Predicting the MVP for Every NFL Game in Week 10
With plenty of division games on tap, Week 10 will help to clarify the NFL playoff picture and its tie-breaker implications.
The Dallas Cowboys travel to Philadelphia in what could turn out to be the "Firing Bowl."
Atlanta takes the show on the road in a tough NFC South matchup versus New Orleans. The Saints need to win to get back in the playoff chase.
And the Minnesota Vikings find out if they are for real in an NFC North showdown with the Detroit Lions.
Week 10 will be the turning point for quite a few teams. To the winners go the MVP awards. To the losers go a spot closer to the No. 1 selection in the 2013 NFL draft.
Giants vs. Bengals: A.J. Green
Though the secondary for the Giants is an opportunistic bunch, it is also one of the worst in pass coverage in the NFL. The total defense is 25th in the NFL. The pass defense is 26th.
The Giants secondary gives up 8.2 yards per reception, 31st in the league. Look for A.J. Green to take advantage of this unit.
Green is tied for first in the NFL in receiving touchdowns (eight) and sixth in receiving yards (735). Green will top the century mark in receiving yards for the fourth time this season and again find the end zone.
Titans vs. Dolphins: Cameron Wake
Cameron Wake, who has 8.5 sacks, is one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL. He has had at least one sack in each of the Dolphins' last five games.
According to ProFootballFocus, Wake is the No. 1-ranked defensive end in the NFL. Blocking Wake most of the game will be Michael Roos (10th-ranked offensive tackle).
Wake will create havoc in the pass and run game, and the Titans passing offense is already one of the worst in the NFL. Wake will get at least one sack and create a turnover that will secure the win.
Lions vs. Vikings: Mikel Leshoure
Though the Vikings have a solid overall defense, as run-stoppers, they are 18th in the NFL. The Vikings allow 117.3 rushing yards per game.
In his last contest versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mikel Leshoure had a breakout game, scoring three rushing touchdowns. Versus the Vikings, look for Leshoure to find the end zone at least twice.
With Percy Harvin likely out for the game, the Vikings offense only has one playmaker. So if running back Adrian Peterson does not win the game for the Vikings, the Lions will blow them out.
The Lions will win the time-of-possession battle and, with a big lead early, ride Leshoure down the stretch.
Bills vs. Patriots: Tom Brady
Tom Brady is a Bills killer. In his career versus Buffalo, the former Michigan Wolverine is 19-2. In the earlier meeting this season, Brady threw for a season-high 9.44 yards per attempt while torching the Bills for 340 passing yards.
Brady also threw three touchdowns in the Week 4 blowout versus the Bills. Coming off a bye week after dismantling the St. Louis Rams, Brady and the New England offense are cruising.
Brady will again throw for more than 300 yards and throw at least three touchdowns as the Patriots sweep the series versus the Bills in a runaway game.
Falcons vs. Saints: Michael Turner
Both offenses can light up the scoreboard, and both have prolific quarterbacks and receivers. But in a game that will be close throughout, Michael Turner will be the difference.
He is coming off a 102-yard rushing performance versus the Dallas Cowboys, who have one of the better defenses in the NFL. Turner will be facing the worst in the Saints, who are giving up 176.5 rushing yards per game.
Look for Turner to grind out tough yardage late as the Falcons hold on for a hard-fought victory in a close game.
Chargers vs. Buccaneers: Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson gets to face his old team for the first time. In so doing, he will show his former teammates what they lost.
Quarterback Josh Freeman and Jackson seem to have figured one another out and are starting to click. Jackson is eighth in the NFL in receiving yards (710) and has six touchdowns.
The lack of a pass rush by the Chargers has forced the secondary to cover for too long this season. The Chargers have only produced 13 sacks. With time in the pocket, Freeman will hit Jackson on a couple of deep passes for huge gains and at least two scores.
Broncos vs. Panthers: Eric Decker
While many pundits have voted quarterback Peyton Manning the first-half NFL MVP, some credit needs to go to the Broncos receivers.
Eric Decker already has a career-high in receptions this season and will easily top his touchdown and yardage totals. In his last five games, Decker has scored a touchdown. In the past two wins, the former Minnesota Gopher has caught two touchdowns in each game.
Look for more than 100 receiving yards and at least one score from Decker as the Broncos get an easy victory on the road.
Raiders vs. Ravens: Ray Rice
Look for the Ravens offense to get back to basics versus a Raiders defense that will be without Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour.
Rice has only had two games this season when he has carried the football more than 20 times. That will change this week.
Rice should get at least 25 carries and at least five receptions out of the backfield. The Ravens offense works better when run through the former Rutgers star.
With Seymour, the Raiders defense allows 124.1 yards rushing per game and has given up 10 rushing touchdowns. Rice will rush for more than 150 yards and find paydirt twice in a decisive Ravens win.
Jets vs. Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch
The Seahawks are tough to beat in Seattle with the “12th Man” raining down cheers all game long. Seattle is even tougher to beat when a healthy Marshawn Lynch is lined up in the backfield.
Lynch is second in the NFL in rushing yards (881). He's averaging 97.9 yards per game. Lynch has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his last three games and has scored a touchdown in the last two.
The Jets run defense is one of the worst in the NFL. With defensive tackle Kendrick Ellis out and linebacker Bart Scott hobbled, the 29th-ranked rush defense is primed for the picking.
Lynch will rush for more than 150 yards in a run-heavy offensive scheme and will find the end zone twice.
Cowboys vs. Eagles: LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy is one of the least used offensive weapons in the NFL. But for the Eagles to win, they need their offense to go through him.
In the Eagles' three wins, McCoy has rushed the ball 20 or more times. In the five losses, McCoy carried the ball fewer than 20 times. That statistic alone is enough to prove that McCoy needs to get more touches.
Against a Cowboys defense that is banged up in the front seven, especially at linebacker, McCoy will rush for more than 100 yards and a score. The Eagles will win this game by riding McCoy.
Rams vs. 49ers: Greg Zuerlein
In the huge upset of the week, the Rams go into San Francisco and knock off the 49ers in a close game. The Rams offense will get a huge boost from the return of wide receiver Danny Amendola.
The game will come down to a battle between kickers Greg Zuerlein and David Akers. Zuerlein, the rookie kicker from Missouri Western, is 17-of-20 on field goals this season, with a long of 60 yards. His only misses came against the Miami Dolphins.
In a tight game where Zuerlein will have to make at least five field goals for the Rams to win, the rookie will hit the game-winner to be named MVP.
Texans vs. Bears: Charles Tillman
Now that it has been determined that his wife's delivery of their fourth child will be delayed until Monday, Charles Tillman will play—and play well.
One of the leading candidates for defensive MVP, Tillman has caused seven fumbles, picked off two passes, broken up six passes and scored two touchdowns.
Tillman will have his hands full covering Andre Johnson, one of the best receivers in the game. Tillman is physical enough to battle Johnson all over the field and will have ample opportunities to make plays on the football.
He will lead the Bears to a victory.
Chiefs vs. Steelers: Mike Wallace
The situation in the Chiefs secondary is so desperate that they cut starting cornerback Stanford Routt this week. In addition, head coach Romeo Crennel gave up his defensive coordinator responsibilities, handing the reins to Gary Gibbs.
The Chiefs have given up 17 passing touchdowns this season. Expect that number to increase in Pittsburgh. The Steelers, even with the possibility of receiver Antonio Brown being out this week, will be throwing the football all over the field.
Mike Wallace will benefit most from a shoddy Chiefs secondary. Look for Wallace to get at least 10 targets. Wallace will have more than 120 yards receiving and a score as the Steelers blow out the Chiefs at home.