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Stampede Blue’s NFL Week 4 staff picks

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers Green Bay Press-Gazette-USA TODAY Sports

The closing week of September NFL football is upon us and it kicks off with an exciting duel between two of the best, physically gifted quarterbacks in the game. Aaron Rodgers and his 3-0 Packers take on Carson Wentz and the struggling 1-2 Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field on Thursday Night Football. The Eagles need to secure a win to stay in the NFC East race with Dallas, while the Packers need to keep their own edge in an NFC North that’s 9-2-1 through three weeks.

Sunday is a little bit of a letdown in terms of marquee match-ups, with games like the Giants vs. the Redskins, the Chargers playing Miami on the road, a 1-2 battle between the Titans and Falcons and two underwhelming 2-1 teams in the Panthers and Texans facing off in Houston. Two undefeated teams meet in Detroit, as MVP-frontrunner Pat Mahomes will try to slice and dice Matt Patricia’s Lions defense, and Baker Mayfield will look to move past his rough start on the road against a talented Baltimore Ravens program.

The Colts host a Raiders team that has looked anything but impressive the last two weeks, and the battle of the AFC East’s undefeated Bills and Patriots will take place in Buffalo. Weather forecast in that one calls for several unidentified flying objects on the field (if you know, you know).

The late afternoon slate sees Kyler Murray’s first showdown against Seattle’s defense and the battle for the second-best team in the NFC North between the 2-1 Vikings and 2-1 Bears. Jameis Winston will hope his connection with Mike Evans keeps humming as they play a very talent Los Angeles Rams defense, and Vic Fangio hopes his defense can finally record a sack against Jacksonville and the enigma that is Gardner Minshew.

Sunday Night Football gives us the Cowboys hosting the Saints, with Teddy Bridgewater hoping to extend his strong play against another talented and athletic defense. Dallas has been rolling through the early portion of the season, but this game against New Orleans will be a real test to whether or not their convincing wins over the Giants, Redskins and Dolphins have any validity to them.

As if the week was missing any more underwhelming games, Monday Night Football gives us the winless Bengals traveling East to take on the winless Steelers. With Pittsburgh trading away its 2020 draft picks like they’re making a run for the Super Bowl, every win will count so they don’t hand away a top-five pick to Miami this April.

The Stampede Blue staff picks are in, with Greg Rader leading the way with a narrow one-game lead over four other staffers. Let’s check on the full standings, along with seeing how everyone has Week 4 in the NFL playing out.

Greg Rader: 35-12 / Chris Blystone: 34-13 / Mateo Caliz: 34-13 / Elliot Denton: 34-13 / Brett Mock: 34-13 / Josh Hudgens: 31-16 / Blake Pace: 30-17 / Chris Shepherd: 30-17 / Andrew Aziz: 29-18 / Stephen Reed: 29-18 / Matt Danely: 28-19 / Zach Hicks: 28-19

Thursday 8:20 pm ET

Eagles @ Packers (9) | Contrarians: Mateo Caliz, Zach Hicks, Stephen Reed

Sunday 1:00 pm ET

Redskins @ Giants (10) | Contrarians: Matt Danely, Josh Hudgens

Chiefs (11) @ Lions | Contrarian: Reed

Titans @ Falcons

Browns @ Ravens (10) | Contrarians: Hudgens, Brett Mock

Raiders @ Colts

Patriots (11) @ Bills | Contrarian: Chris Blystone

Panthers @ Texans (9) | Contrarians: Elliot Denton, Hicks, Blake Pace

Chargers @ Dolphins

Sunday 4:05 pm ET

Buccaneers @ Rams

Seahawks (11) @ Cardinals | Contrarian: Blystone

Sunday 4:25 pm ET

Vikings (7) @ Bears | Contrarians: Caliz, Hudgens, Mock, Reed, Chris Shepherd

Jaguars @ Broncos (6) | Contrarians: Danely, Denton, Pace, Greg Rader, Reed, Shepherd

Sunday 8:20 pm ET

Cowboys (9) @ Saints | Contrarians: Denton, Hicks, Rader

Monday 8:15 pm ET

Bengals @ Steelers (6) | Contrarians: Blystone, Caliz, Danely, Denton, Hudgens, Mock

Who do you have coming out on top in Week 4?