Poupart's Picks: Week 4

Here are the fearless predictions for Week 4 of the NFL season, courtesy of DolphinDigest.com's Alain Poupart.

Sunday, Sept. 30

Green Bay (3-0) at Minnesota (1-2): The Packers have been one of the surprise teams in the NFL so far this season, thanks to Brett Favre's inspired play and a much-better-than-advertised defense. But the fun stops here, at least for a week. Minnesota, 19-16.

Oakland (1-2) at Miami (0-3): Maybe the most interesting game of the week because of Daunte Culpepper's return to Dolphin Stadium. This is a game the Dolphins should be able to win, but we get the feeling Culpepper will get some revenge here. Oakland, 23-20.

N.Y. Jets (1-2) at Buffalo (0-3): The Jets are not a very impressive team, but the Bills have been absolutely ravaged by injuries and have to go with rookie Trent Edwards at quarterback in this one. N.Y. Jets, 27-10.

Houston (2-1) at Atlanta (0-3): Matt Schaub returns to Atlanta, but he does so without Andre Johnson and likely without Ahman Green. The Texans still have enough without them to win. Houston, 17-14.

Chicago (1-2) at Detroit (2-1): It's Brian Griese to the rescue for the Bears, but their biggest problem in this one is a defense weakened by injuries. Jon Kitna should have a good day here. Detroit, 24-21.

Baltimore (2-1) at Cleveland (1-2): Jamal Lewis gets to go against his former team, but the Ravens run defense probably will shut him down. And Derek Anderson isn't good enough to win the game by himself. Baltimore, 20-16.

St. Louis (0-3) at Dallas (3-0): The Rams are without Steven Jackson, Orlando Pace and Marc Bulger is playing with a rib injury. They can't keep up against the high-flying Cowboys offense. Dallas, 31-14.

Tampa Bay (2-1) at Carolina (2-1): It's looking like it will be David Carr at quarterback for the Panthers, but it's the defense that will make the difference in this one. Carolina, 17-13.

Seattle (2-1) at San Francisco (2-1): If there is to be a shift of power in the NFC West, this is a game the 49ers have to win. We'd feel better about picking the 49ers if Alex Smith was playing better at quarterback, but we'll still go with Frank Gore and his teammates. San Francisco, 21-20.

Kansas City (1-2) at San Diego (1-2): A battle between two stud running backs off to slow starts. LaDainian Tomlinson has the better supporting cast over Larry Johnson, plus home-field advantage. San Diego, 24-14.

Pittsburgh (3-0) at Arizona (1-2): Former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is the new head coach in Arizona and he'd love nothing more than to hand his former team its first loss. Kurt Warner comes off the bench and delivers. Arizona, 24-20.

Denver (2-1) at Indianapolis (3-0): The Colts have owned the Broncos in recent years, and this is not a great Denver team. Indianapolis, 34-23.

Philadelphia (1-2) at N.Y. Giants (1-2): Interesting battle between rivals who got off the schneid last weekend. Brian Westbrook again is banged up and will be a game-time decision. Even if he plays, there's no way he and the Eagles offense can duplicate what they did against Detroit. N.Y. Giants, 24-23.

Monday, October 1

New England (3-0) at Cincinnati (1-2): Rudi Johnson is out, which badly hurts the Bengals offense and puts the onus on Carson Palmer. On the flip side, the Cincy defense just isn't very good. Still, on a Monday night at home, we're thinking it's a big night for Palmer, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in a shootout. Cincinnati, 37-34.

Last week's record: 11-5

Season record: 31-16

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