NFL Week 10 Preview


Week 10 started off early as the Bears traveled to Candlestick to the take on the 49ers on Thursday night, and that game wound up being a microcosm of what the rest of the week looks like it may shape up to be: almost completely unwatchable football.  Besides the two games of the week, both of which could be fantastic, there is really nothing else worth watching.  So without further ado, here is your Week 10 lineup, featuring anything I could think of that might make that game worth watching.

Game of the Week I: Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) 10 AM – CBS

We, in the L.A. area, were this close to getting stuck watching the Raiders-Chiefs game, but someone mercifully scheduled this game to air instead.  Divisional rivals.  The home team hasn’t lost at home.  The road team hasn’t lost on the road.  #5 vs. #6 in scoring defense.  First place on the line.  A first round by on the line (maybe).  The two biggest “no one gives us any respect” teams in the league this year.  Cincy scored 14 unanswered in the 4th quarter to win by 3 in Week 3.  Superstars all over the place.  Don’t miss this game.  Prediction: Steelers win and cover (-6.5)

Game of the Week II: New England Patriots (6-2) at Indianapolis Colts (8-0) 5:20 – NBC

The Colts were unable to spoil New England’s run at a perfect season two years ago and now they get a chance at a little revenge by extending their own such run at the Patriots’ expense.  There isn’t a whole lot of hype needed for this one.  Brady vs. Peyton.  Indy is thin in the secondary, but this game is on turf so Indy wins.  Prediction: Colts win and cover (-2.5)

Lock of the Week: Detroit Lions (1-7) at Minnesota Vikings (7-1) 10 AM – Fox

It is always a mystery how they decide which games air in which cities.  This game will be on pretty much everywhere besides in other teams’ home markets. But then the Central Coast of California and most of New England will get Atlanta at Carolina.  San Diego County will get New Orleans at Seattle.  West Virginia will get Tampa Bay at Miami.  Then everyone else is basically regional.  I find this all odd.  Why write about it here?  Because this game has the largest point spread of the season, larger than many BCS schools’ preseason points spreads, and it just isn’t worth researching.  Prediction: Vikings win and cover (-16.5)

Buffalo Bills (3-5) at Tennessee Titans (2-6) 10 AM

Vince Young is 2-0 as a starter for Tennessee this season. Terrell Owens drops the ball a lot. That’s pretty much it.  Prediction: Titans win, Bills cover (+6.5)

New Orleans Saints (8-0) at St. Louis Rams (1-7) 10 AM

The question here is if the Saints will score more points than Steven Jackson has rushing yards.  And both numbers might be in triple digits. Prediction: Saints win and cover (-13.5)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7) at Miami Dolphins (3-5) 10 AM

Tampa showed some signs of life last week with new rookie quarterback Josh Freeman behind center when they shocked Green Bay.  But the battle of Florida has about the same luster that the college version of it between Miami and Florida State has had for the past few years.  Prediction: Dolphins win, Buccaneers cover (+9.5)

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4) at New York Jets (4-4) 10 AM

Not only is both teams’ main color green, which is unusual, but they are the only two major American sports franchises that start with a “J”.  So that’s interesting.  There’s also the USC (Mark Sanchez) vs. UCLA (Maurice Jones-Drew) angle.  Prediction: Jets win and cover (-6.5)

Denver Broncos (6-2) at Washington Redskins (2-6) 10 AM

After starting out 6-0 thanks to a few miracles, the Broncos have been hammered the last two games to bring their new coach and new quarterback back to earth.  Luckily they play the Redskins this week, who are only barely an actual NFL team, and that should get them back on track.  And even with those two losses in-a-row, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who regrets dumping Jay Cutler on the Bears.  Prediction: Broncos win and cover (-4.5)

Atlanta Falcons (5-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-5) 10 AM

This is actually a sneaky-good game.  Carolina’s running game is helping to keep the ball out of Jake Delhomme’s hands (and therefore out of the hands of their opponents’ defensive backs, as well).  They just beat up Arizona and then gave New Orleans a scare.  And Atlanta has only lost to the Saints, Patriots, and Cowboys, all on the road.  Prediction: Falcons win and cover (-1.5)

Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) at Oakland Raiders (2-6) 1:05 PM

Not even the fact that this is a divisional rivalry game can save it from being one of the worst games ever.  But it is always interesting to see what will be higher: the other team’s point total or JaMarcus Russell’s quarterback rating.  Prediction: Chiefs win and cover (+1.5)

Dallas Cowboys (6-2) at Green Bay Packers (4-4) 4:15 PM – Fox

It is November and Dallas doesn’t lose in November.  Also it is the NFL, and the Packers don’t really beat anyone in the NFL (four wins this year: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Louis…combined 7-26 this season).  Prediction: Cowboys win and cover (-2.5)

Seattle Seahawks (3-5) at Arizona Cardinals (5-3) 4:15 PM

Two weeks ago Kurt Warner threw 5 picks and lost a fumble.  Last week he threw 5 touchdowns.  Guess which one they won and which they lost.  Did you know?  Seattle is still in league.  Prediction: Cardinals win and cover (-8.5)

Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) at San Diego Chargers (5-3) 4:15 PM

While it is easier coming west than it is going east, it is tough traveling 3 time zones to play a game so San Diego has a huge advantage in this one.  If you like passing and bad clock management, this is the game for you.  The Eagles wouldn’t run if they were an extra in a Godzilla movie, and LaDainian Tomlinson has aged faster than a bowl of guacamole left in the sun. And I don’t have any snappy turns of phrase for how badly Andy Reid is at clock management, but let’s just say if it’s within a touchdown either way in the last 3 minutes, San Diego will win.  Prediction: Chargers win and cover (-2.5)

Baltimore Ravens (4-4) at Cleveland Browns (1-7) Monday 5:30 PM – ESPN

People in Cleveland would probably still be bitter that the Ravens left (and the way they left) even if the new Browns hadn’t been such a disaster since coming into the league, but it can’t have helped.  It is nice to see Eric Mangini sticking to his guns to help turn the franchise around though.  First he said there would be a preseason quarterback competition.  Then Brady Quinn won the job and was his man.  Until Quinn got benched, reportedly dangled in trade talks, and Derek Anderson was installed as the starting quarterback.  Until he was benched this week and Quinn was put back in at starter.  But at least their best receiver was traded away, their second best receiver and big free agent signee was thrown in jail for killing a pedestrian, their star runningback is publicly criticizing their new coach, their star tight end was traded away, and their #5 draft pick was traded away and is now a starting quarterback for the Jets.  Oh wait, all those things are bad.  Prediction: Ravens win and cover (-10.5)

All times are Pacific and TV airing info is for the Los Angeles area only (subject to change).