NFL Week 4 Primer

Jason CampbellSunday’s Best: Redskins (2-1) at Cowboys (3-0) 4:15 PM ET FOX
How stacked is the NFC East? Even Washington, the team expected to be the worst in the division, has looked strong since losing their opener to the Giants. In their sound win over the Packers last Sunday night, the Cowboys proved that they’re the class of the NFC. Dallas has a ton of offensive weapons, but the Skins could keep things close now that QB Jason Campbell is starting to look more comfortable in Jim Zorn’s West Coast Offense. Plus with RB Clinton Portis running well and the Cowboys’ run defense missing S Roy Williams, maybe this is a good time for Washington to face their NFC East foe.

Upset Watch: Eagles (2-1) at Bears (1-2) 8:15 PM ET NBC
Philadelphia is coming off an impressive win over the Steelers while Chicago once again gave up a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter while dropping its home opener to Tampa Bay. But the Eagles are banged up right now, with QB Donovan McNabb, RB Brian Westbrook and TE L.J. Smith all missing significant practice time this week. By all accounts, the Bears should be 3-0 right now, but blew wins at Carolina and home against Tampa Bay. Da Bears are tough to beat at home and the defense should bounce back after Brian Griese tuned them up in the fourth quarter and overtime last week. But can the offense generate enough points? Philly’s defense harassed Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger last week and will no doubt attempt to do the same this week against Kyle Orton. As of Friday, Devin Hester is still listed as questionable on the Bears’ injury report, but he could give Chicago a huge boost in the playmaking department if he could return.

Jon GrudenIntriguing Matchup: Packers (2-1) at Bucs (2-1), 1:00 PM ET FOX
Aaron Rodgers suffered his first defeat as a starter last week against Dallas, so it’ll be interesting to see how he and the Packers respond. Things don’t get any easier this weekend in Tampa, where the Bucs have won two straight and the offense is clicking with Brian Griese under center. Without the threat of a running game last week, Green Bay wasn’t as effective offensively as it had been in wins over Minnesota and Detroit, respectively. Can RB Ryan Grant bounce back against a tough defensive front seven of the Bucs? And how will the Packers fare without starting CB Al Harris (spleen)? Even though Green Bay is 2-1, it has issues that Jon Gruden and Tampa could expose.

Other Notable Games:
Vikings (1-2) at Titans (3-0), 1:00 PM ET FOX
After notching their first win of the season last week against Carolina, are the Vikings back? Adrian Peterson didn’t run wild last week, but the Minnesota defense stepped up and created scoring opportunities. They might need to do so again this week given the Vikes’ offense could struggle against a tough Titans’ D.

49ers (2-1) at Saints (1-2), 1:00 PM ET FOX
The 49ers would go long way in proving they’re for real if they can beat a banged up Saints team in New Orleans this Sunday. With how well the rest of the division is playing so far, the Saints can’t afford to fall to far behind in the NFC South.

Falcons (2-1) at Panthers (2-1), 1:00 PM FOX
The Panthers are eager to bounce back following their loss to Minnesota last Sunday, while the Falcons want to prove that their record isn’t just a byproduct of beating two bad teams (Detroit, Kansas City). The Panthers have the better overall talent, but Atlanta (especially DE John Abraham) has had some success playing in Carolina over the years.

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