2011 NFL Week 4 Primer

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz reacts on the sidelines during the second half of their NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Detroit, Michigan December 20, 2009. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Panthers @ Bears, 1:00PM ET
Jay Cutler admitted on Wednesday that the pressure he’s facing on a weekly basis is starting to affect him. This of course prompted ESPN’s “First Take” to discuss whether or not there is too much crying coming from quarterbacks. You know what? I’m with Cutler. The offensive line has one job to do in pass protection: Protect the quarterback. If the front five isn’t doing their job then how does anyone believe Cutler can do his?

Bills @ Bengals, 1:00PM ET
If I’m a Bills fan I’m on top of the world right now but I’d also be a little leery about this Sunday. You’re coming off an emotion come-from-behind win against the Patriots last week at home and now you have to travel to Cincinnati to play a Bengals team that is more competitive than people think. Don’t get me wrong: this is a game Buffalo should win. But beware the letdown.

Titans @ Browns, 1:00PM ET
Apparently the Titans are considering splitting out Chris Johnson more as a receiver in the weeks ahead. Hey Tennessee, how about you figure out why Johnson is only rushing for 2.1 yards per carry at his normal position before trying him out at another one?

Lions @ Cowboys, 1:0oPM ET
After surrendering 20 points to the Vikings in the first half last week by blitzing heavily, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said his defense is unlikely to send extra defenders in Week 4. Of course, if Cowboys’ center Phil Costa is as bad snapping the ball on Sunday as he was on Monday night against the Redskins, the Lions won’t need to blitz much.

Vikings @ Chiefs, 1:00PM ET
When asked on Wednesday how his team is going to fix the struggles it’s been having in the second half of games, Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier responded with: “There’s a second half?”

Redskins @ Rams, 1:00PM ET
It’s funny, in preseason this was the only game on the Rams’ brutal first-half schedule that people figured would be a sure win. But Washington is 2-1 and certainly has enough offensive firepower to hand St. Louis its fourth straight loss. (Not that that “firepower” showed up in Dallas on Monday night.)

49ers @ Eagles, 1:00PM ET
Michael Vick is 100% sure that he’s going to play this Sunday against the 49ers. He’s about 10% sure that he’s going to finish it, however.

Saints @ Jaguars, 1:00PM ET
With so much attention being paid to the feel-good Lions and Bills, hardly anyone is talking about how the Saints have scored 30-plus points in all three of their games this year. I’m telling you: Don’t sleep on New Orleans this year. They have issues on defense but this is a Super Bowl-caliber team again.

Steelers @ Texans, 1:00PM ET
Here’s a perfect opportunity for the Texans to notch that one signature win that can build confidence in them the rest of the season. They nearly knocked off the Saints last weekend in New Orleans before running out of gas in the fourth quarter. With Arian Foster set to return this week, a win over the Steelers could do wonders for a team that still hasn’t proven that it belongs among the top teams in the AFC.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning kneels on the field during the closing minutes of their victory over the Washington Redskins in their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland January 2, 2011. The Giants failed to make the playoffs due to the Green Bay Packers victory over the Chicago Bears. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Giants @ Cardinals, 4:05PM ET
Watch the Giants go out and lose to the Cardinals this Sunday. Eli Manning and Co. looked fantastic last weekend in Philadelphia and displayed that tough attitude it had during the playoffs back in 2007. But you watch: Eli will have that dumbfounded, goofy expression on his face at some point in the second half on Sunday and I wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona wins.

Falcons @ Seahawks, 4:05PM ET
If the Falcons don’t get their issues solved along the offensive line then this is going to be a long year for Matt Ryan and an Atlanta team that had the best record in the NFC last season. With the Packers coming to town next Sunday, this essentially is a must win for the Falcons. Unfortunately for them playing in Seattle is like playing in an alternate universe, no matter how poorly the Hawks may be playing.

Broncos @ Packers, 4:15PM ET
It’ll be interesting to see if Green Bay comes out with more focus than it did two weeks ago in Carolina. After beating the Saints in a wild Week 1 matchup, the Packers blinked and they were down 10-0 to the Panthers in Week 2. After soundly beating the Bears last Sunday, we’ll see if Aaron Rodgers and Co. can avoid sleepwalking against an inferior Denver opponent.

Patriots @ Raiders, 4:15PM ET
You have to love the reaction following a New England loss. It’s like all of Massachusetts comes to a standstill before Tom Brady gives a weeks worth of serious press conferences about how the team will bounce back. Brady and the Pats are fine. Even they suffer meltdowns from time to time. That said, this is an interesting game out in Oakland because the Raiders aren’t pushovers any more. They really took it to the Jets in the second half last week.

Dolphins @ Chargers, 4:15PM ET
One would think that the Chargers would come out and steamroll a hapless Miami team that has to travel cross-country and is one or two more losses from getting its coach fired. But then again you would have thought the Bolts would have crushed a Kansas City team last Sunday that had been outscored 89-6 in its previous two games. The Chargers always rack up pretty stats but miscues usually keeps their opponents in the game.

Jets @ Ravens, 8:20PM ET
Rex Ryan visits his former team with his new one this Sunday night in what should be the best matchup of the day. Of course, if I’m Baltimore I’m running and passing to Ray Rice on every down after just witnessing what Darren McFadden did to Ryan’s defense last week. I bet it hasn’t been a light practice for the Jets’ defense all week.

Colts @ Bucs, 8:30PM ET, Monday
Boy the schedule makers really flubbed by putting the Colts on national television the last two weeks, huh? Of course, they didn’t know Peyton Manning would be out and Indy would be relying on Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter. Still, the Monday night matchups thus far haven’t been too attractive. Patriots-Dolphins? Raiders-Broncos? Rams-Giants? Cowboys-Redskins looked good on paper and then the game started. Now Colts-Bucs? Yikes.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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