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Duke's Game Picks: Week 4

10-6 isn't a bad week. But it is when one of those losses came from the Dolphins.

13th in yards, tied for 7th in TDs, and they just NOW list me as starter on the depth chart.
13th in yards, tied for 7th in TDs, and they just NOW list me as starter on the depth chart.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I rebounded with a 10-6 week, but unfortunately, one of those losses was the Dolphins. Maybe they can rebound this week.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

The Ravens became the final team in NFL history to start a season 0-3. They are a mess on both sides of the ball. The Steelers lost Roethlisberger for a few weeks to a knee injury so that helps the Ravens. But its a home game for the Steelers and Michael Vick is good enough to pick up a win. Le'Veon Bell will get a lot of the work this week to ease the load. Panic sets in in Baltimore as the start 0-4.

Steelers 24 - Ravens 21

Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Jacksonville expectedly got routed in Foxborough. The Colts had to battle back to get a win over the Titans. Andrew Luck is day to day with a shoulder injury. If he can't go, that's bad news for the Colts. The Jaguars can get after the QB and the Colt's defense is suspect so they can make this interesting.

Jaguars 21 - Colts 20

New York Giants at Buffalo

Buffalo surprisingly looks good, however, just about everyone looks good against the Dolphins right now. They have a good defense and their offense appears good too. The Giants got a win against the Redskins, but I don't know just how good they are. At home, the Bills will be tough to beat.

Bills 28 - Giants 21

Carolina at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay faces another tough defense this week. The Panthers added Jared Allen via trade this week as their top pass rusher Charles Johnson hit IR. They still may not have superstar linebacker Luke Kuechly, but they should still excel over the Bucs offense. The Bucs face a better offense this week and will have their hands full with Cam Newton. Carolina rolls to 4-0 this week,

Panthers 24 - Buccaneers 17

Philadelphia at Washington

In a battle between one win teams, this could have big ramifications within the division. The Eagles got on track against the Jets, but the Jets kind of self-destructed in that game. The Skins lost a Thursday night to the Giants in a similar fashion. The Skins are at home, but the Eagles strengths fit against the Skins weaknesses. Eagles steal a close one.

Eagles 21 - Redskins 17

Oakland at Chicago

Who among you had the Raiders at 2-1 entering this contest? The Bears are in fire sale mode and the Raiders are looking spry. The Raiders are the better team right now and move to 3-1 with a win over the hapless Bears.

Raiders 28 - Bears 21

Houston at Atlanta

Atlanta is a much improved team this year and that comes to them feeding the rock to receiver Julio Jones. The Texans have a tough defense and will take advantage of Atlanta's shaky offensive line. But the Falcons do enough to get the win this week.

Falcons 27 - Texans 20


Kansas City at Cincinnati

The Chiefs are better than their record, but face a tough challenge this week with the Bengals. The Bengals can protect the passer and A.J. Green is playing very well this season. The Chiefs are still limited by Alex Smith and the Bengals defense is tough. Bengals are at home and take this matchup.

Bengals 24 - Chiefs 20

Cleveland at San Diego

The Chargers finally get a home game and should beat up on the Browns. The Browns continue doing Browns type things by starting McCown over Manziel, who is unpolished, but has more upside to develop. The Chargers' offense is good and should roll at home over an overrated Browns' defense.

Chargers 31 - Browns 17

Green Bay at San Francisco

The Niners fooled everyone with a home win in week won. They fell back to the team everyone expected them to be since then. Colin Kaepernick threw 4 INTs last week and that type of performance will lead to a lot of losses. Meanwhile, the Packers are dominating everyone. This one could be close, but Aaron Rodgers is on a different level right now. The Packers, as a team, are just better than everyone else right now.

Packers 38 - 49ers 21

St. Louis at Arizona

The Cardinals are vying for the title of best NFC team and they look unstoppable right now. The Rams have a tough defensive front, but that won't be enough for the Cardinals. The Cardinals defense should fare well against a sketchy Rams offense.

Cardinals 35 - Rams 21


Minnesota at Denver

The Broncos can rush the passer and Peyton Manning is tough to beat. But the Vikings can run the ball and will also get after the passer. There aren't many choices for upset of the week, but this one just has that feel to it.

Vikings 24 - Broncos 21

Dallas at New Orleans

This was a preseason big matchup between two top tier QBs. No one cares about Luke McCown versus Brandon Weeden or Matt Cassel or whoever the Cowboys throw out there. If Drew Brees CAN play, the Saints could win, but that's uncertain. The Saints' defense is still bad. The Cowboys take this one and the Saints could go into fire sale mode.

Cowboys 27 - Saints 17

Detroit at Seattle

The Lions lost a tough one to Denver last week and now face a Seattle team at home. The Seahawks rarely lose at home. The Lions go to 0-4 and perhaps into fire sale mode as well.

Seahawks 28 - Lions 17

New York Jets at Miami (London)

The Dolphins are a mess right now and most of that starts with the coaching. There is too much talent on this team to look at bad as they have looked. When a coach says that their opponent passed more than they expected to start the game, you know they are getting outcoached. It's on both sides of the ball. The defense can't stop anyone and the offense has some terrible playcalling coupled with the absence of a run game (Lamar Miller averaged over 5 YPC against the Bills). An ideal situation would be for the Saints and Dolphins to lose this week, fire both coaches, and the Dolphins steal Sean Payton. That won't happen, but it could be a postseason situation. A more likely scenario is that if the Dolphins lose, especially if they lose in a fashion like last week, then Philbin could be out after next week and Bill Lazor (whom I've seen that the FO is high on and would like to see have a shot) take over as the interim head coach.

If it were up to me, this is what the Dolphins should do.

On offense: run more no huddle offense. With Miami's personnel, running more no huddle could 1) alleviate pass rush, 2) wear defenses down and limits what they can do, and 3) gets their playmakers more involved. Tannehill usually excels in the 2-minute offense. They should at least try it for a drive or three. They are already going 3 and out with the huddle. Why not try it?

On defense: stay in nickel all the time and play press coverage. Miami's CBs, except for Taylor, cannot really press. However, teams are watching them play 7-10 yards off the line of scrimmage and throwing short passes. Miami should play close and force them to beat them over the top. If they do, THEN play off. They should stay in nickel and let Reshad Jones play as a linebacker. Simplify the reads for Thomas and Aikens by letting them cover the edges with the CBs. What they are doing now isn't working, so this plan seems as good as anything they are doing.

Of course, Miami won't do this, but they should. I have no read on this game, except that some fans are rooting for a loss so that Philbin will get fired. Since fans want Philbin gone, he'll probably win this week.

Dolphins 17 - Jets 14

Duke's Record: 27-21-0