Now we’re getting into the thick of things.
Week 10 Picks
Seattle 23 – Atlanta 20
Despite their 8-1 record, the Seahawks have been living on the edge lately, winning their past few games by increasingly narrow margins. I expect it to continue this week, as they travel to Atlanta to face off against half of the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
Cincinnati 24 – Baltimore 14
Injuries have been tough on the Bengals. Football has been tough on the Ravens. With Baltimore playing at home, and the Bengals’ performance last week, the potential for what can only be considered an upset is there; I just don’t see it happening.
Detroit 33 – Chicago 24
You’ll note a trend here, where I see a lot of road teams pulling off big wins this week. The situation in Chicago is a combination of disappointment (defense) and concern (Jay Cutler’s injury). The situation in Detroit? Hopeful. Their outlook in a logjammed NFC East should look better after this one.
Green Bay 27 – Philadelphia 17
All the talk is focused on Aaron Rodgers; when will he be back? Can they possibly go on without him? Well, the Eagles are a team they should be able to beat with or without their franchise quarterback. Dom Capers will have his defense zoned in (and by zoned in, I mean manned up) against Chip Kelly’s offense, limiting their production with Eddie Lacy takes the burden off of Seneca Wallace enough to allow the passing game a handful of game-changing plays.
Indianapolis 31 – St. Louis 20
The Rams have been playing better lately, despite the losses. The Titans weren’t exactly a team they couldn’t beat; the Colts, on the other hand, are…so long as the right Colts team shows up.
New York 30 – Oakland 20
What’s this? A revival, a run towards the playoffs for Big Blue? No, it’s the Raiders. The Giants are playing good enough to beat them, but I am hesitant to believe they’ll prove it. Regardless, I won’t pick against them when they face a young team traveling across the country.
Buffalo 24 – Pittsburgh 17
Paging C.J. Spiller, paging C.J. Spiller. You’re needed in Pittsburgh. Honestly, this is one of the toughest games to pick this week, and I’m only picking Buffalo because they’ve shown the kind of resiliency and commitment to winning that Pittsburgh used to be known for. About a year or two ago.
Tennessee 28 – Jacksonville 21
The Jaguars will finally do the unthinkable and not lose by 10 points or more for the first time this season. They’ll still lose, though.
San Fransisco 30 – Carolina 20
This one is going to be a great game, I can assure you of that. In the end, the cross-country trip, the 49ers homefield advantage and the Panthers’ general lack of experience will catch up to them in Candlestick Park.
Houston 31 – Arizona 30
Game-winning field goal, last seconds. As different as these appear record-wise, the Cardinals have simply been playing better defense than the Texans have. But there’s a new kid slinging passes in Houston, and he looks like he might be the real deal. The extra tape on him will help the Cardinals some, but the other 31 teams not called the Texans are still a week or two away from having Case Keenum’s tendencies and mannerisms down. In the meantime, he’ll help find a way to win a relatively big game in the desert today.
Denver 37 – San Diego 28
San Diego has the talent to beat the Broncos, make no bones about it. They won’t get a better chance than this, their home matchup for the year. I doubt they get it done, but this one could be very, very close if the Chargers muster up the extra effort necessary to beat the best team in football.
New Orleans 48 – Dallas 27
Yeah, that bad. The Saints are a different team at home. The Saints are a different team with Rob Ryan coaching the defense. His knowledge, and his bitterness, will have had him up extra hours all week licking his chops and preparing to take it to his old team. And take it to him he will, while Drew Brees puts up the stats and the Saints defense puts on the pressure.
Miami 31 – Tampa Bay 24
I refuse to buy into the notion that the whole Incognito-Martin fiasco is somehow distracting the Dolphins from their upcoming game. The whole left side of their offensive line being AWOL isn’t exactly a loss considering how shaky its been so far this year, but Bryant McKinnie has filled in well so far at LT. No, the media’s complete and total overblown coverage of the situation in Miami is only going to distract the questions being asked after Miami pulls off a decent win against a Buccaneers team completely at a loss for answers after allowing the Seahawks to overcome a 21-point deficit last week.
Fantasy Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Andrew Luck – QB – Indianapolis Colts
Eli Manning – QB – New York Giants
C.J. Spiller – RB – Buffalo Bills
Giovanni Bernard – RB – Cincinnati Bengals
T.Y. Hilton – WR – Indianapolis Colts
Anquan Boldin – WR – San Fransisco 49ers
Garrett Graham – TE – Houston Texans
Charles Clay – TE – Miami Dolphins
Phil Dawson – K – San Fransisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints D/ST
Tony Romo – QB – Dallas Cowboys
Nick Foles – QB – Philadelphia Eagles
Ray Rice – RB – Baltimore Ravens
Andre Ellington – RB – Arizona Cardinals
Mike Wallace – WR – Miami Dolphins
Riley Cooper – WR – Philadelphia Eagles
Heath Miller – TE – Pittsburgh Steelers
Tony Gonzalez – TE – Atlanta Falcons
Caleb Sturgis – K – Miami Dolphins
Carolina Panthers D/ST