From securing a bye in the playoffs to showing signs of progress heading into the offseason and everything in between, teams around the NFL have a wide range of goals they're trying to accomplish by the end of the regular season.
For teams with playoff aspirations, the margin for error becomes increasingly thin with each passing week now that the halfway point is a thing of the past.
That's especially true for squads that didn't have a great first half of the season.
With that in mind, let's examine three teams that should be able to get back on track toward their respective goals in Week 10. That's followed by a complete list of picks for this week's action.
The reigning Super Bowl champions have lost three straight games to put themselves behind the eight ball already. Two matchups with the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals, including in Week 10, give them an opportunity to turn things around in the second half.
Starting on Sunday, the biggest factor is striking the right balance on offense.
The running game has been a mess, with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce both averaging fewer than three yards per carry thanks in large part due to poor line play. Baltimore has often been too quick to abandon the rushing attack.
The only way Joe Flacco reaches the heights he did during last season's playoff run is if defenses are forced to respect the run. The Bengals gave up nearly 160 yards on the ground to the Miami Dolphins last week, giving the Ravens a good chance to straighten out the ground game.
Once that happens, the passing lanes will open up for Flacco and the Ravens will get things moving on offense right in the nick of time.
Prediction: Ravens 23, Bengals 21
New Orleans Saints
At times, the Saints have looked like legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
However, losses in two of their past three games have raised questions about their ability to make a deep run. The lack of a reliable rushing attack and lingering defensive questions remain.
Drew Brees is enjoying another outstanding season. He's averaging more than 300 yards per game while tallying 21 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. That alone is not enough to carry New Orleans through the postseason, though.
The Saints have to start getting Pierre Thomas more consistent carries. The offense isn't built for one running back to carry the ball 30 times per game, but he should get at least 15 per contest. He's only reached that mark once this season.
A matchup with the Dallas Cowboys and their lackluster defense should be a perfect opportunity to start sorting out those balance issues. If they establish the run, the Saints should win a high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Saints 38, Cowboys 30
The Bills have lost four of their past five games, but it's hardly a surprise given the game of musical chairs they have been forced to play at quarterback. Luckily, Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com is reporting that, barring any setbacks, EJ Manuel is expected to start on Sunday.
Manuel, the running back duo of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, Stevie Johnson, and emerging weapons like Marquise Goodwin give Buffalo a potent offense when everybody is healthy.
Nagging injuries have held them back all season.
The Bills have a favorable schedule moving forward, but in order to make a playoff push, they need to take advantage of games against teams like the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh's defense gave up 55 points to the New England Patriots last week.
Both teams are in dire need of a victory. With Buffalo's health situation becoming less of a concern, look for the Bills to step up and get a crucial win.
Prediction: Bills 27, Steelers 24
Complete Week 10 Predictions
|Week 10 Picks|
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|NFL Week 10|