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Each Tuesday morning, we will preview every NFL game of the upcoming week. All of our NFL content, including our most recent power rankings and links to the pre-season preview are located here.
The inputs to the 10,001 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position. To see other picks like our Upset and Locks of the Week, as well as our season-to-date performance, click here.
Game of the Week: #5 New York Jets 19 @ #3 New Orleans Saints 25
With games like the Packers-Vikings Monday night showdown, San Diego traveling to Pittsburgh on Sunday night and the Patriots hosting a Ravens team that kept them out of the playoffs in 2008, Week 4 is a huge week in the NFL. There is only one game featuring two unbeaten teams and it may just be the most intriguing of them all. Rex Ryan and the New York Jets bring a tough, brash defensive mentality to New Orleans where the Saints like to be creative and air it out.
Led by "shutdown corner" Darrelle Revis, the Jets have held their veteran quarterback opponents - Tom Brady, Kerry Collins and Matt Schaub - to just 4.7 yards-per-attempt on 47.9% passing with only one touchdown and four interceptions. In the six other games those quarterbacks have played, they have combined to complete 66.7% of their passes for 7.5 yards-per-attempt, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. The disparity for each team's top receivers is even more notable. Randy Moss, Andre Johnson and Justin Gage are averaging 8 catches for 100 yards when they don't play the Jets and four catches for 32 yards when they do.
With such impressive numbers, one may expect the Jets to neutralize Drew Brees and the Saints' passing game. While that may be true, that does not guarantee the Jets a victory. In fact, along with being at home, New Orleans is just a little better than the Jets in everything else. The Saints have rushed for more yards-per-carry (5.0 to 3.8), allowed fewer yards-per-rush (3.2 to 3.9), created more takeaways (9 to 7) and even played a slightly tougher schedule to-date. On top of that, New Orleans has a more than respectable pass defense as well. The Saints are only allowing opponents to 54.4% of their passes for 5.9 yards-per-attempt and a league-high seven interceptions.
New Orleans wins and stays undefeated 64.1% and by an average score of 25-19. The Saints are 6.5 point favorites though, so they only cover the spread 49.7% of the time. The Jets win against the spread 50.3% of the time. Since neither win percentage ATS is greater than 52.5%, our stance on this game compared to the line is "No Pick". The total line is 45.5, making the Under the better option and a moderate play at 58.6% likely. In the projected boxscore of this game, Drew Brees throws for 238 yards, 1.5 TDs and one interception, ranking him #9 among fantasy quarterbacks for the week. Saints' running back Pierre Thomas, who gains 82 yards, is the most likely Saint to score a touchdown. Jets' wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery is their most likely player to score a touchdown with one of his 6 catches for 91 yards.
Last week we correctly predicted all of our featured games including the Upset, Lock and Game of the week. We are now 3-0 with both the Locks and Games of the Week. We actually hit 11 of the 13 games for which we had a pick against the spread (84.6%). To see other picks like our Upset and Locks of the Week, as well as our season-to-date accuracy, click here.
Click on the Boxscores below to see detailed team and player stat projections for every game.
NFL Week 4
|Matchup||Home Win%||Avg Score|
|St. Louis @ San Francisco||86.3||13-28||Boxscore|
|Seattle @ Indianapolis||84.8||18-32||Boxscore|
|Detroit @ Chicago||70.0||17-25||Boxscore|
|Green Bay @ Minnesota||67.7||18-26||Boxscore|
|New York Jets @ New Orleans||64.1||19-25||Boxscore|
|Tampa Bay @ Washington||63.8||17-23||Boxscore|
|Oakland @ Houston||55.6||23-27||Boxscore|
|San Diego @ Pittsburgh||52.7||17-19||Boxscore|
|Tennessee @ Jacksonville||40.6||21-20||Boxscore|
|Baltimore @ New England||39.6||23-22||Boxscore|
|Buffalo @ Miami||37.5||23-19||Boxscore|
|Dallas @ Denver||30.2||22-18||Boxscore|
|New York Giants @ Kansas City||22.9||26-18||Boxscore|
|Cincinnati @ Cleveland||19.1||26-17||Boxscore|
Paul Bessire is the Product Manager of Content and Quantitative Analysis for WhatIfSports.com, a division of FOX Sports Interactive specializing in fantasy football simulation analysis and football sim games. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!