The problem with analytics, statistics, and forecasting is that predictions and theories do not always come true. Although this truly isn’t a “problem” in reality, and actually makes NFL action one of the most exciting and often unpredictable sports in the world, it does not always bode well for those issuing predictions.
On paper, the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs shouldn’t be tied for the league lead in their respective divisions and both undefeated. In addition, the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers should not combine for zero wins and 12 losses in the first three weeks. During Week 3, the Cleveland Browns were not supposed to win, let alone score 31 points after starting their third-string quarterback and trading their starting running back. Well, they did and are now causing a lot of scratched heads.
Let’s take our best shot at predicting several difference makers for Week 4.
Alex Smith is having another solid start in 2013, just as he did in 2012, but on a different team and with more job security. Smith has thrown four touchdowns, zero interceptions and has averaged 223 passing yards per game. Basically, he is posting “Alex Smith” numbers, which are attractive considering the other highly ranked quarterbacks that are severely underperforming. He has also averaged 38 rushing yards, which is a nice addition. With a home matchup against the New York Giants this weekend, Smith should have one of his better starts this season.
Week 4 forecast: 225 passing yards, 30 rushing yards, 2 TD
With Daryl Richardson potentially not at full speed with a foot injury and scheduled for action against San Francisco on Thursday,
Isaiah Pead may have fantasy relevance in Week 4. His performance was satisfactory in Week 3 after Richardson left, but St. Louis had to abandon the run after Dallas jumped ahead quickly. The notorious San Francisco defensive line has been underwhelming this season as it has allowed more rushing touchdowns to opposing backs than any other team, and will be minus Aldon Smith for at least another several week.
Week 4 forecast: 75 total yards, TD