Week 9 wasn’t as kind to me as Week 8, although most of my picks were competitive. In fact, the only team I picked that didn’t lose by six or less points was New England, who got absolutely trashed by the Cleveland Browns. This week also starts the part of the season when we start seeing Thursday night football games, so get ready for some NFL action before the weekends.
Last week’s prediction record: 8-5
Record on the season: 68-46
Upset Special record: 4-4
Here are my predictions for Week 10 of the 2010 NFL season:
Bye Week Teams: Green Bay Packers (6-3), New Orleans Saints (6-3), Oakland Raiders (5-4), San Diego Chargers (4-5)
Thursday, November 11 (Veterans Day): Baltimore Ravens (6-2) at Atlanta Falcons (6-2)
This year’s Veterans Day NFL game should be a great one. The Baltimore Ravens are one of the best teams in the AFC, while the Atlanta Falcons have shown that they deserve to be mentioned among the NFC elite. It’s tough to bet against the Atlanta Falcons when they’re playing in the Georgia Dome, but the Ravens are a great team who seems to be hitting their stride.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Baltimore Ravens defeat Atlanta Falcons
Detroit Lions (2-6) at Buffalo Bills (0-8)
Seems like I said this last week, but the Bills are poised for their first win of the season. They couldn’t get it done in Week 9 against the Chicago Bears, so now they get to face another NFC North team: The dangerous Detroit Lions. I actually think the Lions might be better than the Bears now that Matt Stafford is back at quarterback, but the Bills just can’t keep losing with how well they’ve played.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Buffalo Bills defeat Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings (3-5) at Chicago Bears (5-3)
Brett Favre has looked resurgent the last two weeks, but the Vikings still haven’t been able to look like the team that made the NFC Championship game last season. The Bears haven’t been a lot better this season, but Chicago’s defense has been much more consistent than Minnesota’s defense this season. Minnesota is floundering, and I think this might be the game that finally gets Brad Childress fired.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Chicago Bears defeat Minnesota Vikings
New York Jets (6-2) at Cleveland Browns (3-5) **Upset Special**
This game feels like a trap. On paper, the New York Jets look like a better team than the Cleveland Browns. Upon closer inspection, however, things don’t quite look the same. The Jets are coming off two straight games where their offense hasn’t exactly looked good, one of which they lost, the other had to be won in overtime. The Browns have won their past two games, defeating two very good teams in the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots. It seems very odd to say this, but I think the Browns beat the Jets in a close one.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Cleveland Browns defeat New York Jets
Cincinnati Bengals (2-6) at Indianapolis Colts (5-3)
The Cincinnati Bengals may be the most disappointing team in the AFC. Carson Palmer has been inconsistent all season, the defense has been underwhelming, and just about nothing seems to be going right. Now the Bengals have to face a Colts team that is very unhappy with their performance in Week 9 against Philly and will likely come out swinging. The Colts should roll at home.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Indianapolis Colts defeat Cincinnati Bengals
Tennessee Titans (5-3) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)
The Miami Dolphins haven’t won a game at home this season. The Titans are 3-1 on the road this season. One of the biggest X factors in this game will be the health of Titans quarterback Vince Young. He was injured in Week 8’s loss to the Chargers, but Tennessee had Week 9 off and he may be ready to go. I think the Titans win this game regardless of who starts at quarterback, but Young makes the odds much better.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Tennessee Titans defeat Miami Dolphins
Carolina Panthers (1-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-3)
I don’t think I have to tell anyone how bad the Carolina Panthers are. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should roll through this one. Let’s move on.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat Carolina Panthers
Houston Texans (4-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has struggled this season against good defenses, but has feasted upon teams with below average pass defenses. Has it been mentioned that the Houston Texans have the worst pass defense in the NFL? The Texans’ feel good season has slowly spiraled down into same-old, same-old territory, and that trend looks to continue against the Jaguars.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars defeat Houston Texans
Dallas Cowboys (1-7) at New York Giants (6-2)
Nothing to see here. If the Giants don’t win by at least 20 it’s a moral victory for the Cowboys.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: New York Giants defeat Dallas Cowboys
Seattle Seahawks (4-4) at Arizona Cardinals (3-5)
It’s the battle of two teams who are a combined 7-8 despite having a combined -119 point differential on the season. If Matt Hasselbeck isn’t able to go for the Seahawks, this could turn into a long, ugly game. If Hasselbeck is healthy, the game will still be long, but probably not quite as ugly.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Seattle Seahawks defeat Arizona Cardinals
St. Louis Rams (4-4) at San Francisco 49ers (2-6)
Who San Francisco starts at quarterback will say a lot about head coach Mike Singletary. Troy Smith played better in his one start than Alex Smith had in any of his seven starts this season for the 49ers, and I believe that Troy Smith is the answer if the 49ers want to beat the Rams and try to salvage an awful season. Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams aren’t the punching bag that they’ve been in recent years, and if Alex Smith starts this game the Rams should be able to roll. If Troy Smith starts, it’s more of a toss-up, but I’m still going to go with the Rams. I’m just a lot less confident in the pick.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: St. Louis Rams defeat San Francisco 49ers
New England Patriots (6-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
Before this past weekend, this looked like it would be a close fought matchup between two of the AFC’s best teams. Now, after the Patriots were trounced by a Browns team that lost handily to Pittsburgh two weeks earlier, the Steelers will probably come into this game as the clear favorites. New England isn’t going to roll over and let the Steelers steamroll them, but they’re going to need to play a lot better than they did last week if they want to win this game.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers defeat New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) at Denver Broncos (2-6)
The Chiefs still have four games left against AFC West opponents, including two against a floundering Broncos squad. The Broncos are sure to be both tired and demoralized after losing to the 49ers in London last week, while the Chiefs need to win to make sure they keep pace in the division after losing to the Raiders in Week 9. Kansas City should be able to win, although it’s never easy playing in Mile High Stadium.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs defeat Denver Broncos
Monday Night Game: Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) at Washington Redskins (4-4)
Want to hear an amazing stat? Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick hasn’t thrown a single interception this season, has 9 total TDS (7 passing, 2 rushing), and would be leading the league in passer rating if he hadn’t missed three weeks with an injury. Vick is playing better than Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb in almost every possible way right now, and for that reason alone I think the Eagles can beat the Redskins on Monday Night.
2010 Week 10 Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles defeat Washington Redskins
All stats and standings from espn.com