NFL Week 10 Picks: Rant Sports Experts On the Games of the Weekend
Each week a group of NFL experts here at Rant Sports make their selections on the game, and this is your one stop spot to see all those picks. It was a very successful week for the experts in Week 9, with no one writer doing worse than 9-5, and the best of us had a near perfect performance by going 13-1.
This weekend is laden with games worthy of our attention. The Chicago Bears hosting the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football is no doubt the biggest game of the weekend. Both teams are looking to flex their muscle to the rest of their respective conference, and the Bears have an added measure as they look to keep pace with the Atlanta Falcons for home field advantage in the playoffs. Charles Tillman and J.J. Watt are the early leaders for defensive MVP and all eyes will be on them with points coming at a premium.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys also face off, with the loser staring at a 3-6 record and all but out of the NFC playoff race. This one could get chippy. Both teams are under-performing expectations, both teams are hearing rumors of their head coach being fired, and both teams have questions at the quarterback position. This will be a no holds barred battle and I will definitely be watching.
Each slide in this article will provide the writer's opinion on the matchup of the team they cover for Rant Sports, plus a link to their picks. Be sure to check them all out and enjoy the games this weekend.
Gil Alcaraz IV Picks His Minnesota Vikings over Detroit Lions
"The Minnesota Vikings have already knocked off the Detroit 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 "
Kase Brammer's Arizona Cardinals on Bye, Picks the Chicago Bears over Houston Texans
"This is my second game of the week. However, I feel the difference in this game will be the Chicago Bears’ defense. Houston Texans’ RB Arian Foster is going to struggle along with the entire Texans’ offense. QB Jay Cutler is having a good season, but could be more efficient at times. If his defense stumbles I’m guessing he will be there to pick up the slack."
"Prediction: RB Matt Forte scores two TDs, one on the ground and one via the reception. Texans 17, Bears 24"
Joe Morrone Picks his Denver Broncos over Carolina Panthers
"John Fox returns to Carolina where he coached the Carolina Panthers for nine seasons and while that’s a great story; it won’t have much of an impact. The Denver Broncos have a better football team than the Panthers, and that’s what matters. Much like their win over the Cincinnati Bengals; the game will be tight but the Broncos pull away in the second half."
Craig Ballard Picks his Miami Dolphins over Tennessee Titans
"On paper we see two evenly matched teams. The Miami 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 Tennessee 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 all 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 practice and he will split reps with Matt Hasselbeck this week in practice. 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."
Anthony Blake Picks San Francisco 49ers over His St. Louis Rams
"On paper this is a huge mismatch, but divisional games can be funny at times. The St. Louis Rams will get an emotional lift with the return of Danny Amendola, but that isn’t enough to beat a team of the San Francisco 49ers’ 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"
Ben Grimaldi Picks his Dallas Cowboys over Philadelphia Eagles
"In Philly, the season is on the line for the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. The loser can pack their bags to top draft pick status and the winner can keep slim playoff hopes alive. Both teams have the same issues; they turn the ball over way too much and their offensive lines are abysmal. The Eagles are coming off a road loss on Monday night, which tend to be harder to recover from. The Cowboys look like the better team, as crazy as that is to say. Dallas wins and the vultures leave Jason Garrett, for a week anyway, and hover over Any Reid."
I'll Take my New York Giants over the Cincinnati Bengals
The New York Giants are coming off a game in which they played terribly in just about every aspect of the game. They were lucky to only lose that game by four points. The offense has been in a slump over the previous three games and something needs to be done, otherwise the same rhetoric about their inability to win in the second half will surface. However, there is nothing like getting out of an offensive slump like facing a team with a bad defense. The Cincinnati Bengals are 25th in scoring defense and 28th in quarterback rating against. Given that they always play better on the road, Eli Manning should be able to right the ship.
Prediction: Giants 30, Bengals 20