Week 10 NFL Predictions: 6 Teams with Wins Locked Up
Calling any NFL game a "lock" is risky business in this parity-fueled age of professional football. However, Week 10 appears to offer a number of safe predictions.
In other words, each respective matchup would require a significant upset for the underdog to snatch a win from the clear favorite.
In the following slides we break down the six teams we think have wins locked up in Week 10.
New England Patriots over Buffalo Bills
Few divisional rivalries have been as lopsided as Patriots-Bills—a series that has been dominated by New England since 2001. Over the last 23 games, the Patriots have won 21 times, including 11 straight in Foxborough.
It only gets better.
Lately, New England has not only beaten the Bills, but done so handily. Over the last three Patriots wins, the average margin of victory has been nearly 28 points. You simply don't see that kind of consistent domination in this age of parity in the NFL.
Maybe the Patriots don't beat Buffalo by four touchdowns Sunday, but a 12th-straight win at home looks like a lock.
Pittsburgh Steelers over Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs may not be the NFL's only one-win team but it's clear that this is the league's worst club through nine weeks. Consider some of these numbers.
Kansas City already has 29 turnovers (14 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles) in 2012, nearly four times as many as Pittsburgh (eight) and 10 more than any other team. The Chiefs' -20 turnover differential is the worst in football and nearly twice as poor as the next worst team (Dallas, -11).
Through eight games, Kansas City still hasn't led in any game yet this season. No team has pulled off that feat since 1929.
Now the Chiefs must go on the road to Pittsburgh for a prime-time game on Monday night. Expecting things to magically turn around against a Steelers team that has won three straight is more than just a stretch.
San Francisco 49ers over St. Louis Rams
Since 2008 the 49ers are a solid 7-1 against their NFC West rivals from St. Louis. But it's San Francisco's dominance over the entire division over the last handful of weeks that might push the 49ers into "lock" status in Week 10.
Considered vulnerable after a 26-3 defeat to the New York Giants, San Francisco responded by allowing just 19 total points over the next two games—both wins over NFC West foes (Arizona, Seattle). St. Louis is next up on that list.
Getting Danny Amendola (clavicle) back helps the Rams but this is still a team that has lost three straight games. Unless Alex Smith transforms into a turnover machine, the 49ers should make it four-in-a-row for the Rams while cruising to a home win.
Other Should-Be Locks
Seattle Seahawks over New York Jets
Seattle is 4-0 at home, New York has lost four of five games, and Russell Wilson is already a better player at the quarterback position than either Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow. The Jets should crash and burn 3,000 miles from home.
Baltimore Ravens over Oakland Raiders
If the Ravens fancy themselves as one of the AFC's giants, teams like Oakland can't travel across the country and win a game in Baltimore. The Ravens should improve to 5-0 at home this season.
Denver Broncos over Carolina Panthers
The John Fox-returning-to-Carolina angle adds some spice to this matchup but the Broncos have won three straight games and possess this season's best quarterback. Even at home, Cam Newton would need a Superman effort to upset Peyton Manning and the Broncos.