NFL Week 10 Picks

Got some good news, bad news. Let’s start with the bad: I went 7-6 last week, by far the worst I’ve done this season, dragging the overall down to 83-50. The good? only three of ESPN’s experts did better, and by better I mean that all three went 8-5, so I didn’t lose a whole lot of ground in the grand scheme of things.

Onward and upward.

Your byes for Week 10: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England and NY Jets

Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings, Thursday, 8:25pm

Things looked so promising for the Vikings as time was winding down against the Cowboys, but they decided to pull a big D and blow it in the last minute. This week they return home to take on another team from the NFC East on a short week. The ‘Skins are looking for their first back-to-back wins of the year and hope to build off of an impressive OT win against the Chargers. Conventional wisdom tells me the ‘Skins should walk over the Vikes, but seeing their defense clamp down on Dallas the way they did for 3.5 quarters makes me believe they’ll be able do the same against a Washington team that has been horribly inconsistent from game to game. Vikings win 24-23

Philadelphia Eagles @ Green Bay Packers, 1pm

I’m still not positive which Nick Foles is going to show up at Lambeau Field on Sunday, but a large part of me hopes that he’ll be even just half of the guy that was in Oakland this past weekend (3+ touchdowns and 200+ yards would be amazing). Rodgers is out indefinitely which plays big into this one. Who will be starting in his place is still up in the air, but from their inactivity thus far this week, it appears they’ll go with Seneca Wallace. No matter who it is, I don’t expect their offense to be all that effective, even if it is the Eagles that they’re facing. The Birds D has stepped it up as the season has progressed, and the offense appears to be righting the ship. Eagles win 34-10

Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons, 1pm

After the near disaster that was last week, I’m up in the air about this one for the Seahawks—not to mention they’re traveling about as far across the country as they can go (with the exception of Miami and Jacksonville). Atlanta has a ton of injuries that they’re dealing with, but it’s hard to discount the ability of Matty Ice to sling the ball downfield. I’m not sure how effective he’s going to be, though, going against the NFL’s second-ranked passing defense, which is allowing just 179.8 passing yards per game. No passing attack + No serious run game, equals… Seahawks win 21-17

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears, 1pm

Josh McCown helped the Bears secure their first win at Lambeau since 2007, albeit against a much depleted Packers team. Still, the Bears have plenty to be happy about with their backup quarterback. It’s the other side of the ball that should have people worrying—as odd as that seems. The Chicago D is giving up just over 28 points (fourth worst in the league) and 381 yards of offense (seventh worst) per game. Not good news when you have one of the most prolific passing offenses coming into town. The weather may begin playing a factor here in November, but Megatron is a machine, and weather won’t slow him or Matthew Stafford down. Lions win 32-28

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans, 1pm

There’s a chance that the Jags could maybe…. ah forget it. Titans win 35-9

St. Louis Rams @ Indianapolis Colts, 1pm

Whatever juice Chuck Pagano gave his guys at halftime against the Texans worked perfectly. A team that looked down and out of it made a complete 180 and sent Houston to a miserable sixth straight loss. This week they’ll look to play like it’s the second half for the whole game and will get to toy with a St. Louis defense that is just below average—they’re near the bottom of the league in run defense, but actually rank pretty well against the pass (9th with 220.6 yards per game). Good luck keeping pace, Kellen Clemmens. Colts win 27-14

Oakland Raiders @ New York Giants, 1pm

They go from getting embarrassed to the tune of 7 TDs to having to travel across the country to face a quarterback that could conceivably throw 7 INTs in any given game. It probably won’t be this one, though. New York seems to have found their stride and get a pretty easy game at home coming off of an extra week of rest. I don’t see Eli having a perfect QB rating kind of day (like Foles did… let that sink in…) but he should, should!, be able to work his way around the league’s 25th ranked pass defense. Giants win 31-27

Buffalo Bills @ Pittsburgh Steelers, 1pm

I’m sure after that shellacking last week, the last thing anyone from Pittsburgh wants to see or hear about is the AFC East. But at least it’s the Bills, right? With the exception of one gorgeous pass in the first quarter, Jeff Tuel didn’t do much of anything and the Bills offense gave up two defensive TDs to Kansas City to spoil an otherwise impressive performance by their own defense. I see this game going pretty similarly—the Steelers and Chiefs have looked almost the same(ish) on offense this year, not very flashy, predicated around the run, and a passing game that shows up when it needs to. Results should be similar as well. Steelers win 17-13

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens, 1pm

Another divisional matchup for the Ravens to try and choke away, right here. For the Bengals, it’s just another game in general for them to try and choke away. Both teams, if you haven’t figured it out, are coming off of impressive choke-filled performances last week and are looking to forget about it quickly. Both were on the road, and both were ugly. The Ravens lost to a Jason Campbell-led Browns team (hell any Browns team is a bad team, let alone one with Jason Campbell under center), while the Bengals saw their chance slip away when Andy Dalton was sacked in the endzone in OT. Wouldn’t surprise me if this ended in a tie (You heard it here first if it happens!) but I’ll go with the Ravens at home, since they are 7-1 in their last eight home divisional games. Ravens win 26-20

Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers, 4:05pm

Forget the Bucs and Dolphins. This right here, ought to have been the Monday Night Football game this week. Carolina has been surging of late, thanks mostly to their defense and a maturing Cam Newton. The 49ers, on the other hand, have put a lot of pressure on their defense and asked Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick’s legs to carry the load. If Carolina can get a 2nd-ranked-rushing-defense performance out of their group and force the Niners to try and move the ball through the air with the league’s 31st ranked passing offense, they could eek out a road victory here. Panthers win 21-17

Houston Texans @ Arizona Cardinals, 4:25pm

Case Keenum loves him some Andre Johnson, and Andre Johnson loves him some Case Keenum. The duo was on fire early on, on Sunday night, but the situation with their Head Coach Gary Kubiak being taken out of the stadium on a stretch after suffering a mini stroke had to play some part in the team’s second-half collapse against the Colts. They’ll look to get back on the same page against a Cardinals defense that ranks 24th against the pass. If they can keep it together for four quarters, they should be able to snap their woeful skid. Texans win 27-23

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Charger, 4:25pm

This is where things get tough for Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Two of their next three games are against the two teams they’re chasing in the AFC West, starting with the Broncos this Sunday. This could very well turn into a shootout, but giving Peyton Manning an extra week of rest and preparation should be more than enough for Denver. This won’t be the bounce-back San Diego was hoping for after they failed to get the ball into the endzone from the one yard line on three tries late in the game against the Skins. Broncos win 42-35

Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints, 8:25pm

Poor Rob Ryan. Things didn’t go quite as planned against his brother Rex and the Jets, but he’ll get a chance at a different kind of redemption when he goes up against his former employer in national television. Demarcus Ware could be good to go in this one, which would be a big help for a defense that has been gouged for over 300 passing yards per game. Rob will have his unit prepared, going against an offense that he was able to practice against on a daily basis, which should play to their advantage. Plus, can you just picture in your head Tony Romo trying to play quarterback in the Superdome? The noise will be just too much to handle for the poor little guy. Saints win 33-28

Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Monday, 8:30pm

No one cares about this game. Dolphins win 6-3

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