Will the Week 4 action start to separate the contenders from the pretenders? There are 16 games on the schedule — and Super Bowl-winning coach Brian Billick previews each one in his countdown for FOXSports.com. | NFL Week 4 schedule | Power Rankings
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX)
Dallas’ performance last week was gutty but sloppy. Detroit’s front seven will overpower Dallas’ young offensive line, and the Cowboys’ secondary will struggle to match up with Calvin Johnson. Johnson is the first player in NFL history to score two receiving touchdowns in each of the first three games. He very well could add a fourth.
Getty ImagesHannah Foslien
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX)
The Rams are a better team than their 0-3 record suggests, but I can’t imagine them earning their first win this week. The Redskins’ much-improved defense will pressure Sam Bradford with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan while Laron Landry (pictured) plays centerfield in the secondary. If healthy, Landry can put up defensive player of the year-like statistics.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX)
The Eagles need to get used to Michael Vick (pictured) being questionable from week to week. Even when he does start, they’ll need Mike Kafka or Vince Young ready to go on every snap. The 49ers offense is the perfect cure for the Eagles’ ailing defense. I like Philly big at home in this match-up.
Getty ImagesDrew Hallowell
Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX)
This would be an easy game to predict if we knew which Vikings team would show up, the first half team or the second. If it’s the latter, this may be the only team the struggling Chiefs can beat. Arrowhead Stadium used to be one of the toughest places to win, but I’m not sure even home-field advantage can help this team.
New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX)
The Jaguars will want to pound the rock with MJD, but Drew Brees and the quick- striking Saints offense will force them to air it out. The Jaguars aren’t built for this type of game, and Greg Williams’ blitz package will give the inexperienced Blaine Gabbert headaches all game.
Getty ImagesStreeter Lecka
New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
The Giants have to travel cross-country, and the Cardinals are coming off a defensive effort in which they held the Seahawks to only 260 yards. But that’s the Seahawks. The Giants’ rushing attack of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw will find success against a Cardinals defense that surrenders more than 120 yards per game, fourth worst in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
This game scares me if I am the Atlanta Falcons. The offense is completely out of sync except for when operating out of the no-huddle, and CenturyLink is a tough place to do that efficiently. Seattle has quietly put together a top-10 defense, but ultimately it will be Atlanta’s defense that wins this game. John Abraham and Ray Edwards will keep Tarvaris Jackson contained in the pocket and force him into ill-advised throws.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX)
As I have said every week, Chicago must run the ball in order to be consistent and Jay Cutler (pictured) finally agrees. When asked about Mike Martz’s game plan he said, “We’re 0-2 doing it like this.” Interestingly enough, the Panthers need to do the same. With two outstanding backs in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, they need to do much better than 84 yards per game. Carolina is making great strides, but Chicago is just too tough at home.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS)
This is a great game for the Bills to follow-up their huge win against New England, and hopefully they came down emotionally from their 3-0 start and were able to focus on the Bengals. After three weeks, Andy Dalton is better than I anticipated but his performance last week left a lot to be desired. He will need to stay sharp in order to keep up with the highest-scoring team in the NFL.
Getty ImagesJason Miller
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS)
With the loss of Kenny Britt, Chris Johnson (pictured) needs to crank it up, and this is the perfect game to do it. Cleveland has the third-worst rushing defense, giving up 129 yards per game, and Johnson has now had enough time to get back into game shape after sitting out almost the entire preseason. Colt McCoy was brilliant on the final 14 plays against Miami, but it was the first 44 that concern me. I like the Titans on the road.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS)
This is a great opportunity to prove legitimacy for both teams. Houston gets a boost with the return of Arian Foster, but I believe this game is won or lost on the other side of the ball. Rashard Mendenhall ran the ball 18 times for only 37 yards against the Colts, and the Steelers will be eager to show they can get him back on track. We know about Houston’s offense, but its time the Texas show they can win with defense.
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers (Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET, CBS)
Miami is the 30th-ranked passing defense and San Diego is the No. 6 passing offense. Regardless of whether Antonio Gates can play, Vincent Jackson (pictured) will put too much pressure on the Dolphins’ secondary. Even with their early-season struggles, I like the Chargers big in this game.
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET, CBS)
John Fox is building toughness in Denver, but tough and talented are two separate matters. The Broncos don’t have enough weapons on either side of the ball to play with the Packers. Clay Matthews has nine sacks in his last seven games against the AFC, and he will be in Kyle Orton’s face early and often. Von Miller, take notes; this could be you in a couple years.
New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders (Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET, CBS)
Fortunately for the Patriots, the Raiders don’t have the talent at the WR and QB positions to exploit even the worst passing defense in the NFL. And even if they match their 234 yards on the ground of last week, I still don’t think they can put up enough points to keep up with Tom Brady and Wes Welker (pictured). Welker leads the league in receiving yards and receptions, and that won’t change this weekend.
Getty ImagesJim Rogash
New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
Ray Rice and the big offensive line of the Ravens would like to exploit the Jets’ rushing defense like the Raiders did, but that was an aberration. The Ravens will have more success by stretching the field with Torrey Smith (pictured) and Lee Evans, opening up some intermediate routes for Anquan Boldin and Rice out of the backfield. This is a tipping-point test for Mark Sanchez, as he needs to prove he can lead his team to a bounce-back win on the road.
Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The Bucs have struggled to get out of the gate early. As shown last week, if you give the Colts some faith they will play hard and passionate for the entire game. Look for Tampa Bay to give LeGarrette Blount (pictured) plenty of carries, therefore removing the pass-rushing threat of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. This is a great opportunity for Raheem Morris to showcase his talent on the national stage of Monday Night Football.