By Sam Carroll @3samcarroll
Welcome to another edition of the Onside Kick column, with me, Sam Carroll. Going into week four of the 2020 NFL season, there are plenty of matchups that peak the curiosity, so here we will dive into five of the best ones…
New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs
The two most recent Superbowl champions face off at Arrowhead Stadium, though for the Patriots at least, a lot has changed since Tom Brady lifted that Lombardi trophy in 2019. New England Quarterback, Cam Newton will be one of the key points of interest yet again, as he has defied expectations in the first three weeks of the season, leading the Pats to a 2-1 record. Of course, though, the Chiefs offence will be the main attraction. Patrick Mahomes with his full array of weapons is must see TV no matter who is playing on the other side.
Prediction: Chiefs win 27-20
The Patriots and Chiefs have played a lot of games over the years but none were as historic as the AFC Championship Game.— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) September 28, 2020
Going into Arrowhead as underdogs and coming away with a win in overtime was legendary.
Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys
Possibly the most intriguing of all the week four matchups, this is a clash between two teams who really don’t know where their season is heading. The Browns started atrociously, being battered by the Baltimore Ravens in week one, but have come back and played well since then, all-be-it against some lacklustre teams. The Cowboys season has already been a rollercoaster; disappointing against the Los Angeles Rams on opening weekend, then having the mighty 19-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons, then nearly upsetting the Seattle Seahawks, but ultimately not having enough quality to finish the job. The result of this game could go either way, and be pivotal for both of these teams’ seasons.
Prediction: Browns win 28-27
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
Although the Titans’ facilities did get shut down earlier in the week due to a coronavirus outbreak, the NFL is insistent that this game goes ahead. Irresponsible as it would be, if it does go ahead, this game does promise to be a cracker. The Titans have been solid so far in this young season, with Ryan Tannehill leading them to a 3-0 record, despite Derrick Henry being relatively quiet. The Steelers have also been impressive. Their defence is arguably the best in the league, featuring the likes of TJ Watt, Joe Haden and Devin Bush, and the offence has been up to scratch aswell. This is shaping up to be a really interesting game.
Prediction: Steelers win 24-21
Buffalo Bills at Las Vegas Raiders
The Buffalo Bills were lucky to come away with a win last week, blowing a 25-point lead to the Los Angeles Rams only to benefit from a dubious pass interference call and score the game-winning touchdown. They’ll hope week four will be much easier, however, the Raiders are no pushovers either. Derek Carr is having his best start to a season since 2016, helped by the solid offensive line and the exciting group of playmakers around him. On the other side, Bills quarterback, Josh Allen is also playing exceptionally well, sitting only behind Dak Prescott in passing yards.
Prediction: Bills win 34-28
Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans
The battle of two disappointing teams looking to get their first win of the season. Well, that may be a bit harsh on the Texans, considering they have played the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers in their opening three games, all of whom should comfortably make the playoffs. However, the Vikings have definitely not lived up to expectations, and will be hoping to take advantage of the Texans poor run of form. All this is if this game goes ahead, as the Vikings have also had to suspend all their club activities after they played the Tennessee Titans last weekend. If this all goes as planned, though, a win for either side here would quench raising concerns about their playoff chances
Prediction: Texans win 28-17