NFL Week 10 Predictions

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NFL Week 10

NFL Week 10
Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

It is that time of the week where we take a look at some info and tidbits for the upcoming NFL schedule.

The Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, and Washington Redskins all have a bye this week.

Week 10 has 6 inter-division games, plus 3 inter-conference games. It also has a very legit heavyweight tilt as the 7-1 Houston Texans travel to play the 7-1 Chicago Bears. Beauty that this one is the Sunday nighter as it deserves its own stage.

Crazy to see that the game that features two bad teams is the Dallas Cowboys at the Philadelphia Eagles. Their 6 combine wins are tied with the Kansas City at Pittsburgh game (but at least the 5-3 Steelers are legit) and the Colts at Jags game (at least the Colts seem legit).

Week 10 is the first week of the season where the Minnesota Vikings begin the day on the outside of the playoffs. They have a huge game as the #7 seed because they host the #8 seed Lions.

The Eagles, Chiefs, Jaguars, and Bengals all have at least 4 game losing streaks they are looking to snap this weekend.

The hottest teams in the NFL are the Broncos, Colts, Steelers, Bears, and Falcons as they have all won at least 3 straight coming into week 10.

The Texans look to remain unbeaten on the road, while the Rams look for their first road win.

The Jags look for their first home win in 2012, while the Bears, Seahawks, Steelers, and Ravens all try to remain unbeaten at home.

Let's take a look at week 10...

NEXT = Colts at Jaguars

2 of 15

Colts at Jaguars

Colts at Jaguars
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

(5-3) Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville (1-7)

The Colts are coming off an emotional win over the Dolphins in front of their home crowd and their head coach Chuck Pagano. I would be concerned about a let down this week, but the Jags only 2012 victory came in week 3 as they beat the Colts 22-17. Revenge game for the Colts.

In that game Blaine Gabbart was just 10 for 21, but he hit Cecil Shorts III for an 80-yarder with 45 seconds left to win the game. Revenge game for the Colts.

Amazing to see the progression of Andrew Luck. Not that it is unexpected, but it is always fun to watch a player play to his potential. He was particularly awesome last week vs the Dolphins, but on the road he has had his share of issues. Luck has just 2 TDs and 6 INTs on the road. Indy is just 1-2 on the road. The losses were blowouts at the Chicago Bears and at the New York Jets, and the only win so far was an OT victory at Tennessee.

Also amazing to see that Luck has 2,404 passing yards which is the exact same amount that Peyton Manning has.

Reggie Wayne has been a monster. Already north of 100 targets in 2012. Wayne leads the NFL with 835 receiving yards, and he gets over 100 yards per game. He also has 44 receiving 1st downs. Impressive stuff from Wayne.

Donnie Avery is 2nd on the team in targets, but he has not caught a TD since week 1.

There is nothing here to like on this Jags team. This passing offense gets a measly 170 yards per game (last in the NFL). Their #1 draft pick Justin Blackmon averages 3 catches and 30 receiving yards per game despite being the teams #1 target. Last week Blackmon caught a TD, it is his lone TD so far this season.

The Colts are the #5 seed currently (better conference record than Pittsburgh) so they cannot afford to go 0-2 vs the Jags. Too much at stake for Indy, plus too much talent for Indy vs the lack of talent in Jacksonville. Colts win.

NEXT = Giants at Bengals

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3 of 15

Giants at Bengals

Giants at Bengals
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

(6-3) New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)

The Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs last season, and were off to a 3-1 start in 2012. 4 straight losses have brought that allll the way down to 3-5. This is likely the final season for Marvin Lewis as this organization is either in need of a new voice, or at least due for one.

The Bengals attack is fairly limited. The running game yields very little production. They have just 3 rushing plays all season of 20+ yards. As a team they average just 3.8 yards per carry and have just 5 rushing TDs.

2nd year QB Andy Dalton has not made hay at home. He has just 6 TDs vs 5 INTs at home so far in 2012. The Giants secondary is getting torched, but this passing offense for Cincy has struggled.

A.J. Green is awesome. He has been thrown to 82 times. He is averaging 91 receiving yards per game (#6 in NFL) and is tied with James Jones for the most TD catches (8). The cupboard is pretty bare after Green though.

Eli Manning has been unrecognizable lately. In his last 4 games he has just 2 TDs and 4 INTs. He has completed just 55% of his passes during that stretch too. Very un-Eli performances.

The Giants running game has been good. They get 4.4 yards from Ahmad Bradshaw, and 4.8 from Andre Brown. Those 2 have a combined 10 rushing TDs too.

The Giants finish the season vs the Packers, @ Redskins, Saints, @ Falcons, @ Ravens, Eagles...Potentially tough end to their season so I think the G-Men will have emphasis on this game to get to 7-3 so that even a 3-3 finish would get them to 10+ wins which would mean playoffs.

Giants win this game.

PREV = Colts at Jaguars ... NEXT = Titans at Dolphins

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4 of 15

Titans at Dolphins

Titans at Dolphins
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

(3-6) Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins (4-4)

On paper we see two evenly matched teams. The Dolphins average 333 yards per game, while the Titans are just below that at 327. Both teams are coming off a loss, but Miami is actually still in the playoff hunt as they are 1 game back of the AFC East lead, and 1 game back of the wild-card.

The Titans running game has caught fire, while the Dolphins running game has regressed massively since week 3.

Chris Johnson averaged a mere 15 yards per game in his first 3 games, but he is getting over 100+ since then. Hot or not, this Miami rush-D is outstanding and are one of the NFL's elite groups. It has been a whopping 22 games since the 'Phins last yielded 100+ to one RB. Johnson has struggled to get to the outside, but he is making hay running behind his o-line lately, but that is a specific strength for Miami's D.

The Dolphins run game was on fire to start the season, but has been in free-fall mode since. Reggie Bush was getting 100 yards on 6.0 yards per carry to start the season, but since the week 3 New York Jets loss Bush is allll the way down to 46 yards per game and a measly 3.2 yards per carry. The team was rushing for an average of 9 rushing 1st downs in weeks 1,2,3, but have averaged just 4 rushing 1st downs since that week 3 Jets game. Massive decline.

The Dolphins need to turn the running game around, but perhaps not vs the Titans. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill was averaging just 210 passing yards in the first 3 weeks, but he is up to 280 yards per game since. This Titans pass-D is horrid. Opposing QBs complete an amazing 72% of their passes vs the Titans (worst in NFL). Opponents have 20 passing TDs vs the Titans (worst in NFL).

Tannehill's last INT was September 30.

Jake Locker was just cleared to return to practise and he will split reps with Matt Hasselbeck this week in practise. Regardless of who QBs we can anticipate a Dolphins pass-rush and pass-D that are looking for redemption after Andrew Luck burned them last week.

This one looks like a Dolphins victory to me.

PREV = Giants at Bengals ... NEXT = Bills at Patriots

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5 of 15

Bills at Patriots

Bills at Patriots
Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

(3-5) Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (5-3)

A few weeks back each of these teams were 3-3. Order has been restored in the AFC East as the Pats are back on top and the Bills are back in the basement.

Anytime these two teams get together things have potential to get ugly. For Buffalo that is.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has a poor record of 1-5 vs New England, while Tom Brady has a phenomenal 19-2 record vs Buffalo (wow). Fitz has 11 TDs vs 16 INTs against the Pats, while Tom Terrific has 49 TDs and 17 INTs vs the Bills (wow). Fitz averages 40 more passing yards than Brady, but that is because the Pats annually get out to big leads against the Bills and Fitz is forced to throw like crazy.

Check the QB ratings...Brady 103.4 vs Buffalo...Fitz 72.7 vs New England...Massive domination for the Pats in this series.

Believe it or not that is not the only major advantage for the Pats in this game. The Bills strength is their 2-headed running game, but the Pats are #2 in the NFL as they yield just 3.5 yards per carry. Fred Jackson is 1-8 in his career vs the Pats, and he and C.J. Spiller have combined for 1 rushing TD in their careers vs the Patriots.

One of the most under-the-radar players having a massive 2012 is Pats RB Stevan Ridley. How much pub is he getting? Not nearly as much as is warranted...Check the numbers...89.5 rush yards per game (#5 in NFL)...47 first downs (#1 in NFL)...5 TDs (tied for 7th in NFL)...150 attempts (#7 in NFL)...All 5 TDs have come in wins.

The Buffalo rush-D is atrocious. They yield 5.7 yards per carry which is by far the worst in the NFL. They have already allowed 14 rushing TDs which is also the worst in the NFL.

The Pats are the #1 scoring team at 32 points per game, while the Bills are the 2nd worst scoring defense as they yield 32 points per game.

Amazing stat - The Pats have 43 more 1st downs than the next highest team. They are coming off their bye, and they are due for an impressive home performance.

E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g points to a Pats victory.

PREV = Titans at Dolphins ... NEXT = Raiders at Ravens

Thank you for reading my work! www.rantsports.com/nfl/author/craigballard/ for all of my NFL & Miami Dolphins work.

6 of 15

Raiders at Ravens

Raiders at Ravens
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

(3-5) Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

The way to get to the 2012 Ravens is to run the football. The Ravens rush-D has been unrecognizable this season, but the Raiders running game is struggling mightily and likely cannot take advantage of the Ravens poor D.

Darren McFadden is unlikely to play in this one, but coach Dennis Allen will not rule him out. He is hobbled, but may still play. A loss would drop Oakland to 3-6 so if Run DMC can play, even gimpy, I assume he will. Time will tell...

Last week the Raiders had just 2 rushing 1st downs. Yikes.

The Ravens D will no doubt focus on Raiders WR Denarius Moore as he is coming on strong. Moore averages 16 yards per catch and is a legit deep threat.

The Ravens finally fed Ray Rice last week. I think I am in the majority here when I advocate using Rice significantly more than offensive coordinator Cam Cameron does. Rice is awesome, plus the Ravens passing game has not been where they hoped it would be so why not add play-action to the attack by establishing Rice and the running game.

Rice has 6 TDs, all came in Ravens victories. He averages 18 carries in wins.

Joe Flacco is spreading the ball out as best he can. Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, and Rice are all getting targets from Flacco. Smith has been the wild-card as he has 5 TDs (Ravens 4-0 when Smith nabs a TD catch).

Flacco has had many moments of mediocrity, but at home he gets a struggling Raiders secondary. Flacco has 7 TDs and just 2 INTs at home. The Raiders have just 11 sacks and are unlikely going to present an issue for Flacco this weekend.

The most surprising aspect of this game is that 1 team commits 8.2 penalties per game (worst in NFL) and the other is middle-of-the-pack at 6.4 penalties per game. The Raiders have struggled for eons with penalties, but it is actually the Ravens who are the most penalized team in the League. Allen has his teams penalties almost cut in half from last season. Impressive.

Carson Palmer is 9-4 in his career vs the Ravens, but this weekend that will dip to 9-5.

PREV = Bills at Patriots ... NEXT = Chiefs at Steelers

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7 of 15

Chiefs at Steelers

Chiefs at Steelers
Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

(1-7) Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)

The Steelers have won 3 straight, the Chiefs have lost 5 straight. Actually the Chiefs have not led at any time in 2012 (A-m-a-z-i-n-g stat...their only win came on a FG in OT so they did not lead in that game either).

Big Ben Roethlisberger has been awesome in 2012. His 101.1 QB rating is currently #5 in the NFL. His QB rate at home is even better at 108.2. He has 6 TDs and has yet to throw an INT at home in 2012. He goes against a KC team that yields 8.9 yards per pass attempt (worst in NFL) and have already allowed a whopping 17 passing TDs. Opposing QBs have a 106.3 QB rating vs the Chiefs (yikes).

The Steelers only have 8 takeaways, but they have only yielded 8 giveaways. The Chiefs are inventing new ways to turn the football over. KC is an NFL worst (by far) -20 for giveaways/takeaways (yikes II).

Turnovers have derailed any good momentum for the Chiefs. Believe it or not KC has 171 1st downs (6th in NFL...Pitt has 174 which is 5th).

Slow starts have forced the Chiefs to abandon their game-plan early for pretty much the entire season. How about this stat - The Chiefs do not even average 1 point per 1st quarter (yikes III).

Big Ben has been fantastic. Pitt is at home. The Steelers know they are just barely in a wild-card spot, and they are behind the Ravens in the division. All these things likely mean that the Steelers will not take this game for granted. The Steelers play the Ravens next Sunday night, but I do not anticipate them looking past KC as a loss puts the Steelers at 5-4 and that means they are in a logjam for a playoff spot. They need to face the Ravens with 6 wins so that they control their season (pretty good considering their 2-3 start).

Pitt wins this game.

PREV = Raiders at Ravens ... NEXT = Lions at Vikings

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8 of 15

Lions at Vikings

Lions at Vikings
Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

(4-4) Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (5-4)

With 3 losses in their past 4 games we can see that the Vikings have come back to earth. In that same time-span the Lions have gone 3-1 to get themselves in the race for the first time this season. In fact since the Vikes beat the Lions 20-13 in week 4 the Lions have gained 1.5 games on Minny.

Here is the QB comparison...

Matt Stafford 2-3...6 TDs vs 2 INTs vs Minny...Christian Ponder 1-1...2 TDs vs 3 INTs vs Detroit.

The Lions passing attack is ranked #2 in the NFL, while the Vikes are all the way down at #30. The rushing attacks are the exact opposite with the Lions all the way down at 22, while the Vikes and Adrian Peterson are ranked #5 (3 straight 100+ games for All Day).

The Lions rush-D yields 4.2 yards per carry, but they have only allowed 2 rushing TDs (tied for 2nd best in NFL).

The Lions hope that Mikel Leshoure can keep up his hot play. The Vikes have yielded 8 rushing TDs in 2012, and Leshoure went off for 3 TDs last weekend.

The #1 place to start for the Lions is continued improvements from their running game, but we also need to see better halftime adjustments. Detroit averages just 1.6 points per game in the 3rd quarter (no team worse).

Very difficult for me to trust either team, especially Detroit on the road, but I will take the Lions in this game.

PREV = Chiefs at Steelers ... NEXT = Falcons at Saints

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9 of 15

Falcons at Saints

Falcons at Saints
Derick Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

(8-0) Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (3-5)

The Saints have won 3 of 4, and the Falcons have won 11 of their last 12 regular season games. The only loss was a 45-16 beat-down at the hands of the Saints in week 16 last season.

New Orleans has won 3 straight in this series. The Saints are on a 6-1 run in this series, and for games played in New Orleans the Saints are on a 5-1 run.

Drew Brees is 10-3 in his career vs the Falcons...99.2 QB rating...27 TDs vs 12 INTs.

Matt Ryan is 2-5 in his career vs the Saints...10 TDs vs 5 INTs.

The Saints allow a whopping 5.3 yards per carry to opposing RBs. Michael Turner averages 4.1 yards per carry vs New Orleans in his career.

Turner and Roddy White each average 1 TD per season vs the Saints, and Julio Jones had a rushing and receiving TD vs the Saints last season.

ATL allows just 18 points per game (#5 in NFL) while the Saints yield 28.6 points per game (tied for 28th in NFL).

The 2012 stats point to a big day for the Falcons. The historic stats point to a big day for the Saints. I am taking Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in this game.

PREV = Lions at Vikings ... NEXT = Chargers at Buccaneers

Thank you for reading my work! www.rantsports.com/nfl/author/craigballard/ for all of my NFL & Miami Dolphins work.

10 of 15

Chargers at Buccaneers

Chargers at Buccaneers
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

(4-4) San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4)

The Chargers are annual question marks in the NFL. Tons of talent, but the wins and losses never reflect that. The Buccs have won 2 straight and Greg Schiano's team is showing a lot of improvements.

We know Doug Martin had a historic week 9 when he went off for 251 yards and 4 TDs. Wow wow wow. Wow.

Martin has increased yards per carry in each month and is showing that he is a real-deal talent. He has taken at least 1 to the house in 3 straight games. At home he averages a whopping 4.7 yards per carry.

The Buccs are on a 3-1 run and it is not just Martin getting it done. Josh Freeman has had a QB rating above 100+ in all 4 of those games (wow) and has 11 TDs vs just 1 INT in that span (wow). In 2012 Freeman has 8 TDs and just 2 INTs at home.

Philip Rivers has just 8 TDs and 8 INTs in games vs non-KC Chiefs. He has been better on the road where his QB rating is 14 points higher than at home. Rivers has started games well, but his production dips significantly as the opposing defenses make their in-game adjustments. Rivers has 6 TDs and zero INTs in the 1st Q, but in the next 3 Qs combined he has 6 TDs and 10 INTs.

Ryan Mathews has been a tad disappointing too. He is similar to Rivers in that his #s decline as the game goes on. He is getting 4.4 yards per carry, but has zero 100+ games and just 1 TD.

Of SD's 4 wins 3 were vs KC (twice) and Jacksonville. Those are 1-7 teams. Other bad teams like the Saints and Browns have beat the Chargers when SD was on the road so I do not hold out hope for the Chargers in this game.

I will take TB to win this game.

PREV = Falcons at Saints ... NEXT = Broncos at Panthers

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11 of 15

Broncos at Panthers

Broncos at Panthers
Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

(5-3) Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers (2-6)

Surprisingly these 2 teams have several stats that evenly match each other...Each team yields 22 points per game...Each team allows opponents to convert on 40% of their 3rd downs...Each team allows 222 passing yards per game.

That is where the similarities end. One team is on a 3 game winning streak and is establishing themselves as a legit contender. The other team has a QB in a sophomore slump and are falling well short of 2012 expectations.

If this game goes according to average points scored by each team then we are looking at a 29-19 Broncos win.

I will spare you the info on how amazing Peyton Manning has been. I am sure you are well versed with his historic season so far. Cam Newton has been a different story. 5 of Carolina's 6 losses have been by 1 possession. In losses Newton has 4 TDs and 8 INTs so we see the team is struggling to execute and maintain possession. In Carolina's 2 wins Newton has 2 TDs and 0 INTs.

The Panthers have tried to be balanced with a run game and pass game, but for the most part any run game has been abandoned after the 1st quarter as the Panthers find themselves in a hole quickly and weekly.

The Broncos are the opposite. They get better and better as the game progresses. Denver averages a whopping 20.8 points per game in the 2nd half which is #1 in the NFL. The Panthers get just 10 points per 2nd half (#26 in NFL).

A Broncos loss would put them at 5-4. They could still win the division, but would be a #4 seed at best. A Broncos win would give them 4 straight wins and would have them in the hunt to host a playoff game.

The Broncos have too much at stake, and the veteran Manning will have them understanding that. Peyton leads the way to a 4th straight victory in this game.

PREV = Chargers at Buccaneers ... NEXT = Jets at Seahawks

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12 of 15

Jets at Seahawks

Jets at Seahawks
Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

(3-5) New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks (5-4)

The J-e-t-s Jets/Jets/Jets are struggling mightily. They have lost 4 of their past 5 games and this game should be a tough one too. The Seahawks are fantastic at home (4-0).

Both teams have defenses that have bent, but the Jets D is also breaking. Seattle has yielded 2 more 1st downs on the season than the Jets (171-169) but teams are finishing drives with points vs the Jets way more often than vs the Seahawks. The Jets allow 25 points per game (24th in the NFL) while the Seahawks yield just 17 points per game (#3 in NFL).

I think all signs point to Seattle in this one. The offense should be able to move the football as Marshawn Lynch is awesome and the Jets rush-D has been terrible. Teams are romping for 141 ground yards vs the Jets (29th) plus the Jets are 24th in the NFL for opponents yards per carry (4.4) and opponents rushing TDs (9). Lynch has 881 yards (#2 in NFL).

Russell Wilson has been fantastic at home. How about 9 TDs and zero INTs?!?! Impressive. The Jets pass-D is ranked #6, but I think that Lynch can do enough to carry the load on offense this weekend even if the Jets secondary gets the best of Wilson.

The Jets are getting just 207 passing yards per game. They have struggled. Tim Tebow is giving the Jets 14 yards per game currently. Yikes. There are several issues for this Jets team. Rex Ryan's reputation is plummeting as this team has been terrible. I do not think the Jets will turn things around in this game. Seahawks win.

PREV = Broncos at Panthers ... NEXT = Cowboys at Eagles

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13 of 15

Cowboys at Eagles

Cowboys at Eagles
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

(3-5) Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)

The loser of this game will fall to 3-6 and will be out of the playoff hunt for 2012. The losing coach will be squarely on the hot seat. Heck, even the winning team/coach has a ton of work to do, but the loser is in trouble.

Tony Romo is 6-6 in his career vs Philly. Michael Vick is 4-2 vs the 'Boys. Each QB has 11 TDs vs the other team, but Vick has just 3 INTs while Romo has 11.

The Cowboys are not intercepting anyone in 2012. They have a measly 3 INTs. Each team has committed a whopping 19 turnovers in 2012. The Eagles are 2nd worst for +/- in the NFC (-9) and the Cowboys are the worst (-11).

The key player in this game has to be DeMarcus Ware. In his last 3 games vs Philly he averages 3 sacks per game. In 2011 the Cowboys sacked Vick a total of 6 times in their 2 games and it was Ware who had all 6.

RB DeMarco Murray is unlikely to return from injury prior to next week so it looks like a RB by committee of Felix Jones, Lance Dunbar, and likely Phillip Tanner.

In Philly's 3 wins RB LeSean McCoy has had at least 20 carries every time. 0-5 when he does not get 20 carries. McCoy and DeSean Jackson each average 80 yards per game vs the Cowboys, but each have just 1 career TD vs them (Jackson also has 1 return TD in his career vs Dallas).

Both teams are top-10 for not allowing opponents 1st downs. Dallas has only allowed 80 passing 1st downs, and Philly has only allowed 37 rushing 1st downs.

I cannot trust either team. Philly is at home so I will take them!

PREV = Jets at Seahawks ... NEXT = Rams at 49ers

craigballard77@myself.com

14 of 15

Rams at 49ers

Rams at 49ers
Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

(3-5) St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (6-2)

Jeff Fisher had his squad out to a nice 3-2 start, but 3 straight losses have the Rams back down to earth. The 49ers have won 2 straight games and have restored order in the NFC West by getting back on top in that division.

The 49ers are good. NFC contender good. They get 5.0+ yards per carry from Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. The Rams yield 4.2 yards per carry, and have allowed 8 rushing TDs (SF has 8 rushing TDs). The Niners average 169 rushing yards per game which is numero uno in the NFL. Gore has 11 career TDs vs the Rams which is his career best (tied with the Cardinals).

The Rams rushing game is the other side of the spectrum. They have just 2 rushing TDs this season.

Even if the Rams can make plays and find a way to stay in this game we should note that the 49ers are in the top-7 for 4th quarter scoring, while the Rams are last in 4th Q scoring.

I cannot see the Rams having success on the ground. That leaves Sam Bradford to save the day, but the 49ers only yield 5.8 yards per attempt by opposing QBs which is tops in the NFL.

The 49ers have the Bears next weekend (Monday Night Football game next week) but since they are coming off of their bye week I see them as raring to go rather than potentially looking past this game. SF is built to get a lead and then have Gore/Hunter + their defense bring it home.

SF wins this game.

PREV = Cowboys at Eagles ... NEXT = Texans at Bears

Thank you for reading my work! www.rantsports.com/nfl/author/craigballard/ for all of my NFL & Miami Dolphins work.

follow me on twitter @craigballard77

15 of 15

Texans at Bears

Texans at Bears
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

(7-1) Houston Texans at Chicago Bears (7-1)

Wow. Do we have a game here? Wow.

The #1 seed in the AFC takes on the #2 seed in the NFC. #2 scoring defense (Bears) vs #3 scoring defense (Texans). Only the Falcons (8-0) are hotter than da Bears (5 straight wins).

Matt Forte needs more touches (in my opinion). He is averaging 5.0 yards per carry. The combo of Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall has been wow wow wow. Marshall is the #2 WR in the NFL (behind only Reggie Wayne). He has been thrown the football an amazing 90 times. Marshall has a TD in 4 of the past 5 games, and went off for 3 TDs last weekend.

Earl Bennett, Alshon Jeffery, Devin Hester, Kellen Davis, and Forte are all getting the same amount of targets when Cutler does not throw to Marshall.

This will be a tough test though as the Texans are the #2 rush-D, and the #4 pass-D. With the Packers and Cardinals off week 10 that means the Bears are the team playing this week that has yielded the most sacks (28). Enter J.J. Watt and his NFL best 10.5 sacks.

The Texans passing game is also top-heavy. Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels are the play-makers for Matt Schaub. We know the Texans have a legit running game, but have they ever seen a defense like this 2012 Bears D?

The Bears already have forced an amazing 28 turnovers. That is an average of creating 4 turnovers per game. Wow. The Colts have created 3 total turnovers all season. Wow. Tim Jennings already has 6 INTs. Wow. The Bears D has 7 TDs. Wow. There is a possibility that Jennings misses this tilt as he is expecting the birth of his child very soon.

The 1st quarter will be the difference in this game. The Bears are getting an impressive 15 points per game in the 1st Q lately so the Texans will need to use their balanced O and terrific D to weather the Bears storm. Houston is equipped to match-up in this game. The Texans are also a top-5 scoring team in the 1st Q.

If Houston can avoid being knocked out in the 1st Q then I think they can do enough to win this game. I will take the Texans.

PREV = Rams at 49ers

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