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- Week 10 Predictions: Rivalry City

Chris Pokorny November 12, 2005
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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Week 10 marks the final week for teams to have a bye, meaning that things will get very busy in the coming weeks. Teams are beginning to face their divisional opponents for the second time now, and certain teams need to split the series to force a tiebreaker at the end of the season.

Last week, the Indianapolis Colts were able to walk all over the New England Patriots. The Colts are a lock to advance to 9-0 this week when they face the Texans again. Two divisional games headline this week as the St. Louis Rams battle the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos take on the Oakland Raiders. Also, the Steelers will try to survive without Ben Roethlisberger for one more week.

Let's get to the Week 10 games of the week.

(Red = Prediction).

The Return of Bulger
St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
Despite the Rams being 2-0 under Jamie Martin as a starter somehow, this game wouldn't have been the same if Marc Bulger were still nursing an injury. Thankfully, Bulger will make his return this week to try and avenge the Rams loss to Seattle earlier in the season. Bulger may have both Torry Holt and Issac Bruce back as well. The real key to the Rams offense the past two weeks has been Steven Jackson, who needs to be fed the ball on a consistent basis.

The Seahawks were able to beat the Rams the first time around and should be able to do the same this time around. Shaun Alexander cannot be stopped by anyone. The defense allowed the Rams to walk all over them last time, but expect them to hold the Rams off a little bit better this time. The Seahawks are due for a convincing win over the Rams, and it could come in this one.

A Clear Momentum Shift
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills
Whoever wins this game will gain a lot of momentum for the second half of the season. If the Bills win, they can take pride in beating a team that's not only on a run, but great at running the football. If the Chiefs win, they will stay on pace with the Chargers and the Broncos. Kansas City suffered a blow last week after learning that Priest Holmes would be out the rest of the season.

Surely that would be good news for the Bills, who have been horrible at stopping the run? Not really, since they now have to deal with Larry Johnson, who was having a better year than Holmes was. The Bills offense will be able to find the holes in the Chiefs defense, but Johnson will run all over the Bills. Kansas City wins a shootout.

One Last Stand
Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders
This may be considered a must-win game for the Raiders. If they lose, they will be far behind the Broncos in the divisional race too late in the season. The Raiders have clicking offensively lately by allowing LaMont Jordan to have his way with opposing defenses. Randy Moss is getting healthier, making him more of a threat on the field.

The Broncos are coming off a bye, giving them two weeks to prepare for a team that has to be feeling down after losing to the Chiefs late. Jake Plummer will not have a problem against the Raiders secondary, and the Tatum Bell/Mike Anderson combination will be too much to handle for the Raiders. Despite being on the road, the Broncos will pull this game off late.

A Rivalry Renewed?
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
This game just got a whole lot more interesting after the Browns showed some signs of life offensively against the Titans last week. Rueben Droughns has averaged 100+ yards rushing the past three weeks, adding some life to the team. The defense has not been allowing a lot of points, which may play against the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers cannot put this game in Charlie Batch's hand. They have to hope that Duce Staley runs well against the Browns defense, which is vulnerable to the run. The Steelers were "lucky" in a way to have beaten the Green Bay Packers last week, relying on their defense to make a play. The Browns could make this game close, but the Steelers are too good at stopping the run. If the Steelers stuff Droughns early, they will be able to force Dilfer into a mistake, which may be enough to win.

And now, the rest of the week...

Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions
The Lions ran into a struggling team last week and couldn't win, so what makes things any different this week? Nothing much, especially since Joey Harrington is playing again. Harrington should be able to cut down on some of his mistakes for once against the Cardinals defense. Kurt Warner will produce the yards, but Neil Rackers field goals won't be enough to even beat Harrington.

New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
If there's one thing the Patriots have been able to do, it's been to win games anytime there is a threat for them losing their division. Even though New England is playing average football, they still have that winning attitude with Tom Brady. Brady will also be looking to avenge his collapse to the Dolphins last year on Monday Night. Patriots win after a Gus Frerotte mistake.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
This could be a trap game for the Jaguars. They have not been very sharp lately, and will be facing a Ravens team that has done better in recent weeks. Kyle Boller will make his return in an attempt to jumpstart the Ravens offense. He won't be able to do it this week, as the Jaguars will put a clamp on him. As long as Byron Leftwich makes safe throws all game, he should find a score here and there.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears
After beating their divisional foes and the New Orleans Saints, it almost seems as if this schedule was made for the Bears to win with the 49ers next on their list. The Bears defense will not give the 49ers any chance to move all day. Don't be surprised if this game turns out to be a shutout.

Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants
The Vikings arguably played their best game of the season last week against the Lions. Unfortunately for them, they now have to face the Giants, who are playing some of the league's best football. Eli Manning won't have any trouble against the Vikings defense. Brad Johnson will have an average day for the Vikings, but will not be able to match-up with Eli in New York.

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
When these two teams battled just a few weeks ago, I said that it could be one of the biggest blowouts in history. I was dead wrong, as the Texans tied the Colts around halftime. The Colts will not allow the Texans to hang around as long as last time, but expect Edgerrin James to run the football often to take time off the clock and produce long drives, giving the defense some rest.

New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers
It's not getting any easier for the Jets. The Panthers may be the hottest team in the league besides the Colts. Brooks Bollinger has been able to provide a spark for the Jets in relief lately, but it'll be a much different story when the opposing team has time to prepare for him. The Panthers will put away the Jets early, just like they have to other teams in recent weeks.

Washington Redskins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are quickly heading in the wrong direction. Even though Chris Simms isn't doing the greatest job, their defense has not been as dominant lately. That's not good news for them, as they are facing a Redskins team who has been rolling on both side of the football. Mark Brunell will have another well-played game, keeping the Skins in the playoff hunt.

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons
I may have finally lost hope for the Packers this year. As much as I want to pick them, it's been the same story week in and week out. The Packers keep coming so close to winning, but Favre is missing that extra ingredient to winning. I still can't remember who the Packers started at running back last week. Vick should play this game safe and hand the ball off to Warrick Dunn all day long.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The last time these two teams met each other, it wasn't even close. The Eagles were never even in the area of showing up. Philadelphia struggled last week against the Redskins and won't be able to do anything without a successful running game. If everyone knows McNabb is going to pass, he's not going to stay effective. The Cowboys will be fired up and pick up a huge road victory, sweeping the season series.

That's it for this weeks predictions. I extended my survivor winning streak to eight last week by picking the Seahawks to beat the Ravens. This week, I'm taking the Atlanta Falcons to beat the Green Bay Packers. I still believe the Packers can pull off upsets, but they are overmatched against the Falcons with all their injuries.

Predictions Record to Date: 80-50
Last Week: 12-2
Survivor Streak: Won 8(Pit over Hou, Dal over SF, Ind over Ten, Cle over Chi, Atl over NO, Atl over NYJ, Pit over Bal, Sea over Ari)

As predicted, I had my best record of the season last week by going 12-2. There are tougher games this week, but I think the same result is possible.

-Chris Pokorny

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