Before my picks in Week 10, let’s recap the NFL in Week 9.
NYJ 34 – BUF 21. As I picked the Bills, I had this ugly feeling that they’d let me down. And they did. Their defense got shut down by Matt Forte, and their offensive line gave up 7 sacks. All this led to a humiliating loss for Buffalo (the Jets were up 27 at one point).
NO 30 – TB 10. Hype in the offseason for teams can be misleading. The Bucs are arguably the coldest team in football, having lost 5 straight. Their season is basically cooked. The Saints meanwhile, are one of the hottest teams in football, winners of 6 straight. No one really gave the Saints a chance to win the NFC South before the season, and they now find themselves in 1st place.
CAR 20 – ATL 17. Carolina got the win at home, as the Falcons continue to lose in painful ways (how did Julio not make that catch?). Carolina is now 6-3, and their defense is certainly one of the better ones in the NFL. The Panthers and Saints will be an interesting division race.
LAR 51 – NYG 17. What else can I say about my New York Football Giants at this point? New York has completely quit on Ben McAdoo, as their defense gave up a touchdown… on 3rd and 33! The Rams’ offense is obviously quite impressive, but that is no excuse for the Giants. The crowd at MetLife Stadium called for McAdoof to be fired and wore paper bags over their heads, and if I was there I’d be doing the same thing.
TEN 23 – BAL 20. Tennessee did just enough to win once again, as they beat Baltimore at home in a matchup of teams trying to make the playoffs in the AFC. Kevin Byard is playing like one of the best safeties in the NFL now, and to me the Titans have a good balance on offense and defense.
JAC 23 – CIN 7. The Jaguars are now adherents to that old fashioned Tom Coughlin discipline, as they suspended Leonard Fournette for team rule violation in the midst of a playoff hunt. However, the Jags defense continued to dominate their opponents, and Blake Bortles avoided the “i” word. That seems to be the ingredients to Jacksonville victory, and with an easy schedule on the horizon, they can definitely win this division. As for the Bengals… yeah, your season is over. Just fire Marvin Lewis. Please.
PHI 51 – DEN 13. This was expected, as the Eagles put a beating on a team that was so desperate at QB they tried out Brock again. The Eagles are simply a juggernaut, great on offense and defense. They win in the trenches, and trading for Jay Ajayi makes their already great ground game even better. With Denver, I think it’s time to start Paxton Lynch, even if he hasn’t looked that good.
IND 20 – HOU 14. I still picked Houston to win this one in spite of the Texans starting Tom Savage. That was a mistake, as the Texans offense is totally not the same without Watson. The Colts may have saved any hopes of playoffs here, but there is now drama in their front office regarding Andrew Luck’s injuries. Will they draft another QB in 2018?
WAS 17 – SEA 14. This was quite an upset for the Redskins here, as they found a way to beat Seattle on the road. The Seahawks couldn’t get anything established on offense for a long time, and the Redskins are now 4-4 and are “in the hunt” of the NFC playoff picture. Meanwhile, the Seahawks just lost some ground to the Rams, but they do carry that divisional tie-breaker as of now.
ARI 20 – SF 10. My upset pick didn’t quite work here. The Niners might just be tanking the rest of the season; that might mean they’re not starting Jimmy G until 2018. Drew Stanton beat C.J. Beathard in the backup bowl, and the 49ers are now the 0-9ers. However, they might just be getting their first win this week (we’ll get to that).
DAL 28 – KC 17. This score looks pretty ugly for the Chiefs, and if it wasn’t for a freaky play with Tyreek Hill before the half, it could’ve been uglier. Ezekiel Elliott continues to be not suspended and playing well, as Dallas is trying to compete with Philly in the NFC East. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have lost 3 out of 4, but still are in control of the AFC West.
OAK 27 – MIA 24. Jay Cutler may have had a good night, but Beast Mode got two TDs in a great performance for the Raiders. Oakland is now 4-5, and with the way the Chiefs are playing, they might be able to catch up soon. As for the Dolphins, they are 4-4. Perhaps they will once again grasp the 6th seed in an AFC Wild Card race.
DET 30 – GB 17. After two weeks, I’m now fully convinced that Green Bay is simply reliant on Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers alone has carried the Packers to victories. Brett Hundley just won’t cut it for that offense, as their drives stalled time and time again. Here’s an additional worry for the Packers besides their QB situation; the Lions didn’t punt once in this game (which is also a good sign for Detroit).
So after those 8-5 picks, can I finally get out of the mediocre-ish slump in Week 10?
SEA @ ARI. You have to assume that Seattle bounces back here, as they have to contend in a highly competitive NFC. Their defense is just too good to lose to Drew Stanton. The Seahawks will win 20-13.
NYJ @ TB. The Jets will go back to .500, and beat a Bucs team that hasn’t won since October 1st. If the Jets actually want to compete for an AFC Wild Card spot (it’s kinda sorta possible) they need to win games like this. And I’ll say they win 27-24 against their former QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
NO @ BUF. The Bills proved last week that they can’t be trusted, and I’m picking New Orleans. Of course this probably means that Buffalo will win, as I never pick the Bills right. But whatever! I’m picking the Saints to win 30-24, as their impressive win streak will continue.
CLE @ DET. Detroit got back on track with a nice win in Lambeau. They’re 4-4, and obviously have a golden opportunity to go above .500 here. They will beat Cleveland 28-16 in my lock of the week (I know it’s Cleveland so I’m kinda cheating here).
CIN @ TEN. The Titans get a nice home matchup against a struggling Bengals team. Tennessee’s defense is improving, while the Bengals offense is… not improving. The Titans will get a 24-17 win here, and stay competitive in the AFC South division race.
GB @ CHI. When I said that Green Bay is reliant on Aaron Rodgers, I meant it. The Bears are playing at home, and are going up against a hated division rival. Their defense is quietly good, and against Brett Hundley? The Bears will win 20-17, in a defensive battle. A pick-6 might decide this one.
LAC @ JAC. The Jags are simply too good of a team to lose to the Chargers. It looks like they’re getting Leonard Fournette back this week, which is a great sign for their offense. They will win 27-20, and for the first time since 2010, they will have more than 5 wins in a season.
MIN @ WAS. The Skins got a morale-boosting victory in Seattle last week, and I expect them to win playing back here at home. If their defense could play that good against Russell Wilson, I think they’ll put up a similar performance against Case Keenum. The Redskins will win 24-13.
PIT @ IND. Upset alert! The Steelers have a tendency to not show up in these sort of games (their loss on the road to Chicago was quite a stunner). Jacoby Brissett and the Colts will defy the need for a high draft pick next year, and win 24-23.
HOU @ LAR. Simply put, Houston isn’t going to be winning with Tom Savage at QB. The Rams have found a winning formula through great coaching, an offense capable of big plays, and the best special teams play in the league. They will improve their record to 7-2 with a 30-17 win over Houston.
NYG @ SF. The Niners will get their first win of the season, and it’s not even an upset really. Different lines will actually favor different teams here. The Giants have quit on McAdoof as I mentioned earlier, and the C.J. Beathard-led Niners will win their first game 21-16. Kyle Shanahan will at long last get his first career victory in the NFL.
DAL @ ATL. The Falcons are now 4-4, and will feel an incredible urge to stay alive in an ultra-competitive NFC. I think their home field advantage will help them get it done here, but they have to look out for a Dallas d-line that is starting to get recognition as one of the league’s best this year. I think Atlanta will win 27-24.
NE @ DEN. Tom Brady has historically been bad against Denver (especially at Denver), but the Broncos are simply too much of a mess to pick against the Pats. Osweiler is starting again, and that is not a good sign. The Patriots will win 24-14, and improve to 7-2.
MIA @ CAR. The Panthers have won 2 in a row, and have hopefully found some consistency. I think they will improve to 7-3 with a 29-17 win.
My Pick Record this Season: 75-58
My Lock of the Week Record: 6-3
My Upset of the Week Record: 2-7