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NFL

NFL Week 10 Game Picks: Cream Rises

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NFL Week 10 Game Picks: Cream Rises

NFL Picks
Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The cream has begun to rise to the top in the 2012 version of the NFL. A number of teams have separated themselves as true contenders vying for the crown at the end of the year while others have fallen by the wayside and been unmasked as pretenders.

Sometimes keeping who’s who straight on a week to week basis is the most difficult task of all.

Especially this season, certain teams have looked unbeatable for a two or three game stretch only to completely lay an egg in the next contest. While it is highly unpredictable, trends have emerged from this season that are rather easy to follow.

Adversity will likely face all teams at least once during the course of a 16-game schedule and how a given club responds to that challenge greatly dictates just how well they will fare over the long haul of a four-month season.

Las Vegas never loses in the grand scheme of things during the course of an entire season. Trying to bet games in the NFL is just about the toughest gig you can possibly get. If you go .500 on a weekly basis, that is quite an accomplishment.

While that may sound like an excuse for doing poorly when it comes to making predictions, these are professionals with skill sets that are so minutely different that anything can truly happen from week to week.

With that being said, this certainly won’t be my last attempt at trying to have the perfect week and distinguish the real contenders from the phony pretenders. But just like the coaches and players say, it’s one week at a time, and this is week 10.

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Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Colts vs. Jags
Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

It has quickly become quite apparent that rookie signal caller Andrew Luck is no joke. Despite having a revolving door at running back and a cast of no-name wide receivers outside of veteran Reggie Wayne, Luck has been the steady for the Colts all year long. The only steady presence for Jacksonville has been losing and that will continue.

Colts 28 – Jaguars 13

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San Diego Chargers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bolts vs. Bucs
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Vincent Jackson gets to show his old team what they are missing and his Bucs are currently riding high after a huge performance last week. San Diego ended their losing skid, but there is still some skepticism as to whether or not they can continue to say in the win column. This one will be close, but Doug Martin has been a more consistent force on the ground than Ryan Mathews so far this year.

Buccaneers 31 – Chargers 27

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Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins

Titans vs. Phins
Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Tennessee may or may not have Jake Locker back for this game and that really makes all the difference. Reggie Bush will run wild while Chris Johnson will have trouble against this vaunted Dolphins rush defense so it may come down to Matthew Hasselbeck if Locker isn’t back. That won’t be pretty.

Dolphins 24 – Titans 13

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Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

Bills vs. Pats
David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

The Bills are still fighting and this rivalry with New England is always heated. These two teams know one another far too well for this game to be a blowout, but the Pats just have too much on offense for Buffalo to keep up. There will be plenty of points, but more on the board for New England’s side.

Patriots 38 – Bills 31

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Oakland Raiders vs. Baltimore Ravens

Raiders vs. Ravens
Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

This game should be highly competitive even with the disparity in records between these two clubs. Both sides will try to establish the run and try not to give up boatloads of yards on defense. Injuries have been getting the better of the Raiders however and Baltimore just seems to press on despite their ailments.

Ravens 34 – Raiders 24

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Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers

Broncos vs. Panthers
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

It hasn’t been precision passing from Peyton Manning much lately, but he has done enough to get the Broncos wins. Cam Newton led his squad to a much needed victory last week and looks to build on that momentum at home. Something tells me that Denver is due for a slip up.

Panthers 27 – Broncos 24

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New York Giants vs. Cincinnati Bengals

G-Men vs. Bengals
Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Cincy continues to struggle to find much outside of A.J. Green to be optimistic about. The loss to Pittsburgh was a setback for the G-Men, but they still looked solid despite coming up short on the scoreboard. Look for Eli Manning to right the ship quickly as the Giants can’t afford to start a losing streak in the competitive NFC East.

Giants 31 – Bengals 21

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Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Lions vs. Vikes
Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

The Lions seem to have found something in running back Mikel Leshoure and even though this is supposed to be Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson’s team, they must ride the hot hand. Minnesota has been in a tailspin of late. Although Adrian Peterson will get his yards, the Lions will still prevail.

Lions 28 – Vikings 17

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Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints

Falcons vs. Saints
Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

The still unbeaten Falcons will battle New Orleans for the first time this season on Sunday. Atlanta has shown they can win multiple ways with Roddy White, Julio Jones, or Michael Turner carrying the torch. Drew Brees and the Saints will pile up the yards, but the Falcons will add another victory to their total.

Falcons 34 – Saints 27

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New York Jets vs. Seattle Seahawks

Jets vs. Hawks
Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

There isn’t much left to say about the Jets, they are as dysfunctional as it gets. Now the team-oriented Seahawks are on the schedule and they will show New York how football is supposed to look. Marshawn Lynch will have a field day against that once vaunted Jets’ defense.

Seahawks 27 – Jets 16

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Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Boys vs. Eagles
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Vick is still the starter, but the Eagles are already finished. Dallas has been on a similarly self-destructive path in recent weeks and even though they play well enough to win games Tony Romo just can’t seem to close them out. This week will officially dowse the hopes of one of these clubs. Dallas stays alive.

Cowboys 31 – Eagles 23

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St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers

Rams vs. Niners
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

On paper this is a huge mismatch, but divisional games can be funny at times. The Rams will get an emotional lift with the return of Danny Amendola, but that isn’t enough to beat a team of the Niners’ caliber. Frank Gore will grind this one out on the ground and although it will be close, San Fran will win.

49ers 23 – Rams 17

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Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears

Texans vs. Bears
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Defense is the word for this heavyweight fight. The Bears have relied on it all season and the Texans have been stout as well. Houston won’t be as giving as other teams have been for Chicago this year, but the Bears could find a special teams score in this one. Matt Forte and Arian Foster rule the day, but take the Texans in a tight one.

Texans 21 – Bears 20

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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Chiefs vs. Steelers
Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Pittsburgh is making one of their patented mid-season runs and the Chiefs are just sad to watch. This one shouldn’t even be competitive given the sorry performances that Kansas City has produced recently and the Steelers should be getting healthier soon. If this were an election, the exit polls would have already decided the outcome.

Steelers 31 – Chiefs 10