Looking at the point spreads for the Week 10 NFL matchups, per Covers.com, I expect plenty of games to be decided by at least a touchdown.
But the NFL has been unpredictable this year, as evidenced by the Seattle Seahawks' 27-24 overtime victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. No one saw the Buccaneers jumping out to a 21-0 lead in notoriously loud Seattle; most figured it would be a blowout Seahawks victory.
Which teams will pull off the big wins in Week 10? Let's take a look the full slate of games followed by some predictions for the most lopsided matchups of the weekend.
|NFL Week 10 Picks|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers||Packers|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Tennessee Titans||Titans|
|Buffalo Bills||Pittsburgh Steelers||Steelers|
|Oakland Raiders||New York Giants||Giants|
|St. Louis Rams||Indianapolis Colts||Colts|
|Seattle Seahawks||Atlanta Falcons||Seahawks|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Baltimore Ravens||Bengals|
|Detroit Lions||Chicago Bears||Lions|
|Carolina Panthers||San Francisco 49ers||49ers|
|Houston Texans||Arizona Cardinals||Cardinals|
|Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||Broncos|
|Dallas Cowboys||New Orleans Saints||Saints|
|Miami Dolphins||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Buccaneers|
|Washington Redskins||Minnesota Vikings||Vikings 34-27|
|Alex Espinoza's Picks|
New Orleans Saints (6-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (5-4)
The Cowboys have been on the wrong end of some big passing days so far this season, and Drew Brees might be next in line.
Dallas' pass defense ranks 31st in the league by giving up an average of 305.2 yards per game, and it has been exposed against the game's top signal-callers like Brees. Eli Manning (450 yards, four TDs), Philip Rivers (401 yards, three TDs), Peyton Manning (414 yards, four TDs) and Matthew Stafford (488 yards, one TD) each topped the 400-yard mark against the Cowboys this year.
According to Tim McMahon of ESPN.com, Dallas' secondary has been historically bad:
There's reason to think Brees and the Saints offense could explode in a similar fashion, leading to a blowout. The Cowboys might be adding sack artist DeMarcus Ware back to the fold, but they are dealing with other injury issues on the defensive line that will make it hard to keep up with Brees.
Tony Romo has guided the Cowboys to big days on offense, but I suspect he'll have a hard time against a Saints defense that ranks fifth in points allowed (18.3 per game) and passing (211.9 yards allowed per game).
Prediction: Saints win 41-17
Tennessee Titans (4-4) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8)
It's not like the Titans are a powerhouse team in the AFC South, but they are in much better shape than their divisional foes to the south.
The Jaguars are still seeking their first win following last week's bye, and it's going to be much harder without leading receiver Justin Blackmon. The league suspended him for the remainder of the season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
He had already missed four games at the beginning of the year on a similar suspension, and it paralyzed the offense. Jacksonville averaged just 4.2 points per game in those four contests without him, compared to 13.8 with him in the lineup.
Now the Jaguars are rather one-dimensional with their rushing attack, and they're facing a Titans team that is putting it together on offense. Chris Johnson showed some of his trademark speed with a season-high 150 yards last week, while quarterback Jake Locker has led the team to a 4-2 record as a starter.
When you consider that this game will take place in Tennessee, the Titans look poised for a big victory.
Prediction: Titans win 31-6
Denver Broncos (7-1) vs. San Diego Chargers (4-4)
This isn't a knock on a playoff contender like San Diego but more of an endorsement of what to expect from Peyton Manning.
The Broncos didn't play last week, meaning Manning had two full weeks to scout San Diego. That's bad news for the Chargers.
He surely watched tape of San Diego's 30-27 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins last week and has to be looking forward to facing the faulty Chargers secondary.
San Diego currently ranks 28th in NFL pass defense, giving up an average of 275.4 yards per game. With an extra week to prepare, expect Manning and the Broncos to feast on the San Diego defense and build an early lead.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers figures to post some good numbers of his own in a high-scoring affair, but the Broncos will come out firing in the first half and put this game out of reach early.
Prediction: Broncos win 42-24