The Sports Editors’ NFL Week 4 Picks

Firment: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5) at New England Patriots

Tom Brady’s record coming off of a loss is an astonishing 50-15. Not to mention, the last time he was beaten by a Super Bowl contender in the regular season (which I envision the Rams to be), was when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 29 of last season. What happened next? Brady and the Bucs reeled off eight straight wins, including a Super Bowl victory over those same Chiefs. I expect Tom to head into his old homestead at Gillette Stadium and take care of a stumbling Patriots squad that looked a bit lifeless against the New Orleans Saints this past weekend. And as much as people want to make Mac Jones out to be the second coming of Brady, he is not. He threw for one touchdown and three interceptions against the Saints and has a long way to go before he enters the conversation of becoming Tom’s heir apparent. For now, Tom Brady is the better quarterback and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a much better team than the New England Patriots. 

Notis: Chicago Bears (-4.5) vs. Detroit Lions

In what was supposed to be the start of the best era in Chicago football history, Justin Fields got manhandled by an elite Browns defensive line. His final stats look like a mediocre high school quarterback, going 6/20 for 68 passing yards and 3 rushing attempts for 12 yards. You can blame Fields, head coach Matt Nagy, the Andy Dalton scheme or the offensive line, but it was truly a terrible showing from the Bears in their franchise savior’s first start. However, if Fields is still starting for the injured Andy Dalton in Week 4, it’s the perfect opportunity for Fields to show off what he can do. If Coach Nagy moves Fields out of the pocket and runs a fluid offense fit for Fields, there’s no reason the Bears should lose this game. The Lions are a bad team. Their Week 3 heartbreaker against the Ravens was a poor performance from Baltimore (including way too many drops by Marquise Brown) and the Ravens were still able to win. This is the Bears game to win, and if they don’t, Matt Nagy should be fired.

Cobey: Baltimore Ravens (+2.5) at Denver Broncos

The Ravens sit at 2-1 on the season, but they have struggled in 2021 relative to the success they’ve had with Lamar Jackson at the helm. The Ravens have one impressive victory and that came against a Chiefs team that did not look like a Super Bowl contending Chiefs team. They have one loss against the Raiders in overtime, and almost had another loss against a really bad Lions team until Justin Tucker bailed them out in the final minutes of the game with a record-setting 66-yard field goal. In Week 4, the Ravens are traveling to the Mile High City, a difficult atmosphere to play in, but I think this is the week that they get back on track. Denver is 3-0, and Teddy Bridgewater has been impressive as the Broncos starter this season, but the Broncos opponents are arguably the three worst teams in the NFL. They have played the Jaguars, Giants and Jets, who boasted a combined 0-9 record. The only reason Denver should be favored is because they are at home this week. I do not care what the altitude is in Denver; Lamar and company are bouncing back to a dominant win against Bridgewater and the Broncos.