By Brett Malamud
This week sees a lot of boring matchups and few intriguing ones. It would be unfair to predict the Thursday night game, since this is being published on a Sunday. The Browns beat the Bengals, and I probably would have picked them, as they’ve been great thus far. Here are your week 10 predictions:
-Chiefs (5-3) at Bills (5-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM ESTSurprisingly this game is going to be really good. The Chiefs have the edge in my book, and I think that their run game will win it for them here. Verdict: Chiefs
-Dolphins (5-3) at Lions (6-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
This is my game of the week and I’m going to keep up with it. Both teams enter with a top-three defense. The Dolphins have been great on the run and the Lions have been great on the pass. Calvin Johnson returns this week, but I don’t think that he’ll be too much of a factor. I think that the Dolphins take win on the road in a shocker. Verdict: Dolphins
-Cowboys (6-3) at Jaguars (1-8), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
We travel to Wembley Stadium in London, England for this matchup. It shouldn’t be much of a contest. The Cowboys will run right through the Jaguars. Verdict: Cowboys
-49ers (4-4) at Saints (4-4), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
A good matchup here sees the second ranked defense heading into New Orleans to face the second ranked offense. It should be a close one, but I’m taking the Saints. Verdict: Saints.
-Titans (2-6) at Ravens (5-4), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Titans enter week 10 towards the bottom of the league in virtually every major category. They will face the Ravens, who played a good offensive game last week, but were outmatched by Big Ben and the Steelers. I’m going with the smart play and am taking Baltimore. Verdict: Ravens
-Steelers (6-3) at Jets (1-8), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Jets are done. I think there’s a chance that they win here, but not a big chance. The Steelers have the third ranked offense and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger comes in with 12 touchdown passes in his last two games. The Jets will make it interesting, as they always do, but will ultimately fall to Pittsburgh. Verdict: Steelers
-Falcons (2-6) at Buccaneers (1-7), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Falcons come in off of the bye week and head into Tampa Bay on a five game losing streak. Tampa Bay is ranked 31st in both offense and defense. That’ll be more of the same here, and the Falcons will win the game. Verdict: Falcons
-Broncos (6-2) at Raiders (0-8), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST
Is this even a game? Not really. The Broncos will easily dispose of the winless Raiders. Verdict: Broncos
-Rams (3-5) at Cardinals (7-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
Hmmm. This one isn’t really too hard to pick, I’m going with Cardinals at home. Verdict: Cardinals
-Giants (3-5) at Seahawks (5-3), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
The Giants will need all of their star power to take down the mighty Seahawks. I see Seattle’s defense taking advantage of Eli Manning and coasting to the victory. Verdict: Seahawks
-Bears (3-5) at Packers (5-3), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST
A Sunday Night Football game that won’t be easily forgotten. This game will strictly come down to defense. Both of these offenses are projected to score a boatload of points tonight. Whoever can step up on defense will take it. And I think it’ll be Green Bay. Verdict: Packers
-Panthers (3-5-1) at Eagles (6-2), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST
Headed in with the fourth ranked offense, the Eagles look to continue their early season success. However, they’ll turn to Mark Sanchez at quarterback, following the injury to Nick Foles. This could prove to be the Eagles kryptonite as they have the 23rd ranked defense. I see them running the ball a lot en route to the victory. Verdict: Eagles
By Brett Malamud
-Buccaneers (0-2) at Falcons (1-1), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST
The Buccaneers travel one state over to the confines of the Georgia Dome. The Falcons come in after their offense was virtually shut down by Cincinnati last week. I think that coming home will heal the woes and that Matt Ryan will come back strong tonight. Verdict: Falcons
-Chargers (1-1) at Bills (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
I watched the Bills game last week and there wasn’t much excitement, other than the Sammy Watkins touchdown play and the C.J. Spiller kickoff return for a touchdown. I think that after taking down Seattle last week, the Chargers should roll through the Bills. Verdict: Chargers
-Cowboys (1-1) at Rams (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Cowboys beat the Titans last week and DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant looked great. The Rams third-string quarterback Austin Davis went 22/29 for 235 yards and no interceptions, as St. Louis slightly edged out Tampa Bay. If Davis continues at that pace this week, it could make for a close game, but I’m still going with the Cowboys. Verdict: Cowboys
-Redskins (1-1) at Eagles (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Kirk Cousins is now at the helm for the Redskins and it’ll definitely be noticeable. Cousins went 22/33 and completed his first 12 passes. Not bad for a guy coming in cold off of the bench. I don’t think they’ll get past the Eagles though, after they’ve rolled as of late. The duel back combo of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles continues to be the story and should be it again this week. Verdict: Eagles
-Texans (2-0) at Giants (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Giants stink. They took a loss to the Drew Stanton led Arizona Cardinals after quarterback Carson Palmer was announced as inactive for the game. The G-Men turned the ball over the ball four times, much to the disappointment of head coach Tom Coughlin. The Texans, on the other hand, won in Oakland last week. I’m gonna take the Texans here because the defense will be too strong for the Giants. Verdict: Texans
-Vikings (1-1) at Saints (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Saints are 0-2. Seriously? They’re so great but have had some not so great moments. A last second field goal decided their fate last week in Cleveland. I’ve got to take them here, especially after the beat down that the Patriots gave Minnesota. Verdict: Saints
-Titans (1-1) at Bengals (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Titans couldn’t find a way to beat the Cowboys. Jake Locker showed some promise, throwing for 234 yards with a touchdown. The Bengals come in fresh off a win at home against the Falcons, and my belief is that they’ll stay undefeated after this week. Verdict: Bengals
-Ravens (1-1) at Browns (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Browns shocked the Saints last week, winning on a field goal in the final seconds. Baltimore came together after losing Ray Rice and didn’t allow a touchdown to the Steelers last week on Thursday Night Football. Still, Joe Flacco only threw for 166 yards. I think the Browns continue to shock and take this game in another close one. Verdict: Browns
-Packers (1-1) at Lions (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Packers were down 21-3 to the New York Jets. They came all the way back, beating the Jets 31-24. Aaron Rodgers looked pretty invisible in the first quarter and a bit of the second quarter, but powered back in the second half and finished the day off with 346 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Lions showed that Megatron was human, as Calvin Johnson could not be found in the end zone last week. Instead, the lone Lions touchdown went to Fullback Jed Collins. I think the Packers stay hot and win this one. Verdict: Packers
-Colts (0-2) at Jaguars (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Colts lost…to the Eagles. And I say it that way because the Eagles looked fantastic. But the Colts looked good too. They were edged out at the last second and so the loss might sting a bit, but I know they’ll come back strong this week against the Jaguars, who were slaughtered by Washington last week. Verdict: Colts
-Raiders (0-2) at Patriots (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
There shouldn’t be much debate here. The Patriots woke up last week, and beat down the Vikings by a score of 30-7. They’ll take on the Raiders in what could be an ugly result. Verdict: Patriots
-49ers (1-1) at Cardinals (2-0), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST
I have been and am still pushing hard on this Cardinals defense. I’ve said it all along, I really like their defense. They forced four Giants turnovers last week at MetLife Stadium. This will be their toughest test yet, as they take on the 49ers. The Niners, however, didn’t look right at home in the second half of the inaugural game of their new stadium. Instead, quarterback Colin Kaepernick forced passes throughout and the Bears rallied to beat them. I think that the woes will stop and that Kaepernick will lead his team to the victory. Verdict: 49ers
-Broncos (2-0) at Seahawks (1-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
This is my matchup of the week. A rematch of last season’s Super Bowl sees the Broncos headed to Seattle to face the Seahawks. The Seahawks took a loss last week to the Chargers. Marshawn Lynch was not much of a factor, only rushing for 36 yards. Wes Welker is back this week after the NFL and NFLPA agreed on a new drug policy, freeing him from the remaining four games on his previous suspension. I think that the attention on Welker should free up Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. I like the Broncos this week to quiet the 12th man. Verdict: Broncos
-Chiefs (0-2) at Dolphins (1-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
The Chiefs almost took down Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos last week, but they didn’t. Instead they dropped to 0-2 and their defense has allowed 50 points through only two games. On the other side of the field will be the Miami Dolphins, who shocked everyone back in week one, when they took down the New England Patriots. Last week was a different story and they couldn’t get anything going, taking the loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs are desperate for a win in the competitive AFC West, and I think they’ll get their first of the year here. Verdict: Chiefs
-Steelers (1-1) at Panthers (2-0), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST
The return of Cam Newton brought a great performance by the Carolina Panthers offense. Newton was 22/34 for 281 yards and a touchdown as he defeated “Donkey Kong Suh and [his] fellow Auburn teammate Nick Fairley.” The Panthers look ahead now to this week’s matchup at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Simply put, the Steelers couldn’t score a touchdown last week on Thursday Night Football. This week they’ll play their second game in a row in a primetime slot. I think that they’ll lose this one as well, and the nation will see the flaws of this struggling team. Verdict: Panthers
-Bears (1-1) at Jets (1-1), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST
Ah, the Jets. Many of you know how much I love the Jets, and how I continue to root for them, even in the darkest of times. Well, last week was one of those times. The Jets went up 14-0 within the first seven minutes of the game. Then, the Jets were up 21-3 in the middle of the second quarter when things started to unfold. Capped off by an 80 yard laser to Jordy Nelson for a touchdown, the Jets collapsed and lost 31-24. As far as bright spots, there were not many. Eric Decker looked good, but how long until defenses double team him on every play? Chris Johnson played an awful game, and finished the day with 21 yards on 12 carries. Instead, the running back who looked the best was Chris Ivory, who had just 43 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. I’m not sure they’ll bounce back this week though, facing the Chicago Bears. The Bears had three fourth-quarter touchdowns to take down the 49ers. I don’t think that the Jets secondary can handle Brandon Marshall, who scored three touchdowns last week. Jay Cutler is 8-4 on Monday Night Football with 20 touchdowns in only 12 games. The trend of touchdowns for him should continue this week, and you can bet that Jets head coach Rex Ryan will be upset with that. Verdict: Bears
By Matthew Wieselthier
1:00 PM ET:
Eagles 35, Packers 27
Nick Foles just threw seven touchdowns. If any player is looking like they are on fire right now, it has to be the man who just threw SEVEN TOUCHDOWNS. The Eagles need to continue their push for a playoff spot in the weak NFC East. The Packers, now missing Aaron Rodgers for multiple weeks, now have an offense that is going to seem like a shell of what it was just a week before. Yes, they didn’t look terrible when playing the Bears defense. However, when a defense has a week to prepare for the Eddie Lacy running show, it shouldn’t be too hard to stop.
Titans 34, Jaguars 10
The Jaguars are simply the worst team in the NFL. They had their best week of the season so far in Week 9 where they did not lose thanks to a bye. Now they have to face a determined Titans team, with a decent passing game with Jake Locker and a rejuvenated rushing attack with Chris Johnson. Not much needs to be said when it comes to playing the Jaguars. Just mark the game as a W on the calendar and start preparing for next week.
Steelers 28, Bills 24
The Bills finally have their starting quarterback back. First round pick EJ Manuel is in the lineup this week after suffering a sprained right knee. However, the result of the game will not have much difference than most of their games this year. The Steelers are still a tough defense, and should be expected to pull out a win in this matchup of hopeless teams.
Giants 27, Raiders 13
The Raiders will only be able to present a big problem if they do what most teams in the beginning of the season did to Eli Manning: interception after interception. However, Eli hasn’t looked as much like that during their two-game winning streak and the offense seems somewhat rejuvenated ever since signing Madden 12 cover man, Peyton Hillis. The Giants are also the 9th best running defense. That is helpful against a Raiders team, where all they seem to be able to do is run the ball, especially with their best rusher, QB Terrelle Pryor.
Colts 27, Rams 14
The Rams defense is really tough. They held the Seahawks to 14 points and barely let the Titans get the win last week. They can make the pocket a living hell for Andrew Luck and running the ball a disaster for Trent Richardson and the rest of the company of the Colts running backs. The thing is that Andrew Luck is much better than the QBs that the Rams stopped over the last two weeks. The Rams also have the issue of having an unclear offensive strategy. Their running game has looked great with RBs Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson. However, the passing attack has been weak and there is a lack of confidence in it with backup QB Kellen Clemens at the wheel. Expect that to continue this week.
Seahawks 41, Falcons 10
The Falcons just continue to look like a shell of the team that won the NFC in the regular season just under 12 months ago. And the Seahawks have taken that spot with pride. Seattle may have had issues with the winless Buccaneers, but that should go away after some preparation for a Falcons team that just can’t play a good football game anymore. The Seahawks should be able to get back to dominating their opponents and take care of the Falcons without a scratch on them.
Bengals 23, Ravens 14
The Bengals are one of those confusing teams. After going out and scoring 49 against one of the top defenses in the league (the Jets), they then have issues and lose to the Dolphins. However, the Ravens still don’t look great and still are not the team of last year. Plain and simple in this AFC North matchup, the Bengals have the top spot and will show why with a win this week.
Lions 27, Bears 24
The Lions have looked great this year on offense. Not surprisingly, the connection between QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson Jr. has looked terrific, but also the performance of their running backs. The one-two punch of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell has looked spectacular this season. Jay Cutler is expected to return but how game ready is he? This will be a toughly fought game, but expect the healthy to defeat the injured.
4:00 PM ET:
Panthers 17, 49ers 14
This has a chance to be the best matchup of the week. Here are two of the hottest teams in the NFL going head to head in a matchup with big playoff implications. Both mobile quarterbacks, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, have finally gotten back to their level of play in the beginning of their careers. Both defenses have been holding their opponents to under 20 points in their last two games. This is the game to have your TVs set tuned into in a matchup of possible future Wild Card teams that may even play each other later in the playoffs.
Texans 24, Cardinals 14
Someone tell the Cardinals that they are supposed to be bad. That they shouldn’t be .500 on the season and crushing Atlanta. Led by RB Andre Ellington, the Cardinals have looked much better than they should have been this season. But to that same fact, why is this undrafted rookie for the Texans, QB Case Keenum, doing so well? Also, despite their record, the Texans have the best total defense in the NFL. The Texans are prime for a comeback game after…well their terrible season.
Broncos 34, Chargers 28
Why did the NFL have to put this game on at the same time as the Panthers-49ers game? Another great matchup is going on with the Broncos, who look almost indestructible, going against what might be the biggest surprise team of the year, the Chargers. Philip Rivers is having a comeback year for the century, playing like a top five quarterback. However, he is up against the best QB this season, Peyton Manning. This should be a great scoring matchup in which we see these two QBs show us why they are among the best in the league.
8:30 PM ET:
Cowboys 28, Saints 24
The Cowboys are much better than their record shows. They have a top 5 QB this season in Tony Romo, a strong defense, and a chance to take a huge step above everyone else in their division. On the other side, the Saints just got beat by the Jets in a game they should have had little trouble with. Expect the passing attack of the Cowboys to do much better than Geno Smith did last week and Demarco Murray to have a good game against a weak Saints rushing defense.
8:30 PM ET
Buccaneers 27, Dolphins 13
All the talk about this game has been about the Dolphins. Not the game itself, but instead the terrible locker room bullying situation in Miami. However, let’s relate that to the game. The two players who aren’t on the field for the Dolphins this week, Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, were starting offensive lineman. This will make life a living hell in the pocket for QB Ryan Tannehill this week, missing 40% of his usual line. The Buccaneers are also looking for that precious first win of the year. They almost got that last week against the Seahawks. Expect them to carry over that momentum into this inner state game. Also, don’t forget that QB Mike Glennon hasn’t looked all that terrible since taking over. He has five more TDs than INTs and 60.3-completion percentage.
Matthew Wieselthier is the Sports Director at WPOB 88.5 FM, Plainview. He is also the PA announcer at all sporting events at POBJFKHS. You can follow him on twitter at @wieselsports66.