. Offense is in perfect balance last week, 8 rushing 1st downs and 8 Passing 1st downs.
    Only way Broncos win is by keeping AP under 75 yards Rushing.

  28. Last week I was 14 of 16 Florio forgetting Brees’ wasn’t playing and refusing to bet against my REDSKINS.
    So I think the Bucs, Dolphins and even the Rams pull off the upsets. Redskins win but only you will be upset.

  29. Falcons have yet to put together a complete game on offense and defense.

    Welcome to Atlanta…… Texans!

    Say hello to this new defense!

    Good Luck Mallet !

    27- 13 FALCONS!

  30. Florio, you forgot your disclaimer for Da Bears: “Small children, pregnant women, and people with heart conditions should not watch.”

    I thought I was the only Cardinal’s fan here. Welcome whereyaat. Go Cardinal’s!

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