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- Week 10 Predictions - Steelers, Browns Lead Division Rivals Week

Chris Pokorny November 11, 2007
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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After the fall of the defending Super Bowl Champions last week, Week 10 of the National Football League features three key division match-ups to lead off our games of the week, not to mention the rest of the exciting action around the league.

Let's get right into this week's predictions with the games of the week...



Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants. Nothing may ever match the regular season qualifications of last weeks AFC showdown between the Colts and the Patriots, but if you ask the officials at FOX, I'm sure they'll tell you that this game has the potential to be just as good, if not better. After the Giants were embarrassed in Week 1 defensively by the Cowboys, they've undergone a transformation by winning their past six games. Everything has led up to this game: from Osi Umenyiora's six sacks against the Eagles to Brandon Jacobs maturing into a starting-caliber running back over in London before the Giants' bye week. The problem in Week 1 for the Giants wasn't there offense, which scored 35 points led by Eli Manning's four touchdowns.

The Cowboys haven't gotten worse since facing the Giants by any means; if that were the case, they wouldn't be sitting atop the division. The Cowboys already proved that a hostile road crowd won't get them off of their game. After being rewarded with a new, six-year deal prior to last week's game against the Eagles, the Cowboys completed dominated Philadelphia all-around. If the Cowboys have something I'm not fond of still though, it's the indecisiveness that remains between Marion Barber and Julius Jones. It's great to have two capable backs, but I still have some concerns as to what would happen to the offense when the two-back system throws a series or two off base. With the Giants at home, I expect their defense to control Tony Romo more than they did in Week 1, leading to a hard-fought win. Giants 27, Cowboys 21


Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. As much as the Steelers like to say that "a team needs to beat us sometimes" in order for this to be considered a rivalry, make no mistake about it: this has and forever will be one of the greatest rivalries in the NFL. The Browns were demolished back in Week 1 when Charlie Frye was their starting quarterback and were left for dead by critics around the league. After the Browns' front office made an uncommon decision by trading Frye away immediately and naming Derek Anderson the starter though, things have gotten a lot better for the Browns, particularly during their three-game winning streak. The offense is one of the best in the NFL, and although the defense has been torched, the "little big plays" have started to show up in crunch time.

With all of those positive with the Browns though, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had positive of their own. Ben Roethlisberger is also among the league leaders in passing, while Willie Parker is having another successful year running the football. Hines Ward and Kellen Winslow have both been called out by opposing defense during the week, so it'll be interesting to see if either team actually goes through with their subliminal threats. This win would mean everything for the city of Cleveland, but Pittsburgh's simply doesn't let their guard down at home when they're playing great football. Steelers 24, Browns 20


Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans. Both quarterback situations on these teams have been shaky, but the most important player to look out for could be Albert Haynesworth again. He is the best defensive tackle in football right now, but he's missed practice all week for the Titans with a hamstring injury. David Garrard is expected to return for the Jacksonville Jaguars (quicker than expected), and not having a physical presence up front in Haynesworth will allow Jacksonville to explore the running game better than they did earlier this season against Tennessee when their leading rusher was Maurice-Jones Drew with 32 yards on the ground.

The story on the ground wasn't the same for the Titans, who saw Chris Brown 175 yards on 19 carries. The Jaguars' defense has returned to form since then, and although Brown isn't available for the Titans, LenDale White has really started to establish himself as the centerpiece in an offensive system with a shaky Vince Young. Young has not thrown a touchdown pass since Week 3, and yet the Titans are 3-1 when Young starts at quarterback during that stretch. That just shows you how strong the Titans are as a team, and with Garrard coming off of injury and playing on the road, this is Tennessee's best chance at creeping closer to the Colts (the same is true for Jacksonville). Titans 17, Jaguars 13


Indianapolis Colts vs. San Diego Chargers. This is a really interesting match-up to have for Sunday Night Football, considering both teams are coming off a loss last week under different circumstances. The Colts played extremely well overall against the Patriots, and nearly remained the only undefeated team before the Patriots simply got the best of them. Meanwhile, it wasn't the LaDainian Tomlinson show last week, it was the Adrian Peterson show. Peterson broke the rushing record against a Chargers' defense that forgot how to tackle. Both teams losses were depressing, but the Chargers was far, far worse.

The Colts will be without Marvin Harrison this week again. Anthony Gonzalez can step in then, right? Nope, he's probably out several weeks due to injury as well. How about Dallas Clark? He's recovering from a concussion. The Colts only receiving threats may be Reggie Wayne and Aaron Moorehead. That's basically what the Colts had last week, and they almost beat the Patriots because they still have Peyton Manning and Joseph Addai controlling the offense. With the defense playing well and San Diego suffering some defensive shufflings due to injury, the Colts can compete just as well as any other week and win. Colts 28, Chargers 20


Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers. Something definitely isn't right in Carolina when you consider they are 4-1 on the road, but 0-3 at home this season. An ugly quarterback situation will do that to a team, who will definitely be without David Carr this weekend. If Vinny Testaverde can't play, then rookie Matt Moore would get an NFL start before JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. The Falcons have stayed competitive in recent weeks, but the Panthers should be able to work the clock on the ground with DeShaun Foster against them in a low-scoring game. Panthers 14, Falcons 6

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers. The buzz surrounding this game is a lot better than the Vikings' record shows because of what Adrian Peterson has done this season. However, it's important not to over-estimate what Peterson will do. The last time Peterson ran for over 200 yards this season, he followed it up with around a 65-yard performance the following week. The Packers' physical corners will allow them to stack the box when necessary to key in on Peterson. Brooks Bollinger vs. Brett Favre at the quarterback position. Who do you like better in that one? Packers 31, Vikings 13

Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs. Whether or not Jay Cutler actually plays in this game shouldn't matter a whole lot. Without him, the team did not look strong under Patrick Ramsey. With him in the game though, it's doubtful he'd be at full strength against a strong Kansas City Chiefs defense. If Larry Johnson is indeed out, this could be a dream opportunity for Priest Holmes to remind everyone just how good of a player he's capable of being. The Chiefs need to work Dwayne Bowe back into the scheme of things too though. Chiefs 24, Broncos 14

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins. I hate admitting I was wrong about something I stood firmly by, but so far I've definitely been wrong about stating Trent Edwards should've kept the quarterback job over J.P. Losman. While Edwards was managing the games, Losman has re-established his brilliant chemistry with Lee Evans while still allowing Marshawn Lynch to stay active on the ground. The Dolphins are still in a minor-league state, but they'll be fighting every single week to try and avoid going winless. Picking them to win though is picking against the odds, i.e. not worth it in the long run. Bills 27, Dolphins 17

St. Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints. From one winless team to another, it feels good knowing that if you pick against two teams each week, your predictions total at the end of the season will be higher than normal. The Rams' offense may be ready to get back on track with their weapons, but that won't help the lack of a defensive presence against Drew Brees who has played just as well as he did all of last season. The Rams can't protect Marc Bulger for four quarters either, and just like the Dolphins, picking them to win would be like shooting myself in the foot. Saints 35, Rams 21

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins. The Redskins have fallen off the radar a little bit after getting blown out by New England and just barely getting by the Jets, but their win last week is all that counts heading into this week's game. The Eagles can't put a stretch of solid performances together this season, and the Redskins would love to continue taking advantage of that. In a best-case scenario, the Cowboys would lose and the Redskins would win, making them only a game behind the division lead. Or, if the Giants lose and the Redskins win, they'll be tied for the fifth- or sixth-wildcard slots. Win and win, as long as they win. Redskins 20, Eagles 17

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens. I was at least hoping there would be some significance to this game, but it's hard to find it. Sure, the Ravens have more to play for depending on the outcome of the Browns/Steelers game, but nobody can take them as serious contenders with the offense they have and the big plays they are giving up defensively. It's amazing that Chad Johnson will play in this game after what appeared to be a possible long-term injury last week. The Ravens are still hurting defensively, and although they aren't an offensive team by any means, Willis McGahee should see a lot of work against a porous Bengals defense. Ravens 21, Bengals 20

Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals. I'm waiting for the exciting Arizona Cardinals team to show up again -- the one that we saw against the Steelers -- but I haven't seen it. The Lions are the real-deal: not only are they playing fundamentally sound on offense, they are starting to gain confidence and an intimidation factor on defense. They've played poor twice on the road this year, but they also only allowed seven points to the Bears on the road two weeks ago. The Cardinals need to be aggressive through the air to get off to a quick start, but I'm not banking on that happening. Lions 24, Cardinals 17

Chicago Bears vs. Oakland Raiders. Word has it that if Brian Griese struggles in this game, Rex Grossman will come in to relieve him. What about Kyle Orton? And, if you're a Raiders fan, what about JaMarcus Russell? Could we see quite a few quarterback shuffles in this game? I expect the game to be close until the end, forcing both coaches to stick with what they have in fear of losing any possible momentum. Ultimately, the Bears running game -- with the other Adrian Peterson -- will set up a victory. Bears 20, Raiders 14


San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks. I can't explain it: something about seeing Mike Holmgren lose his temper on the sidelines after his team fails to execute in crunch time is just too funny. The Seahawks have a big problem in the running game, as Shaun Alexander can't get it done with a cast on his hand. Matt Hasselbeck is playing effectively though, and since the 49ers can't establish the type of offense the Browns did last week, Seattle should be able to get pressure on Alex Smith consistently and ice this game away. Seahawks 28, 49ers 13


Just when I had built my survivor streak back up to four games last week, the Chargers cost me against the Vikings. I was shell-shocked on that one, because of how well the Chargers defense has notoriously been. This week, still sticking with not picking the team's I've already picked rule, I'm going with the Seattle Seahawks to take down the 49ers.


Predictions Record to Date: 85-46 (Looks like my goal of going 100-50 at some point isn't too realistic.)
Last Week: 8-6 (Pitiful. My reaches didn't pay off at all.)
Survivor Streak: Lost 1 (Min over Atl, Den over Oak, Car over Atl, [NYJ over Buf], Ari over StL, Cle over Mia, Cin over NYJ, NYG over Mia, and [SD over Min].)

The bye weeks are over after this week, and that should create some relief for fantasy football owners. What did everyone who had Tom Brady on their roster do this week though? I had him in my primary league, and I'm thankful that in my original draft, I took Brett Favre as my backup quarterback. Against the Vikings pass defense this week, he should perform well.

Do you have an opinion on this article? Do you want direct fantasy football advice from one of our writers? You can e-mail us at pokorny@pfcritics.com. Be sure to label your subject line appropriately so we don't think it is spam. Please include your name (can be a screename), city and state. We guarantee a response to any questions or comments you have, and will publish them in our next mailbag session if appropriate.
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