NFL Game Picks: Week 10
Following a week of some of the most massive matchups in the 2018 NFL season, week 10 brings things back to Earth with a relatively quiet slate of games. Still, it’s worth noting that with most teams having played eight or nine games, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape.
We’re still a few weeks away from seeing any official eliminations or playoff-clinching, but those scenarios will be sure to follow in the coming weeks. For now, let’s preview what week 10 has to offer.
Carolina Panthers (6-2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1)
There haven’t been too many exciting Thursday night games this year, so this is a nice change of pace. Two of the top teams in their respective conferences go head-to-head in a meaningful battle. Carolina is still playing catch-up with the division rival Saints, and Pittsburgh is looking to defend its AFC North crown. This might be the game to watch in week 10.
The pick: Pittsburgh 28, Carolina 21.
Atlanta Falcons (4-4) @ Cleveland Browns (2-6-1)
The downhill slide continues for the Browns, which are winless in their previous four outings. It’s just the opposite story for the Falcons, which are riding a three-game win streak into week 10, including an impressive 38-14 victory in Landover last week. Expect these trends to continue as Atlanta tries to climb its way back into the NFC playoff push.
The pick: Atlanta 39, Cleveland 22.
Buffalo Bills (2-7) @ New York Jets (3-6)
2018 has not been kind to either of these teams, though Sunday is a nice opportunity to flip the script. But who gets the W in East Rutherford? It really seems like this one should be a home victory. The Jets have looked pretty stale over these past few weeks, but their ineptitude has been far outclassed by the Bills, who have put up just 96 points in their nine games this season.
The pick: NY Jets 18, Buffalo 9.
Detroit Lions (3-5) @ Chicago Bears (5-3)
The Lions are coming out of a strange game in which they converted more first downs that Minnesota, had fewer turnovers than Minnesota and dominated time of possession, yet still lost by double digits. The Bears, meanwhile, hung 41 on the slumping Bills. The NFC North has been strange this season. Let’s keep it strange by giving Detroit the road victory.
The pick: Detroit 32, Chicago 23.
New Orleans Saints (7-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
Tough luck for the Bengals. Just weeks after playing the best team in the AFC, Cincinnati gets to play the best team in the NFC. The week nine bye will help keep the Bengals afloat in this one, but it’s hard to imagine Drew Brees and the Saints slowing down in Cincinnati just a week after putting up 45 on the previously undefeated Rams. New Orleans should be favored.
The pick: New Orleans 36, Cincinnati 27.
New England Patriots (7-2) @ Tennessee Titans (4-4)
Since a surprising week four loss at Detroit, the Patriots have done what they do best: win. After all, it’s what they’ve been doing for over 15 years. Tennessee still has some work to do to catch Houston in the AFC South divisional chase, but it’s unlikely that they’re going to find that help here. New England is the heavy favorite and should be leaving Nashville with another win.
The pick: New England 33, Tennessee 17.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (3-5)
Both teams are 3-5 coming into this game, though Jacksonville is the only one that’s feeling any heat. The Jaguars have something to prove, coming off a trip to the AFC championship game last year. Indianapolis, meanwhile, is making baby steps back to the upper ranks of the NFL. Let’s say the Jags realize how dire their scenario is right now and turn up the heat in week 10.
The pick: Jacksonville 20, Indianapolis 14.
Arizona Cardinals (2-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)
If you thought New England vs. Tennessee was lopsided, watch out for this one. Even with that one loss to the Patriots, Kansas City remains the team to beat in the AFC, as they have only put up less than 30 points in a game once this year. Arizona meanwhile hasn’t scored 30 in a single game at all. It would be absolutely shocking to see an upset here.
The pick: Kansas City 47, Arizona 16.
Washington Redskins (5-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)
Fitzmagic has seemed to run dry, and because of it, the Buccaneers’ season continues its free fall. Washington had to swallow a tough home loss against Atlanta last week, but with a much easier foe in Tampa Bay, whose defense has resembled Swiss cheese for the entirety of the 2018 season, it seems likely that the Skins will bounce back and reaffirm their lead in the NFC East.
The pick: Washington 34, Tampa Bay 20.
Los Angeles Chargers (6-2) @ Oakland Raiders (1-7)
With last week’s blowout loss in Santa Clara, it certainly seems like the Raiders have entered full rebuild mode. Those three first-round draft picks in 2019 look nice; that defense which ranks 31st in points allowed does not. Of course, credit needs to be given to the Chargers, who have looked hot with five straight wins. Expect them to continue that streak in Oakland.
The pick: LA Chargers 30, Oakland 13.
Miami Dolphins (5-4) @ Green Bay Packers (3-4-1)
Strange circumstances have allowed Miami to come into Lambeau with a better record on the season than the Packers. But that shouldn’t last too long. Green Bay is in dire straits with a mediocre record in a cramped NFC North; these are the circumstances that Aaron Rodgers thrives in. He’ll lead the Pack to a home victory over the Fins this Sunday.
The pick: Green Bay 22, Miami 14.
Seattle Seahawks (4-4) @ Los Angeles Rams (8-1)
Here’s your upset alert game of the week. The Rams finally showed that they’re not flawless with last week’s loss in New Orleans, and Seattle, despite picking up a loss at home against the Chargers in week nine, are playing solid football. These teams met in week five when the Rams snagged a two-point victory in Seattle. Let’s go with the underdog this time.
The pick: Seattle 31, LA Rams 30.
Dallas Cowboys (3-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)
It’s unfortunate that the mediocre Cowboys get constantly rewarded with primetime games, but here we are yet again. The outcome should be no different; Dallas continues to have major issues with offensive play-calling, and Philadelphia is fresh out of a bye week. The Eagles should have themselves an easy win in front of a home crowd on Sunday night.
The pick: Philadelphia 36, Dallas 17.
New York Giants (1-7) @ San Francisco 49ers (2-7)
Well, this just got a whole lot more interesting. This game was shaping up to be a snooze fest between two teams aiming for top five picks in the 2019 draft, but suddenly the Niners seem to be trending up with an impressive first outing last week from backup QB Nick Mullens. Can his surprising success continue? We’ll find out on Monday night.
The pick: San Francisco 27, NY Giants 19.
Byes: Denver Broncos (3-6), Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1), Baltimore Ravens (4-5), Houston Texans (6-3)
DJ Bauer is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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