We're already to Week 10 in the NFL season. Week 10 this year means a few things. It's the first week Jason Garrett will be head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. It marks the beginning of the second half of the season for most teams who will be playing their ninth game of the season. It also marks the start of Thursday Night Football, which this week features the Baltimore Ravens visiting the Atlanta Falcons - not a bad way to start off Thursday Night Football.
This week is very hit or miss in terms of matchups but there are definitely some treats for any football fan to look forward to as we still wait and see if a dominant team will emerge in 2010.
Without further ado, onto the picks for this week.
Baltimore (6-2) at Atlanta (6-2) - We start the week off on Thursday night with one of the best matchups of the week. The Ravens had Ed Reed back on defense which makes their defensive unit far scarier. The Falcons are only a half game up on the Saints in the standings but they've looked like a much better team so far this year. This should be a treat for everybody to watch...well, everybody with NFL Network that is.
- Charley Code: Falcons - I really want to pick the Ravens. I just can't for some reason.
- Christopher Fittz: Ravens - This would be a possible Super Bowl preview if that sort of thing were possible this season.
- Robbie Griffin: Falcons - I'm firmly believing in Atlanta and having trouble believing in the Ravens. I'm taking the Falcons at home in the hardest game for me to feel confident in this week.
- Maurice London: Ravens - Edgar Allan Poe's team beats Captain America.
- Liam Ponting: Falcons - Atlanta being at home is the only thing that separates these two teams for me.
- JP Starkey: Falcons - I'm going with the home team in a dome here.
- Brett Perryman: Ravens - I guess I'm buying into the Ravens being one of the two best teams and the Falcons not being one of the four or so best.
Detroit (2-6) at Buffalo (0-8) - Two teams that probably are better than their records but two teams that have a combined 2-14 record. This is a clunker of a game. Matt Stafford is possibly out for the season and the Bills, well, they're still looking for their first win. I still think Ryan Fitzpatrick can be a legitimate quarterback in a league where even Todd Bouman started this year.
- Code: Bills - Both of these teams would trounce the Cowboys. Irrelevant. Gimme the Bills. Highland Park's own Matthew Stafford looks to be out for a few weeks, if not the season. Buffalo gets their first win.
- Fittz: Lions - Someday these two teams will make it back to the playoffs. But we'll all be dead by then.
- Griffin: Bills - Detroit's been the better team this year, but on the road without Stafford, I think they can get the Bills their first win.
- London: Lions - Chan Gailey stays winless. Can't ask for much more than that.
- Ponting: Bills - Detroit's gotten used to not having Matt Stafford this year, but it'll be hard for them to cope with the loss on the road...even if they are playing the Bills.
- Starkey: Bills - The Bills get on the board.
- Perryman: Lions - Love to see that someone has to win here for draft purposes.
Minnesota (3-5) at Chicago (5-3) - If Brett Favre,
Randy Moss, and Adrian Peterson are going to get back into the NFC playoff race, this is a game they must win. Likewise for Jay Cutler and the Bears, if they're going to prove they're a legitimate playoff contender this year, this is a game they must win. Minnesota needs it more since their season may hang in the balance whereas Chicago can afford a loss.
- Code: Bears - The Bears have future hall of famer, Brian Urlacher. New Mexico hall of famer.
- Fittz: Vikings - Remember when Brett Favre was unbeatable in the cold weather? I'm betting on shrinkage.
- Griffin: Bears - America's second favorite soap opera will have a chance against Cutler, but I'm still taking the Bears.
- London: Vikings - Favrian penis magic is the best.
- Ponting: Vikings - I expect an insipid start from the Vikes, which will cause someone from the Vikings to shiv Childress at the half. This will result in a resurgent performance and a Minny win.
- Starkey: Bears - I want to pick the Vikings, but I picked the Bears to win the division to begin the year so I'm going to ride that train for at least one more week.
- Perryman: Vikings - The Bears have Jay Cutler. He has diabetes and a lisp.
New York (6-2) at Cleveland (3-5) - Bill Belichick? Check. New York Jets? Up next on Eric Mangini's revenge list. The Jets are coming off a come-from-behind win over the Detroit Lions and the Browns are coming off a surprise thrashing of the Patriots. This might be a trap game for the Jets as it was the Patriots, but I doubt if we see Peyton Hillis run wild as he did last week.
- Code: Browns - I guess i'm buying into the Hillis hype. Man crush. So what.
- Fittz: Jets - I pretty much want the Browns to beat every Super Bowl contender this season.
- Griffin: Jets - For the second straight week, I think the Browns are really close against a good team, and I'm tempted to take them, but I think the Jets are just better enough to win on the road.
- London: Browns - Julian Peterson ruined some prime Sanchize fail last week. McCoy satisfies America's appetite for fail by beating them this week.
- Ponting: Jets - Good luck Colt.
- Starkey: Browns - This might be the last game the Browns really try to win. The Ryan twins duking it out and Mangini against another former employer.
- Perryman: Jets - Letdown city here. The Browns won their Super Bowl last week.
Cincinnati (2-6) at Indianapolis (5-3) - Terrell Owens has been awesome for the Bengals this year but the Bengals have still been awful. Stick a fork in them, at 2-6, they're done. The Colts are mortal this year as their 5-3 record indicates. They've been riddled by injury so far this year - and no, you can't count Bob Sanders being hurt as meaningful, but they're still managed injuries to many key offensive players like Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark. The Colts need to start winning consistently - if the playoffs began today, the Colts would not be a playoff team.
- Code: Colts - I pick Peyton Manning over T.Ocho.
- Fittz: Colts - Peyton in the hideous blue helmet looked far too much like Eli.
- Griffin: Colts - Cincy's looked better, but still. . .
- London: Colts - And people thought TO was done...Hyperbaric chambers are awesome.
- Ponting: Colts - This may be closer than people think.
- Starkey: Bengals - I'm going to regret this pick but I think this is the game that really confuses people about the 2010 season even more than they currently are.
- Perryman: Colts - Cincy was game for the Steelers, but the Colts will have no trouble at home.
Tennessee (5-3) at Miami (4-4) - While both teams are probably only above average, this should be a pretty good game. Randy Moss joins his third team of the season and makes his debut in Miami, where he played his last game as a member of the Patriots. Miami has changed quarterbacks, benching Captain Checkdown Chad Henne for Chad Pennington. We'll see if Pennington has anything left in his arm. If the Dolphins want to remain in the Wild Card race, they need to win this game.
- Code: Dolphins - Tough call on this one. I went with the home team.
- Fittz: Dolphins - The Dolphins are perpetually average. Rename the stadium 8-8 Field.
- Griffin: Dolphins - I think gamblers are really underrating the Dolphins. Maybe I should believe in the Titans more, but I can't see them being so good they're favored @Miami.
- London: Titans - Tennessee always wins after a bye.
- Ponting: Dolphins - I'll take the Dolphins at home. I don't have much faith in the Titans.
- Starkey: Titans - Moss + Bye week + A weak armed Chad Pennington = Titans win.
- Perryman: Dolphins - I'm still not a believer in the Titans, particularly without Britt. I guess Moss can run the same fly routes.
Carolina (1-7) at Tampa Bay (5-3) - I have no desire to watch this game, but with a win the Bucs can position themselves nicely for a Wild Card spot at the least. Matt Moore is out for the year so we'll see more Jimmy Clausen. If we're really lucky, we'll see backup Tony Pike in the game for the Panthers. Poor Steve Smith.
- Code: Buccaneers - Bucks.
- Fittz: Buccaneers - This game is proof that the NFC is terrible.
- Griffin: Buccaneers - One of the few games I feel confident in this week. That means the Panthers will win.
- London: Buccaneers - I would do bad stuff to Josh Freeman.
- Ponting: Buccaneers - Carolina is awful.
- Starkey: Buccaneers - No interest in watching this game.
- Perryman: Buccaneers - Have I mentioned that Carolina is terrible? Matt Moore is gone for the year, too.
Houston (4-4) at Jacksonville (4-4) - Another game that both teams need, which could lead to some quality football. Problem is, both teams are mediocre as their records suggest. Both teams are still alive in the AFC South, with the Titans and Colts only a game ahead of both of them, so this game could have some playoff implications in a messy division. At the very least, fantasy owners will be keeping an eye on Arian Foster and Maurice Jones-Drew in this one.
- Code: Texans - Come on Houston. I thought this was the year. I bought a stupid shirt and everything.
- Fittz: Texans - Come on Houston. I thought this was the year. I bought a stupid shirt and everything.
- Griffin: Jaguars - Houston's fallen so far I think they probably lose against almost anyone on the road, especially a team coming off a bye.
- London: Jaguars - This loss should get Kubiak fired.
- Ponting: Texans - Water's at neck-level on the Texans' ship, but I'll stay with them for this week.
- Starkey: Texans - Houston finds a way to win and tease their fans just a bit longer.
- Perryman: Jaguars - Don't really want to pick either of these teams. I think Houston is better, but the Jags are at home, off a bye.
Kansas City (5-3) at Denver (2-6) - Is Josh McDaniels the next coach to get fired? Or will that be Brad Childress? Either way, the Chiefs are coming off a tough overtime loss to the Raiders while the Broncos are coming off their bye week, returning from their showcase in London. Kansas City is the better team but things can get tricky in Mile High - even with an awful Broncos team running around.
- Code: Chiefs - Chefs.
- Fittz: Broncos - This game just makes me sad that there's not a Raiders game this week.
- Griffin: Chiefs - Trap game!
- London: Chiefs - When in doubt, support former UNT greats. This week it's Brian Waters of the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Ponting: Chiefs - Denver's defense really is abysmal.
- Starkey: Chiefs - Tempted to take the Broncos but Kansas City is just a way better team which says more about Denver than it does about Kansas City.
- Perryman: Chiefs - Tough loss last week for the Chiefs. A win in Denver would be huge for them.
Dallas (1-7) at New York (6-2) - So the Jason Garrett era begins in Week 10 inheriting a 1-7 Dallas team. How many people would have guessed that when Jerry Jones hired him a few years ago to that undetermined role? The Cowboys face an uphill battle against a Giants team that is looking more and more like the best team in the NFC. Naturally, Dallas will win given that the Giants are starting to emerge.
- Code: Giants - Prediction. Jason Garrett wins a couple of games for the boys, but not this one. He'll also find himself jobless at the end of the season; wondering why he didn't pursue the ATL and BAL jobs with more intensity.
- Fittz: Giants - The Cowboys are probably going to win this game. I'm not picking them to do so, however.
- Griffin: Giants - I don't think I want to watch this.
- London: Giants - Patrick Peterson!!!
- Ponting: Giants - This is going to be an absolute massacre...it'll make the Packers game seem palatable.
- Starkey: Cowboys - This basically has to happen since it's 2010.
- Perryman: Giants - At least there is a reason to watch. I predict that Dallas does give a good effort.
Seattle (4-4) at Arizona (3-5) - Ugly game, but one that will sadly have playoff implications. If the Cardinals can win, they'll just need the 49ers to beat the Rams and we'll have a trio of 4-5 teams sitting atop the NFC West. One of which is led by a rookie quarterback, the other Derek Anderson and the other Matt Hasselbeck. Ugly.
- Code: Cardinals - Not excited.
- Fittz: Cardinals - This game is also proof that the NFC is terrible.
- Griffin: Cardinals - This is quietly a huge game. Arizona can either firmly place themselves in the division race or the Seahawks can all but eliminate them.
- London: Seahawks - A concussed Matt Hasselbeck vs Derek Anderson. Should be epic.
- Ponting: Cardinals - Holy crap one of these teams could make the playoffs.
- Starkey: Cardinals - Is this like the JV game of the NFC?
- Perryman: Cardinals - I don't want to pick the Cards. This is one of those home field deals.
St. Louis (4-4) at San Francisco (2-6) - It's really crazy to think that if the 49ers do win this game, they'll be 3-6 and would actually have a pulse in the NFC West. Troy Smith will "likely" start according to Mike Singletary while Alex Smith has still yet to be cleared to play in games. The Rams could essentially end the 49ers season with a win and boost their own playoff legitimacy in the process.
- Code: 49ers - Candlestick Park wins this one.
- Fittz: 49ers - Hey look, more proof!
- Griffin: 49ers - If St. Louis wins this and the Seahawks lose, they should probably start being looked at as the favorites in the west.
- London: Rams - The Rams are going to win the West.
- Ponting: 49ers - Holy crap one of these teams could make the playoffs.
- Starkey: Rams - Is this the JV game of the NFC West?
- Perryman: 49ers - I don't know. The Niners will probably try really hard.
New England (6-2) at Pittsburgh (6-2) - Fitting that this game is the NBC Sunday Night game since this game is the best game of the week. We'll see if Tom Brady and the Patriot offense can start to gel against a tough Steelers defense. Brady and company still haven't found their groove post-Moss on offense yet and their defense was ran over by Peyton Hillis last week. This will be a good test for both teams and this game will likely have AFC playoff seeding implications.
- Code: Steelers - Oh nice. I'm excited about this one. NE is coming off a loss and now they have to go to the Ketchup Packet. Gimme the Stealers.
- Fittz: Steelers - This is practically the Super Bowl.
- Griffin: Steelers - I don't think the Browns made the Pats look so bad they should be 4.5 under Pittsburgh, but the Steelers are still the better team.
- London: Steelers - Teams should be about even, home team gets the nod.
- Ponting: Steelers - Not sure what the reason is but Brady hasn't been all that sharp this year.
- Starkey: Patriots - When New England wins the Super Bowl this year, we can all point at this road win being huge for them.
- Perryman: Steelers - I think this is the first week I haven't picked the Patriots. Bounce-back will probably be in effect, but it's in Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia (5-3) at Washington (4-4) - The Michael Vick led Eagles are coming off a huge win at home against the Colts and now take on the rival Redskins on Monday Night Football. The Redskins are coming off their bye week which has been surrounded by controversy between Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb. Maybe McNabb isn't in shape and doesn't know the playbook, but good God, keep Rex Grossman off the field on a national stage - that's all I ask.
- Code: Redskins - I'm excited about this one too. Gimme the home team.
- Fittz: Eagles - This is practically the I Hate Football in 2010 Bowl.
- Griffin: Eagles - Whatever happens, I lose. :(
- London: Eagles - The Michael Vick experience is up and running again. The McNabb Campbell Soup experience is not.
- Ponting: Eagles - After 8 games, the Redskins have 4 times as many wins as the Cowboys. I'll be huddled in the corner in the fetal position as you consider that statement.
- Starkey: Eagles - Too much talent on Philadelphia for Washington to keep up with.
- Perryman: Eagles - Skins don't manage to muck up the game this time.