Ah, the 10th week of NFL Sundays. How great does it feel to be another week closer to the playoffs? It feels beyond great. The Saints look to win their 7th straight game when they take on Buffalo Bills in upstate New York. Also, Ezekiel Elliott will finally be serving his 6-game suspension at a crucial point in their season so the Cowboys will look to win without him on the field. Lastly, the two winless teams will look finally get their first win of the season. Time to get into it!
Los Angeles Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars; 1:00pm
1. Melvin Gordon Vs Jaguars Run Defense
Melvin Gordon has been rather disappointing this season rushing for 526 yards in 8 games this season (65.8 yards/game). With the recent addition of Marcel Dareus, it seems the Jaguars have finally found a way to plug up the run allowing only 29 rushing yards last week against the Bengals. Gordon will look to top 100 yards again like he did against the Patriots last week and will be key to an upset win over the Jags.
2. Leonard Fournette’s Return
Fournette missed 1 game due to an ankle injury, didn’t play the next week because of a bye, and didn’t play last week for violating team rules. Add that up and you’ll realize he hasn’t played a game in 3 weeks. Maybe he’ll be rusty or maybe he’ll go off against a Chargers defense that ranks 31st in rush yards per game allowed (135.1)
3. Philip Rivers and Blake Bortles
Both quarterbacks are known to be turnover-prone so look for the opposing defenses to try and force turnovers against the QBs. Essentially, whichever quarterback turns the ball over the least amount of times wins the game. This will be crucial to the outcome of the game.
Bold Prediction: Melvin Gordon runs for 150+ yards and scores 2 TDs in an upset win over the Jaguars.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans; 1:00pm
1. Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray Vs Bengals Run Defense
Both running backs have combined for 748 rushing yards on the season (93.5 yards/game) and will face a Bengals run defense that ranks 20th in the league in rushing yards per game allowed (116.5). These two will need to play better in order to take pressure off of Mariota and mix up the play-calling from Mike Mularkey’s group.
2. Bengals O-Line Vs Titans D-Line
With tackle Jake Fisher out for the year, Eric Winston will start in his position. The Titans defense ranks 28th in sacks this season (13.0) while the Bengals O-line has given up 24.0 sacks to opposing defense which is tied for 10th worst in the league. This unit has to protect Dalton and create lanes for the running game.
3. Andy Dalton and Marcus Mariota
Both quarterbacks have been below average this year with Mariota throwing only 6 TD passes and 5 interceptions all season while Dalton has thrown 11 TD passes and already has 8 interceptions as opposed to last year where he threw 8 interceptions on the season. Both are still trying to regain their 2016 form and will look to have their best performance of the season.
Bold Prediction: Andy Dalton and Marcus Mariota account for 6 TDs.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts; 1:00pm
1. The Three B’s
Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell will look to expose this Colts defense that ranks 31st against the pass, but 17th against the run. The Colts will somehow have to stop these three from having big performances or else this game will get ugly quickly.
2. Jacoby Brissett Vs Steelers Defense
Brissett has had his ups and downs this season and has been sacked 30 times which is worst in the league. This game looks to be another down performance especially since the Steelers defense ranks 2nd in passing yards per game allowed (180.0) and since the offensive line is the worst unit in the league.
3. Colts Seconday Vs Steelers Receivers
With Vontae Davis’ injury leading to his release, the Colts secondary simply looks worse. They’ll have their hands full with Brown, JuJu, and Martavis as they are one of the most difficult trios of receivers to defend. If they double cover one receiver, the other two will absolutely hurt them.
Bold Prediction: Bell and Brown combine for 300 yards of offense
New Orleans Saints @ Buffalo Bills; 1:00pm
1. Alvin Kamara Vs Bills Defense
Alvin Kamara had his best game as a pro this past weekend racking up 68 rushing yards, 84 receiving and 2 TDs. He’ll look to continue his stellar performance against a Bills defense that ranks 8th against the run (94.4 yards/game). If the Bills can keep Kamara in check, they’ll have a real shot at winning.
2. Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Matthew Vs Saints Secondary
With the recent addition of Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews will maintain his position as a slot receiver while Benjamin will take over as the #1. The Saints Sedondary will be without Kenny Vaccaro so they’ll need to rely on Vonn Bell, Marcus Williams, and Rafael Bush to push for more playing time while Marshon Lattimore and De’Vante Harris to cover these two receivers.
3. LeSean McCoy Vs Saints Run Defense
Shady was held to only 25 rushing yards on 12 carries and will look to have a better performance against the Saints defense. He will certainly have a better performance against this Saints run defense ranks 19th in rushing yards per game allowed (116.1).
Bold Prediction: Bills defense keeps Kamara from surpassing 75 yards and from Drew Brees passing for over 300.
New York Jets @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 1:00pm
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick Vs Former Team
Fitzpatrick played two season with New York after having a disastrous season last year. They year before he choked a potential playoff birth against the Bills in the final week of the season. Now he’s playing against his former team and look to give them a taste of defeat in Tampa Bay. Unfortunately he’ll be playing without star wideout Mike Evans who was suspended for the cheap shot he had on Marshon Lattimore a week ago so he’ll need to rely on Adam Humphries and Desean Jackson to produce for him.
2. Matt Forte and Bilal Powell Vs Bucs Run Defense
Matt Forte and Bilal Powell combined for 151 rushing yards last week against the Bills and look for them to combine for similar numbers against a run defense that ranks 22nd against the run (116.6 yards/game). These two will be key to success of the offense and another win for the Jets.
3. Josh McCown Vs Former Team
Funny enough, Josh McCown is also playing against his former team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He wasn’t nearly as good in Tampa as he is right now with New York. McCown is balling right now and making Robbie Anderson and Jermaine Kearse look like superstars. He also getting the tight ends involved, which both New York teams have struggled to do all season. It’ll be a battle of the old journeymen quarterbacks.
Bold Prediction: In a rematch game, the old guys, McCown and Fitzpatrick run for a TD and throw 2 TDs as well.
Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions; 1:00pm
1. Matthew Stafford Vs Browns Pass Defense
Matthew Stafford has had 2 consecutive games of 350+ passing yards and may very well make it 3 consecutive against a Cleveland defense that ranks 17th in passing yards per game allowed (229.3). Also, because their run game is virtually nonexistent, Stafford will most likely put the team on his back once again.
2. DeShone Kizer Vs Lions Pass Defense
Deshone Kiser hasn’t been the most exciting quarterback to watch but when he gets going, he’s fun to watch. We may see some of those fun moments against a Lions defense that ranks 27th in passing yards per game allowed (251.9). However, he needs have a clean game in order to have some chance of winning this game. Interceptions will kill his team and would make it very difficult for the Browns to get back into the game.
3. Myles Garrett
Garrett has sustained a couple of injuries over this past season and he’s only played in 3 games this season. But in those three games he’s notched 7 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles, and 4 sacks. Considering this Lions O-line is banged up, look for the rookie to get back in track with at least one sack of Stafford.
Bold Prediction: Matthew Stafford throws for 400 passing yards and 4 TDs.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears; 1:00pm
1. Brett Hundley Vs Bears Defense
Hudley as been in a dog leash since he took over as the starter. He hasn’t taken very many deep shots at all and when he has, it has been awful. Part of the blame can be out on McVarthy though for being too conservative with his play-calling. Hundley will need to have extended drives against a Bears defense that ranks 14th against the run and 11th against the pass. This Bears defense also knows how to get to the QB so Hundley will struggle against them.
2. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen Vs Packers Defense
Jordan Howard currently sits in 5th in total rushing yards this season with 662 while Tarik Cohen has 228 to his name. They face a Packers defense that ranks 23rd in rushing yards per game allowed (118.0) which is what the Bears wasn’t especially since Trubisky is only a rookie. If they can find a way to gash the Packers defense, then they could walk out of this game victorious.
3. Packers Running Game
The Packers run game has been a mess this season and has been no help to Brett Hundley whatsoever as they are tied for 21 in rushing yards per game (98.6). They face a Chicago defense that ranks 14th against the run (104.4 yards/game). If the Packers can’t get things going on the ground they’ll struggle to put up points.
Bold Prediction: Mitch Trubisky throws 3 TDs while Brett Hundley throws 3 INTs
Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins; 1:00pm
1. Everson Griffen
Griffen is playing at a Pro Bowl level right now. He currently is tied for 3rd in sacks with 10.0 on the season and will look to break the record of 8 straight games with at least a sack on Sunday. Odds are he’ll break it especially since the Redskins O-line is dealing with every position except right tackle. It could be a field day for Griffen.
2. Kirk Cousins Vs Vikings Pass Defense
Cousins walked into Seattle with a banged up O-line and walked out victorious. The Vikings are a much better team when it comes to disciplined. They rank 7th in passing yards per game allowed (200.8) and rank 9th in total sacks with (24.0). Cousins could have a tougher time against the Vikings and he’ll hope he can walk out of FedEx Field in one piece.
3. Latavius Murray Vs Redskins Run Defense
Latavius Murray has been solid filling in for Dalvin Cook and will look to try and run through a Redskins defense that ranks 16th in rushing yards per game allowed (110.5). The free-agent acquisition will look to wear down this defense and to take pressure off Case Keenum.
Bold Prediction: Vikings defense forces 4 turnovers and scores a TD
Los Angeles Rams @ Houston Texans; 4:05pm
1. Rams Offense vs Texans Defense
The Rams offense comes into this game ranking 1st in points per game and look to continue to score loads of points against a defense that ranks 21st in passing yards per game allowed (243.1). Goff could have another big game and so could Todd Gurley. The Texans must stop Todd Gurley so that the offense becomes one-dimensional.
2. Tom Savage
Tom Savage did throw a TD but also threw an interception last week against the Colts… uninspiring really. Savage will need to step up his game if he and the Texans want any shot at the postseason while. Surely his confidence will grow each game but considering his offensive line is bad, it looks like he won’t be gaining any confidence in this one.
3. Rams D-Line Vs Texans O-Line
The Rams D-line, led by Aaron Donald, is still geling together as a unit but is starting to take over games. With a weak Texans O-line, the Rams will look to get in Tom Savage’s face to throw him off. The Rams are tied for 6th in the league in total sacks (25.0) while the Texans have allowed 28 sacks which ranks 3rd worst in the league. Tough task ahead for the Texans lineman.
Bold Prediction: Rams defense forces 5 turnovers and 1 TD
New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers; 4:25pm
1. Carlos Hyde Vs Giants Run Defense
Carlos Hyde is the key to Kyle Shanahan’s first victory with the 49ers. He only has 494 rushing yards on the season but could have a breakout game against a Giants defense that ranks 28th in rushing yards per game allowed (128.9). If Hyde can’t get going early, C.J. Beathard will need to put the team on his shoulder again.
2. Eli Manning Vs 49ers Pass Defense
Manning could have a solid day against the 49ers who rank 23rd in passing yards per game allowed (244.8) but the offensive line will need to hold up in order to step into his throws. It could just be an average day for Manning especially since Sterling Shepherd and Evan Engram are his only targets really.
3. Giants O-Line Vs 49ers D-Line
The Giants offensive line have only allowed 19 sacks… mainly because Eli Manning gets rid of the ball quickly, but when Manning takes longer to make throws, the pressure is always in his face. The 49ers defense has only notched 17 sacks which is 22nd in the league and they’ll look to wreak havoc on the Giants O-line especially if they want to get their first win of the season.
Bold Prediction: Carlos Hyde rushes for 150 yards and scores 3 TDs
Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons; 4:25pm
1. Cowboys Run Game
Ezekiel Elliott will finally be serving his 6-game suspension… maybe not for long. Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden will be carrying the load and hoping to produce as well as Zeke did throughout the first 7 games of the season. These two will be crucial to the success of the offense on Sunday especially because Jason Garrett won’t want the offense to become one-dimensional. We’ll see how this pans out.
2. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman Vs Cowboys Run Defense
Devonta Freeman has 512 rushing yards while Tevin Coleman has 316, so add those two and you get 828 rushing yards (103.5 rushing yards/game). The Cowboys defense ranks 13th in rushing yards per game allowed (101.3) and will look to stop this two headed monster to force Matty Ice into third and long situations.
3. Dez Bryant and Julio Jones Injuries
Dez Bryant is listed as questionable with a knee/ankle injury and could be held out of the game to rest him up for the game against Philadelphia. Julio Jones however, was not listed on the injury report so he will play against Dallas. Jones didn’t participate in practice Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday but was at practice Thursday. The question is, if they do play, will they be at 100%?
Bold Prediction: Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman score a combined 3 TDs and rack up 150 yards of offense.
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos; 8:30pm
1. Tom Brady Vs “No Fly Zone”
In recent years, it seems as if the Broncos have had Brady’s number but that was when Wade Phillips was in town. Now he’ll face a similar defense but different schematically. Brady is coming off a bye week and looks to be fresh while the No Fly Zone will look to regroup after getting harassed by Carson Wentz and the Eagles last week.
2. Broncos Run Game Vs Patriots Run Defense
The Broncos run game has been getting worse and worse every week. Vance Joseph wants to stick to his philosophy of a “run-first offense”. The Patriots defense is the defense you want to go up against to establish a tempo early as they rank 25th in rushing yards per game allowed (121.5). The Broncos run game is key to victory.
3. Brock Osweiler
If the run game doesn’t pan out, Osweiler will be forced to throw it multiple times against the Patriots like he did against the Eagles last week. Since he threw 2 interceptions last week, look for the Broncos to simplify things for Osweiler by making him throw checkdowns and quick slants to get the offense into a rhythm. This game will be very interesting to watch.
Bold Prediction: Tom Brady pulls off a Carson Wentz and throws 4 TD passes