Jan the Intern’s Week 10 Preview
How is it Week 10 already? Where did the time go? Do we really have any idea who the best team in the NFL is? The Chargers got shut out in Miami – not by the Heat, but the Dolphins. Peyton and the Broncos sucked it up in snowy New England (they did that last year and still made the playoffs, so chins up Broncos fans). Seahawks barely escaped a winless Raiders team in Seattle and San Francisco is 4-4. We know nothing about the NFL. Big Ben made history by being the only quarterback to throw back-to-back 6 touchdown games. This season is, as the great Matthew Berry would say, “woah, crazy crazy.” And for those keeping score at home, I went 7-4-1 in picks last week, not too bad (I couldn’t make up my mind about the Steelers and the Ravens, boy was I wrong). So let me walk into Week 10 like…
Bye Week: Texans, Vikings, Colts, Patriots, Chargers, Washington
Cleveland Browns (5-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1)
Thursday, November 6, 2014, Paul Brown Stadium 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network
Ah, the battle of Ohio. The Browns are totally going to make the playoffs. But the Browns haven’t won on the road in the AFC North since September of 2008. Unfortunately for the Browns, this game is being playing in Cincinnati. If the Browns do win this game, they’ll be in first place in the AFC North (they beat the Steelers before Big Ben started doing his best Peyton Manning impression). The Bengals will likely be without Giovani Bernard again this week. But the Bengals and the Browns defense are ranked in the bottom of the pack of the league. With a short week, anything can happen. Side note, the Browns are most likely getting Josh Gordon back soon… might be a good idea to stash him for the fantasy playoffs.
Jan’s Pick: Browns upset!
Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) at Buffalo Bills (5-3)
Ralph Wilson Stadium, 1:00 PM ET - CBS
Why does it feel like everyone is 5-3 and everyone can make the playoffs? Oh wait, because it’s week 10 and week 10 brings nothing but false hope for mediocre teams. Tis the season (almost). Anyway, they’re forecasting snow for this game and a high of 39, so enjoy that Kansas City. If it does snow, that means the running game will be extremely important and Buffalo doesn’t have much of a running game with injuries to Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller. There are reports saying that Jackson could be practicing this week, but at the time of writing this, I haven’t seen or heard any solid reports on that. Jamaal Charles is a good professional running back, but the Bills are ranked 8th in total defense (I should’ve never dropped them from my fantasy team).
Jan’s Pick: Bills
Miami Dolphins (5-3) at Detroit Lions (6-2)
Ford Field, 1:00 PM ET – CBS
Look another 5-3 team! Also I had forgotten that the Lions were 6-2. I bet they’re winning so much because Kellen Moore is really, really good at holding a clipboard. Speaking of the Lions, they’re the best defense in the league – but the Dolphins are 3rd in total defense. Hence, look for this to be a defensive battle. Or not because this is the NFL and everything and nothing is possible at the same time. The Lions are getting Megatron back, or so he says. They’re coming off the bye week. This has Lions win written all over it – but it’s the NFL: together we make zero sense of football.
Jan’s Pick: Lions
Dallas Cowboys (6-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)
Wembley Stadium, London, England - 1:00 PM ET – FOX
Merry ol’ England once again! The London Jaguars are in town for a bout with the Cowboys, eh! Cuppa tea and crumpits! The Queen! I’m sorry… I really do love the British and I’m a big Doctor Who fan. I really do believe that the Jaguars will end up moving to London. I tweeted with a fellow from England who is a big Jaguars fan and said that it’s incredibly difficult to get tickets when the NFL comes across the pound. I was surprised and really didn’t think it was THAT big of a deal there. He was telling me how excited he was that he got “his jaguars tickets” and that he didn’t think he would. I asked him which team has the biggest fan base in the UK in his opinion… the Jaguars. London Jaguars, coming to a pub near you! Tony Romo is supposedly playing in this game and I think that’s awful of Jerry Jones to force him to play (disclaimer: yeah, I don’t know if that’s true, but no one would be surprised if it was). I don’t think Romo makes it through this game, really. London and the Queen will be on the Jaguars side and they’ll upset the ‘boys in England. Look at this cool gif of London:
Jan’s Pick: Jaguars
San Francisco 49ers (4-4) at New Orleans Saints (4-4)
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1:00 PM ET – FOX
Kaepernick fumbled on the goal line to screw up the winning touchdown last week against the Rams, thus the Niners fell to 4-4. The Saints have been on a roll lately after soundly defeating the Panthers last week on Thursday night. I have a feeling the Saints will keep this momentum going at home against a struggling 49ers squad. If there’s a way the Niners do win this game, it’ll be because of their 2nd ranked defense, but I think Drew Brees has finally got his rhythm back and we’ll see a big game from him this week.
Jan’s Pick: Saints
Tennessee Titans (2-6) at Baltimore Ravens (5-4)
MT&T Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM ET – CBS
The Ravens are in one of those rare divisions where you can be in last place while having a winning record, but you really don’t want to face a team that’s coming off an embarrassing prime time defeat – especially in that team’s own house. The Titans aren’t good and the Ravens are going to battle back and have something to prove to the league. I think the Titans will get that third straight loss and the Ravens will go on and start a streak of their own.
Jan’s Pick: Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) at New York Jets (1-8)
MetLife Stadium, 1:00 PM ET – CBS
It’s Mike Vick time in New York again, but mighty Big Ben and the streaking Steelers are coming to town (ew – don’t picture that). Though the Steelers are ranked 14th in total defense, they’re ranked 3rd in total offense. The Jets defense is actually ranked 6th in total defense (believe it or not) so I’m not sure ol’ Ben gets a third 6 touchdown game. However, the Jets have problems of their own getting in their own way, so not sure the Jets break their 8-game losing streak this week.
Jan’s Pick: Steelers
Atlanta Falcons (2-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7)
Raymond James Stadium, 1:00 PM ET – FOX
We have a quarterback change in Tampa Bay. Josh McCown will be starting for the Bucs this Sunday against a crushed spirit Falcons team that lost to the Lions in London in the final seconds before their bye week. The Falcons rank last in total defense, but rank 8th in total offense. Maybe Matt Ryan’s Legion of Goo tightened up during the bye week and Tampa’s 31st ranked defense won’t get to him as much. From just watching the Falcons, that’s really one of the biggest factors holding this offense back from being one of the best. They have the weapons, Matty Ice isn’t a terrible passer, but the dudes on the line can’t block for marbles! This will be a game that no one will probably watch because of the records, but who knows what will happen. The Falcons were RIGHT THERE against the Lions, but coug’d it in the last few seconds. I think they’ll be okay this week after a restful bye week and pull off the win.
Jan’s Pick: Falcons
Denver Broncos (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (0-8)
O.co Coliseum, 4:05 PM ET – CBS
Denver got their snow-y butts handed to them last week in New England, thus making the talking heads crown Tom Brady King of the NFL. I still think Peyton is the better quarterback, but Tom Brady gave us this:
Whoever caught this on camera needs to have a trophy made for them. Oh yeah, Denver got embarrassed and now they’re out for blood. Sorry, Raiders.
Jan’s Pick: Broncos
St. Louis Rams (3-5) at Arizona Cardinals (7-1)
University of Phoenix Stadium, 4:25 PM ET – FOX
I knew the Cardinals were good, but I had no idea they were best in the NFL good. At this point, St. Louis is just playing the annoying little brother card in the NFC West and spoiling records every chance they get. They’re coming off a win in San Francisco and are looking to annoy biggest brother Arizona next. However, I don’t see St. Louis bringing sour grapes to Cardinals fans this week. Bruce Arians is a heck of a coach, telling his team to not “let anyone dress in your locker in February,” referring to the Super Bowl being held in Phoenix this year. Good news for the Rams though, they might be getting CB Janoris Jenkins back from injury.
Jan’s Pick: Cardinals
New York Giants (3-5) at Seattle Seahawks (5-3)
CenturyLink Field, 4:25 PM ET – FOX
The Seahawks barely escaped the Raiders last week in a game they played without many of their Pro Bowlers due to injuries. The Hawks may be getting a couple key guys back from injuries including Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, Jeremy Lane, and Jordan Hill, and possibly Max Unger. Malcolm Smith and Bobby Wagner are both still in question with injuries. Seattle needs all the help they can get if they’re going to win the West, or even make the playoffs for that matter. They’re two games behind the Cardinals and a win over the struggling Giants could help them before they head into the last half of the season. They’ve got two games a piece with the 49ers and the Cardinals coming up, as well as one more with the Rams. They’ll need guys healthy and ready if they’re going to make a push. Russell Wilson also needs to get out of the funk he’s in after not playing spectacularly last week. The Giants keep showing flashes of being great but otherwise aren’t very good. It’ll be a closer game than many expect.
Jan’s Pick: Seahawks
Chicago Bears (3-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-3)
Lambeau Field, 8:30 PM ET - NBC
Bears vs. Packers is one of my favorite rivalries in sports. The Packers soundly defeated the Bears in their first meeting of the season, 38-17. Now the struggling Bears come into Lambeau, well rested off the bye week looking for a win to give them some momentum to make a mid-season push at a wild card spot. The Packers are also coming off a bye and Aaron Rodgers says his hamstring injury is “fine.” Well, okay then. I think the Bears may end up with a late season push, however, I don’t think it starts this week against a dominant Packers offense.
Jan’s Pick: Packers
Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-2)
Lincoln Financial Field, Monday, 8:30 PM ET – ESPN
Mark Sanchez is ready for his close up. The ‘Chez is ready to make his prime time Eagles debut after Nick Foles broke his clavicle in the first half of last week’s game. With that win, the Eagles reclaimed first place in the NFC East and are looking for Mark Sanchez to lead them to victory over the struggling Panthers. This will be Sanchez’s first start since December 30, 2012. The Panthers are last in the league, having allowed 30.7 points per game since Week 3. LeSean McCoy has had a slow start, but this could be his breakout week, since the Panthers struggle the most against the run. All the numbers point to an Eagles win, but in prime time with Mark Sanchez at the helm, you never know.
Jan’s Pick: Panthers upset!
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