NFL Picks Week 10: Complete Guide to This Week's Slate of Games

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NFL Picks Week 10: Complete Guide to This Week's Slate of Games
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

It's that unfortunate time of the football season when we reach double digits—it's Week 10 folks.

None of us can believe that nine weeks of the NFL season have already passed, for it truly feels as if the season just started. But alas, we are much closer to the end of the season than the beginning.

Week 10 also brings us one step closer to the end of bye weeks, Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington off this week and four more teams off in Week 11 before we return to a full slate of NFL action in Week 12.

From divisional battles to games that only the most ardent fans could have interest in, there's something for everyone over the next week. Here's a quick guide to all of the Week 10 action that gets underway on Thursday night.

 

Indianapolis Colts (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7): Thursday, Nov. 8, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Jacksonville's only win in 2012 came at the hands of the Colts in Week 3 in Indianapolis thanks to an 80-yard touchdown from Blaine Gabbert to Cecil Shorts III with 45 seconds left in the game and 177 rushing yards and a touchdown by Maurice Jones-Drew.

But Jones-Drew isn't going to be playing on Thursday night, according to Mark Long of the Associated Press, and Colts' QB Andrew Luck is a far better player now than he was then.

There's no way that a hapless Jaguars team can take the season series from the Colts, and Indianapolis will win this one going away.

 

Buffalo Bills (3-5) at New England Patriots (5-3): Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns when he went up against the Patriots defense in Week 4—but he also threw four interceptions en route to a 52-28 drubbing in Buffalo.

Fitzpatrick might not toss four picks again in Week 10, but the end result will be the same—a Patriots win in a game that won't be close.

 

New York Giants (6-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-5): Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The last time these two teams met, the Bengals' Carson Palmer threw for 286 yards and a touchdown, T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught said touchdown and picked up 146 yards receiving and the Giants won 26-23 in overtime on a 22-yard field goal in Week 3 of the 2008 season.

Everyone I just mentioned is gone and the Giants are an angry team after being outplayed in all facets by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9, while the Bengals find themselves in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

That streak will reach five as the Giants' passing game will prove to be a bit too much for the Bengals to handle and Big Blue wins by less than a touchdown.

 

Oakland Raiders (3-5) at Baltimore Ravens (6-2): Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Carson Palmer has the Raiders' passing game ranked as a top 10 unit in the NFL, but the Ravens' defense is simply too talented, even without Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb, for Palmer to overcome.

Look for Ray Rice to carry the ball early and often against a Raiders defense that struggles to stop the run, and the Ravens to keep their one-game edge over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North.

 

Tennessee Titans (3-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-4): Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Over the last four games, Tennessee's Chris Johnson has carried the ball 74 times for 526 yards and three touchdowns, making people remember that it wasn't so long ago that he was considered one of the elite running backs in the NFL.

That trip down memory lane will come to an end on Sunday against the Dolphins, who for all of their flaws have the third-best run defense in the NFL, allowing less than 85 rushing yards per game.

Miami can't defend the pass, but Tennessee can't defend, well, anything. Miami wins this one by a touchdown.

 

San Diego Chargers (4-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4): Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

J. Meric/Getty Images

Two teams heading in opposite directions meet in Tampa Bay on Sunday as San Diego, losers of three of their past four games takes on a Tampa Bay squad which has only lost once in the past month.

Both teams have top 5 run defenses, with the Bucs ranked first in the NFL and the Chargers fourth, but San Diego's passing attack and QB Phillip Rivers have been mediocre at best while Tampa Bay's aerial attack under Josh Freeman has been steadily improving.

Tampa Bay will continue to put themselves in contention for a Wild Card spot in the NFC while the Chargers slip one more game into irrelevancy.

 

Detroit Lions (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-4): Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Leon Halip/Getty Images

Special teams was the name of the game in Week 4 when the Vikings took down their NFC North foes by a score of 20-13 in the Motor City. Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown and Marcus Sherels' 77-yard punt return for a score in the third quarter was all the offense the Vikings needed.

According to Dave Campbell of the Detroit Free Press, Harvin told reporters that he's a “long shot” to play against the Lions:

I’m just going to go day by day. Like I said, I’m in a lot of pain. There’s a lot of swelling right now.  My whole ankle, all the way around, is swollen. So we’ve got a lot of work to do.

Without Harvin, the Vikings' offense becomes significantly less explosive, allowing the Lions to stack the box against Adrian Peterson and Minnesota's running game.

If Harvin plays, Minnesota wins a squeaker. If he can't go, Detroit wins running away.

 

Denver Broncos (5-3) at Carolina Panthers (2-6): Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

All Peyton Manning has done in 2012 is lead the NFL in passer rating (108.6), rank second in touchdown passes (20) and third in passing yards (2,404).

Not bad for a 36-year-old QB who didn't play one snap of football in 2011 after undergoing multiple neck surgeries.

It doesn't matter who you throw at the Broncos right now. Peyton's playing like he's 26 years old, and picking against him is the definition of insanity.

 

Atlanta Falcons (8-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-5): Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

New Orleans hasn't been able to stop anyone from putting up points, so it's helpful that they still have Drew Brees under center and the NFL's most potent passing attack to lean upon.

Atlanta's passing game isn't bad itself, with Matt Ryan utilizing WRs Roddy White and Julio Jones along with TE Tony Gonzalez incredibly well, ranking eighth in the NFL.

This one figures to be a high-scoring affair, but the Falcons won't pick up their first loss of the season in Week 10.

 

New York Jets (3-5) at Seattle Seahawks (5-4): Sunday, Nov. 11, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

There's a reason the Seahawks are undefeated at home—CenturyLink Field is routinely one of, if not the loudest stadium in the NFL.

That doesn't bode well for the Jets and their embattled QB Mark Sanchez, who continues to regress under center while their boisterous head coach, Rex Ryan, keeps blindly supporting a player who, it's obvious to everyone else, is doing more harm than good to the team's offense.

Will this be the week that Rex Ryan finally cracks and gives Tim Tebow a shot to run the Jets' offense

Probably not, but Ryan may have that decision made for him after Sanchez and the Jets lose to a Seahawks team that after starting the season 4-2 has lost two of their past three games.

 

St. Louis Rams (3-5) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2): Sunday, Nov. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

In the first of two meetings between the two NFC West foes over the next four weeks, the Rams will find out that, while San Francisco is a city that accepts all sorts of folks, football players from St. Louis are not on that list.

The Rams are improving under new head coach Jeff Fisher, but the 49ers continue to have not only the best running game in the NFL, but one of the elite defensive units in the league as well, ranked in the top 5 against both the run and pass.

It won't be a blowout, but the 49ers won't have trouble dispatching of the Rams either.

 

Dallas Cowboys (3-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-5): Sunday, Nov. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's always entertaining when two teams who really don't like each other get together for 60 minutes of pigskin action, but with both teams desperate for a win, this one figures to be even more dirty and underhanded than usual.

The two teams will go head-to-head twice in the next four weeks, but a loss in Week 10 could prove to be the nail in the coffin for their playoff hopes—if you believe that either team still has a chance to get in as a wild card.

I like the Cowboys here because of their ability to defend against the pass.

 

Houston Texans (7-1) at Chicago Bears (7-1): Sunday, Nov. 11, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

John Gress/Getty Images

It's the best game on the Week 10 schedule as two of the best teams in the NFL go head-to-head in what could be a preview of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

Both teams feature phenomenal defenses, outstanding running backs and quarterbacks who have the ability to excel but often disappoint.

I'm taking the Bears in this one simply because the game is in Chicago, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Houston walk out of Soldier Field with a victory.

 

Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3): Monday, Nov. 12, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Chiefs are debating whether Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn will be their starting quarterback.

The Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger under center, but they could probably give Big Ben the week off and let Charlie Batch get some work in against a hapless Chiefs club that has some talented pieces but not enough to field a competitive team on a weekly basis, much less contend with one.

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