Bing Predicts NFL Week 4

Written by:
September 26, 2018
Mark Brown // Getty

Bin Predicts NFL Week 4

If only given one word to describe Week 3 in the NFL, the word would be weird. Take everything that makes sense in football and flip it upside down. Parity was taken to a new level as the league saw major upsets, thrilling endings, and various records broken. The captivating week in, week out action has to cease at some point ... here's to hoping it doesn't happen this week.

A few notable matchups to watch this week include the following. 

—Vikings, Rams: The NFL's best team through three weeks takes on a Vikings' squad coming off of the wrong side of the biggest NFL upset in 23 years. How will Minnesota rebound?

—Buccaneers, Bears: Tampa Bay leads the league in passing yards per game, but is that enough for Ryan Fitzpatrick to hold on to the starting quarterback role now that Jameis Winston is back from his suspension?

—Dolphins, Patriots: New England is 1-2. Miami is 3-0. Something has to give in the AFC East, right?

—Browns, Raiders: There is only one reason this game makes the cut as notable: Baker Mayfield's first start. The rookie QB will look to give Cleveland its first winning streak since 2014.

—Ravens, Steelers: An AFC North battle with early playoff implications will have both teams trying to build off of big Week 3 wins.

—Chiefs, Broncos: Patrick Mahomes II looks like the most dynamic quarterback in football, but the Chiefs' defense also gives up the most yards in football. This AFC West showdown should see points, and a lot of them.

Guiding you through every game is Bing Predicts, which leverages search, social, and historical statistics to forecast the week's winners and losers. Read on for Week 4 predictions.

 ALSO: See how Bing predicted the entire season here.

Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (3-0-0)

Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Rams

Game time: Thursday, Sept. 27, 8:20 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Minnesota Vikings lead series 27-16-2

After a pitiful and wildly surprising blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills at home on Sunday, it’s no surprise that the Minnesota Vikings are a 7-point underdog to the undefeated Rams in Los Angeles on a short week.

In a game the Vikings were expected to dominate, the reigning NFC North Champions lost 27-6 and attempted only six rushes netting 14 total yards. A team just one game away from the Super Bowl last season is in danger of moving to 1-2-1 and falling into last place in the division.

The Rams continue to look like one of the NFL’s top teams—an impressive 35-23 victory over the new intercity rival Chargers moved the team to 3-0. The Rams also proved they are good enough to overcome big mistakes. Last week, running back Todd Gurley II fumbled, quarterback Jared Goff threw an interception in the end zone, and kicker Sam Ficken missed a makeable 46-yard field goal attempt—L.A. still won by two scores.

The Rams have allowed the fewest points of any team in the NFL this season (12 points per game). Last year the Vikings beat the Rams 24-7 in Minnesota, but the Rams are a significantly improved squad, and the 2017 Kings of the North haven’t quite found their 2018 identity.


Bing Predicts: Los Angeles Rams

Bing Predicts Winner: Los Angeles Rams (73% chance)

See more on the Los Angeles Rams

Detroit Lions (1-2-0) @ Dallas Cowboys (1-2-0)

Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Dallas Cowboys lead series 15-12-0

Not a lot of people had the Detroit Lions over the New England Patriots when looking at Week 3 matchups, but then again, not a lot of things made sense in Week 3. The Lions’ defense suffocated Tom Brady and the Patriots, holding the five-time Super Bowl champion to just 14 completions for 133 yards. Detroit earned their first victory of the season, controlling possession for nearly two thirds of the 60-minute game.

The Dallas Cowboys did not experience similar success last Sunday. America’s Team couldn’t improve on their one victory and allowed the Seattle Seahawks their first win after falling 24-13. Quarterback Dak Prescott has been less than impressive through three games—he is averaging just 166 yards per game and has a combined passer rating of under 75. The Cowboys as a whole have completed only three passes of more than 15 yards this season.

Bad news for the Cowboys’ defense: linebacker Sean Lee left Sunday’s game after reaggravating an already bothersome hamstring. It’s unclear how much time he’ll miss, but it’s unlikely he’ll be available this week at home.

The Lions will bring momentum into Dallas, but neither team can afford to fall to 1-3.

Bing Predicts: Dallas Cowboys

Bing Predicts Winner: Dallas Cowboys (64% chance)

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Cincinnati Bengals (2-1-0) @ Atlanta Falcons (1-2-0)

Cincinnati Bengals @ Atlanta Falcons

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Cincinnati Bengals lead series 8-5-0

The Atlanta Falcons are off to a tough start in 2018, but they are expected to win this Sunday in Atlanta when the Cincinnati Bengals come to town. Atlanta is 1-2, but could easily be 3-0, losing close contests to the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles and in overtime to the division rival New Orleans Saints.

The Bengals and their opportunistic defense started the season 2-0, but were overmatched in Week 3 in a 31-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

The Falcons showcased the offensive performance the league has come to expect of them despite a 43-37 loss on Sunday. Having found what looks like their stride, Atlanta's offensive firepower will be hard to match for the Bengals—especially if Bengals' wide receiver A.J. Green has to take drives off. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection tweaked his groin last Sunday, and while the injury appears minor, he won't be at 100%.    

Andy Dalton will need to take better care of the ball for Cincinnati to have a chance—the Bengals' QB threw four interceptions in the Week 3 loss.  

Bing Predicts: Atlanta Falcons

Bing Predicts Winner: Atlanta Falcons (60% chance)

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Philadelphia Eagles (2-1-0) @ Tennessee Titans (2-1-0)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tennessee Titans

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Philadelphia Eagles lead series 7-4-0

The Eagles and the Titans both found ways to win last week, and they will battle in Nashville this Sunday.

In his first game back from rehabbing a torn ACL, Carson Wentz led the Eagles to a 20-16 comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Wentz threw for over 250 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly, engineered a 17-play drive that ate up the majority of the fourth quarter.

The Titans eked out a 9-6 victory over the Jaguars after an injured Marcus Mariota was forced to relieve his backup, Blaine Gabbert, who suffered a concussion. Mariota was still not 100% on Sunday, but did just enough to get past one of the scariest defenses in the NFL.

While it appears Mariota will start, it’s unclear how he and his injured elbow will fare. Philadelphia leads the NFL in run defense, so the Titans will need to rely on their passing game if they want to find success.


Bing Predicts: Philadelphia Eagles

Bing Predicts Winner: Philadelphia Eagles (58% chance)

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1-0) @ Chicago Bears (2-1-0)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Chicago Bears lead series 38-20-0

There was ‘Fitzmagic’ in the air on Monday night, but it kicked in a little too late. The Buccaneers’ backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has made a strong case to stay in the starting role despite regular starter Jameis Winston returning from his suspension this week. After a superhero-esque start to the season, the 14-year journeyman reminded everyone why he has never been the face of a franchise. He threw three interceptions in the second quarter of Tampa’s loss to the Steelers and helped dig the team into a 20-point hole.

But instead of folding, Fitzpatrick and the Bucs battled back to score 17 unanswered points, which was just short of what they needed for a win. Through three games, Fitzpatrick leads the NFL in passing yards (1,230) and is the first player in NFL history with three straight games of 400-plus yards passing.

The Bears were almost part of another massive Week 3 upset, but narrowly escaped Arizona with a 16-14 victory. Chicago has been a surprise this season; the only loss the Bears suffered came in heartbreaking fashion to the Packers in Week 1.  

Sunday will feature one of the league’s most prolific offenses battling All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack and a dominant Bears’ defense.


Bing Predicts: Chicago Bears

Bing Predicts Winner: Chicago Bears (55% chance)

See more on the Chicago Bears

Buffalo Bills (1-2-0) @ Green Bay Packers (1-1-1)

Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Buffalo Bills lead series 8-4-0

Buffalo wouldn’t have been given a puncher’s chance by just about anyone after Week 2, but then Sunday happened. The Bills are the first team since 1995 to win after being an underdog of 17 or more points. And Buffalo did not merely win, they blew out the Vikings 27-6, and rookie quarterback Josh Allen gave Bills’ fans something to get excited about in the future—he finished just shy of 200 yards and accounted for three total touchdowns.

The Packers, who were favored on the road in Washington, played a mistake-filled game that resulted in a 31-17 loss. The Packers relinquished 115 yards in penalties—including another objectionable roughing the passer call on Clay Matthews—and were plagued by drops, including four that halted drives. It’s clear that quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still not completely healthy after injuring his knee Week 1—he’s completing just 33% of his passes outside the pocket this season, down 12% over the previous five seasons.

All that said, the Packers are still favorites at home this weekend. Sunday will be a test to see if Buffalo’s success was simply a blip on the radar.


Bing Predicts: Green Bay Packers

Bing Predicts Winner: Green Bay Packers (67% chance)

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New York Jets (1-2-0) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1-0)

New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: New York Jets lead series 7-6-0

The Jaguars followed up a dominant victory over the New England Patriots, where the Jaguars scored four offensive touchdowns, with a forgettable 9-6 loss to the banged-up Tennessee Titans.

“We didn’t execute,” is an understatement from quarterback Blake Bortles. The team couldn’t muster a single touchdown, and Bortles threw for just 155 yards.

The Jaguars’ dominant defense was great, also holding the Titans without a touchdown, but the team cannot rely solely on its defense. Bortles and company will look to right the ship against a Jets’ squad that has been lackluster since a dominant Week 1 victory over the Lions.

New York squandered a 14-point lead on Thursday night after Baker Mayfield came off the bench to lead the Browns to a 21-17 victory. Sam Darnold was bested by his rookie classmate, finishing with 169 yards on 15 of 31 passing.

As long as Jacksonville can show any semblance of offensive ability, they should fly past the Jets.   

Bing Predicts: Jacksonville Jaguars

Bing Predicts Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars (70% chance)

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Miami Dolphins (3-0-0) @ New England Patriots (1-2-0)

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Miami Dolphins lead series 54-51-0

Well, not many thought this Week 4 matchup would feature the undefeated Miami Dolphins and a New England Patriots team hoping to avoid a 1-3 start to the 2018 season, but here we are.
Miami has won three tightly contested games this year with speed, deception, and steady play from eighth-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The Patriots have been uncharacteristically inconsistent, especially during their two-game losing streak. Brady finished with just 133 passing yards in the Patriots' loss to the Lions—he hasn't thrown for a total that low since the 2014 season in a Week 17 game after a playoff berth was already clinched. This is the first time since 2012 that New England has dropped two of its first three games.

It's safe to say though, Miami has yet to be tested this season; playing a desperate New England team on the road certainly qualifies as a test. Miami's defense has been sensational to this point, allowing just 14 points per game, but the offense will need to be extra creative to move to 4-0.

Bing Predicts: New England Patriots

Bing Predicts Winner: New England Patriots (67% chance)

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Houston Texans (0-3-0) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-2-0)

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Indianapolis Colts lead series 25-7-0

After three close games, the Houston Texans have not been able to break into the win column. Deshaun Watson is beginning to look like the phenomenal rookie he was last season, including 385 yards through the air in Week 3, but the late-game heroics haven’t been there.

Houston looks to avoid falling to a seemingly insurmountable 0-4 this weekend when they travel to Indianapolis this Sunday to battle Andrew Luck and the Colts. Although Watson was injured and didn’t play in either game against the Colts, Indy won both matchups last season and has won eight of the last 11 against the Texans.

Luck threw for only 164 yards, but took care of the football, and had two separate chances with 90 seconds to play to take the lead, but came up short against the Eagles on Sunday. The Colts have looked more respectable than expected, having held fourth quarter leads in every game despite their losing record this season.

The AFC South is still very much up for grabs, but the team that loses this game is going to have to dig itself out of a major hole.

Bing Predicts: Indianapolis Colts

Bing Predicts Winner: Indianapolis Colts (53% chance)

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Seattle Seahawks (1-2-0) @ Arizona Cardinals (0-3-0)

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 4:05 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Arizona Cardinals lead series 19-18-1

It took until Week 3, but the Seattle Seahawks finally put together a worthwhile performance, taking down the Cowboys 24-13. After two tough losses, Seattle was able to protect quarterback Russell Wilson much better on Sunday—the star QB was sacked just twice after being taken down 12 times through the first two games.

The Cardinals are one of three winless teams left in the NFL through Week 3, but fans hope for greener pastures in their future as the dawning of the Josh Rosen era is officially underway—the rookie QB is slated to make his first NFL start this week. He’ll have to do so against one of the most intimidating players in all of football though: Earl Thomas, who is tied for the league lead in interceptions (3) and tied for fourth in passes defended (4). How far the strained relationship between Thomas and the team can go is a different story. The All-Pro elected to skip two days of practice last week to “prioritize health.” As of now, he is starting this week.

The Cardinals have scored 20 total points this season. Rosen may give Arizona new hope, but don’t expect much change.

Bing Predicts: Seattle Seahawks

Bing Predicts Winner: Seattle Seahawks (67% chance)

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Cleveland Browns (1-1-1) @ Oakland Raiders (0-3-0)

Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 4:05 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Oakland Raiders lead series 14-10-0

The Baker Mayfield era is upon us, and similar to draft night, Mayfield finished ahead of Sam Darnold on Sunday. After coming off the bench, Mayfield led the Cleveland Browns back from a 14-point deficit on 17 of 23 passing and 201 yards to give the team their first win since what felt like the Reagan administration—but really, 635 days is a long time.  

Cleveland travels to Oakland to battle a winless Raiders team in its second stint with head coach Jon Gruden. The Raiders have held a second half lead in all three games this season but could not hold on.  

Despite accumulating almost 1,000 yards through the air already this season, quarterback Derek Carr has thrown three more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (2) this season and has not shown up down the stretch when needed most.

If Cleveland can win in Week 4, it will be the team’s first win on a Sunday since 2015 and the first time they’ve won back-to-back games since 2014.

Bing Predicts: Oakland Raiders

Bing Predicts Winner: Oakland Raiders (57% chance)

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New Orleans Saints (2-1-0) @ New York Giants (1-2-0)

New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 4:25 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: New York Giants lead series 16-13-0

It’s not often we get a matchup of two former Super Bowl champion quarterbacks, but the decorated Eli Manning and Drew Brees will give us that on Sunday. Brees has been electric three games into the 2018 season—he has thrown for 1,078 yards, eight touchdowns, zero interceptions, and is completing over 80% of his passes.

The Saints’ offense is firing on all cylinders. Wide receiver Michael Thomas is leading the NFL in receptions (38) and receiving yards (398). Expect a heavy dose of him, along with running back Alvin Kamara who was heavily utilized last week in Atlanta—earning career highs in rushes, receptions, and receiving yards.

It appears the world has already seen the best of the Manning years, but the 37-year-old, two-time Super Bowl champion did put together an impressive outing last week, going 25 of 29 for 297 yards and two scores.

The Saints can put up points on anyone, but defense is another story. New Orleans ranks #4 in total offense, but is #30 in total defense. The Giants will need monster days from their playmakers, including rookie Saquon Barkley and All-Pro receiver Odell Beckham Jr., if they want to keep up.

Bing Predicts: New Orleans Saints

Bing Predicts Winner: New Orleans Saints (57% chance)

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San Francisco 49ers (1-2-0) @ Los Angeles Chargers (1-2-0)

San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Chargers

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 4:25 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Series tied 7-7-0

Despite major changes this offseason to protect the quarterback, the 49ers suffered a major blow to their season when starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo left Sunday's game with what was confirmed as an ACL tear, ending his year.

With their season upended, the 49ers now turn to C.J. Beathard this week. Whether he's the answer for the rest of the season has yet to be determined. The team is working out some familiar names, including journeymen Kellen Clemens, T.J. Yates, and Tom Savage.

Regardless of who is under center, San Francisco will have a tall task in Week 4 when it takes on the Los Angeles Chargers, whose 1-2 record is a misrepresentation of this team's talent. The Chargers' two losses this season came to two of the remaining undefeated teams, the Chiefs and the Rams.

The Chargers and the 49ers may have the same number of wins and losses entering Sunday's game, but their seasons are in very different places.

Bing Predicts: Los Angeles Chargers

Bing Predicts Winner: Los Angeles Chargers (67% chance)

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Baltimore Ravens (2-1-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1-1)

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 30, 8:20 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers lead series 27-21-0

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers has been one of the great rivalries in football over the past several years, and if the first three weeks of the season are any indication, this Sunday night affair should be another classic matchup.

The Steelers come off of a much-needed victory on Monday night over the hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After building a 20-point lead, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs offense brought the game to within three points, but Pittsburgh managed to hold on 30-27 with Ben Roethlisberger’s 350-plus yards and three touchdown throws.

The perceived turmoil in Pittsburgh last week, which was downplayed by Roethlisberger, who is in his 15th season, wasn’t cause for concern in Week 3.

The Ravens were dominant down the stretch in their 27-14 victory over the Broncos. After a rocky start, Baltimore scored 20 unanswered points, and the defense intercepted Case Keenum in the fourth quarter to remove any chance at a Broncos’ comeback.

It’s only Week 4, but this game could have big AFC North implications down the stretch.

Bing Predicts: Pittsburgh Steelers

Bing Predicts Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers (60% chance)

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Kansas City Chiefs (3-0-0) @ Denver Broncos (2-1-0)

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

Game time: Monday, Oct. 1, 8:15 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Kansas City Chiefs lead the series 61-55-0

Is it too early to put Patrick Mahomes II in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? With 13 touchdown passes through three games, he’s off to the fastest start in NFL history. Oh, and he still hasn’t thrown an interception.

The Chiefs look like one of the most dominant offenses in football and show no signs of slowing down, which does not bode well for the Broncos, who are coming off a tough loss. Denver fell to 2-1 after a messy outing and a mediocre performance from quarterback Case Keenum, who only has three touchdowns through the first three weeks.

If Denver wants a chance in this game, they’ll need to force Mahomes to make mistakes. The Broncos will be the best defense Kansas City has faced thus far and will need to rattle the 23-year-old who has yet to flinch this season. Good news for the Broncos is they have KC at home—Denver is 1-10 in their last 11 games.

Bing Predicts: Kansas City Chiefs

Bing Predicts Winner: Kansas City Chiefs (67% chance)

See more on the Kansas City Chiefs

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