Week 9 has passed, and it is now time to take a look at all the exciting matchups that week 10 has to offer. It seems every week that a team that has no business winning, does, but recently, one of those teams has earned the opportunity to get looks. Could the Cleveland Browns actually make the playoffs as the second wild card spot and the third team from their division to enter? It's highly unlikely, but they have an excellent chance to take a step in the right direction this Sunday.
So what else does week 10 hold? A clash of the Titans, as arguably the two best teams in the NFL face off tonight. Randy Moss takes his talents to South Beach...for one game that is, as he makes his Titans debut Several teams can have the nail put in their coffin Sunday And of course the coaching debut of Jason Garrett, who already seems like a much tougher coach than Wade Phillips.
Let's dive in, shall we?
This game has so much potential. Two division leading teams playing in front of a national audience in the year's first Thursday Night Football game. Both teams have tremendous talent on offense and very physical, stingy defenses. This could possibly be a Superbowl preview. The teams are very similar, and very evenly matched. The one X-factor that I can find in this game for either side favors Atlanta. Third year QB Matt Ryan is 17-1 as a starter in the Georgia Dome. This one comes down to the wire, possibly over time.
ATL 20 - BAL 17
Ahh, we go from the potential Superbowl preview, to the Toilet Bowl. This could finally be the week for Chan Gailey's Bills, who have fought their butts off, yet have found a way to lose every week. Detroit is very familiar with that feeling, and will be looking to do all they can to ensure another team goes 0-16. Matthew Stafford, however, will not play Sunday so maybe this is the week the Bills finally post a "W" in their Won/Loss column. As long as Detroit gets the ball into Megatron's hands, it really won't matter who is at QB for the Lions.
DET 28 - BUF 24
Mark my words, this will be the ugliest game of the season. Chicago has a very high-powered defense facing an underachieving Vikings offense, though the Purple People Eaters did roar to life late last Sunday. The Vikings, however, must be licking their chops at getting a piece of Jay Cutler. If you like defensive struggles, this will be the game for you. Because Chicago and Minnesota have very similar results in their running game, this game will come down to which QB makes the least mistakes, and I believe that will be a healthy Jay Cutler over a battered Brett Favre.
CHI 24 - MIN 20
The Jets travel to Cleveland Sunday to face a Browns team that is coming off a rout of the Patriots. By the way, I don't think any other rookie QB has ever been as tested as Colt Mccoy. Hey kid, you get to face the Steelers, take on the defending champion Saints, try to out-duel Tom Brady, and face the Gangreen and their nasty defense. So far, the kid is 2-1. The Jets would have almost certainly fallen last week had Stafford not been injured yet again. all the momentum is on the Browns' side, and they will ride Peyton Hillis to victory Sunday.
CLE 28 - NYJ 20
To see Manning disappointed is a rare sight in the regular season. Peyton does not like to lose. Now, he takes his battered Colts and returns home, as he prepares to take on a Cincinnati team searching for answers. Manning will be limited with his weapons yet again, and may struggle at the Bengals pass rush, but Indy's D is what will win them tis game Sunday. Look for the Colts to come out early, while the Bengals post another too little too late attempt at a comeback.
IND 34 - CIN 28
Tennessee travels to Miami to take on the Dolphins, who have yet to win a home game this season. Miami has officially benched Chad Henne, and will go with Chad Pennington. Say what you will about the guys arm strength, but he might be the toughest, most collected QB under pressure I have ever seen. Seriously. Go back and look at tape from last year, and Pennington stands tall and delivers the football right as Defensive Ends slam him to the turf. The passes are extremely accurate as well. Pennington, however, will not be able to stop the offensive juggernaut that the Titans have become.
TEN 35 - MIA 24
Tampa Bay was humbled Sunday in Atlanta when the Falcons stopped them on 4th and goal from the one yard line. Now, they face another divisional opponent in Carolina, and you have to think the Bucs are going to stop running their mouths and play some football. Tampa Bay must now prove to the rest of the league that they can rebound from a tough game and put away a bad team. They will.
TB 31 - CAR 13
Loser of this game will be at the bottom of the AFC South. Both of these teams have played extremely well, and Jacksonville will be rested coming off the bye. Really, this should be a win for the Jags, but I just can't see the Texans losing after coming so close to pulling one out against San Diego. You can bet that last dropped pass by Andre Johnson will be a motivating factor on Sunday. Look for him to have a big game against a relatively soft secondary.
HOU 34 - JAX 31
The three headed monster that is the Kansas City Chiefs rushing attack is coming to the Mile High City. The Broncos have been relatively bad at stopping the run, and with winter conditions expected Sunday, may have trouble getting the passing game going. This is a must win for Josh McDaniels. If the Broncos are embarrassed at home again by a division rival, McD could very well be looking for work next Monday. Ultimately, the Broncos probably won't be able to stop the KC run game, but a rested Denver Unit will at least be competitive.
KC 31 - DEN 28
Wade Phillips is out in Dallas, so maybe the Cowboys will start playing football again. Jason Garrett is going to do all he can to get his guys mentally invested again and build some momentum going into next season. The Giants, however, have been the beneficiaries of a very soft stretch in their schedule. They will not steam roll the Cowboys, but their hot streak will continue.
NYG 30 - DAL 24
The Cardinals return home after a heart breaking loss to the Vikings last Sunday and now must host Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck has been cleared to play, but Seattle's defense is the glaring weakness of this football team. Larry Fitzgerald should have his best day of the season, but Seattle's offense will keep it close.
ARI 29 - SEA 24
Troy Smith may have found a home. He did not make a single mistake in London against Denver. Smith just may be Singletary's redeeming player. The crazy thing is, in a very weak division, if the Niners win this game on Sunday, they will be one game back in their division, and may actually make the playoffs. The Niners are at home, well rested, and rejuvenated under Troy Smith's leadership. I'll take the Niners.
SF 34 - STL 20
GAME OF THE WEEK
The Patriots were just embarrassed by an AFC North foe, and Bill Bellicheck is probably doing all he can to ensure history does not repeat itself Sunday. This is a playoff preview, and the winner of this game could arguably be crowned best in the nation. If the Pats can bounce back from the ass kicking that was the game last Sunday, they will prove to be resilient team and will likely emerge as the favorites to win the AFC East.
NE 24 - PIT 20
If Michael Vick does not win MVP this season, there should be an uprising. The Eagles are just a different team with Vick under center. They are borderline elite. Vick out-dueled Manning (Peyton, not Eli) on Sunday in a very impressive showing. It should not be forgotten that the Skins were the team that knocked Vick out for a few weeks. Look for Vick to shred the Skins D, and likely duck out of bounds when he takes off.
PHI 38 - WAS 23
Teams with Byes:
Last Week: 7-6