05 November 2013

2013 NFL Predictions: Week 10

With Aaron Rodgers injuring his collarbone, Packers coach Mike McCarthy will have to hand the keys to backup Seneca Wallace. Wallace saw a lot of playing time in the loss on Monday night and was generally ineffective as the team played it very conservative. What can we expect from him and Green Bay against an Eagles offense that will lights-out in Oaktown on Sunday? Here are my week ten picks.

Last Week: 7-6
2013: 87-44
Locks: 8-1

Thursday, November 7th
Washington (3-5) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-7) - NFL Network, 8:25
Some questionable playcalling late in regulation by the Chargers certainly did not hurt but Washington got a big rebound win after the collapse in Denver a week before as they were buoyed by a season-best performance from Alf Morris and an excellent afternoon from Pierre Garcon. And they should be able to move the ball at will against an awful Minnesota defense. Even if their offense comes to play again, I think the bad times will continue for the Vikings.
Washington 27 Vikings 13

Sunday, November 10th
Oakland Raiders (3-5) vs. New York Giants (2-6) - CBS, 1:00
This is a funky game because neither team scores a lot of points (Oakland: 28th, New York: 30th) and both have average at best defenses (Oakland: 18th, New York: 14th). A key disadvantage for the Raiders, who just got demolished by the Eagles at home while showing no sort of resistance to Nick Foles, is they are playing an early game on the East Coast and that always poses an issue to clubs from the Left Coast. Plus, the Giants have a little momentum at the moment, whatever that means.
Giants 17 Raiders 13

Buffalo Bills (3-6) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6) - CBS, 1:00
After getting blown out in Foxboro and giving up a whopping 55 points while allowing Tom Brady to do whatever he wanted, I feel pretty confident that the Steelers are done for 2013. Meanwhile for Buffalo, they generally have looked better under new coach (and friend of the blog) Doug Marrone but what has killed them has been serious issues at quarterback in the absence of rookie E.J. Manuel. However, it looks like Manuel may be ready to go this Sunday as he been cleared to return to practice. Considering he has been out for a month, I do not have high hopes.
Steelers 19 Bills 9

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) vs. Tennessee Titans (4-4) - CBS, 1:00
I am going to be completely honest, I want to pick the Jaguars in this one. I know, they are have been an absolute joke this year, but I have one of those weird feelings that this may be a better than expected week for them. However, better than expected and win are two different things. Therefore, the Titans are my Lock of the Week.
Titans 18 Jaguars 7

Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) vs. Baltimore Ravens (3-5) - CBS, 1:00
The struggles for the Ravens, particularly on offense, continued on Sunday as they fell for the third straight game, this time to Cleveland. Joe Flacco has been inconsistent and has generally not looked as good as he was when he led the Ravens to the Super Bowl title. One would figure that they would struggle against an excellent Cincinnati defense, but that defense is not as good as it was now that star tackle Geno Atkins has been lost for the season due to injury, and they looked a little all over the place against the Dolphins on Thursday, losing on a safety at the horn. I think Baltimore gets back on track here.
Ravens 21 Bengals 17

St. Louis Rams (3-6) vs. Indianapolis Colts (6-2) - Fox, 1:00
The Colts were able to erase a 21-3 Houston lead at halftime as well as a stellar Case Keenum performance by following the lead of Andrew Luck, who was awful in the first half, as he threw three touchdowns to T.Y. Hilton including one to put them ahead for good with four minutes to go in regulation. This Colts club is finding ways to win and look to be a real contender to get to East Rutherford (oh yes I just did). While they should be the clear favorite against St. Louis, the latter has been very competitive of late with the immortal Kellen Clemens under center for reasons I am unable to comprehend. Only in America, I guess.
Colts 30 Rams 20

Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) vs. Green Bay Packers (5-3) - Fox, 1:00
So what in the world has gotten into Nick Foles? I mean, he pumped out one of the greatest passing performances of all time against Oakland with more touchdown passes to incompletions (seven to six), 406 yards and a perfect quarterback rating at 158.3. Now he will not play that well again but he has looked good when he has played, and I don't know that many that have much confidence in Seneca Wallace. The Packers will keep it close thanks to their running game, but they won't be able to go over the top.
Eagles 31 Packers 26

Seattle Seahawks (8-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) - Fox, 1:00
Feels kinda weird that this was a matchup in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, right? Especially considering how the Falcons have looked this year as they have been a major disappointment and with losing their last two games of 61-13 to Arizona and Carolina, respectively, they look like they have just about thrown it in the bag. Meanwhile, nobody could explain how the Seahawks were down 21-0 late in the second at home to Tampa of all clubs, but they rallied hard and won in overtime. It should be a little easier against the Bucs' divisional rival, albeit on the road.
Seahawks 31 Falcons 17

Detroit Lions (5-3) vs. Chicago Bears (5-3) - Fox, 1:00
I will say this, Josh McCown looked pretty solid for the Bears on Monday night as he was able to move the ball well and lead the club to a much-needed road victory in Green Bay. Can he do it again? The bigger question for the club may be if their defense can hold up as they allowed the Packers to run all over them when Seneca Wallace was under center. We will see plenty of offense but I'm not sold the Bears can slow down the potent Detroit attack.
Lions 34 Bears 28

Carolina Panthers (5-3) vs. San Francisco 49ers (6-2) - Fox, 4:05
The Panthers have been dominant since falling to the Cardinals 22-6 a month ago. Since then, they have crushed their opponents by an average score of 33-12. Cam Newton has been awesome, the defense has looked tremendous and Ron Rivera appears to have finally grown a pair. But smoking the Vikings, Rams, Buccaneers and Falcons is different than going into the Bayview and playing the 49ers, who have looked tremendous in their own right with their five game winning streak. Should be a good one, but slight edge to Frisco.
49ers 23 Panthers 21

Houston Texans (2-6) vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-4) - CBS, 4:25
What happened with Texans coach Gary Kubiak on Sunday was very scary, turning out to be a mini-stroke, but he has been released from the hospital and is expecting to make a full recovery. He will probably miss this week's game against Arizona and thus Wade Phillips, who coached the team in the second half against Indianapolis, will lead the team. And while the team did fall apart in the second half to eventually lose to the Colts, I think that Case Keenum showed he can get it done at least in the short term and this team will attempt to win this one for Kubiak.
Texans 24 Cardinals 21

Denver Broncos (7-1) vs. San Diego Chargers (4-4) - CBS, 4:25
John Fox underwent successful aortic valve replacement surgery on Monday after being hospitalized when playing golf on Saturday and he will be out for the rest of the season with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio taking the reins of the club. This team is too good, and Del Rio is a good enough coach, to where something like this slows them down. It will be tough going down to San Diego and face off against a strong passing attack when your pass defense is as bad as Denver's is, but I do think they will prevail.
Broncos 45 Chargers 42

Dallas Cowboys (5-4) vs. New Orleans Saints (6-2) - NBC, 8:30
This will be a wild one in the Big Easy and a good game for those who play fantasy and have some heads involved in this one. Tony Romo has been having perhaps the best season of his career and Drew Brees is always prolific. But here is why I give the edge to the Saints. First off, their defense has been quite good this year, while the Cowboys have had one of the worst defenses in the league, so I have more faith in the former getting that one stop. Plus, the Cowboys have looked inconsistent on the road this year.
Saints 51 Cowboys 48 

Monday, November 11th
Miami Dolphins (4-4) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) - ESPN, 8:30
On one hand, you've got the ugly, disgraceful Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin situation that is threatening to be a major distraction for this Miami club. On the other hand, you've got the Buccaneers, who found a new way to lose after completely falling apart and choking away a 21-0 lead to lose in overtime. I really think that the Dolphins are going to have way too many distractions this Sunday and will be the Buccaneers' first victory.
Buccaneers 21 Dolphins 19

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