NFL Week 10 Picks: Identifying the Stone Cold Locks of the Week
Last week, I went 4-1 in my upset picks, going with the Miami Dolphins, the Denver Broncos, the New York Jets and the New York Giants. The one game I picked wrong was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the New Orleans Saints.
This week, I have identified five games, three games that will go in favor of the home team, while the other two will go in favor of the away team.
Here are my five stone cold locks of the week.
San Diego Chargers over Oakland Raiders
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The San Diego Chargers get off to a slow start every season because they can. Their division is just not that good. After losing three games in a row and with a record of 4-4, the Chargers are still good enough to be tied for first place in the AFC West.
This is about that time of the year where San Diego starts to turn it around. They face their division-rival Raiders on Thursday in San Diego, which is good timing for the Chargers.
The Raiders are hurting. Darren McFadden is nursing a foot injury and may not even play. Also, while Carson Palmer is looking better, he is still getting used to the playbook while working his way back into shape. The shortened week will not help him.
Why the Chargers Won't Win
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If Darren McFadden is healthy and runs like he is capable of and if Carson Palmer does not have another three-interception game, the Raiders have a chance to win this game.
Ever since the Raiders acquired Palmer, they adjusted their offense, which focused heavily on the run, to a more pass-friendly one.
Oakland started the season 6-2 while having one of the league's best running games; now, they are starting to get away from it. If they get back to what made them successful, they may win again.
Philadelphia Eagles over Arizona Cardinals
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This is a must-win for the Philadelphia Eagles. At 3-5, Philly is in serious danger of missing the playoffs.
The Eagles need this game and should win it easily.
The Arizona Cardinals have just two wins on the season and seem to find a new way to lose each week.
LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick should be able to run all over the league's 16th ranked rushing defense.
After the Cardinals, the Eagles play the New York Giants followed by the New England Patriots. Did I mention this is a must-win for Philly?
Why the Eagles Won't Win
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If Kevin Kolb is able to come back from injury and plays a career game against the team who dumped him for Vick, Arizona may win this game.
It is doubtful. Arizona really doesn't have anything to lose. The Eagles have everything to lose.
Pittsburgh Steelers over Cincinnati Bengals
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a tough loss to the Baltimore Ravens. This will be their first time they will see the revamped 5-2 Cincinnati Bengals in person.
While both the Bengals and Steelers have six wins, this matchup looks like it's going to be a good one.
But, if you look at who Cincinnati actually beat to get their six wins (the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Indianapolis Colts, the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans), their record may not be as good as it looks.
The Bengals just have not yet faced a team of the Steelers' caliber yet.
Pittsburgh needs this game to keep pace with the Ravens and if they want a shot to win their division. I expect them to take their frustration out on Cincinnati and its rookie QB.
Why the Steelers Won't Win
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The Steelers won't win because the Bengals are as good as their record says. The Bengals can only beat who they play, right?
By the way, Pittsburgh's six wins came against the Seahawks, Colts, Titans, Jaguars, Cardinals and the New England Patriots.
With the exception of the Patriots, the Steelers haven't really beaten anyone, either.
It's time to find out just how good each team is. I'll go with the Steelers.
Baltimore Ravens over Seattle Seahawks
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The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a huge win over the Steelers. Their win streak will continue against the Seahawks, who are simply outmatched in this game.
After watching Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense against the Steelers, where Flacco passed for 300 yards and a TD, it looks like the offense is finally complementing the defense.
The Baltimore defense against Tarvaris Jackson is going to make for an ugly, lopsided game in the Ravens' favor.
Why the Ravens Won't Win
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The only way the Ravens do not win this game is if Flacco messes up badly and if Marshawn Lynch controls the game with his running.
Last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Lynch rushed for 135 yards and a TD.
Green Bay Packers over Minnesota Vikings
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The Green Bay Packers will lose eventually, but not this week.
The Packers offense is so good that it can withstand a big game from Adrian Peterson because the Vikings have no other real weapons, unless you want to count the inconsistent Percy Harvin.
The Vikings rank 30th in the league in passing defense. The Packers rank third in the league in passing offense. Aaron Rogers will take advantage of this.
The last time the Vikings and Packers played each other, it was a close game in Minnesota. This time, it's in Green Bay. Let's see how the rookie QB Christian Ponder from Florida State can handle Lambeau Field his first time around.
This one can get out of hand quick.
Why the Packers Won't Win
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The Packers won't win this game if these three things happen:
Adrian Peterson must have a game where his running controls the clock.
Christian Ponder must be productive and turnover-free.
Jared Allen and the rest of the Vikings defense have to get to Rodgers and put him on the ground multiple times.