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NFL WEEK 10: A Couple Upsets and a Thriller in LA

NFL Week 10 – Will the Steelers stay undefeated? Should the Bucs be worried? And here come the Saints!

Heinz FieldbyJoey Gannon is licensed under CC BY-SA2.0

NFL WEEK 10: A Couple Upsets and a Thriller in LA

Estimated Reading Time: 13 Minutes

We have reached Week 10 already. Can you believe it? Last week’s slate of games certainly reminded us all that it has been a 2020 type of a season. The Steelers, of all teams, are undefeated, the Jets almost beat the Patriots, the Raiders and Dolphins are actually good, and Tom Brady threw three interceptions and zero touchdowns in a game.

The last time Brady didn’t have a touchdown in a game was on November 17, 2019, against the Eagles. The last time Brady threw for three interceptions in a single game? You have to go all the way back to September 25, 2011. Brady actually threw four interceptions to go along with four touchdowns in a 34-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

I mean, hell, even the Detroit Lions are playing football with only 10 players on the field now.

And this was the second time they’ve done this too. What has this world come to?

Alright, to the picks we go!

Week 9 Picks: 9-5

Season Picks Record: 82-37

Colts at Titans

The Colts couldn’t do anything on offense against Baltimore last week. Here’s the problem with Indy…I don’t know who their RB1 is, I don’t know who their WR1 is, I don’t know who their TE1 is, and quite frankly, I’m not even sure if Philip Rivers should be quarterbacking this team. The Colts defense has been pretty good this year, but their offense is an absolute crapshoot.

But here’s the good news for the Colts – the Titans have ZERO pass rush. So I feel like Rivers could have a good game here. Have you noticed this season how Rivers has been quite successful against teams who are incapable of getting after the quarterback, and he’s been dreadful against teams that actually have good defensive lines?

I think this will be a very good Thursday Night game; much better than last week’s. Give me the Colts to barely get by the Titans. Colts win 26-23.

Texans at Browns

The last time the Browns beat the Texans was all the way back in 2007. Matt Schaub and Derek Anderson were the quarterbacks in that game.

This Texans team is 2-6, but I think they’re better than their record, and Deshaun Watson is catching on fire and playing really well lately. Especially ever since the departure of former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, Watson has been playing at an elite level.

Meanwhile, the Browns failed to reach the end zone against the Raiders in their last game. Yikes. Maybe Cleveland hashed things out over their Bye week…maybe?

I think I smell an upset here, and Watson continues to stay hot. Texans win 29-24.

Washington at Lions

Washington quarterback Kyle Allen suffered an ankle injury last week against the Giants and, as a result, will undergo surgery on his ankle.

Enter Alex Smith, who knows a thing or two about serious injuries. I am rooting for Smith, I really am. What a major comeback he’s had from his own gruesome leg injury. It is amazing he’s even able to step onto a football field and play. Unfortunately, keeping up with the Lions offense this week will be a difficult task. Unless of course the Lions decide to throw 10 defensive players out there again. But all jokes aside, give me Detroit to get back on track here. Lions win 27-19.

Jaguars at Packers

Rookie quarterback Jake Luton did some really nice things for Jacksonville last week in a tight loss against Houston. Luton played well and completed 26 of 38 for 304 yards a touchdown and an interception. Luton also added a rushing TD in his Jaguars debut.

However, this time he starts his first NFL road game at Lambeau Field against a good Packers team. Jacksonville might be able to hang around, but I think the Packers will prevail. Packers win 28-19.

Eagles at Giants

The Giants have been playing better football lately, but so have the Eagles. And the Eagles are healthier too now. Miles Sanders, Alshon Jeffrey, and Lane Johnson will all be ready to go for this game.

The Giants, although competitive as of late, may be playing more for a decent draft pick. The Eagles…they’re playing to win the division. Give me a Philly sweep. Eagles win 23-21.

Buccaneers at Panthers

Bad news for the Panthers: Christian McCaffrey will be out again, but this time with a shoulder injury that he suffered in the game last week against the Chiefs. And as you saw last week, clearly, the Panthers offense is very different when McCaffrey is playing. And when I say different, I really mean BETTER.

One thing we know about the Buccaneers is that they have rebounded very well after losses this season. Following a loss, they have outscored their opponents 69-27. Tampa Bay got embarrassed by the Saints last week, but I think they will rebound strong yet again this week. Buccaneers win 34-24.

Broncos at Raiders

I said before this season started that the Raiders are a playoff team. Everyone bashed me and thought I was nuts. Well they are 5-3, and I think they are about to go 6-3 this week. And remember, seven teams can go to the playoffs from each conference now.

Derek Carr has been playing very well this year. He’s completing 69.8% of his passes and has thrown for 2,002 yards, 18 TDs, and just two interceptions through eight games. And he’s really been doing this without a true WR1. Hell even the guy is leaping and twirling through linebackers to find the end zone this year.

The Raiders Are a Top-10 Team in the NFL Right Now

Yup, I said it. When you are two games above .500 halfway through the season, and you’ve beaten the best team in football and hang 40 points on them, you are a top-10 team. It’s that simple. They also had a nice win against the Saints in Week 2, and New Orleans is a top-5 team in the league. You watch that Sunday Night game between the Bucs and the Saints and tell me New Orleans is not a top-5 team in the league. You can’t…you can’t do it with a straight face. When the Saints are healthy and all together, they are a powerhouse.

Anyway, I got off track talking about the Saints…I think the Raiders continue to stay hot and win their third straight game! Raiders win 23-16.

Chargers at Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa vs. Justin Herbert is must-see TV. This could be the first of many matches between these two talented rookie quarterbacks. Tua had a nice game last week against Arizona, and Herbert has been impressive since stepping on the field. It will be really fun to watch. Herbert may end up having the better rookie year statistically speaking and as far as performance is concerned, but Tua has the much better defense and perhaps the better team overall. The Chargers defense has had issues and they have allowed their last five opponents to score at least 29 points per game. Give me Miami to pull out the win. Dolphins win 21-20.

Bills at Cardinals

Josh Allen vs. Kyler Murray is also must-see TV. Damn we have some good games this week. Anyway, Josh Allen played out of his mind last week against a bad Seahawks defense. Allen completed 31 of 38 passes throwing for a whopping 415 yards, 3 TDs, and didn’t have any interceptions. Allen also had a rushing TD.

It’s funny, because I say “bad Seahawks defense” but they still managed to sack Allen seven times last week. The Cardinals could bring a better pass rush this week against Buffalo. Arizona is 7th in the NFL in sacks.

The Bills will be facing another Russell Wilson-type quarterback in Kyler Murray. Except, Murray has been a lot more effective using his legs this season. Last week, Murray even rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown.

Which Josh Allen Will Show Up?

The Bills are a good team, but I do find Josh Allen to be a bit inconsistent. He blew up the Seahawks last week for four total touchdowns and 415 yards, but the week before that, he completed just 11 passes for 154 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception against the Patriots. And the week before that game, he barely beat the Jets, throwing for 307 yards but not completing a single touchdown pass. against the worst team in football. Allen has been very up-and-down this season; having both some really good games and really dreadful games.

Buffalo is going to have a tough time stopping Murray this week, and the chances that Allen goes off for over 400 yards again are probably pretty slim. I am just not sure which Josh Allen we are going to get. I like Arizona’s chances at home. Cardinals win 26-23.

Seahawks at Rams

This is a big NFC West game and the first of two meetings for these two squads. The Seahawks have got to figure out their defense. If they don’t by the playoffs, they are in trouble. Their offense has been a force, but let’s be honest, their defense has been real shitty.

Additionally, the Seahawks will be coming into this game with a banged up backfield again. It is looking like both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde will be out for this game. Which means DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer will be sharing the load.

The Rams Defense

Not a lot of people are talking about the Rams defense, but we should…because they have quietly been very good.

This season, the Rams are 2nd in the NFL in pass defense, 6th in the NFL against the run, and have allowed just 19.0 points per game. They are the 2nd ranked overall defense in the league. This may sound crazy, but I think the Rams are the best defense in the NFL who no one is talking about. And let’s not forget, Rams have some serious playmakers on the defensive side of the ball in Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, and Jalen Ramsey. If the Rams can just do a better job of taking care of the ball on offense, this could be a playoff team.

I’ll be honest, I know Russell Wilson is great, but I just don’t feel too confident picking Seattle in this game. They have to go back cross-country to face a really good defense on the road, with a banged up backfield, and a lot of questions to answer involving their own defensive unit. Give me the upset in the first meeting between these two NFC West teams. But boy, it’s going to be close. Rams win 37-30.

49ers at Saints

When this Saints team is healthy, including having Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders back in the offense, they are a force. Not only that, but I have to follow my rule about the 49ers – If Jimmy G doesn’t play, I ain’t picking them. It also looked like the Saints defense came alive last week. I really like New Orleans to win this one big. Saints win 40-24.

Bengals at Steelers

After being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 List earlier this week, it looks like Ben Roethlisberger will suit up and play this Sunday. That’s good news, because Joe Burrow and the Bengals are no cupcakes.

As a Steeler fan, this game scares me a bit. Cincinnati’s offense can put up some serious points. However, Joe Burrow has struggled against good defensive lines this season and, unfortunately for Burrow, the Steelers could have the best one in the league.

In case you were wondering how good last year’s LSU team really was.

Now to be fair to Burrow, he doesn’t exactly have such a good offensive line. But the Chargers, Ravens, Browns and Colts all have good defensive lines who can get after the quarterback. And all of those teams the Bengals lost to this season. So it is certainly possible that Burrow could find himself once again being eaten alive by a talented pass rush. He’s been sacked 28 times this season, which is the second-most for a quarterback behind only Carson Wentz, who has been sacked 32 times.

I think this game will be close, because…I mean…it’s a Pittsburgh Steelers game. They’re always fucking close and they give me anxiety through the stratosphere. But in the end, I do think Pittsburgh’s defense will win this game and the Steelers will remain undefeated at 9-0. Win or lose, this has been an incredible start for Mike Tomlin and his Steelers squad. Steelers win 30-28.

Ravens at Patriots (Sunday Night)

This would normally be a great Sunday Night game. But this Patriots team characterizes the end of a dynasty in New England. This isn’t the Tom Brady Patriots anymore. They barely got by the Jets last week who are easily the worst team in football. And going from playing Adam Gase and the Jets to playing John Harbaugh and the Ravens is going from 0 to 100.

One of the few times in my life I root for the Patriots is when they play the Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately, I think the Ravens have no problems taking down the Patriots on Sunday night. Ravens win 34-20.

Vikings at Bears (Monday Night)

Death, taxes, and picking against Kirk Cousins on Monday nights. It makes it extremely difficult to pick the Vikings in this game when their quarterback has gone 0-9 on Monday nights in his career. That’s right, Cousins has NEVER won on Monday Night. And he actually carries the worst Monday Night Football record among quarterbacks in the HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE.

Cousins Also Struggles Hard Against the Bears

Since joining the Vikings in 2017, Kirk Cousins has yet to beat the Chicago Bears – he’s 0-3. It appears the only way Kirk can beat the Bears is if he’s in a Washington uniform. When he played for Washington, he actually never lost to the Bears.

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has been absolutely unstoppable this year when he’s healthy. But I’m convinced that the Bears make a deal with the devil every time they have to face Cook, because Cook in his career against Chicago has been pretty awful. In three career games against the Bears, Cook has rushed for a combined…wait for it…86 yards. IN THREE GAMES. And Cook has just one touchdown in his career against the Bears. So to say that Chicago could be Minnesota’s kryptonite might be a bit of an understatement.

I think the Bears will continue to have Cousins’ number and Chicago improves to 6-4. Bears win 23-20.

Enjoy the games!

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing's strictly sports.

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