It’s Week 10, and we’ve got quite a few juicy match-ups to look forward to. The Bengals and Browns clash in Cincy to determine the champion of Ohio, as well as first place (potentially) in the AFC North. Two playoff teams from a year ago in San Francisco and New Orleans square off in the Big Easy with each squad looking to rescue their season in a pivotal tilt. Miami’s suddenly high-octane offense will be put to the test on the road in the Motor City against 6-2 Detroit. Also, there is a sneaky good battle that will take place in Buffalo as the Bills and Chiefs will each face off looking to improve to 6-3 and keep pace in their respective division races. All of this action and more will take place this week. Below are my predictions.
Last Week: 8-5
Thursday, November 6th, 8:25 e.t.
Cleveland Browns (5-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1)
The Browns haven’t been playing their best football as of late, but they are getting the job done having won four out of their last five contests. That said, since the injury to Alex Mack, it has been tougher for them to run the ball, and that is putting the onus on Brian Hoyer to carry the team. Hoyer the destroyer was able to notch a “W” last year against these Bengals, but that was in Cleveland. In the Jungle, during prime time, I see the Browns struggling to keep up. Cincinnati, despite struggling on defense a week ago, is looking like it is on the upswing and this would be a good game for them to impose their will. I like the cats at home to light up the Cleveland defense.
Cincinnati 42, Cleveland 21
Sunday, November 9th, 1:00 e.t.
San Francisco 49ers (4-4) @ New Orleans Saints (4-4)
This one is going to have the feel of a playoff game, as it pits two teams that really do not wish to fall below .500. New Orleans, coming off healthy 28-10 win in Carolina, is in better shape this season given the division they are playing in. Their 4-4 record is good enough to claim first place in the NFC South. For San Fran, 4-4 places them third in a very competitive division which is paced by the 7-1 Cardinals. Simply put, the Niners need this win. Unfortunately I don’t think they will get it. It is hard for any team to win in New Orleans and I think the Saints are about ready to turn things around and make a run here. Seeing how the 49er offense struggled at home coming off of their BYE, I don’t have much confidence that they will be able to piece together enough firepower to run with the home team here.
New Orleans 35, San Francisco 22
Atlanta Falcons (2-6) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7)
This is a do or die game for both teams. Although playoff hopes for each are slim, they do play in the NFC South and with a Falcon win and a New Orleans loss, Atlanta would be only one game out of first place (if you can believe that). Likewise, the Buccaneers could begin to rattle the cage if they were able to pick up the divisional win. I did like what I saw from Mike Evans last week, but with the quarterback situation up in the air down in Tampa, I’m going to put my money on Matt Ryan, who lit the Bucs up the last time these two teams played in Week 3. Sure, that was in Atlanta, but on this Sunday I see Ryan hooking up with Julio Jones for a couple of scores en route to a nice win.
Atlanta 27, Tampa Bay 19
Tennessee Titans (2-6) @ Baltimore Ravens (5-4)
The Ravens were flat out destroyed by the Steelers on Sunday Night a week ago, as they were outscored 43-16 over the final three quarters. They will likely rebound at home against a feeble Tennessee squad that is coming off of their BYE. Joe Flacco has been pretty good this season and the Baltimore running game has gotten the job done. Their defense hasn’t been too bad either (especially at home). As the Ravens are the superior team, I am picking them to win. Plus, they cannot afford to fall any further behind in the competitive AFC North.
Baltimore 31, Tennessee 15
Dallas Cowboys (6-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) (London)
Whether or not Tony Romo plays in this game still remains to be seen, but either way I predict a Dallas win. They fell behind in the second quarter last week to 7-1 Arizona and had to stray from the running game. DeMarco Murray only had 79 yards in that game. I think we will see a re-commitment to the running game in an attempt to limit the action of whatever quarterback lines up behind Travis Frederick in this one. Jacksonville’s run defense is pretty porous so the ‘Boys should have no trouble exploiting them for a momentous win.
Dallas 38, Jacksonville 13
Miami Dolphins (5-3) @ Detroit Lions (6-2)
The Dolphins, fresh off of a huge shutout win at home over San Diego, are going to be tested this week against the Detroit Lions (a team that hasn’t played since Week 8 in London). The Lion defense has really carried the team thus far and they will do so again in this game. Although Ryan Tannehill has played great over the last month, there is still some uncertainty in his game. Until he can prove that he is a consistent player, he does not earn the benefit of the doubt when going up against top-ranked defenses such as the one in Detroit. I like the Lions to get’r’ done at home.
Detroit 24, Miami 20
Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) @ Buffalo Bills (5-3)
It might shock some people to see that both of these teams are two games above even this season, but that is the case. The Chiefs have gotten it done on the strength of a balanced and mistake-free offense while the Bills have rode their stingy defense to this point in the campaign. I see a low scoring affair that will feature at least eight combined sacks and four combined turnovers. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Chiefs’ offensive line matches up against the Bills’ front seven. I predict that they do just enough to get the win. This is a team that has played very tough on the road this year, so I have confidence that they can do it again in a game where they will have to grind hard to come away with the victory. Give Jamaal Charles 104 rushing yards and Dwayne Bowe his first receiving touchdown of the year.
Kansas City 16, Buffalo 13
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) @ New York Jets (1-8)
Ben Roethlisberger has been playing out of his mind over the past two weeks. He has tossed an NFL record 12 touchdowns over the course of two games and has lead his team to 94 points during that time. Meanwhile, the Jets are going nowhere fast as the team is averaging only 17.1 points per game this season. Their running game has not been great and their quarterbacks have left much to be desired. At least Jets fans can enjoy watching Percy Harvin do big things. I see him getting a long touchdown of some sort this week and I also have a feeling that Gang Green will play tough on defense. While I don’t expect the Steelers to roll the Jets over, I do see them picking up a nice win. They are too hot right now to lose to one of the worst teams in football, even on the road.
Pittsburgh 21, New York 17
Sunday, November 9th, 4:05 e.t.
Denver Broncos (6-2) @ Oakland Raiders (0-8)
I almost feel bad for the Raiders. They continue to fight hard and are not earning a win to show their good efforts. Now they will be hosting a pissed off Peyton Manning and a Denver Bronco team that got it handed to them last week in Foxboro. It should be bombs away for Denver as they look to pick themselves up in a big way. Derek Carr will make a couple of mistakes as well and Aqib Talib will score on a pick-six. Get ready for a long day Oakland.
Denver 45, Oakland 17
Sunday, November 9th, 4:25 e.t.
New York Giants (3-5) @ Seattle Seahawks (5-3)
Seattle just has not been itself since Week 6, and part of this has been because of inconsistent play on both sides of the ball. Of course, the Giants know a little something about inconsistent play as they have been the most streaky team in the league over the past two seasons. Even though the Seahawks have not been nearly as good at home this year as they were last, I like them to crank the volume up and make it awfully tough on New York. Eli Manning will eat the turf at least four times and will commit two turnovers. Marshawn Lynch rolls for 142 yards while Russell Wilson gets to relax and not have to worry about doing much. That’s right, I’m predicting a signature Seahawk win this week.
Seattle 37, New York 18
St. Louis Rams (3-5) @ Arizona Cardinals(7-1)
Even though the Cardinals have been playing great football this season and have been a tough out at home, I feel like picking the Rams here for no reason other than the fact that I need to go with an upset this week. Now, I should probably justify this pick. St. Louis has always (since Jeff Fisher took over) played its division rivals tough and they already have wins over Seattle and San Francisco this season. They used special teams to beat the Seahawks, defense to trump the Niners, and will complete the triangle by winning on the road with their offense. The Cardinals have been shaky against the pass, especially at home. Austin Davis will throw for three touchdowns and the Rams will close out the game by stuffing Arizona at the goal-line. Yup, two weeks in a row; how is that for a bold prediction?
St. Louis 27, Arizona 22
Sunday, November 9th, 8:30 e.t.
Chicago Bears (3-5) @ Green Bay Packers (5-3)
The Bears are in trouble if they cannot get out of the NFC North cellar. Unfortunately they have a tall task ahead of them, going on the road to Lambeau to take on a Green Bay team that is still chewing on a tough loss suffered at the hands of the Saints two weeks ago. Chicago’s offense has taken two steps back from the beginning of the year and Jay Cutler has struggled. I think the Bears will have to score at least 30 on the road to have a chance here. That probably does not happen. Plus, its Sunday Night Football, aka the blowout of the week. All things point to a big Green Bay victory.
Green Bay 44, Chicago 17
Monday, November 10th, 8:30 e.t.
Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) @ Philadelphia Eagles (6-2)
It is the beginning of the Mark Sanchez era in Philadelphia. With Nick Foles likely out for the remainder of the regular season, it will be up to the former Jet to get things done for the birds. Philly’s defense has been pretty good over the past few weeks save a couple of big plays. Luckily for them they are taking on the Panthers, a team that really struggles to make big plays. Carolina will have to try and play a little ball-control if they hope to win on the road. It’s too bad their ground game has not been all that strong. I do think Cam Newton can have a productive day with his legs though since DeMeco Ryans will be gone and Mychal Kendricks banged up. That said, it may not be enough. I don’t think that the Panther defense can slow down the Philly offense and they do not have the same amount of firepower to keep up on offense.
Philadelphia 29, Carolina 20
Week 10 Bonus Predictions
Upset of the Week: St. Louis over Arizona
Sure Bet of the Week: Dallas over Jacksonville
Rookie of the Week: Tre Mason
Offensive Player of the Week: LeSean McCoy
Defensive Player of the Week: Robert Quinn
Best Overall Offense: Green Bay Packers
Best Overall Defense: Buffalo Bills
Feel free to leave a comment stating what you think will happen in this weekend’s games!