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Keith Nordstrom/New England Patriots

Week 10 NFL Game Picks


Last week: 10-3

Overall: 81-50-2

 

{Note: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Oakland have a bye this week}

 

CLE (0-9) @ BAL (4-4) | THU 8:25 PM ET | NFL NETWORK

I am very interested in this game despite Cleveland not yet winning this season; they definitely have some promising young players on both sides of the ball. The last time these two teams played, rookie wideout Corey Coleman was great, catching 5 passes for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. Now, Terrelle Pryor has turned into a real threat across from him, and rookie quarterback Cody Kessler has been surprisingly efficient as the Browns’ starter. The Ravens should be able to win this game after holding the Steelers to 14 points last week, but they better not sleep on their division foe.

 

Winner: Baltimore Ravens

 

 

HOU (5-3) @ JAC (2-6) | SUN 1:00 PM ET | CBS

The Jaguars almost got a win against Kansas City in Week 9, and now face the Texans, who are coming off a bye week. Houston has a lot of issues holding them back from being serious contenders, including their soft run defense, and most importantly, quarterback play. If Brock Osweiler struggles coming out of the bye, Bill O’Brien’s team is in trouble. Blake Bortles hasn’t been much better for Jacksonville than Osweiler has been for Houston, so the winner will likely be whoever can run the ball better. The Jags fed Chris Ivory last week, with 18 carries for 107 yards, and T.J. Yeldon turned 12 touches into 65 yards and a receiving touchdown. That’s the winning formula for Jacksonville.

 

Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

 

 

 DEN (6-3) @ NO (4-4) | SUN 1:00 PM ET | CBS

After an 0-3 start, New Orleans has won 4 of their past 5 games and sit at .500. Because of the play of Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, people are overlooking what Drew Brees is doing. The future Hall of Fame quarterback is completing almost 70% of his passes and is on-pace for 5,378 yards, 42 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. With Mark Ingram playing angry last week, he went off, and should get the majority of the carries this week against the Broncos, who were just shredded by the Raiders on the ground. A balanced Saints offense is scary. With the Broncos defense being banged up, the offense has a tall task outscoring Drew Brees at the Superdome.

 

Winner: New Orleans Saints

 

 

 LA (3-5) @ NYJ (3-6) | SUN 1:00 PM ET | FOX

The playoffs aren’t going to happen either of these teams in 2016. The Rams continue to trot out Case Keenum at quarterback, but it might be a good idea to give #1 overall pick Jared Goff a shot because of some soft pass defenses on the schedule, starting with the Jets this week. New York will keep playing Ryan Fitzpatrick (knee) if he’s healthy enough to go, but they should give Bryce Petty a chance to start. They just spent a second round pick on Christian Hackenberg, so seeing what they have in Petty is a smart move. Plus, Fitz has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league this season. I’ll say it again: hopefully the Rams give Todd Gurley the ball. He had just 12 carries last week in a close game.

 

Winner: Los Angeles Rams

 

 

ATL (6-3) @ PHI (4-4) | SUN 1:00 PM ET | FOX

The Battle of the Birds pits MVP candidate Matt Ryan against the 2nd overall pick Carson Wentz. Ryan actually went to high school in Philadelphia, and is 3-2 against his hometown team, winning the last three games, including the season opener last September. The Falcons’ quarterback has thrown for multiple touchdown passes in every game versus the Eagles, but that doesn’t matter much; this is a new defense, and one that gave up some big plays last week. Carson Wentz got the Eagles in a hole last week with a couple bad interceptions, which forced the rookie to throw it all game. He’ll probably have to do it again with the Falcons in town. Philly has been better at home, but it doesn’t really matter where Matty Ice is playing right now.

 

Winner: Atlanta Falcons

 

 

KC (6-2) @ CAR (3-5) | SUN 1:00 PM ET | CBS

Carolina has won two games in a row after their 1-5 start, but they’ve bounced back from a slow start before; in 2014, the Panthers started 3-8-1, won 4 in a row to make the playoffs, and won a playoff game. Just last season, Kansas City started 1-5 themselves but won out to finish 11-5 and win a playoff game. Andy Reid’s team won’t be overlooking the 3-5 Carolina Panthers. Spencer Ware (concussion) should return and provide a boost to the KC offense, but the Panthers are allowing just 41 rushing yards per game since the bye. Cam Newton will have a takeover game eventually for Carolina. I’ll give them the edge at home.

 

Winner: Carolina Panthers

 

 

CHI (2-6) @ TB (3-5) | SUN 1:00 PM ET | FOX

Halloween Night was the last time we saw the Bears, and they handled the Vikings on MNF. The team should be confident this Sunday in Tampa Bay. I think Chicago has a team that could force their way into playoff contention because they play solid defense, have a good coach, and can run the ball with rookie Jordan Howard. The Bucs were supposed to be able to run the ball this season, but injuries to the backfield has them playing with guys very low on the depth chart or recently signed players. Fortunately, there’s a chance Doug Martin (hamstring) returns this week, but I think Jay Cutler will outduel Jameis Winston.

 

Winner: Chicago Bears

 

 

MIN (5-3) @ WAS (4-3-1) | SUN 1:00 PM ET | FOX

What’s going on with the Vikings? Minnesota has lost 3 in a row after their 5-0 start, including last week’s overtime loss to the Lions. Sam Bradford was efficient last week with Pat Shurmer in charge of the offense, but the lack of good offensive line play and a weak running game is really hurting the whole team (the defense has shown some weaknesses). The Redskins soft defense could allow the Vikings to establish the run early. Washington doesn’t seem to have a back that could do damage against Minnesota’s defense, and that’s how teams have beaten the Vikings recently. Look for Mike Zimmer to get his team back on track.

 

Winner: Minnesota Vikings

 

 

GB (4-4) @ TEN (4-5) | SUN 1:00 PM ET | FOX

Green Bay’s offense looked out of sync again in Sunday’s home loss to the Colts; Aaron Rodgers threw for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns, but the team had just 13 points fairly deep into the 4th quarter. Wide receiver turned running back Ty Montgomery only saw 10 touches on 31 snaps because he was said to be limited. If that’s true, he will hopefully be full-go for Week 10, as he turned his 10 touches last week into 91 yards. The Titans lost a shootout with the Chargers last weekend, and will probably have to score a lot again against the Packers. Marcus Mariota looked sick (figuratively) on the sidelines after throwing pick-6 last week that basically ended the game, which is good to see from the leader of the team. He will be better this week, but it might not be enough.

 

Winner: Green Bay Packers

 

 

MIA (4-4) @ SD (4-5) | SUN 4:05 PM ET | CBS

The Dolphins are suddenly 4-4 and in contention for a Wild Card spot down the stretch (I think the Patriots are safe in the AFC East). The Chargers, too, are in playoff contention with the Broncos trending downward and the AFC North and AFC South both looking weak. A couple of emerging stars in their second season at running back will face each other this week, with Melvin Gordon leading the league in touchdowns and coming off a 250-yard performance, and Jay Ajayi averaging 6.87 yards per carry since receiving the bulk of the backfield work for Miami. The Chargers are at home and have Philip Rivers, so they should get the win.

 

Winner: San Diego Chargers

 

 

SF (1-7) @ ARI (3-4-1) | SUN 4:25 PM ET | FOX

San Francisco easily has the least talented team in the league (yes, including Cleveland). Who that is healthy on the team is a guy that other teams would love to have? Arik Armstead was just placed on IR, and NaVorro Bowman has been on IR. Carlos Hyde is injured right now. Torrey Smith couldn’t be traded because his contract is too big. Left tackle Joe Staley and rookie defensive end DeForest Buckner is probably it right now. The Niners have been historically bad on defense, allowing 193.0 rushing yards per game, so David Johnson might break some records on Sunday.

 

Winner: Arizona Cardinals

 

 

DAL (7-1) @ PIT (4-4) | SUN 4:25 PM ET | FOX

Even Jerry Jones probably didn’t think the Cowboys would be 7-1 after Tony Romo’s back injury, but here we are. Dallas is basically 2 games up on everyone in the NFC, but have a tough game this Sunday in Pittsburgh. The couldn’t do anything offensively until late in the game last week against the Ravens, but that was largely because of Ben Roethlisberger’s health. Big Ben should be better another week removed from surgery, and it’s doubtful that Le’Veon Bell is bottled up for the second game in a row. After being run on for two straight weeks, the Steelers held Ravens backs to 36 yards on 25 attempts, so Ezekiel Elliott will probably see a stout front. Antonio Brown should have his first huge game of the season sometime soon.

 

Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

 

 

SEA (5-2-1) @ NE (7-1) | SUN 8:30 PM ET | NBC

Football fans are in store for a good one this Sunday night. The last time these two teams face each other was Super Bowl XLIX, where New England won 28-24 in perhaps the best game I’ve ever seen. The only other time Tom Brady faced this Seattle defense was another close game in 2012, with the Sehawks winning 24-23. Brady averaged 361.5 yards per game and 3 touchdown passes in the two games, and should keep his hot start to the season going, especially with New England coming off their bye week. Kam Chancellor should return for Seattle, but he and everyone else doesn’t have a shot at taking Gronk out of the game. Michael Bennett (knee) being out is a big blow to Seattle, and his brother (Patriots TE Martellus Bennett) will likely spend less time helping out as a blocker because of it. New England is just too good, particularly in Foxboro.

 

Winner: New England Patriots

 

 

CIN (3-4-1) @ NYG (5-3) | MON 8:30 PM ET | ESPN

The Bengals are in an unfamiliar position sitting blow .500 through the midpoint of the season, but at least the rest of the AFC North is either 4-4 (Steelers and Ravens) or 0-9 (Browns). The Giants got a big win last week against the Eagles, but good, old Eli almost gave the game away with a late interception. The Giants quarterback should see a better Bengals defense coming out of the bye than the one from the first 8 games. Containing the Bengals’ superstar wideout is the key for the Giants. In the three games that A.J. Green has gone over 100 yards and scored, the Bengals are undefeated; in their four losses, Green is averaging less than 64 yards per game, and in the tie he went over 100 yards but didn’t score.

Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

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