Welcome to my Week 10 NFL picks. Last week I went 7-6, bringing my overall record to 81-50-1 (81-51-1 including TNF). We are now more than halfway through the season. Most teams have already had their bye week, and teams are beginning to settle into playoff contention, into the hunt, or into the basement of their division. There are a handful of teams that have yet to win more than 2 games, and these teams are running out of time to turn it around. If these teams cannot win here in Week 10, they will face a choice of continuing to try or entering the sweepstakes for Clemson’s star QB, Trevor Lawrence. The Jets and Jaguars currently lead this sweepstakes as the only two NFL teams with less than 2 victories. Will any of these basement dwellers win today, and what will they do from here? Keep reading to find out what I think.
Lock of the Week
The Saints just got WR Michael Thomas back, so their offense is pretty much back to full health. Meanwhile, the 49ers are still missing TE George Kittle, RB Raheem Mostert, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, and WR Deebo Samuel. I don’t think these banged up 49ers will be able to put up many points against a Saints team that is nearing full health. A year ago, this would have been a very competitive game, but things have changed.
Upset of the Week
The Lions are missing WR Kenny Golladay, and when Golladay sits they do not have a very good track record. The Lions are 3-1 when Golladay is fully healthy, and 0-4 when he has missed at least part of the game. I don’t see that changing, even against Washington. This Washington defense is underrated and should be able to contain the Lions without Golladay. Meanwhile, QB Alex Smith will look like his old self against a rather inconsistent Lions D, relying on RBs Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic as well as star WR Terry McLaurin. A Washington upset would not surprise me, as their season could be on the line here.
The Other Games
|Posted to Social Media Thursday||With both WR T.Y. Hilton and WR Michael Pittman Jr. healthy, the Colts should make this competitive. However, I think the Titans will prove that they are the clear cut AFC South frontrunners. I’m expecting a strong game from RB Derrick Henry and I’m expecting the TE duo of Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser to impress here too.|
|This game will not be a fun one. I’m expecting both teams to struggle with turnovers and frustrate their fans in extremely windy conditions. With RB Nick Chubb back to join Kareem Hunt in the Browns backfield, I think they can edge out the victory at home and put the Texans further out of playoff contention. It still won’t be QB Baker Mayfield’s best work.|
|I think QB Jake Luton and the Jaguars will keep this competitive with a solid offensive performance. They still won’t be able to match the performance of QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. I think RB Aaron Jones will run for 2 TDs to add to 4 pass TDs by Rodgers in the shootout victory.|
|The Eagles are slowly inching their way back to full health. This week, RB Miles Sanders and WR Alshon Jeffery will join WR Jalen Reagor and TE Dallas Goedert back in the lineup. I think QB Carson Wentz will utilize all four in a high scoring Philly victory. QB Daniel Jones will look better than usual against a flawed Eagles defense but struggle to outperform the healed Eagles squad.|
|The Buccaneers started the season with a loss to the Saints and followed it up with a dominant performance in Carolina. I’m expecting the same thing here, as QB Tom Brady utilizes his stacked arsenal of weapons. Carolina’s offense should not be slept on, but I can’t see QB Teddy Bridgewater outplaying TB12 here.|
|Two of the leagues best mobile QBs, Josh Allen and Kyler Murray, face off here. I think the Bills will rely on their run game to stay competitive, as CB Patrick Peterson will shadow star WR Stefon Diggs. The Cardinals, on the other hand, will air it out, as WR DeAndre Hopkins outplays Diggs and wins out in a match-up with CB Tre’Davious White. That will be the difference maker as Arizona wins this at home.|
|I think the Chargers offense will have to rely on their RBs here as they play a strong Dolphins secondary. This will be a close, game, but I think the Chargers D will step it up to make the difference. QB Tua Tagovailoa will connect well with TE Mike Gesicki, but RB Myles Gaskin is hurt and WR DeVante Parker will be facing CB Chris Harris Jr., so the rest of Miami’s offense will struggle.|
|The Bengals are another team whose season could be on the line this week. They will be motivated, but this Pittsburgh defense should give them a rude awakening. If they annihilated the Browns (who beat the Bengals twice), it is not a good sign for a Cincy squad that will be without RB Joe Mixon. I’m also expecting a solid game out of QB Ben Roethlisberger and his receivers as they continue to exceed expectations.|
|The Chargers, Broncos, and Raiders are all in the wild card sweepstakes. This will definitely be a close one, and it has significant playoff implications. I think QB Drew Lock will rely on WR Jerry Jeudy here. Meanwhile, QB Derek Carr will spread the ball out in order to outplay a tough Denver D. I have the Raiders edging out a victory, putting themselves in a good position to make the playoffs in this tough division.|
|As with most Seahawks games, I’m expecting a pass heavy shootout here. Both these teams are already very pass heavy, and in a close game that Seahawks RB Chris Carson is missing, it will be on another level. I think the Rams can make this close, but QB Russell Wilson has come up clutch frequently so far this year and I think it will happen again here.|
|Don’t get me wrong, I could see the Patriots pulling off the upset here. The Ravens offense has not been as good as expected and the Pats offense has posted some surprising performances. I think the Pats will struggle to slow down Baltimore’s run game, so I’m picking Baltimore, but this will be closer than some expect.|
|The Bears started this season off surprisingly well, and many have been quick to call it a fluke. I’m expecting a solid performance from the Bears D here and a surprisingly strong game from QB Nick Foles. Foles and his receivers (especially Allen Robinson) will thrive against a struggling Minnesota secondary. Foles dominated against this team in the 2018 NFC Championship. I don’t quite see this game as an encore for him, but he will post an impressive game and lead the Bears to victory at home. Foles should at least outperform QB Kirk Cousins, who has a very iffy history in primetime games.|
That’s all for my picks this week. Stay tuned for more NFL coverage soon, as well as some basketball coverage as the NBA off-season kicks off this week.