NFL-AFCE GameDay Wk 4

NFL-AFCE GameDay Wk 4
Luciano 11
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Jacksonville Jaguars 23, New York Jets 13      1 p.m. ET (FOX) | TIAA Bank Field (Jacksonville, Fla.)


Another tough road assignment for the Jets, who faced a Browns team in Cleveland that was desperate for a win (and hopped on a steaming emotional hype train once Baker Mayfield entered the fray). Now they face a pissed-off Jags team fresh off an ugly loss to the Titans. This will be New York’s third game away from home — and Jacksonville’s third contest in its own friendly confines. Rookie QB Sam Darnoldwill see a potent pass rush and small windows against the Jaguars, meaning Jets RBs Isaiah Crowelland Bilal Powell must make their presence known. Otherwise, Jacksonville will win handily.


New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars

Point spread: JAX -7.5 | Matchup quality: 45.2 (of 100)


Rich Cimini’s pick: The Jets aren’t in a good place offensively — only two touchdown drives longer than 28 yards in the past two games. And now they’re supposed to rebound against arguably the best defense in the league? On the road? With a rookie quarterback? Not happening. Their only chance is if they turn Blake Bortles into Tyrod Taylor. Jaguars 23, Jets 13.

Mike DiRocco’s pick: It’s looking good for the Jaguars to have back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) and A.J. Cann (triceps). Fournette, who hasn’t played since the first half of the season opener, was missed last week against Tennessee, especially with T.J. Yeldon (ankle) banged up. Coach Doug Marrone said Fournette won’t be limited whenever he returns. That should boost an offense that couldn’t get into a rhythm and didn’t execute in the red zone last week. Jaguars 17, Jets 14.

FPI win projection: JAX, 73 percent. After posting an 83.0 Total QBR in Week 1, Sam Darnold has followed it up with a 24.6 over his past two games. It won’t get any easier against a Jaguars defense that has given up the lowest-opposing QBR since the start of last season.

What to watch for in fantasy: Isaiah Crowell‘s usage patterns through three games haven’t been encouraging, as he has just 38 carries to Bilal Powell‘s 31. Now he gets a tough Jags defense. Read more.

New England Patriots 30, Miami Dolphins 23      1 p.m. ET (CBS) | Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)


Strongly contemplated picking the Dolphins in this all-important AFC East match. But it’s challenging to go with Miami when that team has fared so poorly at Gillette over the years. Yes, the Dolphins have won a lot of games over Bill Belichick’s group (one each in four of the past five seasons), but remember: almost all of those have come IN Miami. In fact, the Dolphins‘ last win at Foxborough came on Sept. 21, 2008, when Tony Sparano and Ronnie Brown’s Wildcat special took over pro football — and took down the divisional royalty. Since then, at Gillette Stadium, it’s been almost all blowouts in the Pats’ favor. If the script is to be different this time, Ryan Tannehill must be careful with the football (he has a TD-to-INT ratio of 7:2 thus far) and use his legs to extend drives. Keep Tom Brady off the field, like the Lions did in their win over New England last week.


Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Point spread: NE -7 | Matchup quality: 50.4 (of 100)


Cameron Wolfe’s pick: The Dolphins haven’t won in Foxborough in a decade, and this appears to be one of their best chances catching a struggling New England team. This also seems like a prime opportunity for Tom Brady to get right at home against a Miami defense that will be without key defenders William Hayes and Andre Branch and likely Chase Allen. A Dolphins loss will show there’s progress needed to catch the Patriots in the AFC East. Patriots 31, Dolphins 23.

Mike Reiss’ pick: The first thing Bill Belichick noted about the Dolphins in his midweek news conference was that they rank first in the NFL in average drive start (31.7-yard line) on kickoffs and are tied for second in the NFL with a plus-four turnover differential. It sounds like he is expecting a field-position type of game in which a turnover could sway the outcome. I like the Patriots to bounce back after back-to-back losses. Patriots 27, Dolphins 17.

FPI win projection: NE, 72 percent. Obviously neither team can win the AFC East on Sunday, but the winner can go a long way in taking control of the race. If the Dolphins pull the upset in Foxborough, it would be Miami in control of the division as a 68 percent favorite. If the Pats hold serve at home, they’d be the majority favorites at 57 percent.

What to watch for in fantasy: Sony Michel‘s NFL career is off to a slow start, but it hasn’t helped that he has seen eight-plus men in the box on 42 percent of his 24 carries. Read more.

Green Bay Packers 26, Buffalo Bills 16         1 p.m. ET (CBS) | Lambeau Field (Green Bay, Wis.)


Field goals galore! Can the surging Bills make it two in a row?! No. The Packers will rebound from their loss to Washington with strong play from Aaron Rodgers, made possible by better pass protection than Kirk Cousins received against a Buffalo stampede last week. Oh, and the Green Bay pass rush will grab Josh Allen and gently rock him to the ground, so as not to draw any penalties. The Bills will need LeSean McCoy to provide a bigger lift than he has yet this season (3.8 yards per carry, zero scores in two games). If he can play, that is. He says he can. Either way, don’t expect a huge letdown from his squad, which should be brimming with the newfound confidence of playing for a talented quarterback who is willing to put his body on the line.


Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers

Point spread: GB -10 | Matchup quality: 40.1 (of 100)


Mike Rodak’s pick: Opponents have posted a Total QBR of 50.0 or better in seven of 10 road games for the Bills under coach Sean McDermott. In his career at home, Aaron Rodgers is 49-6-1 when he posts a Total QBR of 50.0 or better. It would be an upset if Buffalo can make Rodgers look like a below-average quarterback, and also if Rodgers loses at home playing average or above average. Packers 28, Bills 21.

Rob Demovsky’s pick: How will a roughing-the-passer call affect this game? That seems to be on everyone’s mind around the Packers. They lead the NFL with five such penalties through three weeks, but at least Sunday’s referee, Bill Vinovich, has called only two so far. Maybe the Packers will get away clean for a change and enjoy an easy win. Packers 31, Bills 23.

FPI win projection: GB, 76 percent. No team had a bigger improvement in its FPI after last week than the Bills. FPI raised its estimation of the Bills by four points, one of the biggest one-week improvements independent of a quarterback change in the metric’s history.

What to watch for in fantasy: Josh Allen ranked 17th overall with a 21 OFP in Week 3. He had 28 fantasy points and now has to be taken even more seriously as a potential fantasy option. Read more.



Luciano’s Picks

Last week 1-2, Season total 4-5
Jets @ Jags: 17-20

This may be a battle of D, as neither O has exactly lit up the scoreboard lately. Jags have a strong defense, as do the Jets. This game will come down to which QB makes the least mistakes, and which run game can be effective.
Dolphins @ Patriots: 27-30

The Patriots are beatable for sure, Dolphins are 0-9 in last nine trips to Foxboro. Dolphins D can swing this game in favor of the team from Down/Under. This is a crucial game for BB’s team, three losses in a row would send huge egos in that locker room spiraling, fingers will start to be pointed, and BB will begin to wonder: why didn’t I just retire last year? Pats have to win, but a Dolphins win wouldn’t shock me.
Bills @ Packers: 17-27

Will the real Buffalo Bills stand up! Not sure which team plays today, the horrific one from first two games, or the amazing one from last week. Lets go somewhere in between. Josh Allen has injected life into this Bills team, and he will need to do so again. McCoy is a disaster that should be traded before deadline. Bills try to keep up scoring with Packers but will fall short.

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