Week 10 NFL Picks: Divisional Contests Destined for Epic Finishes

Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIINovember 12, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 6: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets calls an audible during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

When Sunday is upon us and NFL teams take to the field, expect some top-tier divisional games to go down to the wire.

Expect one quarterback from each of these games to take the field late in the fourth quarter and try to lead his squad down the field for a late-game victory. Not all signal-callers will succeed in this, but the excitement of the two-minute drill still exists.

Here are three games that will have you on the edge of your seat.


New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

The Saints and Falcons have a knack for playing close games. Last season these teams split the season series—with both games won by a single field goal.

On Sunday, it will be Drew Brees that leads a game-winning drive in the waning moments of the game. Brees and the Saints have the most proficient offense in the league in terms of yards gained. However, their defense has allowed more than 30 points on three occasions this year.

Michael Turner will be a tough tackle for the Saints each time, as he gains yards in big chunks to keep the Falcons alive.

With offense flowing on both ends, this game will come down to the last drive.

Prediction: Saints 31, Falcons 27


New England Patriots at New York Jets

In the first matchup of the season, Tom Brady and the Patriots took advantage of some sloppy defense by the Jets. This time around, the Jets defense is coming in at a higher level.

In their last contest, the Jets stifled the Bills offense in a 27-11 win. The Patriots are coming off two straight losses, which is a rarity in the Tom Brady era.

Mark Sanchez will have the ball with the game on the line, and he’ll deliver the goods on Sunday. The Patriots have the worst pass defense in the league, and are the only team allowing over 300 pass yards per contest.

The game-winning drive will be Sanchez’s first against the Pats.

Prediction: Jets 24, Patriots 20


Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Unlike the two games above, this game will be highlighted with defensive prowess.

Both the Steelers and Bengals are in the top five of the NFL in fewest points against. The AFC North foes are both playing well coming into the game. Cincinnati is riding a five-game win streak, while Pittsburgh has won four of five.

The guy with the chance for glory in this game will be Andy Dalton, who—in his rookie season—has proved he’s composed at the end of games.

However, the Steelers will derail his late-game heroics with air-tight defense.

Prediction: Steelers 17, Bengals 13