NFL Picks Week 10: Predicting Potential Postseason Previews

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIINovember 9, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 3: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints talks to head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints in the 2nd half of the Jets 26-20 win over the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium on November 3, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)
Ron Antonelli/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL regular season is reaching its final stretch. Postseason contenders are emerging, the pretenders are being exposed and the favorites are beginning to show their true colors.

The question is, what will happen when postseason contenders meet in Week 10?

NFL Week 10 Predictions
DateRoad TeamPredictionHome TeamOdds (via Bovada)
Thursday, Nov. 7Washington Redskins (27)31-23Minnesota Vikings (34)N/A
Sunday, Nov. 10Seattle Seahawks28-17Atlanta FalconsSeahawks (-6)
Sunday, Nov. 10Detroit Lions27-31Chicago BearsEven
Sunday, Nov. 10Cincinnati Bengals27-20Baltimore RavensBengals (-1)
Sunday, Nov. 10Philadelphia Eagles28-23Green Bay PackersPackers (-1)
Sunday, Nov. 10Jacksonville Jaguars13-24Tennessee TitansTitans (-13)
Sunday, Nov. 10St. Louis Rams14-27Indianapolis ColtsColts (-10)
Sunday, Nov. 10Oakland Raiders24-28New York GiantsGiants (-7.5)
Sunday, Nov. 10Buffalo Bills20-21Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers (-3)
Sunday, Nov. 10Carolina Panthers16-21San Francisco 49ers49ers (-6)
Sunday, Nov. 10Houston Texans20-23Arizona CardinalsCardinals (-3)
Sunday, Nov. 10Denver Broncos35-27San Diego ChargersBroncos (-7)
Sunday, Nov. 10Dallas Cowboys35-42New Orleans SaintsSaints (-7)
Monday, Nov. 11Miami Dolphins24-16Tampa Bay BuccaneersDolphins (-3)
Week 9: 6-7, Season: 75-44

 

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

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: Brandon Marshall #15 of the Chicago Bears tries to gain extra yards after a fourth quarter catch over Louis Delmas #26 of the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 29, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 40-32. (
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 10

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 31-27, Bears

The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are both 5-3. Along with the Green Bay Packers, that has created a three-team tie atop the NFC North. The winner in Week 10 will have the opportunity to earn an outright lead in the division if Green Bay loses, but that doesn't mean they won't meet again.

Just as the Packers and Minnesota Vikings did in 2012, the Lions and Bears could meet in the playoffs.

The Lions escaped with a 31-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys during Week 8, using a last-second touchdown run by Matthew Stafford to win. It was a sign of resiliency that Detroit hadn't displayed in years past, and it offered reason for intrigue as the season progresses.

In Week 10, it'll look to win at Soldier Field for the first time since 2007.

The Bears secured a stunning 27-20 win over the Packers during Week 9. In Week 10, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago reports that Jay Cutler will make his long-awaited return to game action.

This one comes down to Cutler's return lifting the Bears to a huge late-game victory.

Detroit isn't going to go down without a fight, but Cutler's return should inspire the Bears at home. Fresh off of an improbable road win over the Packers, Chicago has every reason to be encouraged as it faces Detroit for the second time.

Keep in mind, Detroit hasn't swept Chicago since 2007.

 

Carolina Panthers (5-3) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27:  #21 Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers looks to break forward during the NFL International Series game between San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on October 27, 2013 in London, England.  (Phot
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 10

Time: 4:05 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Prediction: 21-16, 49ers

The most pleasant surprise in the NFC has been the Carolina Panthers, who sit at 5-3 entering Week 10. After starting slow, the San Francisco 49ers have recovered to win five consecutive games and move to 6-2 on the season.

In Week 10, the two sides will meet in a potential postseason preview.

The Panthers currently rank No. 2 in scoring defense and No. 3 in total defense, dominating with a physical and athletic front seven. Offensively, Carolina is led by a more mature and responsible Cam Newton, who is taking care of the football, making plays when necessary and trusting a dominant running game.

With four straight victories, the Panthers will look to reach 6-3 with their biggest win yet.

The 49ers offense hasn't been balanced, ranking No. 1 in rushing yards per game and No. 32 in passing yards per contest. Fortunately, the ground-and-pound attack has been dominant enough for San Francisco's offense to complement its dominant defense.

In the end, this one will come down to the home-field advantage.

San Francisco is 16-3-1 at home since 2011. The Panthers are 3-1 on the road in 2013, but even with its superior quarterback play, Carolina will fall short at Candlestick Park.

It'll be a defensive battle, but San Francisco will hold down its home field.

 

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

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 23:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys is sacked by defensive end Will Smith #91 of the New Orleans Saints and defensive tackle Junior Galette #93 of the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium on December 23, 2012 in A
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Date: Sunday, Nov. 10

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBC

Prediction: 42-35, Saints

The Dallas Cowboys currently own a record of 5-4, achieving a one-game advantage in the NFC East. The New Orleans Saints are 6-2 but have seen their lead in the NFC South go from a wide margin to just one game over the Panthers.

Both teams need this win.

The Cowboys have the tiebreak advantage over the Philadelphia Eagles, but that doesn't make this game anything less than a must-win. Tony Romo and company have lost three games by three points or less and blew a fourth-quarter lead in their other defeat.

Closing out a 27-23 Week 9 win over the Minnesota Vikings helps to build confidence, but going on the road to face the Saints is a different animal.

New Orleans started the year at 5-0 but has since lost two of its past three games due to horrendous late-game play-calling. After prematurely celebrating during a 30-27 road loss to the New England Patriots, the Saints allowed 17 straight points in a 26-20 away defeat to the New York Jets.

In the end, New Orleans is still a dominant home squad, and that's the deciding factor.

The Saints are 4-0 at home in 2013 and 12-0 at the Super Dome under Sean Payton since 2011. The Cowboys are more than capable of matching the Saints on offense, but this one will come down to which team can make late defensive stops in a high-scoring affair.

The Saints will step up and secure yet another home victory.