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PFT’s Week Four picks

The Houston Texans and Duane Brown have been in a contract dispute since training camp and with no end in sight both sides should move on.

Through three weeks, it’s a tie. It won’t be a tie (barring a tie) after Week Four; MDS and yours truly disagree on five total games this week, the most of the year by far.

MDS got nine of 16 right last week, which isn’t great but better than me. We’ll see who does better in Week Four. We both sure as hell need to.

For all of our Week Four picks (money-back guarantee per usual), scroll along.

Bears at Packers

MDS’s take: The Bears turned in a good performance in a win over the Steelers. I won’t be surprised if they make it two good performances in a row, but I think they’re going to fall short in a closer-than-expected game.

MDS’s pick: Packers 23, Bears 20.

Florio’s take: This game got a lot more interesting when the Bears beat the Steelers. But even with so many Packers players injured, It’s hard to imagine a team led by Aaron Rodgers losing to a team led by Mike Glennon.

Florio’s pick: Packers 24, Bears 17.

Saints at Dolphins

MDS’s take: I don’t know what to think of the Saints after their defense looked like the worst in history in the first two weeks of the season but then rebounded nicely in Week Three. I think they might be able to give Jay Cutler just enough trouble to win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Saints 28, Dolphins 24.

Florio’s take: The team with a “garbage” offense in Week Two will play better than rubbish in England. Will that be enough to overcome a team with a largely nonexistent defense? If not, it could be a sewage season for the Dolphins.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 30, Saints 27.

Titans at Texans

MDS’s take: Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is showing promise two starts into his career, but I think he’s going to cough up a couple turnovers and the Titans will win this one handily.

MDS’s pick: Titans 24, Texans 13.

Florio’s take: With Marcus Mariota and Deshaun Watson leading the two teams, this could be the first chapter in a compelling twice-per-year series. Given that the Jaguars thumped the Texans and the Titans thumped the Jaguars, it would be fitting if the Texans to complete the round robin by putting each team at 1-1.

Florio’s pick: Texans 24, Titans 21.

Jaguars at Jets

MDS’s take: These teams both looked a lot better than I was expecting last week. But I don’t expect to say that about the Jets very often this year. I’ll take the Jaguars to keep it going.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 21, Jets 10.

Florio’s take: It’s a rare trap game for the team that for most of the last decade has been the trap game.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 31, Jets 17.

Panthers at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots’ defense has been awful this year, but the Panthers’ offense has been pretty rough too. New England should take this one without too much trouble.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Panthers 17.

Florio’s take: Bill Belichick apparently thinks he’s facing the Cam Newton of 2015, not the Cam Newton of 2017. Then again, Bill Belichick has the Patriots defense of 2017. Fortunately he also has the Tom Brady of 2001-present.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 27, Panthers 17.

Lions at Vikings

MDS’s take: At the time I’m making these picks I don’t know if it’s going to be Sam Bradford or Case Keenum under center for the Vikings, but I’ll take the Lions’ defense to force a few turnovers and win a big NFC North game.

MDS’s pick: Lions 28, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take: The two games between these two teams essentially determined a playoff spot last year, with the Lions sweeping the series and earning a wild-card berth. Expect another hard-fought game with the Vikings using home-field advantage, a loud crowd, a resurgent defense, and Dalvin Cook to get over the top, even if by only a thin margin.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 21, Lions 20.

Bills at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Falcons are 3-0 but they’re a dropped touchdown pass in Chicago and an overturned touchdown pass in Detroit from being 1-2. If this game were in Buffalo I’d take the Bills, but I’ll pick Atlanta to win a close one at home.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 24, Bills 21.

Florio’s take: The Bills have been playing better than expected, and the Falcons could easily be 1-2. But they performed well in their new stadium, and they’re back for their second regular-season game there. The Julio Jones back injury could be a problem, but if he plays this one ends up being not necessarily easy but nevertheless a fourth win.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Bills 17.

Steelers at Ravens

MDS’s take: This rivalry game loses a little luster after both teams laid an egg last week. I think the Ravens’ defense will get back on track and beat the Steelers.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 17, Steelers 14.

Florio’s take: The anthem issue has created more of a problem for the Steelers than they’ll ever admit, and they have a bad habit of laying eggs on the road. The Ravens, reeling from an embarrassment on both side of the ball in London, aren’t about to let that happen again. Ultimately, the home team gets the edge in one of the best rivalries in football.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 16, Steelers 13.

Bengals at Browns

MDS’s take: The Bengals’ offense showed signs of life after making a coordinator change, and I think they should put plenty of points on the board in Cleveland.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 31, Browns 17.

Florio’s take: The Battle for Ohio is once again the sink to the bottom. The Bengals have found the end zone, neither has found the victory column, and the road team simply has more talent — if they use it properly.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 24, Browns 20.

Rams at Cowboys

MDS’s take: This is probably the hardest game on the board for me to pick. Based only on what’s happened this season, the Rams are the better team. And yet I’m not sure I’m ready to pick the Rams to win this kind of road game just yet. I’ll take the Cowboys.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 20, Rams 17.

Florio’s take: The Rams looked great last Thursday and they’ve had extra time to get ready, but the Cowboys have a better-than-expected defense, and quarterback Dak Prescott is putting the offense on his back.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Rams 20.

Eagles at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Chargers are a better team than their 0-3 record suggests. They’ll get their first win on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 27, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take: The 0-3 Chargers aren’t as bad as their record indicates, and the 2-1 Eagles aren’t as good as theirs suggests. With a trip to face the Giants followed by games against the Raiders, Broncos, and Patriots, this could be L.A.’s B team’s best chance to win a game before the bye.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 30, Eagles 24.

Giants at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Giants have been perhaps this season’s most disappointing team. I don’t know when they’ll get their first win, but it won’t be Sunday in Tampa.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 30, Giants 20.

Florio’s take: The Tampa Bay defense is littered with injuries, and the Giants desperately need to turn the page on three straight losses. Throw in a young quarterback with a penchant for trying too hard to make a difference and a defense that will cause him to make mistakes, it’s time for the Giants to get a W.

Florio’s pick: Giants 23, Buccaneers 20.

49ers at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The 49ers are running the ball well, and they could keep this one close because of that. But I ultimately think the Cardinals have too much firepower for the 49ers’ defense.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 27, 49ers 21.

Florio’s take: Short week for the home team meets extra time for the 49ers, who have to feel better about themselves are taking the Rams to the limit. It’s time for Kyle Shanahan to get his first career win.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 27, Cardinals 23.

Raiders at Broncos

MDS’s take: In a close game that could go either way, I like the Broncos to win at home and drop the Raiders into third place in the AFC West.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 17, Raiders 14.

Florio’s take: Both teams were force fed large slice of humble pie in Week Three. The Broncos seem to have the defense to keep the Oakland offense in check. If Trevor Siemian can better protect the ball, the Broncos should knock the Raiders to third place in the division.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 20, Raiders 17.

Colts at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Seahawks have not played well this season, but the Colts coming to town is just what they need.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 31, Colts 13.

Florio’s take: It’s desperation time in Seattle, and the Seahawks seem to thrive in that context. Of course, if they want to experience real desperation, losing to the Colts will make that happen.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 17, Colts 13.

Washington at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Chiefs’ offense is rolling, and I just don’t think Washington can keep up.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Washington 20.

Florio’s take: Washington’s win over the Raiders makes this game better, but the Chiefs continue to be the better team on both sides of the ball. For entertainment purposes, here’s hoping it won’t get ugly. But it definitely could.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 27, Washington 17.