NFL Picks Week 10: Underdogs That Will Erase Early-Season Woes with Big Win

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVNovember 9, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Philip Wheeler #52 of the Oakland Raiders reacts after a play during their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Coliseum on November 4, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The 2012 NFL regular season enters its crucial Week 10, and there are no shortage of big-time upsets brewing across the league.

While many teams have gotten off to slow starts and are on the outside looking in at the season's midway point, there's still plenty of time to turn things around.

For some of those teams, that opportunity comes this weekend as favorable matchups have presented themselves.

Let's take a look at teams who will rebound from slow starts and notch an upset win this week.


Tampa Bay over San Diego

While this may not be an "upset" on paper with both teams entering the matchup at 4-4, San Diego is the superior team if they play up to their potential.

In what can be deemed as the "Vincent Jackson Bowl," the Bucs will use the momentum from winning three of their last four games and will top Philip Rivers and the Chargers. They play at home, which will give them the perfect opportunity to fix their shabby pass defense and continue their upward trend.

The major factor in Tampa Bay's resurgence has been Doug Martin. The rookie from Boise State has blown up as of late, including a four-touchdown performance last week against Oakland.

Martin is simply too hot right now to be contained, and he'll continue tearing up opposing defenses on Sunday.


Oakland over Baltimore

The Oakland Raiders may be coming off a loss, but they didn't exactly look porous against the Bucs last week. Well, that is, despite Doug Martin's career day.

What I'm driving at is that the Raiders had much success offensively, despite playing without stud running back Darren McFadden for much of the game. With McFadden out for the showdown against Baltimore, it's important that they established that success as they'll need to put up points without him.

Though the Ravens are coming off a win, they haven't exactly looked dominant as of late. A 10-point win over the Browns superseded a 30-point drubbing by the Houston Texans the previous week, and the Ravens still struggle with injury problems.

The Raiders showed grit and toughness last week by not giving up, and they'll use a strong start to the game to beat the Ravens on the road Sunday.


Carolina over Denver

One of the best stories of the 2012 season goes up against one of the biggest disappointments, and something will finally give on Sunday.

Cam Newton has had a lackluster year, but there comes a time when he'll hush the critics and put together a strong performance, even if it's just for one week. That performance will come Sunday at home over a blistering hot Denver team that won't see what hit them.

The Broncos are as strong as any team in the league right now, but their defense still has some young parts and will overlook the struggling Newton.

Newton and the Panthers are coming off a strong victory over the Washington Redskins, and if there's any time that they would want to string together a couple victories, it'd be now.

We saw last year what "Superman" is capable of, and the former Heisman Trophy winner will show his worth against a top defense.