As the NFL season rolls into Week 10, fans and analysts alike eagerly anticipate another fun weekend of football. With playoff implications beginning to take hold, each game becomes more crucial in determining the fate of teams vying for a shot at playing in January and February.
Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots (Frankfurt), 9:30 a.m. EST (NFL Network)
The Colts might not protect Nap Town like their fans want, but they do a pretty good job on the road. This year Indianapolis is 3-1 on the road and have an opportunity to take the show overseas. The Patriots have really only been good one game this season and are currently on a two-game losing streak. The injury to Mathew Judon has hurt them more in the passing game than it has the run. They rank 11th against the run coming into Week 10 and 18th against the pass — very uncharacteristic of a Bill Belichick-coached defense. With Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss looking like a real 1-2 punch...
I’m taking the Colts to run away with this one in Frankfurt.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)
Lamar Jackson is playing some of the best football of his career, including his MVP season. He’s finding ways to throw the ball that are unorthodox yet on target. And he’s doing this with inconsistent availability from a lot of his top weapons. Check out this thread from Spencer Schultz of The Exit 52 Podcast:
What Lamar Jackson is doing with changing his arm slot and almost bending the football to where he wants it to go is absolutely insane.— Spencer Schultz (@ravens4dummies) November 7, 2023
It’s like he’s throwing a frisbee.
But the Browns might just have the best defense in the league and possibly this year’s defensive player of the year in Myles Garrett. And regardless of what you feel about him off the field, Deshaun Watson has begun to regain his form from his Houston days, which could spell trouble for the rest of the AFC.
I’m going with Cleveland here with the upset because defense is still a big deal in this offensive league.
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)
Bad news AFC fans, Joe Burrow is healthy and it might be the year that the Bengals push past all the other AFC contenders and make it to the big dance. The Bengals look like a completely different team when Burrow’s healthy, and I don’t see any sign of them slowing down. The Texans are one of my favorite teams to watch this season because I think C.J. Stroud is going to be a superstar for a long time in this league. But today won’t be the rookie’s day.
Joe Cool and the Bengals take this game.
One of many "Joe Burrow is all the way back" stats: In the first month of the season, his completion percentage over expected on throws over 2.5 seconds was -7.4% (33rd).— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) November 7, 2023
Since then? 15.1% (1st)
San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)
Jacksonville is exactly who I thought they’d be this year. They’re at the top of their division and currently on a five-game winning streak. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence hasn’t necessarily won games for the Jaguars, but he hasn’t lost any either. When your defense is playing so well and Travis Etienne is running with conviction, you just need to manage the game. But the 49ers are on a three-game losing streak and that just doesn’t sit right with me. I still think they have the best team in football, but Brock Purdy needs to get back to playing quality football. He has five interceptions on the season, all coming over the span of the last three games. I anticipate Kyle Shanahan putting his QB in easier situations to manage.
San Francisco takes this one on the road and gets back to their winning ways.
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. EST (FOX)
The Vikings will miss Kirk Cousins, but Joshua Dobbs sure has a way of energizing a team that likely thought their season was over. Justin Jefferson is now in his 21-day practice window to return, which will be a boost to the offense regardless of who’s playing quarterback. But for today, the Saints have a solid defense and they don’t have to game plan for Jefferson. Addison is the key for the Vikings if they want to put up points. I still think Minnesota can win games and make the playoffs with Dobbs. Today is his first chance to prove that.
Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)
I’m still waiting for all the hype surrounding Jordan Love to be fulfilled. He hasn’t been good, and that might not be his fault. His offensive line is one of the worse in the NFL and it shows. The Steelers are quietly doing everything necessary to keep pace with the rest of the AFC North. If the playoffs started today every team in that division would qualify for the tournament. I don’t have much faith in Kenny Pickett, but I have more faith in him than I do love.
Coach Tomlin gets another win at home.
Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. EST (CBS)
Baker Mayfield is having some success with the Buccaneers’ offense and it’s actually been fun to watch. Unfortunately, it’s not paying off in wins yet but that’s not all on him this time around. This week I think he will play well again, but Will Levis is here and there’s something magical about him. He’s tough and poised in the pocket. Levis will need some time to polish up and handle situations better, but he’s still going to make the Titans more fun to watch and also more dangerous. DeAndre Hopkins is finally getting involved and now defenses have to worry about more than Henry.
The Titans will win this one on the road.
Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. EST (CBS)
The comeback player of the year arrives in Week 10. Kyler Murray is back and he has a better play caller, and his running back James Conner might join him in returning to action. The Falcons for some reason don’t have the desire to give Bijan Robinson the ball. And to me, that’s the biggest mistake you can make. If that happens, this game might be over for Atlanta before it starts. State Farm Stadium is going to be electric because Kyler’s back — and he’ll want to prove that he’s ready.
Cardinals with the upset here at home.
Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. EST (CBS)
I’m telling you right away, it’s the Lions for me. It doesn’t matter what running back is playing, they are amazing. The most recent example is the exceptional performance by running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who showcased his talent by exploding against the Raiders — rushing for an impressive 152 yards and scoring a touchdown on 26 carries. His ability to impact the game was a welcome sight for most fans who were shocked that he was under-utilized in favor of David Montgomery. To add to the riches, wide receiver Amon-Ra St Brown has consistently proven himself as a star player. His contributions to the team’s offense cannot be overlooked. Additionally, while the Chargers may be on a two-game winning streak, the Jets and the Bears are not nearly as good as the Lions.
I’m taking the Lions in this one by a touchdown.
I get it, the Giants aren’t good and the Cowboys have everything on offense, which should allow them to blow this team out. But 16 points? They still have Saquon Barkley and I’m pretty sure he’s good enough to change any game at any point.
I’m taking the Cowboys, but I’ll also take the Giants to beat the spread.
Geno Smith cannot afford another performance like either of the last two weeks. But especially last week where he had a 46.4% completion percentage and a 49.9 quarterback rating amid a 37-3 blowout against the Ravens. The Commanders are trying to ride the momentum of a win over the Patriots into this week, but I think the Seahawks are a more talented team with better weapons. Geno will have a big day in a bounce-back game but the Commanders keep it interesting.
Washington will beat the spread while the Seahawks keep their fans happy with the win.
New York Jets at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:20 p.m. EST (NBC)*
The Raiders are becoming one of my favorite stories after the disastrous start to their season. Interim head coach Antonio Pierce has captured the locker room, the fan base and the media in the midst of getting the team an inspiring win in his first week coaching. Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell didn’t find the end zone but he didn’t need to in a 30-6 blowout win over the Giants. This week is different. The Jets’ defense is better than the Giants’ defense. Their offense still hasn’t found out how to succeed after QB Aaron Rodgers fell to injury in Week 1. But the defense has kept games close and within striking distance for plays to matter at the end of games.
I think the Jets spoil the fun in Vegas and take this win on the road.
Monday, November 13
Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills, 8:15 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Be sure to check out my Pregame Rumblings Podcast and article with special guest Buffalo Bills Legend WR Stevie Johnson tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. EST for everything you need to know about the Bills’ Monday Night Football matchup against the Broncos! (Go Bills)
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