Monday Night – New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
These two also played last year, a Week 16 beat down in Minnesota, part of a 1-6 finish for the New York Giants. The Vikings helped their changes of a playoff birth with this 49-17 win on the strength of 218 team rushing yards with AD running for over a hundred and a TD and Jerick McKinnon getting 89 and two touchdowns on only 7 carries.
These two have played 10 times since 2002, and it has been very close. Each team has won five, with the Giants going 4-6 ATS and the OVER/UNDER 5-5.
This may be a big game for the Vikings, with the two in Week’s 2 and 3 against the Packers and Panthers. A three-game losing streak in Week 4 is not what any team is looking for.
Sunday Night – Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Chiefs and Steelers played last year Week 7 in KC, a 23-13 Chief win that started an 11-game winning streak, including a 30-0 Wild Card thrashing of the Houston Texans.
The game stats were pretty close in their match-up last year, with the Chiefs amassing 377 total yards and the Steelers 339. They each had 18 first downs but the Steelers turned the ball over three times, including two Landry Jones interceptions.
These two also played in 2014, 2012 and 2011, marking this meeting the fifth in six years; it’s safe to say these two know each other. The meeting in Pittsburgh in 2014 resulted in a SU and ATS win for the Steelers. The Steelers are 6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS with the total split in the last 10.
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
The Week 4 schedule has four late afternoon games with the divisional match-up between the Rams and Cardinals the best of the lot. As a part of their 4-2 divisional record, the Rams and Cardinals split their season series, with the road team getting the win in both.
Interestingly enough, these two played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Week 4 last year too, one the Rams won 24-22. It was the game when running back Todd Gurley got his first shot to show the world what he could do; and he didn’t disappoint.
Gurley ran for 146 yards on 19 carries, including a 52-yarder, adding 15 yards through the air on 2 catches. Tavon Austin stole the show though, catching six balls for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Carson Palmer threw for over 350 yards in the loss, connecting with David Johnson for his lone touchdown pass. Although Nick Foles threw for only 171 yards he upstaged Palmer with three touchdown passes.
The Rams won the turnover battle, forcing 3 while not turning the ball over at all. An interesting stat out of this one is the fact the Cards got twice as many first downs as the Rams, 26-13.
Arizona has won 14 of the last 20 these two have played and are 13-7 ATS in the same sample, including 5-1 in their last 6.
Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins
The game to watch this week has to be RGIII’s return to Washington. It’s no secret what’s gone on between the Skins and Robert Griffin; Washington sold the farm to acquire the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. They are only now getting over the lasting effects the trade had on the franchise.
RGIII played in 15 games in 2012, helping the Redskins to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title. The division title got them into a Wild card game against the Seahawks, a juke and a buckled knee later and Griffin’s career is already taking a turn in the wrong direction.
Fast forward a couple seasons to last year, one that saw Kirk Cousins take over the reigns as the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins. Not just that, but Griffin was delegated as the third-string QB and released at seasons end, consequently signed by the Cleveland Browns.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a Robert Griffin fan. When he lost his scrambling ability in the “noodle leg” game, he didn’t look the same to me. Coach Gruden ain’t no fool, he knew what he had in Griffin. This game being the one to watch depends on a couple very important factors.
One, assuming he beats out Josh McCown as the starter and Cody Kessler as the back-up and the other is if he is the starter in Week 1, can he stay healthy enough to play 4 weeks in a row? Only time will tell but for now, this is the game I’m looking forward to in Week 4.