NFL Pick ‘Em: Week 10
Picking the winners and losers of NFL Week 10
Another one down and only eight more to go…
With the 2012 NFL season now past its midway point, the playoff picture is starting to take shape as teams continue jockeying for position in the postseason derby. As the weeks go by, each game becomes more and more crucial to the ultimate fate of every single franchise hoping to take a shot in football’s brightest spotlight when February rolls around.
If any team wants to still be playing on Super Bowl Sunday, they’ll have to overcome an entire regular season schedule and earn a respectable record first. That’s why every week is so important in the NFL.
Just like Week 9, this upcoming weekend of action should provide plenty of excitement. From overtime battles of will to blowouts that leave the loser devastated and demoralized, Week 10 will surely offer everything that the average NFL fan is looking for and more.
Enough idle banter, though; it’s time to take a look at my picks for the Week 10 slate of games in the NFL. I’ve given you a quick rundown of what to expect from the game as well as my guess as to what the final result will be. Take with a grain of salt because, as we all know, anything can happen when Sunday rolls around.
My Week 9 picks were a little left of center, but much more on target than Week 8. I improved from 7-7 to 10-4, and missed a couple of picks due to something that I wish wasn’t called bias. Here’s to hoping that this week is just as accurate – if not more – than Week 9.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) vs. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)
This season is circling the drain for the Jaguars as they search far and wide for some semblance of stability from both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, up in Indy, the Colts are enjoying a hot streak fueled by Andrew Luck and a team that’s playing for their ailing head coach. Unless the Colts get lost on the way to the game, there’s no way the Jaguars come out of this one without another notch in the loss column.
My pick: Colts win 33-7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4) vs. San Diego Chargers (4-4)
Did you know that the Chargers destroyed the Chiefs last week? That must give them like a ton of momentum, right? Big whoop. The Chiefs, arguably one of the worst teams in NFL history, beat themselves. The Buccaneers, however, did work on the Raiders with the help of rookie Doug Martin’s 251 rushing yards. San Diego’s run defense is good, but I doubt they can handle a talent like Martin.
My pick: Buccaneers win 32-13
Miami Dolphins (4-4) vs. Tennessee Titans (3-6)
It’s time for rookie Ryan Tannehill to have his corner-turning performance where he wipes away any doubts about his abilities as an NFL quarterback. Going up against a Titans team that’s on the brink of calling it a season, Tannehill and the Dolphins should be ready to explode for a statement-making victory. The Titans are done; time for the Dolphins to stick a fork in them.
My pick: Miami wins 38-14
New England Patriots (5-3) vs. Buffalo Bills (3-5)
Boasting the No. 1 offense in the NFL, the Patriots are coming off of a bye and are ready to get back to shredding any defense that dares stand in their way. The Bills won't be an exception, as they’re likely to be victimized over and over again by New England’s dynamic tight end duo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. As usual, it should be a high-scoring affair for the Patriots offense.
My pick: Patriots win 45-24
Baltimore Ravens (6-2) vs. Oakland Raiders (3-5)
While the Ravens have spent most of 2012 narrowly escaping with hard-fought wins, the Raiders have been on the other side of the equation, losing close battles week in and week out. Unfortunately for Oakland, they shouldn’t expect any different in Week 10. The Ravens offense is too explosive and the Raiders will be without their top two running backs. Baltimore should squeak out another close win.
My pick: Ravens win 17-13
Carolina Panthers (2-6) vs. Denver Broncos (5-3)
Apart from the few spoiler wins they might get near season’s end, the Panthers are all but out of the playoff hunt in 2012. The Broncos on the other hand are just starting to heat up, and should take a torch to Carolina and set their upset hopes ablaze. Expect Peyton Manning to be at his best as the Broncos stifle any dreams the Panthers have of notching a win.
My pick: Broncos win 32-14
Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) vs. New York Giants (6-3)
While the Bengals’ playoff hopes are quickly fading, the Giants need a huge comeback to maintain momentum after a tough loss last weekend. New York’s defense, though, will be facing a sneaky offense featuring A.J. Green and his elite receiving skills. The Giants are still at the top of the NFC East, but they can’t get too comfortable.
My pick: Giants win 28-21
Minnesota Vikings (5-4) vs. Detroit Lions (4-4)
The Vikings have already knocked off the Lions once this season and will be looking to do the same, but it’s not going to be easy slowing down a Detroit team that is on a two-game winning streak and working their way back into the NFC North race. It will all depend on whether or not Christian Ponder can break this rut that he’s in and take advantage of the Lions’ depleted secondary.
My pick: Vikings win 20-16
New Orleans Saints (3-5) vs. Atlanta Falcons (8-0)
Yes, the Saints pose a significant threat to the Falcons’ standing as the only undefeated team left in the league. They handled a discombobulated Eagles team and kept their slim hopes of a postseason appearance alive. The Falcons, however, are simply too efficient to fall to an utterly inconsistent Saints team. New Orleans will put up some points, though.
My pick: Falcons win 41-31
Seattle Seahawks (5-4) vs. New York Jets (3-5)
Following some clutch wins, the Seahawks have found themselves in the playoff picture at midseason and are looking to keep that momentum following a dominant victory over the Vikings. The Jets, however, are just hoping to avoid another embarrassing outing. Although New York had a bye week to rest and recuperate, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to get enough offense going to earn a win.
My pick: Seahawks win 24-14
Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) vs. Dallas Cowboys (3-5)
In a battle of two teams clinging to slim playoff hopes, these two divisional rivals will duke it out to maintain a grasp on the No. 2 spot in the NFC East. This game will be decided by which quarterback can make less mistakes. I’m no fan of Tony Romo, but I can’t see a slumping Michael Vick making more plays. The Cowboys should manage to come away with a much-needed win here.
My pick: Cowboys win 35-20
San Francisco 49ers (6-2) vs. St. Louis Rams (3-5)
No one will see this one coming, but the Rams will be looking to blindside the 49ers in a game that’s expected to be a lopsided affair. With the return of wide receiver Danny Amendola and a bye week under their belts, a refreshed Rams team should show up ready to prove doubters wrong. Even though the 49ers field a stout defense, St. Louis should sneak away with this one on the leg of Greg Zuerlein.
My pick: Rams win 27-26
Chicago Bears (7-1) vs. Houston Texans (7-1)
At this point in the season, both of these teams are jockeying for the opportunity to spend the first round of the playoffs watching instead of playing. Both teams offer outstanding defenses and spastic offenses, but neither is ready to yield an inch in their pursuit for the postseason. What should make the difference for the Texans, though, is their defensive line, which should harass Jay Cutler all night long.
My pick: Texans win 21-17
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-7)
This one is about as easy as they come. The Steelers are sporting the best defense in the league while the Chiefs are proving to be one of the most pitiful teams in NFL history. It won’t even be close as the scoring should come early and often for Pittsburgh, who continue to nip at the heels of the Ravens in the race for the AFC North crown.
My pick: Steelers win 35-3