We have reached the midway point of the 2011 NFL season and the time has come for the playoff contenders to step up and earn their spots. There are several important questions that need to be answered this week.
Can the San Diego Chargers bounce back from a close loss to take control of the AFC West? Will the Atlanta Falcons be able to put a crimp in the division aspirations of the New Orleans Saints? Will the New England Patriots continue their downward slide when they take on the New York Jets this week?
Below you will find the NFL Predictions for Week 10. I have continued my trend with another winning week. See if I can maintain my pace to take over the lead in the NFL Pick’em contest.
Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers
The Raiders were unable to contain the man that is Tim Tebow and that is bad news considering they will heading to San Diego to take on a Chargers team that needs a rebound in the worse way. Both teams have a chance at the capturing the AFC West title though the Chargers have the inside track. They have the offense that can run with anyone. Expect another close game for the Lightning Bolts but they will come away with a win.
Chargers 24 Raiders 17
Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Bills had a chance to remove all doubt last week and failed when they could not muster any real offensive attack. Now they are going to be faced with a revitalized Cowboys team that is raring to go in front of the home crowd. The Cowboys would be smart and use their rookie back DeMarco Murray to shoulder the load and keep the pressure off Tony Romo.
Cowboys 28 Bills 17
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Saints were able to bounce back nicely last week and will look to continue the momentum when they travel to play the Falcons on their home turf. This is a bad time for the Saints considering their defense has appeared less than average at best and the Falcons offense seems to be hitting on all cylinders. The Falcons are going to feed off the home crowd and give the Saints a hard loss that will slow down the race to the NFC South title.
Falcons 31 Saints 28
Houston Texans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With their win over the rebuilding Cleveland Browns, the Texans have clearly put themselves in the driver seat when it comes to the AFC South title. They can continue to legitimize this season when they take on the Buccaneers who dropped the ball against the Saints. Arian Foster is finally looking like the running back everyone expected to see at the start of the 2011 NFL season. Their offense should have little resistance against the Buccaneers defense that allowed 24.5 points per game.
Texans 24 Buccaneers 14
St. Louis Rams vs. Cleveland Browns
The Rams and the Browns, who have combined for a 4-12 record, will take the field on Sunday and try to make the game offensively interesting for the NFL fans. Both teams have shown the inability to score points, with each team breaking the 20 point barrier only once this season. The winner of this game is going to be decided by the team who controls the ball on the ground. This will give the edge to the Rams as they win by a narrow margin.
Rams 17 Browns 10
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Steelers, who are still battered and bruised after their battle with the Baltimore Ravens, will travel to take on another division opponent as they fight it out for the AFC North lead. The Bengals are beginning a stretch in their schedule hat is going to test their playoff chances. In the end, the Steelers will be too much on offense and will knock the Bengals down a peg.
Steelers 28 Bengals 10
Washington Redskins vs. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins shocked about everyone last week with their convincing win over the Kansas City Chiefs. You can beat the Dolphins are licking their chops as they play host to one of the most troubled teams in the NFL, the Redskins. Their offense is in shambles and head coach Mike Shanahan looks primed to be looking for a new job at the end of the season. Look for the Dolphins to earn their second win of the 2011 NFL season.
Dolphins 27 Redskins 10
Tennessee Titans vs. Carolina Panthers
The Titans blew the chance to keep pace for the AFC South title when they let the Cincinnati Bengals come back last week for a win. Now they will be taking on a rested Panthers team that has the offensive rookie of the year, Cam Newton, at the helm. In front of their home crowd, the Panthers are going to run right through the Titans as Newton racks up more yards than Chris Johnson.
Panthers 24 Titans 17
Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Cardinals pulled out a close win last week thanks to a punt return. Things are going to be different when they travel to the City of Brotherly Love to face the resurging Eagles. With questions surrounding Kevin Kolb’s injuries, Eagles’ fans may miss the chance to boo the former heir apparent for Donovan McNabb. The Eagles will win the game, but their defense will allow it to remain in the single digits.
Eagles 28 Cardinals 20
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Tim Tebow lives another week as the starting quarterback thanks to his performance running the ball right through the Raiders defense. The Chiefs will need to get their head back on straight after being owned by the Miami Dolphins for their first win of the 2011 NFL season. The Chiefs will have better success containing Tebow thanks to their front four and will bounce back with a needed win this week.
Chiefs 23 Broncos 14
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Jaguar faithful are hoping the team used the bye effectively and figured out a way to generate some offense to reward a stingy defense. The Colts are just aching for their first win and will have a decent chance depending on the play of rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbart. The Colts will be able to do just enough on the offensive side thanks to Curtis Painter and sneak away a win for the home crowd.
Colts 14 Jaguars 13
Baltimore Ravens vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Ravens stepped up last week against the Steelers and showed us they belong as one of the top teams in the AFC. The big question is will they overlook the Seahawks and their two wins when they travel out West. Expect another showing like the Ravens had against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night, but this time they will escape with a win in front of what used to be a hostile field.
Ravens 17 Seahawks 14
New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Giants have continued to prove the doubters wrong by winning the games they are expected to lose. Now we find them at 6-2 with a two game lead in the NFC East. They will be taking on the 49ers who have only lost one game this 2011 NFL season. The Giants offense is going to have their hands full with the aggressive defense of the 49ers. This will be a dog fight until the end, but the Giants will come home as losers.
49ers 27 Giants 20
Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears
The Lions enter this contest fully rested off their bye week and will be more than eager to take on a Bears team that is still recovering from Monday Night football. The key to the game will be if the Lions can put enough pressure on the Bears Jay Cutler and prevent running back Matt Forte from catching passes out of the backfield. The Lions have become road warriors and will earn another hard fought win over a NFC North opponent.
Lions 24 Bears 21
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
The Patriots enter this contest losers of their last two and will need to find a way to right the ship if they are going to make the playoffs. They will be going against a Jets team, whose defense finally stepped up last week to show that they could still be a dominant force. The Patriots did figure out Revis Island and will earn another close win over an AFC East foe.
Patriots 27 Jets 21
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
The last time these two teams met, the Packers escaped with a narrow victory. NFL fans should expect more of the same thanks to a rejuvenated Adrian Peterson and the emergence of rookie quarterback Christian Ponder. Even though the Packers are going to lose a game, do not expect it to happen on Monday Night Football where Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have the chance to show what he can do with their explosive offense.
Packers 31 Vikings 24
2011 NFL Season Record 85-43