Stress is a killer, which is why it's always nice when decisions are easy. Thankfully, there are some guaranteed winners on the NFL's Week 10 schedule, with home teams hosting inferior opponents.
Last weekend, Seattle and Dallas fit this description. Both teams, leading their respective divisions, hosted losing teams that had no chance of winning on paper. Though both teams almost bit the dust at home, they found ways to pull out the victory.
That's the hallmark of good teams—winning games they should, regardless of the manner in which they're won. Just as true is the fact that bad teams almost always find a way to lose games, even when dealt a favorable hand.
There are some highly competitive matchups on the schedule this weekend to go along with the aforementioned easy winners. Here's a look at the entire schedule for Week 10 (minus the Thursday night game), followed by a closer examination of a few home teams that are locks to win.
|NFL WEEK 10 PICKS|
|Oakland Raiders||New York Giants||Giants|
|Seattle Seahawks||Atlanta Falcons||Seahawks|
|Detroit Lions||Chicago Bears||Lions|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers||Eagles|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Tennessee Titans||Titans|
|St. Louis Rams||Indianapolis Colts||Colts|
|Buffalo Bills||Pittsburgh Steelers||Steelers|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Baltimore Ravens||Bengals|
|Carolina Panthers||San Francisco 49ers||49ers|
|Houston Texans||Arizona Cardinals||Texans|
|Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||Broncos|
|Dallas Cowboys||New Orleans Saints||Saints|
|Miami Dolphins||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Dolphins|
Tennessee Hosting Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven't come close to sniffing a victory this season, coming into this game with an 0-8 record while losing by an average score of 33-11 (10.8, to be precise).
No team scores less than Jacksonville, and no team gives up as much.
The Jaguars can't stop the run, allowing 161.8 yards per game (easily the worst in the league) and can't run the ball, averaging 66.4 yards per game (No. 31 in the league).
This is a bad, bad team, and its best offensive player, second-year receiver Justin Blackmon, was recently suspended indefinitely after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy again, as noted by the Jaguars' official website.
The Tennessee Titans just need to feed Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene the football on Sunday—pounding the rock relentlessly—to come away with an easy win at home.
Final Score: Titans win 28-13.
Indianapolis Hosting St. Louis
Andrew Luck is better than Kellen Clemens, in case you didn't know.
Luck further established himself as one of the league's preeminent superstars last weekend.
He led his 10th game-winning drive since entering the league last season, pulling off the feat in 25 games, which is the best anyone's ever done. His teammates have gotten so used to it that they just shrug nowadays, as noted by Pro Football Talk:
The Rams do feature two outstanding pass-rushers in Chris Long and burgeoning superstar Robert Quinn, but Luck has a penchant for making plays—regardless of what kind of pressure he's under.
On the other side, the Colts just need to find a way to shut down rookie running back Zac Stacy, who has emerged as one of the best young backs in the league.
Easier said than done, and Indianapolis hasn't been stout against the run this year.
That said, Clemens is completely harmless. In three games this year, he's thrown one touchdown and two interceptions. The Rams don't have a passing game right now, making it easy for the Colts to grind out a victory at home.
Final Score: Colts win 27-17.
San Francisco Hosting Carolina
This is going to be a rough barometer game for the Carolina Panthers.
Cam Newton has been terrific for Carolina the past month, and the Panthers enter this contest having won four games in a row to improve to 5-3 on the season—just one game behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.
It's worth noting, however, that the combined record of the four teams the Panthers beat on this winning streak is 7-27.
Meanwhile, San Francisco enters the game having rested up on a bye after a five-game winning streak of their own.
Additionally, Aldon Smith is set to return to action this Sunday, as noted by Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, which will be a lightning rod for the already scorching hot 49ers defense, which has racked up 13 forced turnovers the past five games.
Mario Manningham is also expected to play, as Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area reported. He's been out since last season, and his return to the lineup should spark some big plays downfield in the passing game.
The Panthers haven't faced a team to match the 49ers this year since losing at home to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1. Cam Newton will be frustrated all afternoon at Candlestick Park, and the 49ers will romp to the delight of the home crowd.
Final Score: 49ers win 35-21.
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