Week 10 Predictions

Posted Nov 9, 2017

Who are you picking to win the week 10 games?

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seattle (5-3) at Arizona (4-4): Bird Derby! Thursday night has become a nightmare for me: I've picked the visitors in four of the last five games and been wrong three of the four times. As the season goes on, and teams become more banged up and tired, the home team's advantage should start to assert itself more. And this week's game reminds me a lot of last week's, with the visitor seeming the natural favourite. But the Seahawks offense is faltering: Jimmy Graham not only has the drops, but he knocked Tanner McEvoy off the potential game-winning Hail Mary against the Skins last week. The Seahawks' O line still looked vulnerable, and between penalties (16 for 138 yards) and that weakness deep (Earl Thomas is out) that we saw Houston exploit, Arizona's deep passing game, which Drew Stanton can execute, could be a threat. AP had a big running day (37/159) but will find it harder this week. I can see this one being an upset for the Cards, but I can't stop myself from picking (posted Thursday @carlsonsports): Seahawks

FRIDAY MORNING MELTDOWN: It wasn't pretty but it was effective. Graham caught two red zone TDs, but the big play was a scramble and throw from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin for 54 yards. In fact, half of Wilson's passing yards came on just two throws, the other being a 43 yarder to Paul Richardson. The Cards sacked him 5 times, and the Seahawks could barely run the ball, but AP carried 21 times for just 29 yards and fumbled. Seattle maintained their penalty pace with 12/108: it should be said that both Pete Carroll's secondary and Tom Cable's line are coached to test the rules, especially on holding. Dion Jordan made his comeback with a sack and the Blair Walsh project was 2/2 on figgies, but more crucial for the Seahawks, though lost Richard Sherman (Achilles) for the season and Duane Brown (ankle) as well.


New Orleans (6-2) at Buffalo (5-3): That's the Crystal Hot Sauce Red Hot Saints with six wins in a row at the Bills who were Thursday'd in their loss at the Jets. It's the Saints' D that's different this season, and it will be fun watching two rookie corners, Marshon Lattimore and Tre'Davious White, who in my mind are 1-2 in the running for DROY. Running's been crucial for New Orleans, with Ingram and Kamara both offering dual threats from the backfield; it's also key for the Bills: holding Shady McCoy in check is the way to beat them, forcing Tyrod Taylor and an average receiving corps to beat you. The Saints wideouts are less imposing than in the past too, which is why the run is the key here. Sean McDermott knows the Saints well from his days in Carolina, too. Pick: Bills

Green Bay (4-4) at Chicago (3-5): The Bears coming off a bye and watching the Pack on Monday, which means short week for Mike McCarthy to teach Brett Hundley the system. It's obvious this Brett doesn't have Rodgers Vision, that peripheral magic that reveals open receivers away from the side of the field he's scanning. Green Bay has more playmakers than the Bears, but they need to see the ball. Jordan Howard 30 carries anyone? Pick: Bears

Cleveland (0-8) at Detroit (4-4): The Browns coming off their bye-bye week, the Lions coming off a good win in Green Bay. Is this a difficult decision? Even if Josh Gordon made a surprise appearance for the Browns. Pick: Lions

Pittsburgh (6-2) at Indianapolis (3-6): So the Colts squeaked by the Tom Savage Texans thanks to a goal line stand in the final minute and the Steelers are rested and ready and have a QB who is slightly more mobile than the statue of Peyton outside the Colts' dome. Pick: Steelers

LA Chargers (3-5) at Jacksonville (5-3): The Jags should have Leonard Fournette back, but they seem to play better on offense when he's out. Blake Bortles was not brilliant, in fact he got away with a few mistakes against a declining Bengals team, but that wasn't noticed in the excitement about THE FIGHT. The challenge will be protecting Bortles from Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, because when he's under pressure he does make mistakes. But I think the Jags' D can make life almost as difficult for the Chargers, which sets up Melvin Gordon as their key man. Pick: Jags

New York Jets (4-5) at Tampa Bay (2-6): Ryan Fitzpatrick Bowl! Never count out a Harvard man with strong motivation to embarrass his former employers, but whether it was Jameis or Fitz last week didn't matter, the Bucs stunk it up in New Orleans while the Jets were stomping an obviously Thursday'd Bills squad. Picking the Jest on the road sounds like an extremely foolish thing to do: but with Mike Evans sitting a week for his sucker punch, this Josh McCown-Fitzpatrick Jestastic Bucalicious matchup is driving me crazy. Pick: Jets

Cincinnati (3-5) at Tennessee (5-3): Palindromic records! It's hard to figure what the Bengals offered last week apart from AJ Green's neck-breaker and ground and pound on Jalen Ramsey. Green wasn't suspended, so he's back and probably angry and the Titans don't have a Jalen Ramsey on their roster. I said sometime in preseason I thought Mike Mularkey had the ability to convert any roster into an 8-8 team; he could be the Jeff Fisher of his generation. A win this week gets him three quarters of the way there. Pick: Titans

Minnesota (6-2) at Washington (4-4): The Skins' win in Seattle wasn't quite the shocker the Giants win in Denver was, but I wonder if it showed us we are overrating Seattle and maybe underrating the Beltway Bandits. Their D played well against Seattle, though Blair Walsh isn't kicking for the Vikes anymore. Case Keenum remains the starter, but Teddy B is back, though how ready he might be is something that's hard to know. Key player in this game, oddly enough, might be Josh Norman, who needs to shut down half the field for Washington. How their offensive line fares against the Vikes? Well, they did well enough against Seattle, but Kirk Cousins unloaded his big pass with Michael Bennett just about to sack him. This is potentially the most explosive game of the week. Pick: Vikes

Houston (3-5) at LA Rams (6-2): Wade Phillips ought to show up for this one wearing a toga and a laurel wreath and on every play give a thumbs up or thumbs down for whether his D should execute Tom Savage or not. By the way, when the Texans cut newly-signed Matt McGloin and signed Josh Johnson, who hasn't thrown a pass since 2011, the collusion case against the NFL became a whole lot more believable. Pick: Rams

Dallas (5-3) at Atlanta (4-4): I was wrong about Zeke playing, and wrong about the Cowboys playing so well against the Chiefs. But the NFL's were in court this week like they had big money on the Falcons and the points, and barring some sort of legal miracle, like Earl Warren rising from the dead, or Jerry Jones suing Mike Perreira, Zeke should be starting his suspension this week. The Falcons' O is kind of like the Chiefs' in that they ought to be more productive than they are. The pieces are the same but they aren't fitting the puzzle this year. This may be Sarkisian's fault, it may be Matt Ryan's but at times the Falcons look simply floundering. Curiously, both Dan Bailey and Matt Bryant could miss this game, in case it turns into a kickfest. Pick: Cowboys

New York Giants (1-7) at San Francisco (0-9): Welcome to NFL Disparity. The blame game has already started in the Big Apple: take your pick McAdo? Eli? Spags? Jerry Reese? It's like a carnival whack-a-mole game. The Giants' D is supposed to be their strength, but watching them get tattooed last week makes you wonder. The Niners are not the Rams, however. If they were they'd be playing in Santa Cruz not Santa Clara. I would take any information Kyle Shanahan gives the media about his QB plans with a grain of salt about the size of Mike Shanahan's chin. I would be sorely tempted to start Jimmy G this week: he's a quick study and even if he's not he's not CJ Beathard. This in itself might be a good argument for Kyle to simplify his nomenclature. Remember it took Matt Ryan a whole year to learn it. I'd throw a dart at a board to pick this game, but the dart would miss the board. I'd flip a coin, but Jeff Triplette would intercept the toss and run down the road yelling 'tails, no heads, no tails, no heads...' Pick: No One. OK. Pick: Niners

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: New England (6-2) at Denver (3-5): This isn't your usual Sunday Night prime time matchup, but it isn't your usual Denver team, ready to chew up the Pats as Vince Wilfork runs out of oxygen. While you can see them running the ball well against the Pats' less than imposing front seven (I still insist Dont'a Hightower's injury might the most crucial non-QB injury in the league—I said 'might' before you start tweeting me corrections) and you can see them getting to Brady, and you can argue that the Pats are one of the worst teams in the league rushing the passer, and rush, not confusion, is the way to beat the Passing Primate Trevor Siemian, or The Heist, Brock Osweiler, or Paxton Lynch Kelly Lynch John Lynch or Chad Kelly whoever else might play QB for Denver. Bring back Kyle Sloter. Pick: Pats

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Miami (4-4) at Carolina (6-3): Miami seems to be the league's new Prime Time favourites. But the Panthers, whose offense is now mostly Cam Newton acting like he's back in college, and Christian McCaffrey ditto, play much better when Luke Kuechley is in their D, it's like the aforementioned Pats and Hightower, or the Cowboys and Sean Lee, maybe the Seahawks and Earl Thomas. Jay Cutler had a very Cutleresque game last week, 311 yards 3 TDs no ints, but no one noticed as they managed to lose to Oakland at home (in a 21 penalty 212 yard fun fest), highlighted by the Raiders Marshall Newhouse getting helicoptered as he tried to run the ball, then deflated like that blow-up lifesaving doll Sam Adams used to burst in a TV commercial. Pick: Panthers

BYE WEEKS: Baltimore (4-5), Kansas City (6-3), Oakland (4-5), Philadelphia (8-1)



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