Week 10 of the NFL season is underway, and there are a number of big games to watch for.
The Minnesota Vikings kicked the week off with a rather surprising victory over the Washington Redskins, scoring 20 unanswered points to win 34-27. Robert Griffin III had a big day for the Redskins, throwing for three touchdowns and zero interceptions, but the Vikings stormed back thanks to another great performance from Adrian Peterson.
Let's take a look at the full list of predictions for Week 10 after Thursday Night Football, followed by a breakdown of the biggest games to watch for.
|Philadelphia Eagles||17-20||Green Bay Packers|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||10-28||Tennessee Titans|
|Buffalo Bills||27-20||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Oakland Raiders||13-21||New York Giants|
|St. Louis Rams||17-28||Indianapolis Colts|
|Seattle Seahawks||27-21||Atlanta Falcons|
|Cincinnati Bengals||24-20||Baltimore Ravens|
|Detroit Lions||30-20||Chicago Bears|
|Carolina Panthers||24-28||San Francisco 49ers|
|Houston Texans||21-20||Arizona Cardinals|
|Denver Broncos||38-27||San Diego Chargers|
|Dallas Cowboys||28-31||New Orleans Saints|
|Miami Dolphins||13-21||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
Predictions by Tyler Brooke
Detroit Lions (5-3) at Chicago Bears (5-3)
Date: Sunday, Nov. 10
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Prediction: 30-20, Lions
There's currently a three-way tie in the NFC North, but with Aaron Rodgers out for the Green Bay Packers, the team that wins this game will likely be in the driver's seat for the division title.
With Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson making huge plays, the Detroit Lions are starting to get a lot of hype as the new favorites to win the division. The two are coming off of a huge game against the Dallas Cowboys, with Stafford finding Johnson 14 times for a touchdown and 329 yards, the second-most by a receiver in NFL history.
While the connection between those two players has always been there, the Lions are even more dangerous offensively thanks to Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in the backfield. They're both very versatile backs, posting a total of 1,385 combined yards and eight touchdowns.
For the Chicago Bears, they were able to win last week against the Packers without their starting quarterback. They'll be in even better shape this week, as it appears that Jay Cutler will be ready to play. Head coach Marc Trestman said that Cutler looked good to go on Friday, according the the team's official Twitter account.
LM: Trestman on Jay Cutler: "Jay did the entire practice today, had a very good practice, and he looks like he's good to go."— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 8, 2013
It hasn't been a surprise that Brandon Marshall has been great this season, but Alshon Jeffery has made a name for himself as well. He's already posted better numbers than he had in 2012, catching 38 passes for 621 yards and three touchdowns. Matt Forte is having another great season as well, running for 658 yards and seven touchdowns.
The last time these two played was in Week 4, when the Lions won 40-32. Neither defense has lived up to expectations, but they have showed some signs of improvement. I expect the Lions to win this one, because when Stafford and Johnson are hot like they are now, this team becomes one of the best in football.
Carolina Panthers (5-3) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2)
Date: Sunday, Nov. 10
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Prediction: 28-24, 49ers
The Carolina Panthers have proven that they're a legit football team over the past few weeks, but this game against the San Francisco 49ers will be a big test to see if they can be a legitimate contender in the NFC.
After starting the season with a 1-3 record, the Panthers have now won their last four games by a combined score of 130-48. Cam Newton has stepped up big during the win streak, putting up 10 total touchdowns and just two interceptions. In fact, the offense has been so effective this season that Pro Football Focus (subscription required) has them graded as the second-best offense in the NFL behind the Denver Broncos.
The defense has been playing just as well, simply dominating their opponents. The Panthers have allowed just 13.3 points per game this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. They also rank third in total defense, allowing 299.9 yards per game.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are having a great season of their own. After losing two consecutive games to the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts, the 49ers have won their last five games, scoring at least 31 points in each one.
As a team, San Francisco ranks last in passing with just 189.9 yards per game. At the same time, they lead the league in rushing, putting up and average of 153 yards on the ground. Frank Gore has already run for 618 yards and seven touchdowns, while Colin Kaepernick is starting to get more involved as well, running for 122 yards and three touchdowns over the past two games.
On the other side of the ball, the defense has played well lately, allowing 18.1 points and 325.1 yards per game. Regular contributors like Justin Smith and Patrick Willis have played well, but rookie Eric Reid has done a great job replacing Dashon Goldson at safety.
These two teams are coming into this one with some impressive win streaks, and I expect it to be a tightly contested game. I think that the 49ers will be too much for Carolina, but the Panthers will at least prove themselves as a real playoff contender.