NFL

NFL Week 10 Picks: Predicting Most High-Stakes Matchups

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterbacks quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals talk following the Ravens 44-13 win at M&T Bank Stadium on September 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIINovember 5, 2013

Week 10 of the 2013 NFL regular season is set to commence on Thursday, Nov. 7. The Washington Redskins will travel to face the Minnesota Vikings in a battle between struggling teams that made the postseason in 2012.

Which teams will prevail in the most high-stakes matchups?

NFL Week 10 Predictions
DateRoad TeamPredictionHome Team
Thursday, Nov. 7Washington Redskins31-23Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, Nov. 10Seattle Seahawks28-17Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, Nov. 10Detroit Lions27-31Chicago Bears
Sunday, Nov. 10Cincinnati Bengals27-20Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, Nov. 10Philadelphia Eagles28-37Green Bay Packers
Sunday, Nov. 10Jacksonville Jaguars13-24Tennessee Titans
Sunday, Nov. 10St. Louis Rams14-27Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, Nov. 10Oakland Raiders24-28New York Giants
Sunday, Nov. 10Buffalo Bills20-21Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, Nov. 10Carolina Panthers16-21San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, Nov. 10Houston Texans20-23Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, Nov. 10Denver Broncos35-27San Diego Chargers
Sunday, Nov. 10Dallas Cowboys35-42New Orleans Saints
Monday, Nov. 11Miami Dolphins24-16Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 9: 6-6, Season: 75-42

 

Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) at Baltimore Ravens (3-5)

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 30: Jacoby Jones #12 of the Baltimore Ravens is tackled by Adam Jones #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 10

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: CBS

Prediction: 27-20, Bengals

In many ways, this could be something of an elimination game. The Cincinnati Bengals lead the NFC North at 6-3, while the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens are 3-5 with few signs of hope.

If Cincinnati wins, it'll own a 3.5-game advantage over the Ravens. If Baltimore wins, it'll pull to within 1.5 games of the lead.

The Bengals are in a dangerous place right now, as two of their top three players have been lost for the season. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins suffered a torn ACL during Week 9, per Josh Alper of NBC Sports, and cornerback Leon Hall is on the injured reserve list with a torn Achilles tendon, per Coley Harvey of ESPN.

Cincinnati still has offensive firepower, but losing two of its best three players is a devastating blow to the defense.

The Ravens have been searching for answers since the beginning of the season, and it all ties back to failing to replace lost stars. The defense has played well at times, but the offense has been lost since the team gave up on re-signing Anquan Boldin.

Now, Baltimore will look to salvage its postseason dreams and potentially avoid a 3-7 start.

The Bengals will have trouble in the long run, but I'm a firm believer in teams responding well to devastating injuries in the short term. More times than not, a squad's emotions will overcome its losses in the first game without its star, and that's what you should expect to see here.

Cincinnati wins a gritty one on the road.

 

Detroit Lions (5-3) at Chicago Bears (5-3)

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions stiff arms Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on September 29, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 10

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 31-27, Bears

The race for the NFC North is as close as you'll find in any division across the NFL. The Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears all have the same record, and that opens the door for any team to win this title.

During Week 10, the Lions and Bears will meet in a high-stakes affair.

Detroit enters the game at 5-3 after going on bye during Week 9. The Lions defeated the Dallas Cowboys 31-30 in Week 8, and that last-minute escape has inspired hope within the Lions locker room.

With Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson on the roster, there's more than enough offensive firepower for a Super Bowl run.

The Bears are also 5-3 and will receive a major boost when they host the Lions in Week 10. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Jay Cutler plans to start for the Bears after missing last week and the second half of a Week 8 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Josh McCown played very well in his absence, but Cutler's return is of undeniable importance.

If this game were being played on a neutral site, I'd give the win to Detroit, but Chicago is playing at Soldier Field. Having already lost to Detroit once in 2013, the Bears will rebound strong and pick up a critical win in pursuit of the division crown.

It'll be a close and highly competitive game, but Chicago will come up with a win to make the air-tight NFC North even more interesting.

 

Dallas Cowboys (5-4) at New Orleans Saints (6-2)

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19:  (L-R) Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints congratulates quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys following their 24-17 loss to the Cowboys at Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisi
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 10

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBC

Prediction: 42-35, Saints

The Dallas Cowboys enter Week 10 at 5-4, desperately seeking a win to move to two games above .500. The New Orleans Saints are 6-2 but have lost two of their past three because of sloppy late-game play-calling.

Both teams need this win, and they can't afford to lose as they pursue their respective goals.

The Cowboys are in control of the NFC East, but the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins are all within striking distance. Most worrisome is the fact that all three teams have put together recent victories.

A win over New Orleans would go a long way toward alleviating that pressure in a division in which no other team has a winning record.

The Saints were in full control of the NFC South but now hold a one-game advantage over the 5-3 Carolina Panthers. Furthermore, New Orleans is competing for home-field advantage in the NFC and can't afford to lose games while trailing the 8-1 Seattle Seahawks.

The pressure is on New Orleans within the division and on a conference-wide scale.

In the end, this comes down to home-field advantage and learning from past mistakes. The Cowboys are more than capable of pulling out this road upset, but the Saints are 4-0 at home and in need of a rebound victory after a dud in Week 9.

I rarely offer predictions for a scoring output of 40-plus points, but Drew Brees will outduel Tony Romo in what should be an instant classic.

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