1. Chiefs vs. Giants
These two franchises could not be more opposite entering week four. The Chiefs are 3-0 and riding a wave of success on both sides of the ball and the Giants are 0-3 and more dysfunctional than an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Only six teams have more INT's than the Chiefs and only one has more fumble recoveries. The Giants offense put up a monster goose egg last week as Eli Manning was sacked seven times by the Panthers. The Chiefs lead the NFL in sacks with 15 which has them salivating like a vampire at a slumber party. Only the Bears have more defensive TD's than this opportunistic Chiefs defense so look for them to put a hurting on Eli and the Giants this week.
2. Colts @ Jacksonville
The Colts defense isn't a world beater, but Jacksonville are just that terrible. Considering what the Colts defense was able to do to the once mighty 49ers this past week they should be on deck for back-to-back solid performances. The Jaguars are more pathetic than a sad clown at a baby ducks funeral with the fewest offensive yards in the league, nearly 200 less than Tampa Bay who is ranked 31st in the league. While they haven't turned any INT's into points yet, the Colts defense is averaging a pick a game and has yet to allow an opposing team to score over 25 points. The Jaguars meantime have yet to score over 17 points, and their only two TD's of the season were scored late last week against the Seahawks when the game was completely out of hand.
3. Bengals @ Cleveland
Until last weeks unexpected win against the Vikings, Cleveland was averaging eight points a game on offense, which should be closer to the norm when they play better teams like the Bengals. Brian Hoyer looked decent against the Vikings but still made a few typical rookie throws and this Bengals defense will be ready to capitalize after picking off opposing teams four times so far this season. Only four teams have recovered more fumbles than Cincinnati so look for their defense to swarm the ball against Cleveland this weekend and create more turnovers and potentially put one in the end zone.
4. Bears @ Lions
For two weeks every fall "Wizard of Oz" spikes on Google searches as everyone reaches into their bag of cliché statements about lions and tigers and bears. I left my ruby red slippers at home this week and since I'm not in Kansas anymore (like Jordy Nelson), I'll refrain from the temptation. As usual the Bears are employing a very opportunistic defense that leads the league in fumble recoveries and is third in INT's behind the Vikings and Broncos. The Bears swept the Lions last season snagging two INT's and six fumble recoveries in between the two games. So far this season they are averaging a defensive score a game which has them on track to exceed their nine scores from 2012.
5. Seahawks @ Texans
Houston's offense was stifled by the Ravens last week, only scoring nine points and allowing a defensive score. Seattle has dominated every team they have faced, allowing a league low 27 points against. Only Denver and Minnesota have more INT's than the Seahawks five, and only Chicago has more forced fumbles. Matt Schaub is third in the NFL in attempts and only three QB's have more INT's than he does so the opportunities will be there for the Seahawks to score their first defensive TD of the season.
6. Ravens @ Bills
The Ravens defense has rebounded very nicely after being completely embarrassed by Peyton Manning in week one. They've only allowed 15 points in the past two weeks, tallied eight total sacks, one INT and one defensive score. Only five teams have more sacks than the Ravens, while their opponent the Bills have allowed an average of three sacks per game. E.J. Manuel has played well so far this season but has yet to play a defense of the Ravens caliber. The Ravens have allowed the fourth fewest yards rushing so with that taken away there will be more pressure on Manuel's rookie arm, which is always a bonus for defenses.
7. Patriots @ Falcons
After a 1-2 start through three games desperation has to be creeping in the back of everyone's mind in Atlanta as they face the 3-0 Patriots at home. As the Patriots offense has struggled without many of its playmakers, the defense has more than made up for it averaging over one INT and one forced fumble a game this season. Despite a middle of the pack seven sacks, only the Chiefs and the Seahawks have allowed fewer points than New England. Matt Ryan last played the Patriots in 2009 and it was an affair to forget as he threw for under 200 yards and didn't score in the loss. He's a much better QB three years later but I still give the advantage to Bill Belichek and the Patriots to out scheme the Falcons.
8. Titans vs. Jets
The Titans defense has been chugging slowly along this season creating some nice, but not great numbers. They've averaged one INT and three sacks per week along with a defensive score against Houston. On the bright side they face the Jets and Geno Smith who is second to only Eli Manning with six INT's through three games. Last season against Mark Sanchez the Titans picked him off four times in a 14-10 victory and will look to repeat that feat this week.
9. Vikings vs. Steelers
It's been on odd three games for the Vikings as they find themselves at 0-3 despite being second in total take-aways behind the Bears and first in the NFL in INT's with six. This makes them an excellent matchup against the Steelers who lead the AFC with nine giveaways including four INT's and five fumbles lost. Pittsburgh's offensive line has struggled all season even without the injuries as only four QB's have been sacked more than Ben Roethlisberger. You also have to factor in that the Vikings have been in London all week while the Steelers will fly in only a day or two before Sunday's game.
10. Cowboys @ Chargers
Philip Rivers has only been sacked five times this season, but this week he faces a Cowboys defense that is second in the league in sacks with 13. The Cowboys defense has lacked the ability to turn over defenses in the last two weeks but has allowed significantly less yardage and dialed up the sack total. As they continue to put pressure on QB's those turnover numbers will climb higher. Rivers was sacked 49 times last season, second to only Aaron Rodgers so if the Cowboys get to him early he will get rattled and make mistakes.
Jets @ Titans
Even though Rex Ryan fosters more drama on his football team than an entire season of Glee, the Jets have managed to start the season 2-1, narrowly missing a third victory against the Patriots in week two. When Jake Locker faced the Jets last season he managed a rushing TD but absolutely nothing else as he was sacked four times and was completely out-sucked by Mark Sanchez who threw four INT's. Locker had an abysmal 127 yards in that game and this week's matchup will not get any better against a Jets defense that has 12 sacks, including eight last week against the Bills. Only the Chiefs and the Cowboys have more sacks than the Jets and Locker will struggle with that kind of pressure in his face all game.
Raiders vs. Redskins
As Robert Griffin III slowly gets healthier and more confident with his knee, picking opposing defenses will get more risky as the season wears on. But I'm going to bet that we have at least another week or so of the current boring safety focused Washington offense that will help defenses contain RGIII and put up good numbers. The Raiders defense is on the verge of being a solid unit, they have 10 sacks so far this season which ranks them 10th in the NFL. With an immobile RGIII anchored in the pocket they will have more chances to rush and hit him to induce bad passes and mistakes. Despite throwing for over 300 yards a game this season, Griffin has also thrown an INT in all three games. If Oakland can keep pressuring the QB like they have, they will have an excellent shot at snagging their first INT of the season and possibly more.