What to Watch For  


What to watch for: Tips for Week 4 games

  • By Gregg Rosenthal and Marc Sessler
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Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings

We feel for you, London. What looked like a fantastic duel in August now pits two winless clubs fighting for relevancy. The hope for Pittsburgh is that Le'Veon Bell will be ready to roll. The rookie running back should serve as an immediate bell cow if he's healthy enough to make his NFL debut.

Further reading:
Football in London, A to Z
Go worldwide at NFL International
Further viewing:
Hines Ward: Steelers need an offensive identity
Weather update: Will the fog roll in?

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

Joe Flacco doesn't have much to throw to this season, but he's made the most of it. The Ravens quarterback on third down is 27 of 43 for 366 yards. That's 50 more yards on third down than any other quarterback in the NFL. That amounts to ill news for Buffalo's beaten-up secondary.

Further reading:
Ray Lewis: Champs have leadership void
ATL picks all Week 4 games
Further viewing:
Ravens' D tough task for young Bills
Canty disagrees with Lewis' take

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

This shapes up as a showdown between two of the better defenses in the AFC. Cleveland's challenge is shutting down A.J. Green, who's piled up two 100-yard games in four tilts against the Browns since entering the league in 2011.

Further reading:
Jim Brown backs Richardson trade
How did Browns pull off Week 3 stunner?
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews Battle of Ohio
Marvin Lewis on 'The Coaches Show'

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

Rookie guard Kyle Long has improved weekly on Chicago's rebuilt offensive line. That unit faces its biggest test yet against Detroit's loaded defensive front. The Lions haven't piled up sacks, but don't be fooled: This is one of the most talented D-lines in the NFL.

Further reading:
Will Lions trade for WR?
Cutler lowers the boom, won't apologize
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews showdown for 1st place
What's Melton's future with Bears?

Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans

The Seahawks aren't an automatic win on the road, as they are at home, but if Texans receiver Andre Johnson (shin) doesn't play, Seattle's task on defense is simplified. We love what rookie DeAndre Hopkins has done out of the gate, but he benefits from teams having to deal with both pass-catchers at once.

Further reading:
Injury roundup: Andre Johnson questionable
Elliot Harrison's Week 4 picks
Further viewing:
Can anyone match up with Seahawks?
NFL Films presents: J.J. Watt

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

We'll be watching the carry count in Indy's backfield, where newly acquired Trent Richardson has another week of practice under his belt. After Ahmad Bradshaw played with a chip on his shoulder against the 49ers, a permanent committee approach isn't out of the question.

Further reading:
Colts look to repeat winning ways on road
Jaguars offer fans free beer
Further viewing:
Robert Mathis on Colts' potential
View from the Couch: What to watch in Week 4

New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs

Pro Football Focus notes that Alex Smith has attempted passes of 10 yards or fewer on 82.9 percent of his throws. That leads (if leads is the correct word) all quarterbacks through three weeks of play.

Further reading:
Brian Billick: Reid proves value of good coaching
Judy Battista: Reversal of football fortunes in N.Y.
Further viewing:
'Sound FX': Andy Reid
Archie Manning on Eli's struggles

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Media's Bucky Brooks tells us that the Buccaneers won't ease rookie quarterback Mike Glennon into the deep end of the pool. Look for Tampa to feature Glennon's big arm and throw the ball down the field often in his first NFL start.

Further reading:
Game could offer Revis-Fitzgerald matchup
Elliot Harrison's Week 4 picks
Further viewing:
Ian Rapoport on Bucs' QB turmoil
Kurt Warner compares QBs Glennon, Freeman

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

Tennessee is playing like a top 10 defense again because of its little known young players. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and linebacker Zach Brown both have been making big plays on a weekly basis. Expect a defensive battle.

Further reading:
Where do Titans, Jets fall in Week 4 Power Rankings?
ATL picks all Week 4 games
Further viewing:
Hard-hitting Titans take on Geno & Co.
Empire state of football

Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos

This game could have the most plays in NFL history. Two hurry-up offenses plus a terrible Eagles defense plus extra time for Chip Kelly to prepare should equal a crazy amount of points and yards for both teams. Fantasy owners alert.

Further reading:
Chip Kelly, Peyton Manning talk smack
Who likes points? Mile High marathon awaits
Further viewing:
'NFL Total Access' on what makes Manning the best
Michael Vick one-on-one with Deion Sanders

Washington Redskins at Oakland Raiders

The Redskins broke out a lot more zone-read plays in Week 3, with some effectiveness. Robert Griffin III looked better on the move, and the team pushed the ball downfield. He's improved every week, and this is the week he could put it all together.

Further reading:
Kyle Shanahan: Read option harder this year
Raiders QB Pryor unlikely to play
Further viewing:
Alfred Morris on 'NFL Fantasy Live'
Woodson sees weakness in RGIII

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers

It's the battle of widely mocked quarterbacks who are playing well early in the season. Tony Romo is getting protected better than ever before in his career. Philip Rivers is getting the ball out of his hands quickly and showing scary accuracy.

Further reading:
Miles Austin on latest injury report
Elliot Harrison's Week 4 picks
Further viewing:
NFL Films sets the scene in San Diego
Roger Staubach on 2013 Dallas Cowboys

New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons

Brandon Bolden, LeGarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley split snaps evenly in the Patriots' backfield in Week 3. Don't expect that to continue. New England is the ultimate matchup-based team and will change its approach each week. Look for Ridley to lead the way usually, even if Bolden plays more on third downs.

Further reading:
What's wrong with the Falcons?
ATL picks all Week 4 games
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews Tom Brady/Matt Ryan duel
Will Amendola, Gronkowski play?

Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints

No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan received more snaps in Week 3 against Atlanta, and he made a big impact rushing the passer. New Orleans' offensive line has struggled, so don't be surprised if Jordan is a big factor with star pass rusher Cameron Wake banged up.

Further reading:
Jimmy Graham tops ATL's tight-end rankings
Dolphins soaring in Power Rankings
Further viewing:
Brees scouts Saints on 'NFL Fantasy Live'
Tannehill's game-winning drive

The latest "Around The League Podcast" previewed every Week 4 game. Click here to listen and subscribe.


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